Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Picking and Preserving Cherries

Each June, my family has a tradition of driving up into the mountains to pick cherries. We live in the very hot, very dry desert of southern New Mexico where it is too hot for cherries to grow. With just a 1&1/2 hour drive, we can pick cherries in a much cooler climate up in the mountains.  With temperatures at our house topping out over 100 degrees most days right now, it is a wonderful treat to drive up into the forest and enjoy the cooler weather.

This year, a late frost made the cherry harvest much smaller than usual, so that the U-Pick farm we usually visit was not open for regular hours. However, we were able to make an appointment to pick cherries there, and in a few hours we picked about 16 pounds of cherries.  Because these cherries were picked at the peak of ripeness, their flavor is far superior to anything we could buy in the store.

Now most of the cherries are in the freezer so we can enjoy them for the next few months.  In the past, I would often pit many cherries to freeze, but it was very time consuming and very messy.  Nowadays, I just pack the cherries (with stems still attached) into quart-sized freezer bags.  We thaw them a few at a time whenever we want to eat some, and they are most often eaten with some plain, whole milk yogurt. 











Do you have any family traditions for harvesting foods during their peak season?



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Lanae said...

DO you know the name of the farm?

Sarah Smith said...

Cadwallader's. Here is a link to their FB page. You are right on time because they are opening this weekend for U-pick cherries!