Saturday, June 16, 2012

Calm Before the Storm

Birds warbling. Crickets singing. Breeze sweeping. River rolling. Children laughing.

In 42 hours we'll start harvesting cherries, God willing.

Thank you so much for praying. We have miraculously avoided rain damage, and without having to hire a helicopter!

The current crisis is a lack of employees. Our picker crew, so far, is half of what it was last year, and 1/4 of what it was the year before that. Apparently it's a region-wide problem. The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few -- truly. Pray to the Lord to send more workers!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Three Things You Probably Didn't Know About Cherry Farming

1. If it rains for an extended period of time when cherries are ripe, they get so full and fat on water that they can burst, causing "splits." Split fruit rots quickly and is, therefore, unmarketable. In order to dry off their fruit, many cherry farmers hire helicopters. The helicopters fly very low over each and every row of the orchard, and the wind (purportedly) blows the water off the cherries. It's outrageously expensive (hiring a private helicopter, and all), but the alternative is to lose your entire crop.

2. To be able to export cherries to other countries (including Canada), a pesticide residue test must be performed. So about a week before harvest, we collect five pounds or so of cherries and take them to the lab. They mush all of the fruit up and test for residual pesticides before we can get the go-ahead to sell.

3. The best tasting fruit is slightly over-ripe, but you'll never get it in the grocery store because it doesn't transport well. We eat the best and sell the rest.

Cherry harvest is coming up soon. Keep us in your prayers!