iNwine: Bing cherries ripe and ready in Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kamloops News

iNwine: Bing cherries ripe and ready in Kamloops

Image Credit: PEXELS

KAMLOOPS - With the end of June comes bing cherry season, and Kamloops is seeing a hefty harvest this year.

The sweet cherries are a staple in jams, baking, drinks, and are one of the best varieties to snack on.

Despite a cold winter, this year has produced a decent yield, and people are trying to sell their harvests on various community Facebook groups. 

These bing cherries are being sold through the Westsyde Facebook group. There's many local growers to choose from on various community groups.
These bing cherries are being sold through the Westsyde Facebook group. There's many local growers to choose from on various community groups.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK - Westsyde: It's our Community

The size and quality of cherries seem quite good this year, according to Glen Lucas, General Manager of B.C. Fruit Grower's Association. 

Lucas estimates that the cherries have been growing in the Kamloops area for about 70 years. The cherries grow best in dry climates, which makes Kamloops a perfect spot, but he said even one rainfall can damage the crop.

“If the cherries are ripening on the tree and it rains, bing cherries split,” said Lucas. “A tear in the skin of the cherry, in the shape of a crescent moon, appears around the depression where the stem attaches to the cherry.”

He said that it is due to a difference in the sugar solution inside the cherry and the rainwater on the outside causing osmosis.

“Dry weather at ripening is important for bing cherries,” he said. “New varieties are both split resistant and ripen later in July and even all the way to the end of August.”

Lucas explained that some cherries have been developed in Summerland by the Agriculture Research Station. They’ve been developed to bloom later, in the dryer months of July and August.

Bing cherries grown in the Pacific Northwest have a lower yield per acre this year due to winter weather. Despite that, he said that the expanding amount of acreage of cherry farms has raised the counts.

The cherries face other issues, as well as rain. Lucas says there was the little cherry virus 30 years ago that nearly knocked out the cherry growing industry in the area.

Pests are also a constant hassle for cherry growers. One notable pest is the Spotted Wing Drosophila, an invasive insect that was introduced to the area in 2009. The young larvae burrow into cherries, and even one affected cherry in a load will render all cherries unedible, according to Lucas.

Although the trees can be sprayed to keep these pests at bay, organic cherries will often have larvae in them. They are often too small for the human eye to see, as organic cherries are ripe earlier in the season.

Lucas says the cherries are rich in nutrients and health benefits. Some of the best benefits include potassium, fiber, Vitamin C, melatonin, and much more. Cherries are anti-inflammatory, and high in anti-oxidants.

These months are prime cherry-eating time. Dig out your favourite recipes and take advantage. You can find some cherries on the Westsyde group, Kamloops Buy and Sell, and Kamloops Classifieds.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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