Earlier this year, we wrote about growing delicious cherries, and talked about the difference between sour cherries (often called tart or pie cherries) and sweet cherries. Now that the relatively short cherry harvest season is here, we want to follow up and talk a bit more about cherries, especially since we made a delicious cherry pie and put up some cherry jam from our locally-purchased cherries.
It’s peak cherry season right now, and we are enjoying the beauty of our trees and the tasty treats they provide!
Cherries have a very short growing season, which is why we’re sooo excited about our cherries, both the ones growing on our property as well as the ones we purchased at a local food stand.
Once picked, cherries have a relatively short shelf-life, so once we got our cherries home, we didn’t wait long to make a delicious tart cherry pie . . .
. . . and some sour cherry jam.
Cherry trees came from the Caucasus Mountains (northeast of Turkey) to Italy in 74 BC. From there it took centuries for cherries to become widespread throughout Europe and Britain. In fact it wasn’t until the 15th century that they were established in these areas. In the 17th century, cherries crossed the Atlantic ocean with America’s founding fathers.
Modern day cherry production began in the mid-1800’s, and has grown and flourished ever since. Today the U.S. produces more than 650 million pounds of cherries each year. Much of the cherry production is concentrated in Michigan and the Pacific Northwest.
Cherry trees are revered not just for their delicious fruit, but also for their beauty. In 1912, Washington D.C.’s famous cherry trees arrived as a gift of friendship from the people of Japan. Every year their blossoms herald the arrival of spring, and let us know that summer is just around the corner.
We Want to Hear from You!
If you’re growing, enjoying, and sharing cherries this time of year, leave us a message and let us know in the Comments for this blog post. We’d love to hear about your growing, harvesting, and preserving stories, and we always welcome new recipes!