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Welcome to our guide on finding fresh, local fruit near you! There’s nothing quite like the taste of freshly picked fruit, bursting with flavor and nutrients. Whether you’re craving juicy berries, crisp apples, or succulent peaches, we’ll help you discover the best places to find these delicious treasures right in your own community. 

From farmers markets to pick-your-own farms and local orchards, we’ll explore the variety of options available and share 10 tips on how to make the most of your fruit-seeking adventure. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the freshest, most flavorful fruit that your local area has to offer!

1. Farmers Markets

A farmers market is often sponsored by a non-profit organization, such as a neighborhood, city, or farmers cooperative to have a market one day each week in a specific location, usually during a specific season, with a variety of farmers who bring their products to that market. Some farmers markets now offer a year-round shopping opportunity. 

The convenience and variety of fresh fruits available at local farmers markets is awesome. This gives you a direct connection with several different farmers and the fruit will be available as it ripens at the farm. You may have to do a little research to find the markets where farmers bring the fruit they grow, as not all farms are fruit producers. This will give you access to fruit that is grown in your area and is harvested at peak ripeness. 

You have the opportunity to talk with the farmer and find out growing practices they use as well as what other crops they grow. Remember that the growing season will be different from what you see at a grocery store. If there is a particular fruit you are interested in, such as pawpaws or figs, be sure to ask when the harvest time is for that. 

2. Pick-Your-Own Farms:

Do you have the urge to pick your own? There are farms which offer the opportunity to come to the farm with your basket and do your own picking. Can’t beat that for fresh! Generally, the more you pick, the greater your discount on the fruit. If you are taking your children, expect a per person charge, as the farm anticipates that you will enjoy a few (maybe many!) pieces of fruit while you are in the field.

This gives you a direct connection with a farm and you can see how the fruit grows and the difference between ripe and unripe. While a farm may offer pick-your-own for some crops, they may not for other crops. Be sure to check what is available, when the picking days and hours are, and how to find updates on the crops. Remember that the weather affects when the fruit is ready, and the weather is beyond the farmer’s control. 

To make the most of your experience, consider the following: 

  • Pick as early as possible in the day, especially in warmer weather. The fruit will keep better for you when you take it home.
  • When picking any kind of berries, bring a cooler or be prepared to get home and get the berries into refrigeration as soon as possible. The berries will keep better for you the sooner they are chilled. 
  • Bring a water bottle for each person, as there are most likely not water stations in the field.
  • Don’t break branches or step on the plants. That’s next year’s crops.
  • Bring a container to pick into or be prepared to purchase a container at the farm. 
  • Check the weather forecast ahead of time; if there is a thunderstorm headed your way, the farmer must close the fields for safety. 

3. Community Supported Agriculture (CSA):

See if your local farm offers a Fruit CSA. Just as with a vegetable CSA, a fruit share will give you fruit each week based on the season. A farm that grows a variety of fruit may offer this option, which could expand your fruit repertoire to some unusual offerings. 

Figs, persimmons, gooseberries, currants, and pie cherries might show up along with the classic strawberries, blueberries, peaches, and apples. This gives you a wide range of fresh fruit while you participate in supporting your local farm. 

Fruit shares are a good way to make sure you have healthy snacks in the house. In addition, you get to visit the farm each week.CSA members often have opportunities for tours, tastings, or other events not available to the general public.CSA farms generally grow without synthetic chemicals or pesticides, keeping to clean, sustainable, and organic methods of growing.

4. Local Orchards and Farms:

Local orchards or fruit farms can offer direct sales to the public, showcasing their selection and freshness. You are able to find fruit that has not traveled across country, or to central distribution warehouses, or around the world. The fruit has just been harvested and is going directly to you. When you buy from the fruit farm near you, it makes the concept of farm to table come to life. You also can ask the farmer questions about harvest seasons, growing methods, or specialty crops. 

Many farms specialize in a certain type of fruit, such as tree fruit. They might have plums, pears, peaches, and apples, but not berries. Others might specialize in small fruits, such as blackberries, raspberries, gooseberries, or currants. It’s important to check with your local farm to see what they have to offer. You also can purchase large amounts of fruit, as they are available from the farmer, if you want to can, freeze, or make preserves. Ask to see when is the best time to get a larger quantity. 

5. Cooperative Buying Clubs:

If you want to have larger quantities of fruit, they you can consider joining or forming a Cooperative Buying Club. This type of Club can buy in bulk, and then pass on the savings to the members. In exchange, you may volunteer some hours to help with pick up or re-packing. Usually this arrangement can save you money if you are getting a larger amount of product. Be sure that the Club is buying directly from the farmer so that you are reaping the benefits of fresh and local as well as lower cost. 

6. Specialty Stores and Markets:

These are the stores that have the hard-to-find ingredients and unusual produce. These are the stores which cater to aspiring chefs and food enthusiasts. These markets work at cultivating relationships with nearby farms so that they can have amber raspberries, pawpaws, rosehips, or currants. Talk to the produce manager at the store to find out what local produce they carry and what is the best way for you to know what comes in season and when. 

7. Online Resources:

It can be exhausting trying to find all the different types of markets in an area. Here are some general resources:

8. Seasonal Availability:

Can I over-emphasize the importance of buying fruit in season for the best flavor and nutritional value? Eating in season provides the best of everything—flavor, nutrition, and how long the fruit will keep. However, with how good the fruit tastes fresh, it’s unlikely you will be holding onto it for an extended period of time. 

Just in case you need to keep your fruit longer than a day or two, here are some tips:

  • Do not wash berries until right before you are ready to eat. A simple rinse is usually sufficient. Berries are very susceptible to mold, and if you wash them ahead of time you set them up to start molding right away.
  • Refrigerate any fruit that is ready to eat. If you like your fruit at room temperature, take it out of the refrigerator 1-2 hours ahead of time.

9. Health Benefits:

Fruit is full of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, and antioxidants which help boost the immune system. The nutritional value of most fruit is at its peak in the first week after harvest. This is the great benefit of local fruit which is harvested shortly before you eat it—you get the best flavor and all the nutritional benefits that the fruit can offer. Fruit which has traveled cross country has already declined in flavor and nutritional value before you can get it home. When you can see the fields and talk with the farmer, you can taste true “farm fresh” fruit. 

10. Supporting Local Economy:

When you connect with local farmers, you gain more than fresh, great tasting fruit. You become part of a support system for sustainable agriculture and environmentally friendly growing practices. Your support is what makes it possible for the family farm to keep growing unusual and mouthwatering fruits and vegetables. Money spent at the farm is money that stays in the community and helps make the local economy stronger and more resilient. 


In conclusion, sourcing local fruit from farms near you offers a multitude of benefits. Not only does it provide you with access to the freshest and most flavorful fruit available, but it also allows you to support local farmers and the community. By choosing local fruit, you reduce the environmental impact of long-distance transportation and contribute to the preservation of farmland. Additionally, the experience of visiting local farms or markets can foster a greater appreciation for where our food comes from and the hard work that goes into growing it. So next time you’re in search of delicious fruit, consider exploring the options available in your own backyard – you’ll be rewarded with a bounty of benefits for both you and your community.

If you are in the Wilmington, Delaware area, we invite you to visit our family farm and farm market to see what fruit is in season. If not, please find a farmers market or local farm near you and support the people who grow your food. There is a special connection when you get to know where your food is coming from, how it is grown, and who is doing the work to get it to your table. 

Happy eating!

~ Ruth 

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