In which Jed acquires some tasty locally grown fruit

Yesterday, on the way to see a friend, I saw a sign that said “Peaches” and a couple of other kinds of fruit; clearly a fruit stand. So on the way home, I stopped there.

A long narrow driveway led past rows of trees; at the end of the driveway, there were a couple of houses, and I had a moment of thinking I had misunderstood or missed a turn or something, but then I saw that one of the houses had a fruit stand area in front. It was near the end of the day, and there wasn’t a lot left, but some.

I browsed through the available options; picked up a couple baskets of peaches, and a basket of pluots, and a couple bags of dried fruit, and a jar of locally made jam.

All through that, there was no sign of any staff, and I didn’t see any way to let anyone know I was there. Around the time that I finished picking stuff, another car arrived (a very ordinary-looking car with a license plate that seemed to indicate that it was an art car), but the person in that car turned out to be another customer looking for peaches.

At that point, I noticed an unlabeled bell (maybe 8 inches high) hanging near the front of the fruit stand, with a cord dangling down from it, and I guessed that that must be the way to summon staff. So I rang the bell. There was no immediate response, so I wandered around the area in front of the stand for a bit, stopping to say hello to two large cats that were lazing about nearby.

After a few minutes, the other customer rang the bell, more loudly and for longer than I had, and soon someone who worked there showed up, and rang up my purchase, and I was on my way.

(They do accept credit cards, but only credit cards with visible numbers on them (not, for example, Apple Cards); I assume that’s something to do with their card-reader machine.)

After I got home, I tried the dried fruit, and found it pretty good. (And, nicely, not as dry as a lot of dried fruit.) And I ate a pluot, which was really tasty.

Turns out the place was Novakovich Orchards, on Fruitvale Ave in Saratoga, across from West Valley College. According to various online articles, it’s been operated by the Novakovich family for nearly 100 years, and it’s the “oldest commercial orchard remaining in the Santa Clara Valley.”

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