Carter Orchards

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    Varieties grown
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    Apple recipes

Blog 2011

August 3, 2011

     We finished picking the Staccato. That is the last of our cherries for 2011! Overall, it was a pretty good year even though the crop was light and the rain damaged some of the later varieties. Apple harvest will start in a couple of weeks!

August 2, 2011

     We picked Sweethearts and Staccato today. There is less rain damage in the Staccato than in the Sweethearts.

August 1, 2011

     We picked Sweethearts today. There is a lot of rain damage. We used three sorters for each bin again.

July 28, 2011

     At Davis, we picked the jungle Rainiers for canning and the Blacks for freezing. There are no more cherries left at the Davis place! At the home place, we picked Blacks for freezing, Vans for canning, and Selah as part of a salvage deal.

July 27, 2011

     Finished picking Rainiers for fresh. We also picked the last of our Regina. Today was Niurka and Feliz's birthdays. We had pizza, Cokes, and three cakes!
John, Niurka, Feliz, and J.D.
Yesenia, Armando, and Maria.

July 26, 2011

     We picked Rainiers, Regina and canner Vans.

July 25, 2011

     We started picking Regina today with five crews. Fruit quality is excellent and the trees are loaded. A handful of pickers picked over 100 buckets each today. Spirits have picked up! One crew picked Rainiers and two crews picked Vans for canning.

July 24, 2011

     We continued to pick Skeena today. We continued to sort heavily. It rained heavily for 30 minutes this morning. Everyone got soaked. Fortunately, it was very windy and the trees dried off quickly. We were able to restart after a 90-minute break. We finished picking the Skeena around 2.

July 23, 2011

     One group picked Rainiers at home. Most everyone else picked Skeena. The rain caused serious damage in the Skeena. We used three sorters at every bin, plus extra sorters at the loading pad. The crew is tired. Most of the senior crew have not had a day off for over a month. We're also frustrated by the repeated rain. Here are some pictures.
Ricardo on a four wheeler.
A group of people sorting.
Another group sorting.
The Rainier crew.

July 22, 2011

     Finished picking Lapins at the Christianson place. We started picking Skeena in the "graveyard" block. There is considerable damage from the rain.

July 21, 2011

     Finished all of the Lapins at the home place. Started picking Lapins at the Christianson place.

July 20, 2011

     Picked some Bings and Lapins at the home place. We also picked the Lapins at the Haener place.

July 19, 2011

     It rained most of the night. We didn't pick today. We had five guys out on sprayers applying calcium nitrate (which helps decrease the percentage of cherries that crack). We had a helicopter fly over the blocks we have left to pick. We've already seen lots of cracks. Here are some pictures.
Helicopter blowing water off the trees.
Wind machine drying off trees.
Cherries cracking on the tree.
Some more cherries cracking.

July 18, 2011

     We picked Bings, Schneiders, and Stark's Gold today. We had to stop at 1:00 because of rain.
Adrian, Beni, and Jaime filling bins.
Moving to a new block.
Dumping buckets into bins.
Bins at the loading pad.

July 17, 2011

     The days are definitely getting shorter. It was too dark for us to start picking at 5 this morning. We'll have to push our start time back to 5:15. We had another good day of Bing picking today. We also picked some nice Rainiers.

July 16, 2011

     Today was quite a day. As usual, we started at 5. It started to rain at around 6 and we had to stop picking (it's dangerous to be in a ladder when it is wet out). The rain let up for a little while around 7, giving us just enough time to finish picking Rainiers at Davis. We turned our wind machines on and sprayed calcium nitrate in hopes of decreasing the percentage of cherries that split due to the rain. After a 2.5 hour "break" at the home place, we started up again and stopped picking around 2. It was a pretty productive day given the rain.

July 15, 2011

     Nine crews picked Bings at home and we came close to finishing the Rainiers at Davis. Our highest tonnage day of the year so far!

July 14, 2011

     Today we picked Bings in the "jungle" at Davis. This block has our highest tree density and always ripens a little later than the other blocks. It produces some of our highest quality fruit. We also picked Rainiers at Davis.

July 12, 2011

     We were awoken by rain at 2am this morning. For those of you who don't know, cherries absorb the rain and split. Once they split, they aren't any good because they are culls and might rot. Rain has ruined entire crops (for example, this year's crop in California was decimated by rain). We were fortunate that the rain was light and we don't think there is much damage.
     We divided the crew and picked in two different orchards today. 50 or so pickers stayed at Davis. They finished off the Bings (about 10 ton) and started on the Rainiers again. Everyone else picked at the home place. We can't believe that it has taken this long for the fruit at the home place to ripen. Our latest start ever! We picked about 60 ton at home today. Good, productive day of work.

July 11, 2011

     Picked a long day at the Davis place today. We picked about 65 ton of Bings!

July 9, 2011

     We are taking a day off from picking because the cherries are not ripe enough to pick. This gives me a chance to update the blog. I'm going to try and add more detail to the blog entries due to widespread popular demand. Here are some recent pictures too!
Armando talking on the radio while riding a four wheeler.
Lolo stacking bins.
Posing for a picture while picking Bings.
Yesenia checking fruit quality.

July 8, 2011

     Today we picked Rainiers and Bings at the Davis place. We stopped picking at noon because the cherries were not ripe enough. Rainiers are fresh yellow/red cherries that are very popular. They are big, sweet, and flavorful. They are difficult to pick because we have to sort them for size and color and they bruise easily. Unfortunately, yesterday's wind caused serious damage in our Rainiers. We are going to brine the wind-damaged Rainiers.

July 7, 2011

     Today we finished picking Early Robbins at the Davis place and finished Bings at the Migaki place. Fortunately, we finished pretty early in the morning because it was very windy in the afternoon, too windy to be up in a ladder. Many small trees in a block we haven't picked yet blew over. We also lost power for a couple of hours at the home place.

July 6, 2011

     We continued picking Bings at the Migaki place and Early Robbins at Davis.

July 5, 2011

     Two groups (36 pickers) picked Early Robbins at the Davis place. Early Robbins are big, yellow/red cherries. The are very popular with consumers. We picked 825 buckets of Early Robbins (a record for us!!!). The quality was incredible. We had packouts ranging from 89-97%. The other nine groups (approximately 150 pickers) continued picking Bings at the Migaki place.

July 4, 2011

     Our entire crew picked Bings in Dallesport. It feels good to finally have our entire crew picking! We started and finished the Carter block and picked about a third of the Migaki place. We custom harvest Migaki Orchards. They do all of the work during the off season and we do the picking during harvest. It provides them with a picking crew and provides us with more days to pick so that we can give our crew more days of work.

July 1, 2011

     We picked all of the Tietons at the Davis place. We finished a little before 11:00 and picked 201 bins.

June 29, 2011

     We picked Chelans and Tietons at the Carter block in Dallesport. Tietons are a dark, sweet cherry. They are very big, probably the biggest cherry we grow on average.

June 28, 2011

     We finished picking Chelans at the Davis place. We also picked one bin of Royal Annes. We "brine" our Royal Annes. This means that they are converted into maraschino cherries via dyeing and flavoring.

June 27, 2011

     We picked 45 tons of Chelans today.

June 26, 2011

     We finally started picking today!!! This is the latest we've ever started. The cold and wet spring really slowed things down. Today we picked about 30 tons of Chelans at the Davis place. Chelans are dark, sweet cherries that ripen early. They are flavorful, but are typically smaller than other dark, sweet cherries.

January 2011

     John Carter was named the 2011 Cherry King by the Northwest Cherry Institute!

Blogs from previous years