Friday, July 1, 2011

Cherry Harvest News from the Yakima Valley!

Yakima Valley is one of the world's largest producers of agricultural crops. More than 40 commercial crops are grown in the Yakima Valley and Yakima Valley cherries are one of the first crops of the season and are famous world-wide. 

Washington Fruit Place At Barrett Orchards celebrates cherry harvest with a Cherry Festival, July 2rd-4th. This fun family-friendly festival in a beautiful country setting provides fun experiences like U-pick cherries, wagon rides, pie eating contests, prizes and more. Enjoy the outdoor interpretive cherry trail with information about the varieties and history of the Bing and Rainer cherries. The 11 stations including the pollination of a cherry tree, information about the varieties, harvesting and irrigation. Plan your getaway to the sunny Yakima Valley and enjoy a 4th of July weekend in the country. Bring home fresh Yakima Valley cherries and enjoy these delicious cherry recipes.
Jones Farms in Zillah tells us when the cherries will be ripe by variety:
Chelans- finished
Tieton- finished
Index- finished
Benton- July 4th
Bings-  Picking
Rainer- Picking
Atticas- July 13th
Lapins- July 15th
Regina- July 13th
Sweetheart- July 22nd

Bills Berry Farm: Come and get your cherries on the farm.  U-pick Van Cherries - $1.50/lb /Bing Cherries - $1.50/lb/ Rainier Cherries - $2.75/lb

Thompson Farms in Naches grows Bing, Rainier, and two kinds of pie cherries. U-pick will be available in early July.

Johnson Orchards 
The warehouse is open with delicious Bing, Chelan, Tieton and Rainier sweet cherries available for purchase.  Tart pie cherries should be ready by late July. There will not be U-PICK cherries this season.

For a list of U-pick farms, a farm touring map and Yakima Valley's harvest schedule, Click Here

If you can't wait for the cherries to ripen you can always enjoy Chukar Cherries. Chocolate covered naturally dried Yakima Valley cherries, berries and nuts. They also make pure fruit preserves and cherry sauces, which are great on homemade ice cream, as well as cherry salsa! The retail store and manufacturing facility in Prosser, WA offers samples of these chocolate covered goodies!

The Yakima Valley blog articles feature members of the Yakima Valley Visitors and Convention Bureau. If you would like to receive information regarding membership, Click here, or to request a membership application, please contact Michele Hopkins at (509) 575-301