Pat Shingleton: "Nature's Candy..."
In the 1800s, a Chinese-American gardener found a sapling near an orchard brush pile. The slow, patient propagation of the tree endured its survival for future generations. The gardener's name was Bing and today his cherries arrive from the high altitudes of the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes. Starry nights and cold mountain snow melt produce the world's finest cherries. These cherries are available in area stores today. Last Saturday I carried a zip-lock bag loaded with these cherries on the golf cart. I purchased them from Calvin's and after a few holes only enjoyed a few. Sharing the golf cart with me was Mike Sause, who also shared the majority of the cherries. Years ago, we enjoyed sweet cherries that belonged to our neighbors, Harry Schott and Vivian Van Gorder. They didn't mind us climbing, picking and eating the sweet fruit. On our property they too enjoyed our grapes, pears, apples, peaches, plums and tomatoes. From sweet cherries to tart cherries. The pucker power for these cherries, also known as tart, red or pie cherries deterred consumption during the picking process and were better used in preserves and desserts – especially my Mom’s famous cherry cobbler. U.S. production this year is expected to be at 283.6 million pounds and the country’s 650 farmers should receive an average of 39.1 cents per pound. Nearly all are frozen, canned or dried.