Great news, the Northern Michigan cherry season is only a few weeks away. This means all of those white cherry blossom have turned into mouthwatering cherries to be enjoyed in cherry juice, dried cherries, cherry capsules and, of course, the fresh fruit, too.
When is the Cherry Season and the U-pick Cherries
The Michigan fruit season usually begins in mid-July through mid-August. These three or four short weeks produce over 270 million tons of cherries on an annual basis. However, the overall crop yield depends on the weather and other issues so it does very from year-to-year. Click Here to Learn More About the Michigan cherry picking season
During these weeks, if you're visiting Northern Michigan make sure to visit Michigan U-Pick cherry farms and orchards. Their are a number of family owned cherries farms offering U-Pick cherries. It is a great way enjoy a few hours strolling through the orchards while picking cherries to fill your baskets.
Watch the Cherry Harvest Happen - Click Here
How Does the Northwestern Region of Michigan Grow 70% of all of the Tart Cherries in the United States?
The cherry-growing region of Michigan is located on the 45th parallel north. It is located halfway between the North Pole and the equator. This region is referred to as the Traverse Bay Farms region and is the "Goldilocks" scenario.
This means it is "not to hot" and "not to cold". It offers the right climate to grow some of the best fruits and vegetables on the planet.
The 45th parallel north runs across northern Michigan for tart cherries, Washington for Washington apples and the world-class grape growing regions in France to produce some of the best champagne in the world.
If you are in Northern Michigan during the cherry harvest, feel free to stop into either our Elk Rapids or Bellaire retail store. Based upon the crop yield of the specific year, we offer fresh cherries that are hand-picked cherries to provide the highest quality fruit available.
They are available in 10 oz. to 12 oz. cups so anyone can enjoy a tasty and fresh snack anytime during the cherry season.
However, the fresh fruit is very perishable they are only available a few short weeks in our retail stores, local farmers markets and the produce section of the local grocery stores. This is why you can only find the fresh fruit from mid-July through mid-August in the Northern Michigan.
However, for those interested in enjoying the fresh fruit, if they are not in Northern Michigan, we do offer shipping of the U-Pick cherries. Depending the yield of the annual crop, the price does vary from year-to-year.
The price to ship 5-pounds of fresh cherries to the lower 48-states is usually around $175. While the cost of the fresh cherries is not expensive, the true cost to ship cherries is the packaging.
You see, we pack 5-pounds of the fresh fruit into a cooler with ice packs or dry ice and then ship the heavy package via two-day. If you’re interested in learning more about shipping fresh cherries, here is a link.
The Difference Between Sweet and Tart Cherries
Northern Michigan grows two types of cherries. These are sweet and tart cherries. The sweet cherries are also known as purple or snack cherries, while the tarts are also known as red, sour or pie cherries.
Learn the Difference Between Sweet and Tart Cherries - Click Here or the Image Below
The red’s contain less sugar than the purple’s. Due to the lower sugar content, the sour cherries are more commonly used in baking and recipes. In addition, they are used to make cherry juice, make tart cherry capsules, make dried cherries and our other cherry-based products.
The sweet cherries are used for snacking and are usually the variety of the cherry found at farmers markets and U-Pick cherries orchards.