Entries in Orondo growers (6)


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!


Demand high for Orondo Ruby, a cherry with snap

Article by Dan Wheat, Capital Press, July 5, 2013

"I've been in the industry all my life and it's not every day you find something like this," said Griggs, 68. "You're probably lucky if you find one in a lifetime."

Read the full article


Update from the Orchard (June)


The Wenatchee Valley is continuing to deliver excellent growing conditions for our Orondo Ruby cherries. With our first harvest expected in the next week, the orchards are exploding with sun-soaked cherries and a collective energy that marks the pending arrival of  the 2013 Orondo Ruby season.

As we enter the home stretch, we’re doing everything we can to protect the cherries on the trees. Whether its having helicopters on standby to blow away any rain or “shoo-ing” the birds away so they don’t nibble at the cherries (They would be more welcome if they ate an entire cherry, rather than one bite out of multiple cherries!), all attention is focused on bringing you the highest quality cherries available.

With all hands on deck, we’re really close to another great season of sweet, vibrant Orondo Rubies. Stay tuned for more updates from the orchard including where you can pick up some of your own. The wait is almost over!



Orondo Ruby a supersweet showstopper for Chelan Fresh


Article by Lora Abcarian, The Produce News, June 5, 2013

Chelan Fresh Marketing expects to generate marketplace buzz in 2013 with the Orondo Ruby cherry variety. 

Read the full article


Meet Johnny Griggs, Orchardist

For Johnny Griggs, filling the role of Orchard Manager for our Orondo operation was something that he was born to do. Five generations prior, the Griggs family homesteaded in Orondo, WA.  It was here that they planted the first cherry tree in Douglas County - Johnny Griggs now oversees an operation much larger but still heavily rooted in family.

Johnny graduated from the Wenatchee Valley College Tree Fruit Production program in 1997. Though fresh out of school, there was nothing green about Johnny’s real world, fruit growing background. Having grown up in an orchard with dreams of someday becoming an orchardist himself, Johnny’s transition into orchard management was as easy going as his demeanor.

Sixteen years after first starting the job, there is no such thing as a typical day in the life of an orchard manager. For him, this is part of the excitement of the job. Alongside this fluidity, Johnny thoroughly enjoys working outside and being self-supervised, all qualities that provide for the ultimate reward of harvest season.

When away from the orchard, it comes as no surprise that Johnny surrounds himself with what he’s always known - family. His down time is spent with his kids, their sports, and with whatever time is leftover, more family. Perhaps yet another Griggs will head into the world of growing fruit.

The Griggs family is known to grow some of the best fruit in the world. Spend time with Johnny and you’ll quickly know why: growing fruit comes as natural to him as it has for his family for generations. We love that he’s a part of the Orondo Ruby journey.

Here’s to yet another amazing season of Orondo Ruby cherries, from our family to yours.