My Cherry Harvest on Saturday
Remember I said last week that the berries were calling me? Cherries actually. Well, I did go to this private garden and picked 4 and a half ice cream pails full (4 litres each) from just one heavily-laden cherry tree. They were at just the right stage of ripeness, so that very few stems came along.
If they had been just a little larger, I would have thought they were Bing cherries, like the kind we buy in the store. Usually grown in B.C. Somehow though, I was under the impression they were Nanking cherries.
Then when I checked out the rest of the garden/orchard, I found that near the back door were a different kind of cherry that were smaller, red as sunlight glass, and growing very close to the branch. No stem to dangle from. They were also over-ripe, so they squished in my hands as I tried to pick them. I gave up after half a pail full.
Altogether I was there from about 10 min. to 12 noon, until 2:30 pm.
When I got home I was exhausted from being on my feet so long, and Lynn’s garden mud had stuck to my runners making me feel as if I were walking on 10 lb weights! When I lined up the 6 pails on the wee kitchen table I could see they would not all fit into my fridge for temporary storage, so I would have to wash and clean at least some. But first I weighed them on a scale. The full pails were 6 lbs each and the 2 half pails were about 3 lbs each. So I brought home about 29-30 lbs of cherries! What a harvest!
Of course, I couldn’t hoard so much treasure all to myself! So I sat down to sort out the leaves, and debris, and washed about half a pail full at a time, drained them, and then put them into 1 kg yogurt tubs. These were going to be my give-away tithe cherries. I figured I would need 4 for giving away at church in the morning, and one for Rita, my walking friend, whose birthday it was on Sunday. I got 3 full pails full washed and divided up (some into my freezer), before I grew limp with weariness, so I had a bit of supper and curled up in the recliner for a snooze.
About 9 I became aware that my neigbours were back from AWANA camp, so I went out to welcome them, and offered them cherries. They were willing to receive them, so I dashed in and brought out 2 yogurt tubs full for them. (They have often shared fish and wild game meat with me when they come back from a trip).
Sunday morning I gave away 3 tubs full in church, and dropped off another one at another friend’s door on the way home.
About 3:30, tea time, I went to see Rita and took along a wee gift, and a tub of cherries. We visited about an hour and more. When I got home I was rested and ready to clean the rest of the cherries. I even boiled up one dutch oven pot full for juice concentrate. I prefer that over jams with a lot of sugar in them.
Yesterday, over my supper break I boiled up two more pots full. So they are all done except for the large Tupperware Keeper in the freezer with more washed cherries.