Pictured above: Peaches and nectarines are making their debuts at farmers markets around Long Beach. Photo by Gary Metzker.
One of the best things around the 908 is the abundance of farmers markets. We have had markets in the LBC since 1980.
There is a farmers market open in Long Beach every day. You just need to know where to go. See the list at the end of this story.
You should start making some extra space in your recyclable shopping bags because you will be bringing home some summer fruits that are making their debuts.
According to the California Fresh Fruit Association, California is the largest producer of fresh stone fruit in the nation with approximately 60,000 acres in production. Stone fruits are peaches, nectarines, plums, cherries and hybrids like pluots.
These fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber and other nutrients that are important for good health. People who eat more generous amounts are likely to have a reduced risk of chronic diseases. Most fruits (and vegetables) are naturally low in fat and calories. Here are a few quick facts about the fruits you will find at the markets:
APRICOTS are an excellent source of vitamins A and C and are a good source of potassium and fiber. You can store apricots at room temperature or refrigerate them; however, they should be used within a day or two.
CHERRIES (red, white and yellow) are a good source of vitamin C and fiber. The stems should be green and flexible. Avoid bruises and splits. Red cherries are ripe when deep red. Cherries will keep at room temperature for a few days or even longer if you put them in the fridge. But remember: once you remove the stem, the cherry will deteriorate rapidly, according to Adolpho Garcia of Garcia Family Farms of Kingsburg, California.
PEACHES are a good source of vitamin C. This fruit yields to slight pressure and is very fragrant. According to Larry Gomez of Gomez Farms in Dinuba, California, avoid soft spots, bruises and greenish color.
“Peaches don’t have friends,” Gomez said. “So don’t put them next to avocados, plums or cherries. Keep them at room temperature until they get to the softness you want, then put them in the refrigerator and they will last a few days longer.”
Here are the 908 farmers markets with days, hours and addresses:
Houghton Park Plaza, corner of Harding and Atlantic avenues. Open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Bixby Park, on Junipero Avenue between 1st and 2nd streets. Open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Marine Stadium, parking lot of Marina Vista Park. Open from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Bixby Knolls, on Atlantic Avenue at East 64th Street. Open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Downtown Long Beach, on the Promenade between 3rd Street and 5th Street. Open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Bixby Park, on Junipero Avenue between 1st and 2nd streets. Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Long Beach Marina, 6602 Marina Drive. Open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.