Apple Season is Upon Us at the Farmers Market


Apples are some of the first fall fruits to arrive for the season – with some varieties arriving as early as August. However, farmers say that the wet winter has delayed, their harvests, so we can expect them to begin harvesting a bit later than last year. But that doesn’t mean we can’t start getting excited about the tempting aroma of baked apples or apple pie!

There are so many varieties of apples to choose from at your farmers market – many more than you’ll find at any grocery store. And with many farmers returning to growing traditional heirloom varieties you’ll discover they have better flavor than the hybrids we’re used to. The Gravenstein, Arkansas Black, and Pink Lady are just a few of the old varieties that farmers have returned to growing,

There are apples best for baking, apples that are best for applesauce, and many that are best for eating out of hand. So talk with your local farmer to find the perfect match for your cooking and eating needs.

Rainbow Orchards and their mountain-grown apple orchards sit at an elevation of 3,400 feet in the hills of Camino. They grow heirloom varieties like Braeburn, Pippin, Fuji, Honey Crisp, Arkansas Black, and many standard hybrids. Available beginning in early September are Gala, Red Delicious & Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Jonathon and Macintosh Apples.

J&J Ramos Farms grows Fuji, Gala, Crimson Gala, Pippin, Franny Smith, Honey Crisp, and Pink Lady varieties of apples. With 350 acres of orchards in Hughson, they grow more than just apples, but be sure to enjoy their apples right now!

Guzman Farms grows Fuji and Pink Lady apples on their small 4-acre farm in Denair. They also grow a variety of other fruits and vegetables.

Starting with only 20 acres, Ken’s Top Notch now has over 250 acres of fruit trees in Fresno. They are certified organic, as well. You’ll find the Red Fuji variety of apple at their stall. It is large, sweet, and has a great crunch. Be sure to stop by and try some for your lunch boxes!

Visit all your market’s apple producers and enjoy a selection of each. Speak with them about which apple variety is best for your cooking, baking, and eating needs. Try them all!

Easy Slow Cooker Apple Butter
6 pounds apples such as Pink Lady or Braeburn
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Core and peel apples. Fill large slow cooker with apples. Pour in remaining ingredients. Cook on high for 1 hour; stir. Cook on low for about 9 to 10 hours or overnight until the apples are soft. Remove the lid, stir, then cook on high for 1 hour to allow for thickening to desired consistency. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth. While the mixture is still hot, fill sterilized jars, then add lids and rings; refrigerate for up to two weeks or can in a water bath canner. Process for 20 Minutes.

The Martinez Farmers Market is located at 700 Main St, Martinez, CA 94553 and open on Sunday’s from 9AM – 1PM.

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