Growing premium fresh sweet cherries since 1918

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CHERRY HARVEST


Our harvest is multi-dimensional, as we pick Bings in bulk, pick Rainiers in 15 or 20-pound boxe and other smaller specialty packs, and pick both varieties for our Internet retail sales.  The fresh market Bing harvest is usually completed first in late June.   Our harvest has changed significantly the last couple of years.  In 2007 we went back to picking in 35-lb plastic boxes for Bings and then they are transferred into large wooden bins that hold about 400 pounds. The picker gets a daily ticket punched for each box that they pick. The bins are carried through the orchards on a special bin trailer that is pulled by a tractor and returned to a loading area. Here the bins receive tags that show what variety and what orchard the fruit came from and what customer will receive them.  They are then stacked and placed in our new cold room (added in 2006).  At the end of the day, these bins are loaded on a refrigerated truck by a forklift and hauled to the appropriate warehouse for grading, sorting, and packing. 

 

Until 2007, most of our Rainiers were field-packed.  This meant picking, sorting, and packing was actually all done in the orchard or at our staging/loading area.  Each picker would have a padded bucket, sizer on a string, and a row of trees all their own.  Now the cherries are picked into special corrugated plastic boxes or plastic buckets that take the place of a bucket.  They pick through the trees in several passes, picking only the ripe and large cherries.  Each picker places their full buckets or boxes in a large wooden bin that is picked up by a tractor.  The sorting is then done back at our cold room area on our sorting lines (added in 2007) or loaded on a refrigerated truck to be sorted and packed at a local warehouse.  The cherries that we sort and pack ourselves usually end up in 15-pound boxes of loose Rainiers, but we also pick into many different specialty containers such as baggies, clam shells, or large plastic boxes.  Many of our cherries go to Japan and Taiwan so they must be picked in special packages and fumigated before shipping.  The cherries that are too yellow, too small, or have to many bruises or markings are discarded.

 

 
       
 

2003-2011 Olmstead Orchards, Inc.  360 Frazer Road  Grandview, Washington  98930

 Last updated Saturday June 04, 2011      Website problems:  webmaster@olmsteadorchards.com

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