|Project by MsDebbieP||posted 420 days ago||1360 views||0 times favorited||7 comments|
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)