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Cherries - 2013

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Project by MsDebbieP posted 06-26-2013 09:54 AM 1413 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

June 26/13

In 2007 I planted a “Stella” Cherry Tree. Two years ago (I think it was) we had a good crop of cherries but they all rotted on the tree. I don’t know what that issue was. Last year spring frosts hit the blossoms and we got no cherries at all. This year the tree is loaded. .. and they are now getting ripe. We are finally going to have some cherries!

I have a busy week this week and the timing for harvesting isn’t the greatest. I have to pick them while they are ripe but before the birds attack them all. Will they last until the weekend? Not sure, so I dragged Rick out at the end of the day yesterday and we picked a bucket full of cherries (in about 10 minutes time.)

I had enough to can 10 pint jars but I had prepared for only 8 .. and one jar broke during the canning process and so I ended up with 7 pints plus a large bowl full that is now in the fridge.

The canning process
1. wash/pit the cherries (although after I pitted them I read that you shouldn’t pit sweet cherries.) I had also read that if you don’t pit the cherries you have to poke two holes in the cherry to prevent them from splitting. Using the antique cherry-pitter seemed a whole lot easier! So they are pitted.
2. boil a light syrup (8 cups water, 4 cups sugar)
3. Put raw cherries into sterilized jars, add the syrup
4. Pressure can them for 10 minutes with 10 psi pressure.

Next step will be the taste test.

——-
Since the bucket full of cherries was right for 1 batch of cherries, I should be able to do another batch Thursday. And maybe I can find another cherry pitter so “more hands make light the work”, as the pitting is the hardest part of the job – more so than the picking!!

I also want to try my currant picker gadget to see if that makes harvesting even quicker than what we did last night. Since the ripest berries are at the top of the tall tree it should come in REALLY handy if it works.

(Lee Valley source)

My goal is to can up 40 pints. This will give us a pint a week for the winter/spring months. 7 down, 33 to go.

Oh.. and here is a picture of the type of cherry pitter that I used.. mine doesn’t look all bright and shiny. It’s a couple generations old.
(Thanks to wikimedia and “Una Smith” for the image) LInk: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cherry-pitter-1.jpg

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)



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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2629 days
hardiness zone 5b

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cherries preserving pressure canner

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7 comments so far

View justjoel's profile

justjoel

1063 posts in 2009 days
hardiness zone 7a

posted 06-26-2013 03:20 PM

Yum!

-- "We are stardust. We are golden. And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden." Joni Mitchell

View Radicalfarmergal's profile

Radicalfarmergal

4300 posts in 1891 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-27-2013 01:20 AM

We pitted all our cherries by hand. I am not sure that pitter would work on our bush cherries because the fruit are so small but it would be fun to try. Having a cool tool to use might even win me helpers. Congratulation on your cherry harvest, MsDebbie! A bucket is a very respectable harvest from one young tree. As Joel said, Yum!

-- "...I have nothing against authorities as such; I am only in favor of putting a question mark after just about everything they say." Ruth Stout

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2629 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-27-2013 09:38 AM

the little plunger is pretty tiny and I pitted some rather small cherries… it might just work! Definitely worth the investment.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2629 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-29-2013 10:28 PM

June 29, 2013

Well… it’s 3 days later and we’ve had pouring rain so even if I had had the time to go pick the cherries well … well ok I could have gotten soaked and picked the cherries I guess.

Anyway, this morning there was no rain so out we went with our buckets.
Due to the rain many of the cherries on the tree were rotten but we still managed to pick almost 3 buckets full – and we didn’t pick them all. (another picture was added above)

I got 36 pints of cherries preserved.
- some have the pits in; these are for “just eating”. Part of the fun is spitting out the pits
- some have the pits removed, ready for pies etc
- one jar is pickled .. can’t wait to taste one of these!
- two jars were turned into cherry tarts already (the jury is still out on the flavour.. maybe after they get cold)
- and about 2 jars worth are in the freezer, spread out on a tray for a quick freeze.

Now we’ll see which flavours we prefer so we can focus on that method for next year.
We will also be looking for another cherry tree—big dark red cherries. “Bing”, I think?

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2629 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 06-29-2013 10:30 PM

oh and I used the Tattler lids for the first time … reusable canning lids. They have sealed, so “so far so good”.

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

39 posts in 1066 days

posted 07-07-2013 09:48 PM

nice job,ms.debbie: ) the birds got mine again this year.

-- Where would we be without the farmers ?

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MsDebbieP

14682 posts in 2629 days
hardiness zone 5b

posted 07-10-2013 07:52 PM

it wasn’t long after we picked our full that the squirrels and birds came along and cleaned the tree.

Mental note: as soon as they start to ripen – get in there and be quick!

-- - Debbie, SW Ontario Canada (USDA Hardiness Zone: 5a)

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