Guide to Stockton, California’s Growing Seasons
To everything, there is a season. Except for the wondrous edibles that are grown year-round.
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Stockton's amazing produce is available throughout the year, but some items are only grown at certain times. To make sure you won't be in for any surprises when you visit the farm, farm stand or farmers' market, take a look at what you can expect in Stockton's fields during each season.
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Spring tends to kick off the growing season with Stockton's famous asparagus popping up in February and continuing through June.
In fact, asparagus played a large role in landing Stockton on the agricultural map in 1852 and has grown to be one of California's largest crops.
Select berries also start coming in this time of year, including strawberries in March and cherries in April. You may even spot a U-Pick Farm opening up. Nothing screams spring better than picking and eating locally grown berries, still warm from the sun!
Right on the cusp of summer, sometime in May, farm stands begin offering stone fruits, including apricots, nectarines, peaches and plums. More berries begin appearing as well, like blueberries.
Summer means longer days and more farmers' markets opening up. Joining the spring offerings are figs, grapes, melons, summer squash and tomatoes.
You'll find that along with the bounty of summer appearing on stands, many local restaurants take advantage of the seasonal produce, and from Central California to the Bay Area and beyond, Stockton's best influences restaurant menus.
By mid September, you cannot miss the caravan of trucks hauling huge, open pallets of tomatoes, this is especially true on Highway 99 and Interstate 5. The abundance of tomatoes is prevalent in the Central Valley of California. As the warm weather lingers in the Central Valley even as other parts of the country begin to cool off, olives and pomegranates begin to arrive as other fruits begin to dwindle.
There is an abundance of locally grown winter produce and fruit available even during the coolest months like grapes, onions, oranges, and meyer lemons. Much of winter's produce production lies in various varieties of winter squash. Stuffed, souped or used as home décor, winter squash is surprisingly versatile and an excellent, long-lasting choice for visitors looking to bring back some of Stockton's best.
Delicious items including nuts, such as almonds and walnuts, and apples, which are harvested during select months, are available in Stockton's Central Valley region of California throughout the year.
From fruit stands that dot the growing fields to celebrated farmers' markets, the fruits and vegetables grown in the rich, fertile ground of San Joaquin County change with the season and are enjoyed both locally and all over the world.