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Cherry Picking Season In Vermont: Short, But Delicious

Ric Cengeri / VPR
Cherries from the Douglas Orchard in Shoreham are pictured. Vermont's cherry picking season is very short, lasting only two weeks.

When planning a visit to a pick-your-own farm, most people think of strawberry patches or apple orchards. But what about the cherry orchards? Only a few farms around Vermont offer pick-your-own cherries, and the window for peak produce is brief — about two weeks.

Douglas Orchard & Cider Mill in Shoreham has 100 cherry trees available to those looking to pick their own bounty during the end of June and early July. Sweet cherries make up a majority of the trees, but the orchard does provide a few sour cherry trees for those interested in pie making, according to Bob Douglas, Jr., a partner at Douglas Orchard.

"[Cherries] are kind of iffy to grow around here," Douglas says.  "Usually the trees don't survive the cold winters. But just because of our lucky location here I guess they've done well."

Jack Olsen of Rutland had advice for cherry pickers: "If they have cracks in them, don't choose them. Choose the ripe ones with no cracks in them."

For many, the novelty of picking your own fruit is in the experience itself. Doug Whitney of Arizona agrees, and says, "The food's only half of it — we're here for the experience and the time. This will be a day I will long remember, unlike a trip to the grocery store."

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