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Blog 2012



July 24, 2012

     It feels good to be picking after two days off. I'd rather be picking. We picked the last of our Lapins at the home place today. We had estimated that we would pick around 120 bins, but ended up picking 235! Admittedly our estimates are usually not very accurate, but we were WAY off today.
John on a forklift
 
JD in an RTV
 
Travis driving a fork
 
Daniel and Jose picking
 
Martin, Maria, and Armando
 
Beni and Diana
 

July 21, 2012

     Finished picking freezers at the home place. It feels good to have them behind us. They are such a pain to pick! (They are our pollinizers and are scattered throughout most of our blocks. It's much easier to pick the solid blocks.)

July 20, 2012

     We had six groups pick Black Republicans and Vans at the home place. Used a larger crew than in years past and things went much smoother. We should be able to finish tomorrow around noon.

July 19, 2012

     We all had the day off because there are no ripe cherries.

July 18, 2012

     Everyone picked Regina at the home place. We picked 460 bins and finished the Reginas!
Picking Reginas
 
Picking Reginas
 
Picking Reginas
 

July 17, 2012

     We finished picking the Skeena and started picking Regina. We also picked all of our Attica (we only have a few).

July 16, 2012

     We picked the last of the Rainiers at the Davis place. We picked the freezers (Black Republicans and Vans) at the Davis place. We picked until 4:00 even though we thought we would finish much earlier. But we finished Davis!!! There is no fruit remaining this year. Eight groups picked Skeena at the home place. Now that we are off the south-facing slope, the fruit quality is MUCH better.

July 15, 2012

     Three crews picked Rainiers at the home place. Everyone else was off because the Skeena are still too green.

July 14, 2012

     Eight groups picked Skeena and two groups picked Rainiers at the home place. We shut down early because the cherries aren't ripe enough yet.

July 13, 2012

     Eight groups picked Skeena in the block known as the Graveyard. They have great size, but there is quite a bit of sunburn (the portion of the block we picked gets too much sun because it is south facing). Two groups picked Rainiers for fresh at the home place. The Rainier quality is excellent, big and colorful cherries!
Deer in Phillips
 

July 12, 2012

     Other than two groups who picked Rainiers at the home place, everyone was off! It was nice to have an "easy" day after what we had completed earlier in the week. We are starting to lose some pickers because their next jobs are starting up in California or Washington. This is probably for the best as we're caught up in terms of ripeness and don't want to get ahead of ourselves.

July 11, 2012

     Another crazy day! We picked Vans for canning at the Migaki place. We picked the rest of the Schneiders at the home place. We picked Stark's Gold for brine at the home place. And, we finished picking Lapins at the Tom place. Today should be the last of the super crazy days.

July 10, 2012

     We finished picking Rainiers for Brine at Davis. We picked the remaining Davis Chelans for freeze (i.e. to be turned into ice cream). We finished picking Lapins at the Haener place and started picking Lapins at the Tom place. Two groups picked Schneiders at the home place. It was a crazy day picking three varieties in three places!

July 9, 2012

     Five groups started to pick Lapins at the Haener place. Excellent crop there this year. Lots of cherries and most have excellent size! Four groups picked Rainiers for fresh at the Davis place.

July 8, 2012

     We finished the Bings at the home place. Six groups completed Bings at the Davis place and two groups picked Davis Rainiers for fresh.

July 7, 2012

     Three small groups pick Bings in the last section at the Davis place. Two groups picked Rainiers for fresh at the Davis place. Everyone else (seven groups) continued to pick Bings at the home place. This is the first of a handful of especially crazy days. It's very difficult to be picking multiple varieties in multiple locations on the same day.

July 6, 2012

     Everyone continued to pick Bings at the home place. We had to shut down early today because it got too hot. The weather forecast shows lots of heat headed in our direction.

July 5, 2012

     Everyone picked Bings at the home place today.

July 4, 2012

     Happy Fourth! Once again, the weather cooperated and we were able to pick 80 ton! One group of around 20 people continued to pick Early Robbins for fresh at the Davis place.

July 3, 2012

     We finally started picking at the home place! It always feels very good to start picking here. We picked two sections of the first block and the quality looks excellent! We also picked some Early Robbins for fresh at the Davis place.

July 2, 2012

     We completed the first round of Bings at the Davis place today. We also picked the rest of the Early Robbins and some of the Rainiers for brine.

July 1, 2012

      Everyone picked Bings at the Davis place. The cherries here aren't as big as those at the Migaki place, but there appears to be less rain damage. It didn't get too hot, so we were able to pick until 2:30.
Sunrise this morning
 

June 30, 2012

     We finished picking Bings at Migaki and picked their Rainiers for brine. We also picked some of the Davis Early Robbins for brine.

June 29, 2012

     Another day with everyone picking Bings at the Migaki place. We picked almost 70 ton!

June 28, 2012

     We finally have our entire crew of pickers. With just over 200 pickers, this is one of the largest crews we've ever had! Everyone picked Bings in Dallesport at the Migaki place. The quality is excellent. There is some rain damage, but the cherries are HUGE!

June 27, 2012

     We picked Early Robbins with 36 pickers today. There is significant rain damage, enough that we are considering picking them for brine (i.e. to be converted into Maraschino cherries) instead of fresh (i.e. to be sold in supermarkets around the world). We get paid significantly less for brine, but the brine quality standards are easier to meet.

June 26, 2012

     A day off from picking because the fruit is too green.

June 25, 2012

     The skies were clear and the ground was dry, so we were finally able to start picking again. We finished the Davis Tietons today.

June 24, 2012

     We were not able to pick because the ground was still too wet from the rain. (It's dangerous to drive a tractor up and down the orchard when it is wet out.) Fortunately, the rain finally stopped.

June 23, 2012

     We were not able to because of rain. It rained on and off throughout the day. We started to see cracks (damage due to the rain) appearing in the Tietons and Early Robbins. We continued to use the helicopter, wind machines, and sprayers.

June 22, 2012

     We finished picking Chelans and started picking Tietons at the Davis place. Unfortunately, we had to shut down shortly after noon due to rain. It rained most of the afternoon. We used the wind machines to dry the cherries. We also used a helicopter to dry off the trees by hovering over them. Our "spray guys" sprayed all day and through much of the night. We spray chemical named Rainguard that helps prevent rain damage.
Helicopter drying trees
 
Early Robbins damaged by rain
 

June 21, 2012

     Picked just over 50 ton of Chelans today even though we had to shut down early due to the heat.

June 20, 2012

     Picked more Chelans at Davis. Our picker numbers are finally starting to grow!

June 19, 2012

     We picked more Chelans at the Davis place today. We "borrowed" some pickers from our neighbor Greg Johnson because he hasn't started picking yet and we are still short pickers.

June 18, 2012

     Our first day of picking! We only had 33 pickers, but we picked 52 bins of Chelans. The fruit is small and there are some cracks due to the recent rain.

June 17, 2012

     We will start picking Chelans at the Davis place tomorrow! Almost everything is ready. The crop looks good, but there is some rain damage. California's cherry harvest is running late, so we are short pickers. Hopefully more will arrive soon. We are renting three tractors this year. They all look so nice and new. Here's a picture of one.
A brand new (rental) tractor!
 

Blogs from previous years

2011
2010