Local food, Slow Food

Levering Orchard cherry picking finale

Oh puh-leeze. It only got up to 99 in zip code 27401. What was all that fuss about?

Hey, the cherry picking turned out to be pleasant, but I think that we did good in limiting the amount of time we spent there this afternoon. For one thing, Sandy and I picked $72 worth of cherries in about an hour. There were so many you could pick them by the handful. I only seriously climbed a ladder once, because most of the sweet cherries weren’t really fully ripe – ripe enough to eat and be tasty with a zing, ripe enough to make a good pie, but not black and sweet as I would prefer. I climbed a ladder when I found a side of a big tree where the cherries were darker and sweeter.

There were 7 adults and a passel of chirren and we had a mildly breezy little picnic in the cherry orchard atop the Cherry Orchard stage, where they present plays during August. Frank Levering stopped by and talked with us.

If you decided to go cherry picking next Sunday instead, you’re in luck, I think. It looks like they expect the heat wave to break, but even so, it wasn’t that bad. The orchard is about two miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway. The cherries will be riper and sweeter, and Frank says that he’ll be happy to speak to that group of people too. And, of course, you can go on your own. It’s a very pretty place and you’d enjoy it for the scenery if nothing else. Make sure you get there early enough to finish your picking and pay up by 5 p.m.

Now I have about 20 pounds of cherries to process. Sandy is taking about 10 pounds to work to give away. I already arranged to take off work tomorrow morning, so I’ll spend it listening to podcasts and pitting cherries. I think that I’ll freeze them and can some of the frozen ones later, perhaps in a Slow Food workshop if we get that together.

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