Cherry picking at Detering’s

July 17, 2008 § 4 Comments

Royal Anne Cherries at Detering Orchard, Harrisburg, OR

Royal Anne cherries at Detering Orchards

On Monday we decided that we had better get our annual u-pick cherry escapade done with as the following two weeks are pretty packed with other activities. We drove out on the scenic route through Coburg to Detering’s.

As I stepped out of the car, I noticed a familiar face of a fellow food-lover, Eugenia who wondered aloud how I may have recognized her (the photo on her blog helped).  We had a quick chat, and then my boyfriend and I grabbed our buckets and headed out to the glorious cherry trees.

We decided we really only needed to pick one bucket this year as we still had about five bags of cherries from last year (I can hardly believe it). We prefer the black sweet cherries to the more tart (but still sweet) Royal Anne’s that were also available. We made pretty quick work of the picking — not so quick that we didn’t get to enjoy consuming some of the deliciousness. But the 95 degree temperatures made the experience moderately less pleasant than a crisp morning might offer.

Black sweet cherries at Detering Orchards

Black sweet cherries at Detering Orchards

We drove home and got to the fun part that is cherry pitting. With our special pitting device we set up newspapers on the floor and furniture. We put a plastic garbage sack in a paper bag that we would pit the cherries over. Then we washed the fruit and began the manual labor of pitting each cherry, tossing the pit into the plastic bag and putting the fruit in a big stainless bowl. We divvied up the labor because a few years ago I committed to pitting about 20 lbs of cherries all by myself and I got tendonitis in my wrist from the repetitive motion — beware the hazards of cherry pitting!

Once the batch was pitted, we got out the zippered freezer bags and filled them up and put them in the freezer. When I have a delicious black-cherry smoothie in December, I’ll be glad I made the effort and happily forget about how sticky the entire experience was.

Detering’s is open from 8 – 5 daily, and if you don’t want to venture out to pick your own fruit, their farmstand offers the available fruit plus some additional products that aren’t currently ripe. The u-pick cherries and blueberries are available currently for $1.25/lb (I believe that’s a bit up from last year when I’m pretty sure the price was less than $1/lb). We picked up a large basket of peaches that were not from the orchard (although, they were about to begin picking the peaches near the blueberry patch). We attempted to u-pick some blueberries to round out our freezer stores, but the bushes weren’t very ripe yet so we determined that we’d have to wait a couple of weeks for a more prime time to pick. Visit their website for an update on what is available for u-pick throughout the summer and fall.

Any time you go to a u-pick orchard it is advisable to bring a cooler with ice or at least a box to put your fruit in. Not all farms provide containers for you to take home your fruit in, so it’s a good idea to come prepared.

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