Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cherry U-Pick Time!

Out in the countryside are some farms that let you go in and pick your own fruits and veggies. My favorite thing to pick are cherries. It seems so decadent, filling buckets with ripe, juicy fruit (and of course, eating a few as you go). We hadn't been since Parker was born and now that he's 4 we decided it was high time to head out and pick some cherries.

thick on the branchladderlow branchesin the bucket

Even on a hot day the shade is cool in the groves of cherry trees. The farm we went to lets the branches grow low so even Parker could help fill the bucket. I'm always astounded at how many cherries grow on the trees. When I first arive, I always want to race in from the parking lot, beating the other people milling around, so that they don't get the cherries before me. But you get in there and realize there are so many cherries, hordes of people couldn't pick them all.

gotta try somecherry lipswith daddybucket o cherries

We also picked apricots, which is a finer art than pulling handfuls of cherries of the trees. One has to select the perfectly ripe ones. Although, of all the ones we got, over-ripe, perfect, a bit green and hard, they all tasted amazing in the end.

heading out with a bucketapricots galoregettin a boost12lbs apricots

We ended up with 10lbs of cherries and 12 lbs of apricots. I lose sense of scale when I'm in the orchards. I feel like we've barely picked any at all and then I get the fruit into the kitchen and wonder what have I done?! Every surface is covered with fruit. So far we've made a cherry apricot pie, vanilla apricot preserves, eaten copious amounts of fruit out of hand, and I plan to make a cherry clafoutis and maybe some cherry icecream if I have enough left. Ah, summer!

We're planning on going back in nectarine season. Yum! And I'm a bit tempted by the U-pick tomato fields - although I may feel differently when my 15 tomato plants at home kick into gear soon. But there is also something appealing to harvesting tomatoes (and cherries and apricots) in a vast field, reveling in the excess agriculturalness of it all.

a lot of tomatoes

4 comments:

  1. We used to do this in Santa Clara County when I was a kid. Sigh.

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  2. Fantastic! My neighborhood used to be a bing cherry orchard, and there were a few old trees left in people's backyards; we would climb them to fill paper bags. And there's nothing better than a ripe apricot off the tree. Good for you for making all the goodies with them, yum!

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  3. That is one fine way to spend the day. I was looking at gardens in the Bay area over the weekend, stopping in at Annie's too, of course, and ate cherries nonstop from farm stands, including a sack for the drive home. Best cherries I ever had.

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  4. I don't know if it was the wet spring or what but the cherries seemed especially luscious this year.

    Chuck- get your bootie out there. It's definitely worth the drive.

    Laura- if I had an acre or two to spare I would plant a cherry orchard. Great to pick and great to stroll through.

    Denise- wish I could have met you when you were at Annie's! I'm just there during the week though. Maybe another time!

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