Idaho Cherry Season Kick-Off
Warmer weather and the second full week of June can only mean one thing for western Idaho, the Emmett Cherry Festival! What started as a barn dance in 1928, to celebrate the abundant cherry harvest, has turned into the longest running festival within the region. This week long celebration highlights the bright red, juicy fruit with cherry pie baking and eating contests. This celebration seems only fitting as Idaho is ranked number 5 in the nation for sweet cherries including the Bing and Lapin varieties. We also produce tart pie cherries as well! Just like the festival itself the cherry season is short but sweet; lasting from June to July. Did you know that in this short time a mature cherry tree will produce 7,000 cherries?! These small but delicious fruits are also extremely versatile. Use them in everything from Bing Cherry Ice Cream on a hot Idaho day to Cherry Barley Salad.
Even though you can purchase buckets of local cherries at the festival you can skip the crowds and visit one of the U-Pick orchards in the Emmett valley including Tyler’s Rocky Point Orchard and Williams Fruit Ranch. If you don’t want to make the drive into the valley to enjoy the sweet delicacies look for Idaho cherries in local retailers such and Albertson’s, Walmart, and Whole Foods or at your local farmers market! Symms Fruit Ranch in Caldwell also has onsite cherries for sale at their orchard! They also will be selling produce in local retailers after June 20th. Always look for shiny, plump fruit with fresh green stems and dark coloring. The Emmett festivities start Wednesday June 12th end on Saturday June 15th so load up picnic basket with local food and make the drive to celebrate Idaho agriculture!