On Tuesday I took a drive up north with my mom, stepson, and friend to the Flathead Lake area in order to do some cherry picking. We were gifted with an invitation from a friend of mine, a local orchard worker, to come up and pick as many cherries as we wanted. Around here many folks wait for the Flathead Cherry season to come into full swing. They are a local delicacy, and for good reason!
Similar to gardening cherry picking is a naturally mindful activity. It’s hard to pick cherries and not be fully present with the process. The four of us spent 2 hours picking and collected around 100 pounds of cherries! We had to pull ourselves away from the trees – it was just so easy and enjoyable picking away. The trees were chock full!
OK – so now we had 100 pounds of cherries right? Now what? Well, I got to work washing, de-stemming, and pitting cherries :)
After some great help from a couple of friends we have about 10 gallon sized ziplock bags full of pitted cherries in the freezer. There are a few bags we didn’t pit and the rest have either being given to friends, are in the dehydrator, have been juiced, frozen into popsicles, or turned into the delicious pies that my mom and I made last night using a crust recipe from my great grandmother. I think I’ve had more cherries in the past two days then I’ve had in my entire life! I’ve drank cherry juice, eaten fresh cherries, had cherry pie, and last night I had a cherry popsicle from fresh cherry juice. There are cherries all over the house :)
We have a running joke in our house since the cherries arrived: “What’s over there?” and someone answers, “It’s cherries.” “And how about over there?” and someone answers, “It’s more cherries.” “And what about over there?” “Yep, it’s more cherries.”
Being part of the whole process from tree to pie has been a wonderful experience. Everything tastes better when you’ve put your time, energy, and gratitude into it. To reconnect with food in this way has been uplifting, inspiring, and delicious! My gratitude for the orchard workers, the sun and soil, the trees, water, and the fruits of their hard and loving labor: the cherries!