- Author: Elizabeth J Fichtner
Visalia students at Linwood Elementary were introduced to prunes as a local crop and a nutritious snack during today's “Try it Tuesday” event hosted by teachers, Julie Cates and Bethany Gonzales. Elizabeth Fichtner, UCCE Tulare County Farm Advisor, visited 1st and 6th grade classes with a prepared talk on the culture of prunes followed by a tasting. Students were taught about prune cultivation, harvest technology, and post-harvest processes from transportation to dehydration.
Sixth grade students were paired with their first-grade buddies for a tasting in concert with learning fun facts about the factors contributing to the sweetness of prunes as well as secondary uses of the fruit in the commercial food industry.
Prunes are an important specialty crop in Tulare County valued at over $15.3 million (Tulare County Ag Commissioner Crop Reports, 2021). Currently, Tulare County has just over 2,500 acres of prunes in the ground.