CHERRY (Prunus avium) originates in the area around the Caspian sea in a part of the world called the Caucasus (Eastern Europe). This is a beautiful and mystical tree. In Japan they follow the emergence of the cherry blossoms across the country.
Fresh cherries are much in demand but commercial production relies on pesticides to control the Cherry Fruit Fly. Organic producers use materials approved for production but there is another option homeowners can try as well.
A company called Kootenay Covers designed these large plastic mesh bags that completely covers the fruit tree. These are a challenge to use but are vey effective and give you bug free cherries without the need for spraying. A bonus is the mesh protects the fruit from rain damage. I used this on a cherry tree we had on a house we bought north of Kelowna, BC Canada.
Dried cherries became my go to fruit during half the year to get local organic for my daily servings. The dried fruit was available during the winter months and provided a great source of fibre and other nutrients. You might think this food would be high in sugar but it actually has a low glycemic index. That means the fruit sugar enters your blood stream slowly. My friend provided me with this wonderful dried cherries for years until he retired.
Here is what Chris Dixon’s Healthy Edibles says about cherries (For Educational Purposes Only): a mild laxative and anti-bacterial, aids managing high blood pressure & fluid retention in the body, gout, diabetes & reduces the risk of tooth decay; is a remedy for enlarged veins. Tart cherries: a natural source of the hormone melatonin, which helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle. Cherry juice: reduce attacks of gout. Black cherry juices helps prevent heart disease and protects artery walls from plaque.
Fruit trees require a lot of attention but one tree can produce hundreds of pounds of fruit. Drying the fruit is a fantastic way to preserve the nutrient density of this food without the need for cold storage. My friend knew people who could dry the cherries so that they kept well but were easy to eat and tasted great for up to a few years. I will miss not having them.