Who are the Wisconsin Red Cherry Growers?
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    We are...

    We are the Wisconsin Red Cherry Growers, Inc. located in Door County in northeast Wisconsin. We are the primary producers of Wisconsin red tart cherries. Our membership includes orchard growers, processors, and area roadside markets producing cherry products for wholesale and/or retail sale. A listing of our members is on our "Where can I go to find cherries?" page. For further information about our organization, contact:

 

    Harvesting

This photograph is taken in the orchard during harvest. Cherries travel up conveyer belts to be chilled in cold water tanks after being shaken off the trees. There are about 7,000 tart cherries on an average tree; that's enough cherries for about 28 pies.

 

There are different styles and manufacturers of cherry shakers, but all work on the same principle. Large mechanical arms hold the tree trunks and quickly shake the trees, causing the ripe fruit to fall into a large catching frame beneath the tree.

fresh cherries in the orchard

 

cherry shaker
shaker around tree
conveyor belt
cherries on conveyor
cherries in tank
cherries falling into tank

    Years ago, cherries were hand-harvested. Today, a mechanical cherry shaker can harvest 60 to 100 trees in an hour. After shaking, the cherries are immediately cooled in chilled water. This assures the preservation of the tree ripe freshness of the fruit. The cherries then make a quick trip through the processing facility where they are pitted, some are sweetened, and then frozen to preserve the outstanding quality of the Wisconsin Red Cherry.

    Cherry orchards & markets

    Visit us in Door County during the cherry harvest season which runs from late July to mid-August. Come to a farm market or roadside stand to pick cherries, or buy them ready-picked. Most farm markets and processing plants keep supplies of fresh cherries on hand throughout the harvest season. Many also offer year-round availability of canned, dried and frozen cherries as well as cherry juice, jellies, jams and sauces, baked goods and wines.

    You will find markets and orchards listed on our "Where can I find cherries?" page, with a map.

    Contact the Door County Chamber of Commerce at 1-920-743-4456 for each year's approximate picking dates. Call ahead to the orchards to check picking hours and get directions. The length of the season can be extended at any orchard that has earlier or later bearing varieties of cherry trees; it also depends on an orchard location and seasonal climate variations.

     

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©Wisconsin Red Cherry Growers, Inc. and At Home Page, 2000