Cherry Parade Rained Out
The sun finally came out. But not in time for most of the berries.
Strawberries? They basically drowned. Cherries? They're around, but many farmers in Virginia and Pennsylvania lost a huge percentage of their crop. The downpours force the ruby fruits to swell so much that their skins burst. The Farm at Sunnyside in Rappahannock County had a 10-day picking season, which is now over. Mark Toigo, owner of Toigo Orchards in Shippensburg, Pa., lost about 70 percent of his crop. "We've gotten nine inches of rain up here. We're ark-building," he said. That said, the farm still will have cherries at markets for another week or so.
Does this bode badly for all summer fruit? (The very idea puts me in a panic. As any of my friends know, I spend most of my summer trying to figure out how to get berries, peaches and plums into savory dishes.) Some local farmers have given up on apricots, which suffered a fate similar to the cherries'. But Toigo says that if we get some heat, peaches and apricots could grow fat and juicy. "I can almost guarantee you we'll go from biblical deluge to biblical drought. And it's good to have the trees and the soil charged for a long, dry season."
-- Jane Black
June 23, 2009; 1:00 PM ET
Categories: To Market, To Market | Tags: Jane Black, cherries
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