June 5, 2020

First Ever Cherry Harvest!

First picking (that's it!)

I can't even remember when I planted my little cherry tree—eight years ago? It has struggled ever since. A couple of times I thought it was dead. It never produced cherries. I speculated too much shade or not enough chilling hours. I just never got around to replacing it.

This spring, we were amazed that it was still alive. In fact, it produced a beautiful flush of flowers, which became a hundred or so tiny berries. The other day, I went to inspect and found five berries ready to pick. In the days that followed, I managed to harvest about two dozen cherries. That's all the birds left me.

I tossed them all in the freezer like I do my other small fruit pickings. Then, one of these days I'll make a mixed fruit jelly. This will be the first time it will have cherry in it.

29 comments:

Gorges Smythe said...

I'm big on immediate gratification, Leigh. Those cherries would never have made it to my freezer!

Ed said...

There is nothing in the world I look forward to more than a fresh sour cherry pie. Our sour cherry tree is probably five or six years old now. It has been producing a small cobler's worth of cherries fairly regularly now. One of these years I'm going to get my pie!

Faith said...

Nice. Two dozen better than O. I would be pleased also. The blossoms must have been very pretty. Hope is given for next year.

Leigh said...

Gorges, lol. I didn't even think about sampling them because they're sour cherries. :)

Ed, I have to agree about the pie. Years before we moved here we had a pie cherry tree in the back yard. I used to be able to get a canner load of them and make cherry pie filling. I planted this on in hopes of the same. Maybe some day!

Faith, I have to agree. I cherish every leaf, root, and berry that our land produces. :)

daisy g said...

Whoo-hoo! Each year will gift you more and more! Enjoy!

wyomingheart said...

Lol ! I’m with George, Leigh... would not have made it to the kitchen at all... sour or not ! It’s so wonderful when we are surprised by nature! Last year we gave up on a little peach tree, which had been hit by lightning. It looked dead, but we thought we would get around to cutting it down. Last spring, low and behold it flowered a tremendous amount of blooms, and then set peaches! Surprised to no end! Sadly, a storm this past winter took it down completely, but the lesson for us was that sometimes when we stop pampering the struggling vegetation, it will surprise us! Good on you for posting this reminder of a story! Happy days! Have a wonderful week!

Mama Pea said...

Cherry pie! Oh, yes! But your idea of collecting miscellaneous fruit and making mixed fruit jam/jelly sounds great. We've had no luck trying to keep a cherry tree alive up here. Sigh. Growing up, there was a huge cherry tree on the property my folks bought and we moved to when I was nine. It required a tall ladder to harvest the fruit and my folks were not big on "outside" work so the birds feasted on all the cherries. :o(

Cockeyed Jo said...

I remember "chatting" with you about cherry trees last year. We had a flush of flowers,and fruit set on our sweet and sour cherry trees. Still got about a week to go before picking though. I that the birds as an indicator.So far, they've left them alone. But it won't be long.

Sam I Am...... said...

I had an old cherry tree on my little farm and we delighted in it but then it died. I was going to replace it but we got busy with other things but I will never forget those delicious cherry pies we had. It is still our favorite fruit along with raspberries.

Nancy @ Little Homestead In Boise said...

Oh congrats! It's always fun when something actually starts to produce. Might be time to buy some bird netting if your tree is small enough to cover next time

Goatldi said...

Good job! Love cherry pie and just about anything cherry. Perhaps a cherry tree wouldn’t be a bad addition to my small orchard when I plant next year.

Leigh you are the most patient person I know!

Kelly said...

I don't think cherries will grow this far south. Shoot... the heat is already messing with our peaches and pears (it's been a wacky spring).

My mouth is watering just looking at those.

Powell River Books said...

That's wonderful. I remember going to my grandmother's place in the summer and eating from all of her fruit trees and vines. She had two cherry trees, one was a red variety but the other I remember was a Queen Anne, a lovely cream and rosy coloured variety. Those were wonderful days for a city girl. My grandparents were farmers in Compton, California, on 40 acres (mostly corn and beans) before it was consumed by the urban sprawl from Los Angeles. They retired to Central California and we visiting them every major holiday and in the summer. - Margy

judee said...

