Name: James Newcom
Farm: Regier Family Farms
Location: Dinuba, CA (near the foothills of Sequoia National Park)
What they grow: Specializing in peaches from May-September, varieties includes June Lady, Snow Brite white peaches, Elegant Lady yellow peaches and also a variety of mandarins during the winter months. Apricots and cherries are available in May depending on the rain and harvest.
Where to buy: Farmers markets including Tuesday in downtown Santa Barbara, Thursday in Carpinteria, Saturday in downtown Santa Barbara, and Sunday in Goleta.
In season now: Sweet and tart Satsuma seedless mandarins (running from November-March), as well as a smaller selection of Murcott and Golden Nugget mandarins.
Their story: Growing over 40 acres of peaches and mandarins, the Regier family has been frequenting farmers markets with their sweet selection of tree-ripened fruit, picked to ensure ripeness and sweetness since 1983. In addition to this, they will only pick fruit when it has reached full size and maturity, ensuring the freshest quality. With no late freezes, the Dinuba region offers the perfect growing climate for peaches, yet is cold enough in the winter to allow the citrus to be sweeter. Troy Regier took over the family business from his dad, after growing up on the small farm and selling at farmers markets as a teenager. A former race car driver and record holder, Troy has enjoyed getting back to his farming roots and working on the family farm.
“It’s great to work for a small family farm,” said Newcom. “The Regier family offers an amazing product, with wonderful people to back it up. The product is really grown with love.
“The farm picks everything ripe, the day before it is driven down,” Newcom added. “We sell a quality product, tree-ripened with no cold storage.”
Their seedless Satsuma variety is a natural genetic mutation (and a favorite with young market goers). Newcom suggests looking at the size of the fruit for ripeness, with the less mature fruit usually smaller in size.
“While the fruit tends to be bigger at the end of the season, they are always delicious,” said Newcom. “Hollister Brewing Company has even used our peaches for their beer!”