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Cherry Harvest

It’s been over two months since my last post. I was at the point a few times in the last month where I stressed because I didn’t know what I’d say for my return post. It’s been too long, too much has happened, and I didn’t think I’d know where to begin when I posted again. But I’m just jumping in today and here is what I’ll say: I’ve been busy. And this blog has definitely fallen to the bottom of the priority list. I have lots of content for you, either in my head or carried out, but unedited. None of it has made it to this site, but I promise that I am slowly, slowly, but surely trying to get some stuff out to you. 

I’ve been making a lot of food, but honestly, not for you, not for this site. The food I have been making has been out of necessity, not out of the desire and ability to share it here. I will get back to that point, because I want to. I’m not sure when, but hold tight.

So today, a farm post! A lot has happened around the farm since my last post, and I am fully enjoying getting to witness it all. The blossoms have turned to fruit. Right now, and for the past week, cherry harvest has been happening. Greg is fully immersed in the harvest, and with that has brought even longer hours for him and a decrease in sleep for both of us. Even so, I love it. I love what is happening and that I get to experience it in the way that I do.

Most of my photos today are of cherries on trees. I think they are beautiful and this is the first time in my life seeing something like it. For those interested in the actual harvesting, it was difficult to photograph the process because the equipment used is so massive. So I took a video! This is the first time I’ve put a video on my blog so I am pretty excited, even though it is not the greatest. Expect more in the future, especially with farm related things.

A few tidbits on harvesting cherries:

These are sour cherries. These are the cherries that are used to make canned pie filling and generally, other cherry desserts.

These cherries are being mechanically harvested. Some cherries on the farm are still handpicked, but these ones, that go to the factory to be processed, are done with this machine.

Here is my non-farmer, non-professional description of the process. The first time I saw the harvest equipment, before I knew what it was, I thought it was solar panels (ha!). There are two tractors, each with a massive solar panel looking attachment. When harvesting, each tractor takes a side of the tree and the two “panels” come together,  forming a V. One panel grabs the tree and shakes it. The cherries fall off the tree and into the V formed by the panels. The other tractor has a conveyor belt attached to it which takes the cherries up and over into a connecting bin (that contains ice water) which will get filled, taken to the factory and replaced.

Each bin holds approximately 1,000 pounds of cherries, which can take about 3-15 trees, depending on the tree size and crop. For the trees pictured below, it took about 3-5 trees to fill a bin, due to the fact that they are large, full production trees.

One of the coolest parts of the process to me was watching how quickly a tree turns from red to green while being shaken. In the video, it’s hard to tell how fast the tree is shaking, but pay attention to how quickly the tree changes color.

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  1. Pingback: Autumn 2015 | The Dreaming Foodie

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