Despite rumors of weather-stunted cherries, farmers from around the B.C. and the Okanagan say 2019 is shaping up to be another great summer harvest.
BC Fruit Grower’s Association president Pinder Dhaliwal confirms the province will “have some nice, crunchy cherries this year.”
The BCFGA president said that barring any serious rainfall, cherry-pickers can look forward to sprouting-time within the next 10 days or so, depending on the area and the farm.
“We’ve had showers, but nothing to harm the cherries,” said Dhaliwal.
There has been speculation that the nooks and crannies of the sporadic Okanagan early summer might harm the production of this year’s batch, but it hasn’t been anything significant enough for the farmers to notice.
The crop might be “lighter,” according to Dwane Dickinson, the 77-year-old owner of Dickinson Family Farm, but “I’m happy with it.”
The Dickinson Family Farm has stayed within the ancestral tree since its opening in 1912 and looks forward to another season in business.
“It’s sort of a family set up here. Parents can show their kids that cherries don’t grow at Safeway,” said Dickinson in a hearth of chuckles.
Other cherry farms around the Okanagan also confirm the words of Dickinson and Dhaliwal: the folks over at Sun City Cherries agree that cherry season is looking good, with the exception of a lighter crop this year.
The colder nights early on affected Sun City’s crops, said manager Gordie Sandhu, but he thinks the “overall cherry production should go up because of the new plantings.”
“So far the weather now has been good,” he said. “We don’t want rain during the harvest.”
Sandhu and his team at Sun City Cherries are anticipating that their cherries will be in around the second week of July.
“Growing season on our end is looking decent,” said Sandhu.
The real problem, BCFGA president admits, is the lack of apricots due to an abundance of frost earlier in the year.
“If you see B.C. apricots, then get them while you can because they are a hot commodity,” Dhaliwal said.