Entries in orchard updates (6)

Friday
Jun102016

Orondo Ruby Cherries are Ripe for the Harvest!


Just when you thought it'd never arrive, Orondo Ruby Cherry season is here at last! For the next few weeks, everyone here at the Griggs family orchards will be busy picking, preparing, and packaging your favorite cherries.

The Griggs did not make the distinct new fruit--they found it. One would assume the Orondo Ruby is a hybrid between a Bing and a Rainier cherry, but it isn't. The Orondo Ruby is in a class alone, with the sweetness and tart that brings a smile to everyone who tries them.

When you buy Orondo Ruby cherries, you are getting the best produce exclusive grower orchards have to offer. Sweet and tart, our cherries represent a flavor profile all their own, as unique as the area from which they are picked.

Cherry season is a very special time. Orondo Ruby cherries tell us that summer has arrived, if only for a few weeks. Sometimes, in the thick of a bountiful cherry season like this one, you just can't eat all of them...

...But you can keep the cherry season going all year long by preserving them in a variety of ways.  

If you want to keep your cherries fresh and refreshing, we'd suggest freezing the fruit. The best thing about freezing cherries is that it doesn't take the time that canning does, and it also keeps the nutritional value (and flavor) of the fruit intact.

The steps to freezing your cherries are pretty simple:

 

  1. Clean your cherries. You can use a fruit or vegetable spray cleaner, but a cold water rinse works just as well. Just make sure that any dirt or dust particles have been washed away. Gently pat them dry with a clean paper towel afterwards.
  2. Stem and pit your cherries. You want to keep your cherries as fresh as possible, so don't take the stems off until you're ready to process your fruit. If you want to, you can keep the pits in your cherries, but know you'll have to pit your cherries before using them in the future. If you pit your cherries in the freezing process, you can have the instant satisfaction of popping a frozen delight into your mouth. There are a few ways that you can pit cherries, but the easiest way is to slice the cherries in half and pull the pit out of the middle. If you've ever pitted an avocado, this is similar.
  3. The preliminary freeze. Prefreezing your cherries allows you to grab a few cherries at any time for a quick snack without having to chip away at a clump of cherries or to take the time to thaw your entire batch out. Once you have all of you cherries pitted, lay your cherry halves out on a cookie sheet with wax paper. Make sure they have a little space between so your cherries don't freeze together. Once you have your cherry halves (or whole cherries, if you want) on your cookie sheet, pop them into the freezer. Since not all freezers are alike, you can freeze them completely in 4-6 hours. Or, you can keep them in the freezer overnight just to be sure (but don't keep your cherries in the freezer uncovered too long or they might get freezer burn).
  4. Bag your cherries. Once you pull your frozen cherries out of the freezer, quickly place them into a ziplock bag and put them back into the freezer. If you let them get too warm, you could end up with a big hunk of cherries.

 

And that's it! Your delicious delights should last up to 6 months--making a perfect opportunity to use those last cherries in a holiday dessert!

Thursday
Jul022015

Wildfire in Wenatchee

 

As many of you are aware, a devastating wildfire recently rolled through Wenatchee. The fire in it's fury, destroyed 30 homes and several businesses in the process. The fire's path bordered one of our smaller Orondo Ruby orchards, but only did minor damage.

Our thoughts are with the families who lost their homes and we're thankful that nobody got hurt. We are also very appreciative of all the emergency personnel who worked in response to protect the great community of Wenatchee. 

Thursday
May142015

UPDATE FROM THE ORCHARD (MAY)

 

With the hard work of our pollinating bees and the beauty of this spring’s bloom a thing of the past, we’re now keeping a close eye on the growth of our Orondo Ruby cherries. With each passing day, we’re getting closer to harvest, which means we’re also getting busier.

At this point, mother nature is calling the shots. While the famous Wenatchee Valley sunshine has been in abundance, we’re keeping a close eye on things in the orchard. Soon we’ll be laying down a reflective material to help radiate heat and sunshine onto the cherries. This process helps the cherries grow and develop the beautiful red color that you’ve come to love about our Orondo Rubies. While it’s still a little early to say, we’re estimating that harvest will begin in mid-June.

Each year, our hard work is rewarded by growing and delivering the most colorful and delicious cherries to you - our loyal fans. Cheers to another great summer of delicious Orondo Ruby cherries! They’re coming soon!

 

Monday
May122014

Update from the Orchard (May)


With the spring bloom behind us, we now anxiously await the arrival of this season's Orondo Rubies and continue to make preparations in the orchard for our upcoming harvest. 

The sunny, warm weather of central Washington is perfect for growing cherries. One method we use to help capture the sun’s growing power is by laying down a white, reflective cloth material to help bounce more sunshine into the trees, and more importantly, onto the cherries. This practice not only helps the cherries to grow, but also ensures they are the bright beautiful red color you’ve come to know and love about the Orondo Ruby.

The clock is ticking and soon we’ll all be enjoying another season of Orondo Ruby cherries. We can't wait!


 

Wednesday
Apr232014

Update from the Orchard (April)

It’s spring, and the annual explosion of white cherry blossoms has arrived. While we’re keeping our eye on the potential for some late season frost, this year’s bloom is right on time. Alongside a doubling of production, we’re very excited to bring you the crisp and bright flavors of this year’s Orondo Rubies.

This time of year, our Orchard Managers temper our enthusiasm by reminding us that we have about 60 to 70 days after the spring bloom for the first cherries to grace our kitchen tables. To say we’re excited about a mid to late June harvest is an understatement!

The Wenatchee Valley is as beautiful as it is exciting right now. From pollinating bees, to people prepping for the coming harvest, the orchards are bustling with activity.

Cheers to spring, warmer temperatures, and the upcoming family picnics loaded with Orondo Ruby cherries!