Early Harvest Update
We will be moving into our main harvest varieties starting July 12th, featuring Kordia, Sylvia, and Suite Note. Around the 18th we will be moving into Skeena, Lapins and Regina in our Kelowna farms. The Lapins in our Lake Country farms will then start around July 22nd, and these blocks will have a good supply of 9.5 and 9 row cherries. This year’s Kordia and Regina crop look very strong. Sizing is expected to be slightly smaller than normal, but we expect good colour, sugars and firmness. Jealous Fruits is the largest producer of Kordia and Regina in Canada, and our Asian customers in particular treasure these varieties. This year we will have a continual supply of Regina from July 17th until approximately August 8th.
Our earliest Sweetheart will start around July 26th. High elevation Rainiers will be maturing from July 25 - 31st.
From July 14th onward we will have a full, continuous supply through to late August. The record high temperatures of late June and early July were unwelcome, but we were fortunate in that much of our crop was too green to suffer sunburn. We expect that our sugar and firmness levels will be perfectly in line with previous years, given the return to more seasonal temperatures. However, we do anticipate that our size will be slightly smaller than normal, as sizing temporarily stalled in the peak of the hot weather. Stem quality this year is excellent, which also helped our crops weather the late June heat.
The fact that we were able to manage our crop during the record heat comes down to the old adage: Location, location, location. Jealous Fruits has 450 acres that are located at 1900 to 2600 feet in elevation, and these sites experienced peak temperatures 3 degrees centigrade cooler than valley bottom sites. We also have 200 acres of orchards located very close to either Okanagan Lake or Wood Lake, and these sites were much cooler than valley bottom sites away from the lakes. Of our bearing acreage this year, over 70% was moderated either by altitude, or proximity to large bodies of water. Finally, though these were record breaking temperatures throughout the northwest, our northerly latitude did take the edge off, at all of our farms.
You may have heard press reports that the BC cherry crop was severely impaired by the record heat, and we wish to set the record straight, at least in so far as our production goes. Our customers can look forward to many weeks of strong cherry supplies from Jealous Fruits. We will have a bit smaller fruit than normal , but we expect to have excellent sugars, firmness, green stems, and all of the trademark quality attributes our customers have come to expect.
Cherry Weather Forecast
Daytime temperatures have returned to more seasonal highs between 28C – 34C (82 – 93 Fahrenheit) and nighttime temperatures ranging from 14C – 17C (58 to 62 Fahrenheit). We enjoyed 5 millimeters (1/5”) of rain on July 7 which was a welcome relief and helped to cool down the orchards.
The long range forecast continues to be sunny with normal July temperatures. Perfect cherry weather!