The sweet cherries are incredible this year! This morning while we were sorting and packing for market the crew had a great conversation about some of the differences between local and organic. So, it feels like a good time to share how we grow our organic fruit. Our fruit is not “unsprayed;” if you’ve got a backyard tree you know that all the bugs and larva and fungi and bacteria want to eat your fruit too, and it takes a lot of care to get fruit that looks and tastes good. We try to practice preventative general management in our orchard, and we keep insects at bay whenever possible with interventions like pheromone disruptors. We also spray with non-synthetic substances like clay, sulfur, and botanicals to control pests and rot. Rot is the biggest issue for us—as fruit ripens, decomposers get very interested! We don’t know how conventional local growers handle this, but given the battle with rot we could see how it would make sense to reach for fungicides, a lot.
Organic management takes a lot of time. We spend a lot of time sorting, and we compost or feed to chickens a lot of fruit with rotten spots. Our cherries cost $1 more per pint. There are so many trade-offs we all make every day, and let’s face it—things are complicated. We won’t be offended if it makes sense for you to buy non-organic fruit! But we wanted to make sure that you are educated consumers regarding the trade-offs involved. Xxoo! J&J