Cherry harvest wrapping up this week

OROVILLE – Cherry harvest should be wrapping up this week, with the overall quality of the crop excellent, according to Greg Moser, who manages the Gold Digger grower cooperative.

“Overall the quality this year is pretty good and consistent,” said Moser, who adds that rains last week did damage in some blocks. “Some areas were hit worse than others and splitting mostly depended on the maturity level of the fruit.”

Jerry Forney, a local grower confirmed that some of his crop sustained a lot of damage, although his harvest was nearing completion when the rains came.

Moser said the harvest for Gold Digger is nearly completed as well, expecting the remaining sweetheart cherries to be finished by Wednesday or Thursday of this week. He said the sweetheart variety was about 25 percent harvested when rain “and fog” last week caused some to split, depending on where the blocks were located.

“The harvest is 10 to 12 days later than normal, we are usually finished packing between July 18 and 22,” Moser said. “This year we are still picking and won’t be finished packing until late next week.”

The size of the fruit has varied, but mostly average with a consistent color, according to Moser who adds the warehouse has been able to find a full crew to work the harvest this year.

“The market has also been pretty good… consistent throughout the season,” he said.