Michigan will lead the pack again this year as the top-producing state in red tart cherry production. Nationwide, the United States Department of Agriculture is predicting tart cherry production to be up 39 percent. Michigan’s slice of that (cherry) pie will be an estimated 203.0 million pounds of the healthy fruit, once again leading New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.
The solid numbers are a result of favorable growing conditions, says CherryFlex owner, Bob Underwood. “It takes moderate temperatures, without the deep freezes and late frosts and without damaging winds, rain and hail,” says Underwood. “If Mother Nature is on the side of the growers, you can expect a generous, quality harvest, and that’s just what 2016 promises to be.”
The harvest itself, primarily centered in northwest lower Michigan, lasts only two to three weeks, beginning the third week of July. A highly perishable fruit, tart cherries are not usually sold fresh, but can be dried, frozen or juiced.
CherryFlex products, sold at UnderwoodOrchards.com and other retail locations, capitalize on preserving the many health benefits of red tart cherries. Using their exclusive, unduplicated process, CherryFlex speeds relief of sore muscles, helps maintain healthy joint function and a better sleep cycle.
A bountiful tart cherry harvest is good news all around – for growers, manufacturers and the smart consumer who enjoys this delicious, healthful fruit.