Why Cherry Harvest Starts at Sunrise

Why Cherry Harvest Starts at Sunrise TateI often have the privilege of showing visitors around my family’s cherry orchards atop Stemilt Hill. Just like I showed you in this blog post on The Stem, we visit the orchard to see how cherries are harvested (hand-picked!), and the tasks we do after they are harvested to ensure this perishable fruit maintains that fresh-off-the-tree quality we all love. I always enjoy these tours, and any time I get to spend in the orchard, but they do come with a price tag  - a 4:45 AM start time! In this week’s blog post, I thought it would be fun to share with you the importance of harvesting cherries in the early morning hours, and why we’ve been doing just that at Stemilt for over 50 years. In the year 1958, my grandfather, Tom Mathison, received a mere $88 for his 100 ton cherry

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Sweet Cherry & Farro Salad

Sweet Cherry & Farro Salad LorieThere are a lot of things to love about summer, yet fresh fruit… and the sheer variety of such… has got to be at the very top of the list. In the same manner that an artist might be joyous in receiving a whole new range of paints to express his or her creativity, the availability of beautiful, sun-ripened summer fruit can make a cook (and eater!) a bit giddy with delight. Apart from being great cereal toppers, summer fruits are fantastic in soups, salads, sandwiches, and salsas. They can be popped on the barbecue, or slipped into the oven to roast; paired with dessert or partnered with poultry. The options are truly endless. This is particularly so with beautiful Stemilt sweet cherries. While cherries are glorious nibbled fresh, Stemilt’s plump, sweet cherries are incredibly versatile

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7 Secrets of Rainier Cherries

7 Secrets of Rainier Cherries BriannaThey’re golden yellow with a perky pink to red blush and a sinfully sweet flavor. Delicate inside and out and a must to devour by the handful during the few short months they are in season. They are Rainier cherries! And with National Rainier Cherry Day happening on July 11th, we’re celebrating this delicious cherry variety here by unveiling 7 things you might not know about Rainier cherries. 1. Bing + Van = Rainier cherry variety. It still baffles me to think that Bing and Van, two red cherry varieties, were combined to create the golden Rainier cherry that we know and love today. But in 1952, that’s exactly what happened when Harold Fogel and other researchers from the Washington Agriculture Experiment Station in Prosser, WA crossed the two well-known red cherry

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Red, White & Blue Sweet Cherry Bites

Red, White & Blue Sweet Cherry Bites LorieSimple, delicious, patriotic little pops of fresh fruit flavor organically delivered at the end of a graceful stem… sweet perfection! There’s really no need to improve upon a beautiful, ripe Stemilt cherry. Yet… when surrounded by amazing fireworks, festive gatherings, and bountiful picnic offerings it seems only fitting to glaze a few luscious cherries with just a bit of white chocolate and tip them lightly in blue candy crystals to simply raise a hand (and hat) to the occasion. Red, White and Blue Sweet Cherry Bites are simple, elegant little bursts of fresh flavor… tree-ripened fruit dressed for the revelries of the day in all their glory. Red, White & Blue Sweet Cherry Bites The beauty of these fresh little cherry bites is they are simple and easy to prep… whether you

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How Cherries Can Aid in Workout Recovery

How Cherries Can Aid in Workout Recovery BriannaWith summer officially underway, it’s very likely that your calendar of spare time is either full, or filling up quickly. And for good reason! Summer is the season for any and all activities, including those that are outdoors and involve breaking a sweat! Whether you’re swimming laps at the local pool, hiking, biking, or training to participate in an endurance race, this post is going to let you in on a little secret…how one of the best fruits of the summer season – cherries – can help alleviate muscle pain and aid in your workout recovery. In 2011, researchers at the Sports and Exercise Science Research Center at London South Bank University studied the effects tart cherry juice had on the recovery of 10 trained athletes after an intense strength training

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It’s a #CherrySweet Summer

It’s a #CherrySweet Summer BriannaThere’s no doubt that cherries are the sweetest part of every summer at Stemilt. The hustle and bustle that comes with harvesting and packing cherries day in and day out is not only exciting, but also contagious! As we look towards cherry season in the fun world of marketing, we wanted to create something exciting - and special –  for all of the cherry fanatics out there that would also celebrate nutritious and delicious Stemilt cherries. Without further ado, I’m excited to reveal our first-ever sweepstakes for Stemilt cherries to you, and share with you the many cherry goodies that could come your way this summer! Our #CherrySweet Summer Sweepstakes packages new and healthy cherry recipes,  and sweet prizes together. By signing up for the sweeps, you’ll

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Cherry Harvest: Then & Now

Cherry Harvest: Then & Now TateThis year’s cherry harvest is a special one for my family, and the entire Stemilt Growers team. Not only is our company celebrating its 50th year anniversary, but the Mathison family is also marking an important milestone – our 100th year of farming cherries. As you can imagine, things were done much differently a century ago, including the ways in which we harvested cherries. In this post, we’ll look back at the last 100 years of cherry harvest in order to show you how Stemilt came to be, and how the harvesting practices for cherries have evolved through the years. In this first photo, you’re looking at our family’s very first orchard (left) on Stemilt Hill circa 1919. My family homesteaded 160 acres in this high-elevation region of Washington State in the

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No Bake Cherry Icebox Cake

No Bake Cherry Icebox Cake LorieThe greatest thing about fresh, sun-ripened fruit is you really don’t need to do one thing to improve its flavor. Great fruit is basically a tasty treat straight off the tree or vine. Peel, pit, chop, drop, or simply nibble freshly picked fruit and dessert is had… plain, simple and delectable.  And yet… there IS something to be said for partaking in that one…or two… little decadent indulgences each year that add a pinch of pizzazz to a gathering, a holiday, or a special event. And if you’re going big, what’s better than a delicious show-stopping dessert that is cool, refreshing… and doesn’t require any baking? With Father’s Day and the Fourth of July just around the bend, I’m thinking this luscious white chocolate-cream cheese icebox cake, topped with a ruby red

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Cherry Packing Goes Digital

Cherry Packing Goes Digital TateTo me, there’s nothing more exciting than entering a cherry packing room during the peak of cherry harvest. Fresh off the tree, clusters of Stemilt cherries make their way from a harvest bin to a finished box all day and night long, and in no time at all! Hard-working employees are busy scrutinizing the quality of the fruit coming down the line, filling bags and boxes, and doing all that they can in order to help deliver World Famous cherries to your stores. It’s incredible to see, and thanks to new digital technology, it’s a process that is being revolutionized at Stemilt as I type! Last year, we unveiled a high-tech cherry packing line at our Euclid Street facility in Wenatchee, WA that electronically sizes and sorts cherries. The first-of-its-kind in Washington

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5 Ways to Make Memorial Day Memorable

5 Ways to Make Memorial Day Memorable BriannaSummer is almost here and we couldn’t be more excited for the great season ahead. It will soon be time for us to wrap up cherry harvest in California, and ramp up for cherry harvest in Washington State. Even though our busy season is already upon us, many mark Memorial Day as the start of summer. Whether you are using the upcoming long weekend to catch-up on house chores, host a BBQ, or take a mini vacation, I’ve come up with a list of 5 things to do to help you make this Memorial Day the most memorable yet. 1. Get Out the Grill: We’ve been blessed in eastern Washington this spring with lots of great weather for grilling! At my house, it has quickly become the go-to method of cooking dinner, and this weekend will be no exception. Whether you are having a quiet family

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