heritage park apricot orchard

With summer in full swing in Silicon Valley it means the farmer’s markets are brimming with ripe juicy stone fruits of all kinds. The markets throughout the San Francisco Bay Area are open year-round, which means farm fresh produce is accessible and always within reach. For some folks, beyond the market, a selection of seasonal fruits and vegetables are even available around the corner from their home. Apartment complexes with names such as Apricot Pit or Cherry Blossom or a small shopping village named Cherry Orchard serve as a reminder that before the present day name Silicon Valley took hold, the area was referred to as Valley of Heart’s Delight reflecting the abundance of orchards and edible gardens in the area. If you pause to take in the surroundings, or if you’ve resided in the valley long enough, you’ll still be able to spot old farm-like buildings and a few fruit or nut groves. And if the fruit is in season, you don’t even have to travel to the farmer’s market to pick it up.

The Heritage Park apricot orchard has it’s fruit stand open for a few short weeks during the summer season. It’s worth visiting to pick up a bag of tree-ripened sweet apricots, and for a chance to enjoy truly local fruit and a throw-back to pioneering times. The Blenheim apricot may not look as large or pristine as some other apricot varieties, but it’s one of, if not the tastiest of the bunch. Bursting with flavor, pull them apart, take out the pit and pop them in your mouth. What’s important to remember about the Blenheim is that some may appear smaller or have different yellow-orange tones and vary in color when comparing to other store-bought apricots, but the pure apricot taste is unbeatable. Beyond apricots, the stand sells a few other stone fruits from other nearby farms, local honey, jams and dried apricots are available as well.

For more about Blenheim apricots, Santa Clara County’s agricultural history and apricot recipes visit:
Apricot King
We Love Jam
Northern California Gardens
Early Santa Clara County History
Looking Back: Canning in the Valley of Heart’s Delight
Orchards & Farmlands: Historic Photos of Silicon Valley

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6 Responses to heritage park apricot orchard

  1. Beth (OMG! Yummy) July 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    As someone who moved to Sunnyvale in 1974, I can really appreciate the orchard history you are writing about! Is Heritage Park behind the community center? Might have to stop by next Friday when I visit my parents nearby.

  2. yumivore July 23, 2012 at 7:12 am #

    Being out here since the seventies, you must have great memories and photos of fields from years past Beth! I remember there being actual cherry orchards out here and seeing more fruit groves even ten years ago. It’s sadly slowly disappearing completely. Heritage Park is in Sunnyvale, and for delicious Blenheims also checkout the Apricot King at the Mountain View farmer’s market.

  3. Liren July 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    How wonderful! It’s so nice to know that the orchard is open and still producing fruit – I hope I have a chance to stop by. Your photos are lovely đŸ™‚

  4. yumivore July 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm #

    Thanks so much Liren! The fruit stand is only open for a few short weeks and I believe now shut down for this year. But it’s so nice to know we can still find a working orchard in the area.

  5. Chas June 9, 2013 at 10:20 am #

    Do you know when the stand opens?

  6. yumivore June 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    The apricots are usually available around this time of year, mid-June to early July. The Heritage Park museum may have exact dates: http://www.heritageparkmuseum.org/