What a thrill to finally get some cherries! It was a mild winter, maybe that helped. Enjoy them

Ann said...

I'm pretty impressed that you got any cherries at all. We planted a tree which actually set fruit a couple years ago. When I went out to check on it, the birds had actually left all the pits still attached to the tree but no actual fruit. This last Spring our late big storm and freeze ended most of our fruit harvest for the year. Next time we'll know to protect the cherries.

Henny Penny said...

That is so exciting. I've tried for thirty years to grow some kind of fruit. Apple trees, peach, fig, persimmon...and last year finally got figs. Now this year the fig tree is big and pretty but not one fig on the whole tree. I would love to have a cherry tree.

Leigh said...

Daisy, I hope more each year is the case!

Wyomingheart, that's too bad about your peach. Most of the fruit trees we have are only here because they managed to survive our neglect! I try to give them a good composting and mulching at least once a year, which is about as realistic as I can get. :)

Mama Pea, I would dearly love a cherry pie! I thought my tree was a cold hardy variety, although that's not why I bought it. But it is why I thought the problem was not enough chill hours. We had a fairly mild winter and finally got cherries, so I guess my theory was wrong!

Jo, I hope you get a good harvest!

Sam, have to agree about the cherries and raspberries. I've not had great success with either, so I'm thrilled with my tiny harvest.

Nancy, that would probably be a good idea. Birds feast on most of our fruit every year.

Goatldi, no patience involved! Just resolution to no cherries, lol. You should definitely plant a cherry tree! Beautiful blooms in the spring, and delicious fruit in summer.

Kelly, I think it depends on the variety. I didn't pay attention to chill hours when I bought that one, it was on sale from Gurney's and I couldn't resist! It has been a wacky spring! First cold, now hot. First we're drowning, now the ground is drying out. Crazy!

Margy, the name Queen Anne cherries rings a bell! Lovely that your grandmother could grow them so well. Makes for good memories, doesn't it?

Judee, I wish I knew! Maybe then I could get a repeat performance next year. :)

Ann, me too! How annoying that the birds only left you the pits! Birds get more than half of our fruit harvest too.

Henny, that's so sad! I can't believe you aren't even getting figs! I don't think apples, pears, and peaches are very easy to grow. At least not in my experience.

Renee Nefe said...

Our apple tree had maybe 10 flowers on it...no apples. The cherry tree has a lot of tiny green cherries on it. gotta get it a bunch of water so we hopefully can get some cherries before the birds steal them all, like they are doing to the strawberries.

we cut back the apple tree & pine tree to stop the squirrels from using them as their highway. They are still coming into the yard, but it isn't as bad. Cutting back the trees has also scared off the snakes it seems. Hubby hit a snake with the lawn mower 2 weeks ago. I had to go dispose of the body.

Debby Riddle said...

Lovely!

Leigh said...

Renee, sounds like you're a regular wildlife sanctuary. :) But hitting a snake sounds pretty gross. I hope you do get some of those cherries!

Debby, thankful for every one!

Rain said...

Oh what fun! Great to have some cherries!!! Alex and I would love to have cherry trees here, we are looking into what crops we can plant. Trees are so resilient!! :)

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

That is wonderful! The Ravishing Mrs. TB loves cherries; it is a shame that where we live now they are shipped in (instead of buying them fresh) and rather more expensive.

Mike Yukon said...

Maybe I missed the post but speaking of freezers, hows your solar freezers doing?

Leigh said...

Rain, you are so wise to choose and plant fruit trees and other crops to plant, especially those that take several years to mature. Have fun planning it all!

TB, I wasn't sure I could make cherries a local fruit, but maybe I'll get a harvest once in awhile!

Mike, no, you didn't miss it. I'm working on an update to how things are going with our solar project. Hopefully, I'll have it up by the end of the week!

Hill Top Post said...

Of course, I would have eaten them up right away! We haven't had much success with our little orchard, but keep hoping each year will be better.

Leigh said...

Mary, it seems to me that fruit production is always unpredictable!

R's Rue said...

Yum.

Leigh said...

R, I hope so!

Chris said...

Oh yum! They look delicious Leigh. :)