Some U-Pick farms decided to sit out last weekend’s holiday picking frenzy to allow their cherries to ripen a little longer. Based on the turnout from last week, local farmers are ready for an onslaught of locals and tourists looking for the juiciest little red fruits the area has to offer.
“I heard a lot of the farms got picked out,” said Larry Enos, owner and operator of Five Star Cherries. “We will open commercially for U-Pick this weekend. We sell sweetheart and lapin cherries, which take a little longer to ripen. But if it’s anything like what happened last weekend, this could be the only weekend we’re open. The people are coming in droves.”
Kathey Tachella has been running the Tachella Family Farms produce stand with her husband Jim for 16 years, but she’s never seen a U-Pick season like this. She compared the swarm of anxious fruit pickers to a herd of sharks in a feeding frenzy.
“It was off the hook!” Kathey said. “This is the busiest season we’ve gone through. We’ve been in the business for a long time, and Memorial weekend is normally busy, but this was crazy. There were thousands of people here to pick cherries. We had people waiting at the gates to get in. We normally have enough cherries to get through the first weekend of June, but not this year. We’re picked out.”
Kathey said the farm will offer apricot U-Pick in mid-June, but the cherries are the draw. Nothing brings them in like cherries. Bacchini Fruit Tree closed its stand on Monday to allow the rest of its cherries to ripen for the next waves of pickers that come out this weekend. On Monday, Salvador Family Farms reported on Facebook that it’s done for the season and thanked its customers for a fast but fruitful season.
Bloomfield Cherries and Wolfe Ranch Cherries posted on their websites that their U-Pick seasons begin this weekend, but based on last weekend’s response, don’t expect their seasons to last long.
When choosing farms to visit this weekend, it’s helpful to check the farm’s website or call the farm directly for the most up-to-date information. While some farms might not have been picked clean during the holiday weekend, some orchards might have gone bare during the week. Visit www.harvest4you.com for the latest U-Pick information.