The Rainier cherry harvest reaches its seasonal harvest peak this week, yet few retailers or consumers will ever have an opportunity to see the harvest in person. CMI has released a video highlighting one of its growers, which offers a unique glimpse into the growing and harvesting of Rainier cherries in Washington State.
This new video features CMI grower, Brian Sand, who talks about what it’s like to grow Rainier cherries — including the challenges and rewards of producing the fruit.
Rainier cherries are among the more fragile items in the produce department. Their tender skin and light coloring makes Rainiers incredibly susceptible to orchard and harvest bruising. The cherries must be delicately picked by hand into small buckets. The fruit is then gently transferred into picking lugs that are immediately transported to a refrigerated packing facility.
Steve Lutz, vice president of marketing for CMI, said that few fruits can match the flavor intensity and Brix levels of a ripe Rainier cherry. “It’s not uncommon for our Rainier cherries to have sugar levels above 25 percent, making them among the sweetest fruits in the produce department.
“Our CMI Rainier cherry growers are incredibly passionate about what they do,” Lutz said in a press release. “The goal of this video is to show our customers how dedicated we are to getting them the highest quality Rainier cherries in the industry.”
With CMI being one of the larger Rainier cherry producers in Washington state, Lutz said that now through the end of next week is the absolute peak of the Rainier harvest. He reports that over 85 percent of CMI’s Rainier cherries will be harvested by June 26.
“Right now — today if possible — is the time for retailers to book their orders in for Rainier cherries,” said Lutz. “Otherwise, you just might have to wait until next year.”