(UPDATED COVERAGE, April 12) Giumarra Bros. Fruit Co. division in Reedley, Calif., projects a 32% increase in stone fruit volume this season.
The estimate preceded an April 11 hail storm that will effect growers in the region. But its aftermath should still leave Giumarra with substantial gains over last year.
Giumarra Reedley has significantly expanded stonefruit operations, especially for plums and nectarines, said John Thiesen, division manager.
“We’ve added seven or eight growers,” Thiesen said. “We’ve always been a traditional peach house, with plums in lesser volumes. We significantly increased our plum grower base throughout the winter. We’ve strengthened plums and nectarines for a better balance with peaches.”
Giumarra Reedley also offers apricots and pluots.
A salesman will be brought in to help accommodate the growth.
Glen Tomkiewicz is expected to join the Reedley sales staff for the stone fruit season. Tomkiewicz has worked for Giumarra for 35 years, most recently in the Southern Hemisphere division. He assisted with apricot and nectarine sales in Reedley from 1983-95.
The division uses heirloom growing techniques that date to the early 1960s when Giumarra established the LTD stone fruit label in Reedley.