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Local Farmers Grow Fruits of the Season

With summer arriving next week, Hermosa Beach farmers are anxious to sell peaches, apricots and plums.

A young boy with big, bright blue eyes sat quietly in his stroller as he bit into a large peach at the Hermosa Beach Farmer's Market on Friday. He smiled at the farmer who grew the fruit. While peach juice rolled down the boy's chin, Jim Brantley smiled back.

"We grow 25 varieties of peaches," said Brantley, who works with Pritchett Farms in Visalia, Calif. "They're not only growing, they're selling."

Fleshy fruits, such as peaches and plums, are currently in season, according to vendors who set up shop at Friday's market. Marina Vustamanta, a farmer from Santa Maria, Calif. said that almost all fruits — such as berries, tomatoes and melons — are in season this summer, but not all sell.

 "What's popular are plums, apricots and pluots," she said.

A pluot is a hybrid of a plum and apricot. Scientifically, the fruit is about 70 percent plum and 30 percent apricot. Pluots are the perfect summer fruit, farmers have said, because of their sweet flavor and juicy pulp.

With Monday being the first day of summer, vendors expect more Hermosa Beach residents to visit the market in future weeks.

"We're hoping to bring in white peaches next week," Brantley said, before adding that white peaches have become a fruit trend. "We're hopeful."

The Hermosa Beach Farmer's Market is every Friday from noon to 4 p.m. at the corner of Valley Drive and 11th Street.

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