Jul. 01, 2017

July Orchard Update with Dave Gleason

Ideal growing conditions and large fruit helped create a record Pacific Northwest cherry crop during the 2017 cherry season. Due to a cool spring and evenly distributed bloom, the crop will extend into late August. Dave Gleason, Chief Horticulturist, shows off one of the high elevation cherry blocks in Selah, Washington. “We love what we are doing. The summer cherry harvest has really been smiling on us, and fruit has been progressing nicely. The sugar is great, the flavor is excellent and we like what we are picking,” describes Gleason.

“In these late summer days, we are careful with the hot temperatures,” Gleason continues. “We organize our picking and packing in a way that we get the cherries off the tree, into the bin quickly, and into refrigeration as soon as possible. We understand if the fruit warms up, it will soften and affect the condition.” 

Cherry harvest is a coveted time for cherry pickers, as pay is high. The majority of picking is done in the early mornings, during the cooler parts of the day. Starting earlier in the day and finishing around lunch-time, ensures the sweetest, firmest and most delicious Superfresh cherries. 

Dave concludes reminding us that apple and pear season isn’t too far away. The earliest harvest dates start in mid to late August, and will take-off in September. Superfresh Growers® is expecting an excellent and large volume organic apple and pear crop. The cool spring slowed down cell-division, resulting in smaller fruit for this coming crop year. For both organic and conventional, apple and pear sizing will be down from previous years. The upcoming crop is ideal for pouch bags, self-merchandising the fruit, and providing an easy-grab options for busy shoppers. 

As the late summer days of cherries transition in the early autumn, Superfresh Growers looks ahead to another excellent apple and pear crop.