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How to get Cherries
As the demand for cherries continues to grow, more and more people
are calling and asking how they can get them. This page describes
the different varieties and the options you have, both in season and
June 26, 2007
We are expecting sweet cherries to be ripe and ready for picking
by the first of July, and tart cherries around the 10th. The prices
listed here are 2006 prices, but should give you a guideline of
what to expect; we won't have a definite price per pound for a few
more days yet.
Tart or "sour" cherries are the Montmorency variety for which northern
Michigan is famous. These are extremely perishable and very
difficult to sell as a fresh fruit, which is why you won't see them
in the fresh produce section of your supermarket.
Your options -
- Pick your own here - You can pick your own tart cherries
in season right from the tree and we will wash them and pit them
for you. This year they are 85 cents a pound, and there is a flat
$6 fee for washing and pitting (any amount) while you wait. We
expect u-pick for a few more days at least (as of July 21st).
This is very popular and people drive 200 miles or more to visit
the beautiful Grand Traverse area and pick cherries.
- Dip from our tanks during harvest - As we harvest tart
cherries they go immediately into tanks of cold water, and then
are brought up from the orchard to the fruit stand to the cooling
pad where they are held for a few hours and continually rinsed
with cooled water. These are same price as u-pick - 85 cents a
pound. This only lasts for a few days and is happening right now,
but call ahead to be sure.
- Washed sorted and pitted - from our cooler for the next
few days. 10 pound bags are $16.50 at the fruitstand.
- Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate - Available year 'round
by mail order. Call or order online. This
is the most affordable, convenient and potent way to get the nutritional
value of tart cherries into your diet.
- Dried Tart Cherries - Available year round by mailorder.
Call or order online. Dried tarts are
the second best way to get tart cherries into your diet and are
great for snacking and baking.
Balaton is a European Morello-style sour cherry we grow. They are
firmer and sweeter than the American Montmorency variety. They are
available fresh in our fruitstand around the first of August.
Dark Sweet Cherries
We grow several varieties of dark sweet cherries sometimes called
"Bing" or "Black" cherries. These are available for u-pick and in
the fruit stand and are fresh-eating cherries. We ship a limited amount
of fresh dark sweets overnight in season. Again, expect to pay around
$100 total for the cherries and the shipping.
Light Sweet Cherries
We grow several varieties of light sweet cherries, sometimes called
"Queen Anne" cherries. These are available in the fruit stand and
for u-pick and are fresh-eating cherries.
Our tart cherry juice concentrate is available in some health
food stores and specialty produce stores.
There are a few things to be watch for and be careful about with
brands other than King Orchards.
- Ready to drink juice costs more and the heat pack process seems
to cause deterioration of the qualities that provide the health
benefits, which is why we are shipping concentrate rather than
ready to drink juice.
- There are reports of brands of concentrate that are not a full
quart and therefore seem less expensive, as well as juice that
does not have the full 68 brix (a measurement of quality) that
- Many people have told us that there is a distinctly better taste
with our juice than with the other brands. We grow the cherries
and we know taste and quality. As tart cherries become more and
more popular, there will be people trying to cash in with inferior
products, so as always be a wise consumer.
You may see dried tart cherries in the store, but they usually
do not have the flavor or texture that ours do.
Frozen IQF Montmorency cherries
This is an excellent way to go, if you can find Michigan IQF Montmorency
Canned Montmorency - "pie cherries"
This is another good way to go. They don't have quite the nutritional
potency of juice. If you can't find them in your store, call us
and we can ship them to you, or order them online.
More Questions? Give us a call, toll free at 877-937-5464.