A few years back, I wrote a blog post about the special locale where my father, Kyle Mathison, farms his A Half Mile Closer to the Moon cherries, which around here are known simply by the nickname “Moon cherries.” The special place, Amigos Orchard, is dreamland for a cherry grower. Situated on gentle slopes located 2,500 feet above sea level and higher (literally a half mile closer to the moon), the high-altitudes of Amigos create the perfect climate for growing cherries in late summer. Temperatures stay cooler here both day and night which allows Kyle to grow big, firm, and super-sweet cherries.

Beyond the locale, the mystique behind Moon cherries lies within Kyle’s practice of working to align his cherry harvest in the days leading up to a full moon. It’s sounds a little out there, but having grown cherries for more than four decades now, Kyle knows that it’s doing all of these little things that adds up to growing fruit with world famous flavors that make them all you need for dessert.
Kyle’s theory behind harvesting around the full moon (which is tomorrow in case you were wondering!) is that the moon creates extra gravitational pull to deliver nutrients from the roots of the tree to the fruit hanging from its branches. This results in harvesting fruit with higher sugars and acids, more aromatics, and a phenomenal eating experience.

The high altitudes combine with late-ripening varieties like Skeena, Sweetheart, and Staccato® to push cherry harvest at Amigos into the late summer. In fact, for every 100 feet you go up in vertical elevation, cherry harvest gets pushed back one day. This year’s harvest is a bit of an anomaly because a record early start means an early finish to the season around mid-August, but Moon cherries are typically harvested the entire month of August, making them the latest fresh cherries to be harvested in Washington State.

Beyond the locale and Kyle’s unmatched passion for growing flavorful cherries, Moon cherries get an added boost from Kyle’s prescription compost, which you can read more about in this post.

I love sharing Amigos orchards and the story behind our special Moon cherries with people. The video below has Kyle and my brother (Stemilt president) West Mathison telling you about Moon cherries, and allows you to experience the beauty of Amigos and the passion that goes into growing and harvesting each cherry that gets packed in our special high-altitude A Half Mile Closer to the moon packages. It’s worth a watch.

Moon cherries are our grand finale to cherry season. They are worth the wait and have the flavors that will leave you craving more.