img_0089Sometimes it’s really hard to say goodbye to the fruits you love. Alas, seasons change, and to every fruit there is a season. But, thanks to Avila & Sons, summer favorites, like peaches and nectarines, have an extended lifespan.

“When we don’t have fresh stuff, we have dried stuff,” said Cynthia Zacharias (pictured above, right), who was recently tending to the Avila & Sons booth at a farmers’ market in Arroyo Grande.

Dried fruit is made by taking most of the original water out of fruit. That practice, which dates back thousands of years, allows fruits to retain most of their nutritional value while extending their shelf life.  While some worry about the sugar content of dried fruit, it’s actually a healthy option, with lots of antioxidants and fiber, according to this Time magazine piece.

img_0082Avila & Sons offers a bevy of dried fruit, including apples, apricots, nectarines, peaches and pears. (Prunes and black figs are most popular among the dried fruits, Zacharias said.)

The fourth generation farmers from Hanford also offer a variety of nuts, including pistachios, raw walnuts, roasted corn nuts and garlic roasted peanuts. And if that wasn’t enough, they also offer an array of nut butters, including almond butter, pecan butter and walnut butter.

As the holidays near, they will offer nice packages of nut gift boxes. Last year, those gift boxes started out around $19.

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Check out Avila & Sons Farms at farmers’ markets in Arroyo Grande (Wednesday, 8:30-11 a.m., Smart & Final), San Luis Obispo (Thursdays, 6:10-9 p.m., downtown) and Morro Bay (Thursdays, 2:30-5 p.m., Spencer’s Fresh Market).