Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Picking Cherries

Two weekends ago Mandy and I headed up to Door County, Wisconsin to pick cherries! I so was excited! I love picking fruit and this was our first time picking cherries. Visions of jams, pies and cherry goodies swirled in my head. 
 Not only do I love the end delights of fruit picking, but there is something enchanting about a fruit orchard. The peacefulness, the sun and blueness above, the calmness of nature that surrounds one. 
We provided with metal buckets lined with a bag for picking. (I loved the buckets!) For hands free picking the bucket had rope attached to it that could be tied around the waist. We certainly needed both hands to pick there were so many cherries! They were so very ripe and would fall on our heads if we jiggled the branches too much. 
 It was a good cherry year, no ladder climbing required! I filled almost one bucket standing in one spot. Each bucket held about 9-10 pounds of cherries. We had such a great time we ended up picking 75 pounds of cherries! Lots of cherry jam and pie coming our way!
These are the "tart" variety. Good for baking and jam making. The skins are thinner and they are a smaller then your regular grocery store variety. But still oh so good!
Aren't they beautiful? The branches were so weighted down we learned early to start at the top of the branch and work our way to the tip. As soon as some of the weight was off the end, the branch would spring up a couple of inches! If you didn't get the father up ones first, they would now be out of reach.
 We were some of the last pickers. Almost right behind us the picking machines came, so fascinating to watch. The machine would shake the trees for about half a minute catching all the cherries with their wide tarp wings. 
 It is really two machines, one on the right and one on the left. The right side maneuvered into place around the tree, then the left side, then they shake. The cherries roll down the sides unto the conveyor and get  sent to a tank filled with water to keep cool and prevent bruising.
Once the tank is filled, a tractor takes it to the edge of the orchard to await collection. 
A full tub waiting to be sent to the factory to be made into juice. We played in them for a few minutes, the water felt so good! It was a lovely warm day, not terribly hot. But is it still a bit of work picking 75 pounds of cherries!
Stay tuned for some Cherry recipes!

7 comments:

  1. Oh wow...just look at those beauties! I have never gone cherry picking except for the one cherry tree we had in our front yard when I was a kid. Gorgeous photos too ...what a fun post!

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    1. Thanks Debby! We also had a cherry tree for a short time in our yard, but it never got more them a couple of handfuls of cherries on it. So much more fun picking these trees!

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  2. Very cool. The cherries on the trees made for some lovely photographs. Neat to see the machine getting the remnants.

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    1. I wish I would have gotten a video of the trees being shook, that was an odd sight! Hard to describe that. I love taking pictures of fruit trees! Lol!

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  3. Those look beautiful. What a fun day! I'm assuming you have to hand pit them?

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    1. We certainly did have to pit them by hand. It wasn't too bad because we have a pitter that pits four cherries at once! I posted about it here http://apronhistory.blogspot.com/2014/07/life-is-just-bowl-of-cherries.html

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  4. Or I suppose you can use a food mill?

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