Let The Rainier Harvest Begin!
Jealous Fruits grows a limited volume of Rainier cherries, with the main block planted at our high elevation Cholla Hills orchard. This site ripens Rainiers at the end of July, through the first week of August. This year’s Rainier harvest is scheduled to begin at the end of this week. Rainiers are a very hardy variety, and like the Regina crop, the Rainiers came through last winter without any significant damage. This past spring, we planted another ten acre Rainier block at our Thompson River farm, so more Rainiers coming in the future!
Maxine Zazulak, Cholla Hills Farm operations/staff member, inspects this year's Rainier crop
This year’s Rainier crop is expected to peak on 9 row, with good volumes of 9.5 and 8.5 as well. The cooler weather earlier in July has resulted in especially good colouration.
To further enhance the distinctive blush colour of our Rainiers, we remove leaves close to the cherries by hand, letting more direct sunshine onto the fruit. We also summer prune excess vegetative growth out of the tree tops well ahead of harvest. Lastly, we lay out white reflective tarps under the trees to reflect sunlight onto the undersides of the clusters of fruit, giving more uniform colour. While all of our cherries receive copious quantities of attention from our staff, the Rainiers are needy in a class by themselves, requiring meticulous care. It is all worth it, as we believe we can supply a standout product which our customers value.
Rainiers are a delicate cherry. They can show marking from wind very easily, and are also very tender with respect to possible rain damage. As a result, our Rainiers are grown under a vented cover, which not only sheds rain away from the cherries, but virtually eliminates wind scuffing. The diffuse light apparent in these photos is a result of these covers. Like our customers, birds also treasure Rainier cherries, and the rain cover keeps our feathered friends away from the crop!
Leaves close to the cherries have been pinched off by hand, seven days preharvest, this brightens up the Rainier’s characteristic pink blush
Rainier Sampling : We want a bit more of a blush before we pick them!