Summer is in full swing at the farm when sweet cherry season starts. It’s the first major crop for us to harvest, and it’s always a busy time. It’s a fun time, too, after almost a year of preparation, to reap the benefits of caring for the land, trees, and fruit. And, of course, sweet cherry season in Michigan almost certainly means battling the challenging weather issues that can decimate a crop. However, the rain, heat and humidity [that is so tough on sweet cherries just before harvest] does help the sweet corn grow! 🙂
We started hand-picking our black sweet cherries on July 1st with Cavaliers, our earliest variety. Cavaliers are my favorite variety when it comes to flavor–deliciously sweet-tart. They are not as firm as most later varieties, so we don’t recommend them for shipping or canning. We are just starting to pick some Kristens and Ulsters, both customer favorites, and both firmer and sweeter than Cavaliers. Either one is a good choice for shipping or for canning–or of course, for eating fresh!
Just a tip from an old farmer–if you get black sweet cherry juice on your clothing, the way to keep it from being a permanent stain is to carefully pour boiling water through the cloth until the stain is gone. You must do this BEFORE laundering.