Originally published in August 2016; updated July 2022.
At 2,600 ft above sea level in the special cherry growing locale of Wenatchee, WA, lies one cherry grower’s dreamland. Kyle Mathison is a 4th generation World Famous Cherry grower who has been painting his canvas of fruit trees on the grounds of Amigos Orchards in high elevations of Stemilt Hill since 1969.
Growing High-elevation Cherries
Situated on the gentle slopes of Amigos Orchards, lives the high-altitude growing cherries we call A Half Mile Closer to the Moon® Cherries. Mystical and delicious, our Moon cherries are the grand finale to Stemilt’s cherry season. Grown above 2,600 ft elevations above sea level, Moon cherries are quite literally grown a half mile closer to the moon!
Dark sweet cherry varieties like Skeena, Staccato®, and Sentenntial™ thrive in high-altitude orchards where they can soak up the warm summer sun to collect sugars and restore their flavors during the cool nights.
Full Moon Harvest
When the stars perfectly align, Moon cherries are harvested in the days leading up to the full moon. This is when Kyle believes all the best cherry flavors are pulled into each piece of fruit. Having grown cherries for the past 4 decades, this cherry grower knows it’s all about the little details when it comes to growing World Famous cherries.
Kyle’s theory of harvesting cherries around a full moon is that the moon creates an extra gravitational pull to deliver nutrients to the fruit hanging from its branches. This could mean cherries are being harvested with high sugars, acids, aromatics, and will deliver an eating experience unlike any other.
In pair with a full moon harvest, Kyle’s prescription compost is just what these cherries need to explode with flavor and juiciness. As Kyle’s grandfather used to say, “the deeper the snow, the better the cherries.” What? Snow is good for cherries? Yes! Beneath the frigid winter snowfall, Kyle’s compost covers the soil creating a slow crock pot effect where the roots digest the compost over the winter turning it into a rich amino acid soup.
The Perfect Ending to Every Cherry Season
A Half Mile Closer to the Moon® cherries are typically harvested during the month of August, making them the latest fresh cherries to be harvested in Washington State.
We hate to see the cherry season come to end, but it gets us excited for the late-season delicious Moon cherries! Speaking of excitement, during the cherry season of 2022, A Half Mile Closer to the Moon® cherries will celebrate their 10-year anniversary of a decade of deliciousness!
The 10th Year Anniversary of A Half Mile Closer to the Moon® Cherries!
Over the next 10 years, we will continue to push the limits of cherry growing and the next challenge will be to grow cherries at even high elevations than Moon cherries. We will never arrive to our journey to World Famous, but we’re only as good as our last box of fruit. We’re only as good as the last memory we created in our consumers.
We’re always on this journey and in the next decade, we are hopeful for another 10 more years of delicious Moon cherries and 10 more years of memories.
Watch the video below to experience the beauty of Amigos Orchards and A Half Mile Closer to the Moon® cherries with Kyle and West Mathison!