By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

ranier-cherries-at-Tukey-webPULLMAN, Wash. – Due to the region’s overheated summer, this weekend could be the last chance to pick cherries this year at Washington State University’s Tukey Orchard.

“We always hope to do three or four weekends,” said Deb Pehrson, farm manager. “But we’re already seeing some heat-shriveled cherries on the trees. We may not get that third weekend this year.”

The orchard will be open for the general public to pick cherries noon-6 p.m. Friday, July 17, and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, July 18, weather depending. Prices are $3-$5 per pound, depending on cherry variety. Volume picking of over 15 pounds gets $1 off per pound.

The cherry crop, which includes Ranier, Bing, Van, Lambert, Meteor and Montmorency varieties, is reduced this year due to a spring frost that eliminated the fruit on an entire block of younger cherry trees.

“It’s a pretty good crop, considering the frost and heat issues,” Pehrson said. “And the dry weather has actually helped reduce pressure from fungal diseases.”

The orchard, located at the junction of Airport Road and Terre View Drive in Pullman, had good crowds on its opening weekend, last Friday and Saturday, and Pehrson hopes to see even more people out this weekend.

“We were happy with all the people that came out in the drizzle last weekend,” she said. “It’s become a tradition for many people to pick their own cherries with us every year.”

The orchard also has gooseberries, currants and a very small amount of raspberries to pick.

Pehrson said she will evaluate how many cherries are left and what kind of shape they’re in before deciding if the orchard will be able to host a third weekend this year.

For more information about the cherry sale, go to http://horticulture.wsu.edu/orchard/.

 

Contact:
Deb Pehrson, WSU Tukey Orchard farm manager, 509-335-6700, debpehrson@wsu.edu