Three things we focus on during cherry harvest are picking fruit early in the morning, getting cherries to our packing operation quickly, and ensuring the fruit stays fresh for our loyal customers. Cherry harvest lasts for around 6 weeks and during this time we pick roughly 3 million pounds of sweet, juicy cherries. This equals to 135 million individual fruits. We grow 11 different varieties of cherries and change our picking process depending on what type we are working with.
Cherry Picking Process
In July, our popular Dark Sweet Cherries will be picked leaving the stem on. Each team of pickers requires 1 dedicated quality control person, 1 crew manager and an additional 20 cherry pickers. The crew manager oversees what rows are picked and what blocks to move onto next. He or she also governs the quality of the pick. When a worker fills up their 18 lb bucket, they bring their pick to a central location where their badge is scanned and credit is given to the picker. A really good picker can make more than $200 per day harvesting cherries.
Three Tips to Cherry Harvest
We have three tips to ensure our cherry harvest is a success.
- First, we strive to get the cherries picked early in the morning while it is still cool and the fruit is crisp. We want to pick as quickly as possible before any potential rain comes which can destroy a crop.
- Second, we ship our cherries out the same day to ensure freshness of the crop. We deliver the fruit to our packing operation as quickly as possible. For every hour cherries are left sitting in the field, the more they internally break down. Our cherries are all sent with free 2-day shipping, getting them to your door just two days after we pick them.
- Lastly, once the cherries are delivered we highly recommend putting them straight into the refrigerator to cool them down before consumption. Cherries do best when kept in cool conditions.
Why We Love Cherry Season
We absolutely adore the cherry harvest season, as it brings an abundance of joy and excitement to our team! It’s truly one of the year’s most delightful and enjoyable times. Our dedicated team puts in the effort and care to ensure a bountiful and healthy crop, and witnessing the fruitful outcome fills us with joy.
As the vibrant cherries ripen under the warm sun, we eagerly anticipate the moment when we can share their deliciousness with you. Our selection boasts an array of enticing varieties like Rainier Cherries, Dark Sweet Cherries, and Organic Cherries, all carefully curated to bring delight to our customers. Each bite is a testament to our commitment to quality and the meticulous craftsmanship that goes into cultivating these marvelous fruits. We take great pleasure in knowing that our cherries will not only tantalize your taste buds but also provide you with the wholesome goodness that nature has bestowed upon them.
So come, join us in celebrating this cherished time of year. Embrace the enchanting allure of our cherry harvest and relish in the rewards that nature’s abundance brings. Allow yourself to be captivated by the vibrant hues, tantalizing aromas, and irresistible flavors that await you. Let us take you on a journey that intertwines passion, dedication, and the sheer pleasure of savoring the fruits of our labor. Together, let’s revel in the extraordinary experience that is the cherry harvest season.
Scott Webster is President & CEO of both Webster Orchards, Inc and The Fruit Company has been growing premium fresh fruit in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area since 1942, starting with Scott’s grandfather Roy Webster. The Fruit Company, an online gift retailer has been packing and shipping beautiful fruit gifts nationwide since 1999. Both headquarters are located in the Hood River Valley, nestled between Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.