Cherry Picking Time

We have a few different fruit trees, one of which is a sour cherry. Sour cherries are edible, but they are best baked into pies or boiled down to a syrup. Sugar is their friend. This year we plan to juice all of our harvest and make syrup for Italian sodas, cocktail mixers and ice cream toppers. With cherry picking time upon us again, the whole process becomes a family affair. So far we've picked 24 lbs, but the tree is still laden with fruit which is happily shared with the local robins and Steller's jays. Hopefully we get around to harvesting some more before they spoil.

The trick is to pick them when they are bright red, but before they split and rot. One night of rainfall and the cherries fill with moisture and pop, so harvest is somewhat weather dependent. We have two orchard ladders; one which is 16 feet tall. Being up that high sometimes makes my stomach lurch a bit. As long as I don't look down, I'm good.

The poodles play an important role by keeping the humans company as they hang out on the grass below the ladders. They supervise things, and as we all know every good operation needs a supervisor or two! 

When we come down from the ladders to dump the contents of our apron pockets into a bag, we're greeted with happy tail wags before heading back up again to be supervised once more.

Rotten cherries are dropped down to the grass below. Later on the clean-up crew moves in to get things back in order. 

Red, juicy cherries are much appreciated by the hens and they are happy to contribute to the process of cherry picking.

And of course, the hens need supervising too! Otherwise those feather-brained fowl just don't stay on task!

All in all, cherry picking is a fun event for all involved!

Do you have any good recipes for sour cherries? If so, I'd love to hear them!


  1. You've got some terrific 'snoopervisors' keeping everyone on task. BTW, those cherries look delish!

  2. Oh what fun!! I just love where you live!!! That ladder would make me a nervous wreck!

  3. We have a cherry tree,but it's too high for us to pick the cherries. We plan to plant more fruit trees on another part of our property soon.

    By the way, I'll have a gazillion honey crisp apples in a couple months so stay tuned!!!


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