This post is sponsored by Chelan Fresh. Read on to get a behind-the-scenes of how cherries get from the tree to your grocery store!
Produce for Kids was recently invited by Chelan Fresh on its Annual Cherry Tour in Chelan, WA. I was so excited to attend and get a first-hand look at how cherries are grown, picked, packed and shipped, and meet the growers who make it possible. Little did I know I was in for so much more.
Now, I have to start off by telling you that I am not a fan of cherries. Or at least I wasn’t until this trip. As a kid, my idea of cherries weren’t the fresh-off-the-tree variety. They were the ones that came in a jar with thick syrup and were placed on top of your ice cream sundae. I’m so grateful to this trip for opening my eyes (and taste buds!) to something delicious I’ve been missing out on.
I packed my bags and boarded a plane to beautiful Lake Chelan, WA, where I met up with the group of ladies I would be spending the next few days with.
Our first day, we toured the Chelan Fruit Test Orchard and got a sneak peek of some new produce items that will be hitting shelves in a few years, including the Sugar Bee Apple! Apples lovers will be excited about this new variety, which is a non-GMO, open-cross of a Honey Crisp and an unknown variety. Be on the lookout in 2018!
After the test orchard, we visited the Gebbers Farms warehouse to see how cherries are washed, processed and packed. Each cherry is checked and rechecked before being packaged to ensure you’re getting the best cherries. The warehouse processes an amazing 18 TONS of cherries each day and every cherry is packed and ready to ship within hours of being picked.
For lunch, we headed to the Stennes Family Homestead – an impressive, family-owned orchard with 600 acres of apples, pears and cherries – and learned more about the family-run business and it’s ventures into organic farming.
On day 2, we started out the day with breakfast and blueberry picking at Blueberry Hills. The blueberries were delicious and I picked about 3 pounds to bring home with me!
Our next stop was the Chelan Cherry Orchards. Finally, what we had all been waiting for! We watched in awe as some very skilled cherry pickers filled buckets and buckets with fresh cherries. The buckets get dumped into larger bins and immediately taken to a loading area before a truck picks them up for the warehouse. Our day concluded at the Chelan Fresh offices, were we got to meet the team who makes it all happen.