Seasonal Sunday: Cherries

It’s the very beginning of cherry season here in Colorado! Cherries like dry, warm days and cool nights, usually plentiful during the Colorado growing season. Most cherries grow on the Western Slope, but hardy varieties can be cultivated all over the state. Cherry season generally runs from late June through late July.

Cherry tree in bloom covered in light pink flowers.

Pay a visit to an orchard near you and pick your own cherries! Pick-your-own operations include Berry Patch Farms, Big B’s Fruit Company, First Fruits Organic Farm, and many more! Check out this comprehensive list of pick-your-own orchards in Colorado. The season can vary by year and variety, so make sure to call ahead and make sure there’s a harvest waiting for you.

Branch tree with red cherry fruit hanging

About Cherries:

  • Humans have had a love affair with cherries for many, many years. They are mentioned in a text from the 3rd century B.C., written by one of Aristotle’s protégés.
  • There are around 1,000 different varieties of cherry trees! Most belong to two main species; the sweet cherry and sour cherry.
  • In Colorado, sweet cherries tend to be grown in the Western part of the state (where it’s a bit warmer) and sour cherries in the east (they can handle the cold temperature drops).
  • They are part of the Rosaceae family, related to almonds, peaches, apricots and plums.
  • The town of Oliver, British Columbia holds the world record for largest cherry pie ever baked, reaching an astonishing 37,700 pounds.
  • Cherries contain melatonin – the brain chemical that helps you sleep. Try eating some before bed to help you doze off!
  • Cherries and their extracts are often used in natural skin care products, considered useful in calming and clearing skin. Looking for a summer glow? Make your own cherry face mask.
  • They are famously high in antioxidants – which can help relieve inflammation and protect your heart.
  • Low on the glycemic index, cherries can also help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

White plate filled with red cherry fruit

In all honesty, cherries are probably best just eaten fresh. But, if you’re looking to get creative in the kitchen, here are our recommendations.

Suggested Recipes:

  • Switch up your summer chips & salsa routine with this Cherry Salsa.
  • Not much can top the classic Cherry Pie, an american staple.
  • If you’ve got too many cherries on your hands and are looking to preserve them, try canning this Cherry Chutney.
  • Cool down with Sparkling Cherry Limeade (add a splash of tequila and you’ve got a cocktail!)

What’s your favorite part about cherry season in Colorado? Let us know in the comments.

 

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