The cherries are early and prolific this season!
We’ve had a lot of calls to help with the harvest from around the valley and we’ve done our best to keep up.
We’ve had 15 picks organized already this season… And we only started picking July 1st! (last year we’d done 6 picks by now)
We juggle some tricky variables organizing picks as we’re on the fruit’s schedule. Our volunteers need notice, the fruit has to be picked when ready, and cherries don’t store well. Also we have to be careful about flooding the social agencies with more fruit then they can distribute, as neither us nor the majority of the agencies have proper refrigeration.
So it’s finding a balance of picking as much quality fruit that can be used by the people involved. Sharing between the volunteer pickers, the agencies, and the owners.
And often this year cherries have been left on the trees. A lot has been picked and used, but still some is left behind. This is the unfortunate reality with limited time to pick and process, and fruit that is difficult to store for long duration.
It just sucks to see quality fruit left on the trees. Especially when it’s specifically your job to prevent this!
Despite having to leave some fruit behind, I feel this has been a great start to the season. We have a very strong volunteer base who are energetic, hardworking and happy to be involved. We’ve been given a complimentary lease on a terrific pickup truck once again from Kokanee Ford, which is actually amazing. And our network of homeowners who invite us to their homes to pick is expanding each year. And I’ve heard some very positive feedback about the fruit we’ve delivered, so it’s great to know it’s appreciated!
The glaring opportunity still seems to be value added products. Processing this fruit via canning, juicing, or drying so it can be stored long term. Solving some of our distribution and refrigeration problems, and creating a delicious local food source for the winter months. Of course it takes time to organize workshops as well, and more time to properly organize and advertise for these events. Dang, it really is all about timing and time management!
Next Monday the lapin cherries at a large property should be ready. And hopefully on Tuesday we will host a cherry processing workshop. Pitting, drying, juicing, maybe jams and syrups. Time and location still to be determined.
If you’re reading this and have any ideas, would like to volunteer to pick or process cherries, or just have something to say,
firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-254-1165
Thank you for reading,
Harvest Share Coordinator