Here in Leelanau County the sweet cherry harvest is winding down.
Here is our nephew Freddy Lawrence hauling one of the last loads of sweets.
Teddy's brother, John Schlueter is now finishing up with the sweets and has now started with the "Tart" harvest.
In the nation, Leelanau County leads with the largest Cherry Acreage, with 12,250 acres in cherry production and 1,303,465 trees!
Michigan dominates the red tart cherry marketplace, producing about 75% of the U.S. crop. There are more than 30,000 acres of red tart cherries in the state with a total of about 37,000 acres nationwide. In addition, sweet cherry acreage accounts for 15,700 acres in Michigan; there are about 47,000 acres nationwide.
These facts reflect Michigan's favorable soil and climatic conditions for growing cherries. The climate is unique because of its location on the east side of Lake Michigan. The lake has a moderating effect, which results in long, frost-free autumns and a delayed spring bloom period.
While the sweets are hauled dry, the sours (tarts) are hauled in large one ton tanks of cold water. The shakers remove the cherries from the trees and move them into the tanks of chilled water. As each tank is filled it is then forklifted to trucks for transport to the cooling pad where constantly moving chilled water is circulated through the cherries.
The cooling pad can also hold cherries overnight if necessary.
At the end of the day a large tractor-trailer semi is then loaded with the tanks for transport to the proscessor.
- Larry & Teddy
- Cedar, Leelanau County, Michigan (near Traverse City), United States
- I am a 76 year old (born 7/4/1937) retired Public Radio Engineer from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. Happily married to the love of my life, Teddy (nee Teddy Schlueter). Teddy is a retired Medical Records Clerk from Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah, Wisconsin. Two children, Michael and Lon. Lon passed away in 1994. Michael is married to his wonderful wife, Toni and lives in Appleton, Wisconsin. For photos click on link below or visit our photo site http://www.flickr.com/photos/igboo NOTE: Click on photos for full-size images.