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Blossom Trail heralds springtime

The orchards on the Fresno County Blossom Trail explode into beautiful colors and fragrance.



There is one sure sign that spring has officially sprung--the opening of the Fresno County Blossom Trail. Each spring, the orchards here explode into beautiful colors and fragrance as the fruit trees blossom, and officially beacon the changing of the seasons.

"The blossom trail is a 62-mile, self-guided drive through our family farms, countryside and orchards, and we think it is a great way to celebrate the beauty of agriculture this time of year," said Kristi Johnson of the Fresno County Office of Tourism.

The path through peach, plum, apple, orange and nut orchards shows off the picturesque side of the Central Valley's staple: agriculture. Blossom trails of a single fruit are popular in many states, but it's the variety of crops that sets this one apart. A study by the California Department of Transportation showed traffic in the area increases by about 30 percent in the spring—which means big business for several small towns.

The trail traces the outskirts of Central Valley towns such as Reedley, Selma, Fowler and Sanger. And as the landscape wakes up around the area, so does business.

Take Simonian Farms, for example. Just outside the Fresno city limits is where you'll find this 20-acre family owned operation that has grown 100 varieties of fruits and vegetables for more than 100 years--and doesn't look to close shop anytime soon, especially if the legion of fans the place has earned over the years has anything to say about it.

"I don't think people from the cities have seen anything like this—the beautiful blossoms, colors, countryside," said farmer Dennis Simonian of Simonian Farms. "They learn what it takes to farm these days and overall, I think they get a lot out of it."

And while it's a busy time of year for farmers, all will no doubt agree it's worth it in the end. More than $3.5 billion in income and thousands of jobs are generated from these orchards--orchards that end up feeding the nation and world.

For more information on the Blossom Trail, please visit www.goblossomtrail.com.
For more information on Simonian Farms, visit www.simonianfarms.com.


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