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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

University Farm ‘U-Pick Peaches’ sells out on first day

On+Aug.+23%2C+a+couple+of+people+are+picking+peaches+off+the+rows+of+trees+at+the+Chico+State+University+Farm.+Photo+captured+by+Alejandro+Mejia+Mejia.
Alejandro Mejia Mejia
On Aug. 23, a couple of people are picking peaches off the rows of trees at the Chico State University Farm. Photo captured by Alejandro Mejia Mejia.

Chico State’s annual “U-Pick Peaches” event brought many to the University Farm where they sold out of peaches in the first four hours of the event.

The farm has traditionally hosted this event close to 20-years and for new farm administrator, Ricardo Orellana, the message to the Chico community remains the same.

“The ‘U-Pick Peaches’ is a Chico tradition through which families and friends have the opportunity to grab together, to get fresh quality peaches at an affordable price, and also enjoy nature, observing other crops and animal units at the University Farm,” Orellana said.

On Aug. 23, 2023, a line of people are waiting until the "U-Pick Peaches" begins at the Chico State University Farm. Photo captured by Alejandro Mejia Mejia.
On Aug. 23, 2023, a line of people are waiting until the “U-Pick Peaches” begins at the Chico State University Farm. Photo captured by Alejandro Mejia Mejia. (Alejandro Mejia Mejia)

According to crop technician Christopher Putz, due to the quality of the Fay Elberta peaches, they decided to make the event all-you-can-pick for $20 compared to last year’s $2 per pound price.

“I feel that we are fulfilling the College of Agriculture mission by promoting sustainable activities within our community,” Orellana said. “At the same time, we were sad because the orchard was hit by night weather events that affected the fruit quality.”

Putz also believes that there was a decline in the amount of peaches that were grown this year in comparison to recent years. The farm sold approximately 21,000 pounds last year, at the time of this article being published, this year’s numbers are currently not available.

“It’s the same thing like the almonds. It was cold, windy and wet during all of the days of pollination where the crop wasn’t as big as normal,” Putz said.

According to Mackenzie Bressler, College of Agriculture’s external relations director, all of the proceeds the event makes, go toward funding the orchards program, which includes almonds, walnuts, pecans, olives and peaches.

“It’s a great reminder for the community that the University Farm is here,” Bressler said. “It’s a great opportunity for students to get hands-on learning experience because they are involved from start to finish … It’s a well-rounded event to be able to connect to the College of Agriculture, the University Farm and Chico in general because they get to see the full picture.”

On Aug. 23, Fay Elberta peaches are hanging from a tree. The Chico State University Farm said they sold out all of the peaches they had. Photo captured by Alejandro Mejia Mejia
On Aug. 23, Fay Elberta peaches are hanging from a tree. The Chico State University Farm said they sold out all of the peaches they had. Photo captured by Alejandro Mejia Mejia (Alejandro Mejia Mejia)

To Orellana, hosting these events are important tool for students to engage with the community and help students gain the in-person experiences that come with working at the farm.

“To me the farm is a tool that has several purposes, first to serve as a living laboratory for students to reinforce their knowledge, skills and managerial abilities related to animal and plant sciences,” Orellana said. “This is a place for embracing community, engage together with share ideas, business initiative and any kind of interest of Chico residents and neighbors.”

The University Farm also sells organic plants and vegetables at the greenhouse on Thursdays and Fridays from 1-4 p.m.

The Meat Laboratory also does its weekly meat sales that are open to the public every Thursday & Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but times and days are subject to change. You can also check out the Meats Lab Facebook homepage for more information.

For more information about the farm, click here, and to help support the University Farm, you can also click on this link.

Alejandro Mejia Mejia can be reached at [email protected] or @MeijaMeijaAlex on Twitter.

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About the Contributor
Alejandro Mejia Mejia, Former Editor-in-Chief
Alejandro Mejia Mejia was born in Redding, California where he lived his entire life until he went to school at California State University, Chico [Chico State]. He is a transfer student from Shasta College where he obtained two A.A. University Studies degrees in Language Arts and Social Studies. In the Fall 2023 semester, he was the Editor-in-Chief for The Orion. He was also a sports reporter and sports editor for the news organization. He majored in Journalism within the News option and minored in Marketing. He likes watching Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Red Sox games in his spare time.

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