Our neighbor has beautiful organic cherries trees that they share with us. You have to time it just right, to pick to freeze the cherries as the birds will eat them.
First, they pick the tart cherries they want to use to make pies and now it is our turn to pick the cherries.
Not wanting to use the cherries now, we will pick and freeze them to use later. This is how we picked the cherries.
According to Cherries Health Benefits, “Organic tart cherries have long held their place as some of the tastiest desert cuisines, but for the last few years researchers have been looking into the health benefits of such cherries. Cherries have long since been used by healers as natural pain relievers for some inflammatory diseases such as gout and arthritis. Research into the specific qualities of organic cherries has revealed that the skins/pigments of cherries which give them their rich color is responsible for many of their healing qualities. The pigments of organic cherries contain natural antioxidants such as anthocyanin which helps in protecting the body from disease. Moreover, organic tart cherries also contain abundant amounts of beta-carotene and other mineral nutrients essential to proper body functions.”
- Cherry Trees (Organic ones)
- Something solid to stand on
- Stain proof bowls/buckets
The best part of having a neighbor that has fruit is we know it is organic fruit. When I saw those beautiful organic cherries, I wanted to help myself but I waited until we invited to pick. Get your stain proof bowls/bucket and head over to the tree. You will be able to pick the cherries from the lower branches easily. When picking the cherries make sure not to break off branches.
To get the higher branches you’ll need something solid to stand on. I’m not big on using ladders, so we used my truck. Find what makes you comfortable to use. If you are picking in someone’s paid patch they may have there own way to get to the upper branches.
Even though the cherries are organic and safe to eat does not mean they do not need washed well. Little critters find their way to the trees and birds still fly over.
Fill your sink with cold water and place the cherries in it to soak. Swish the cherries around like a washing machine would. As you take them out of the water, run the cherries under fresh cold running water.
Pit the cherries in the method you choose. People that have alot of cherries to use fresh or to freeze, have cherry pitting machines. You might remember as a child your mom using a hairpin to pit the cherries. Squeeze a couple, if the pit comes out great, if not and all else fails you can cut your cherries in 1/2 and the pit will come out.
Place the washed and pitted cherries on a cookie sheet and place them in the freezer to freeze. After frozen, remove from the freezer, and put them into plastic freezer bags. Mark, with magic marker, the produce and the date on the freezer bag so when you go to use you can use the oldest first.
Tips and Warning:
- The cherries make a great organic juice to drink, if you don’t like pies and bread, juice them.
- I got tired of juice running down my arm so I tried a tip I heard about using a paperclip. It worked great.
- We still couldn’t reach the top of the trees so if you climb to get the cherries, be careful. We left ours for the birds.