Grown at Beebe Farms in Central Point (the Rogue Valley) on just a couple of old trees that Ken Beebe planted decades ago; and also at Meyer Orchards in Talent (also the Rogue Valley) on Ron’s few “personal” trees!
OtterBee’s takes as many cherries as these two farms will share with us, which in a good year ends up totaling about 200 pounds total over the course of a couple of weeks, max. We sell them by the pint; a pint is approximately 1/2 pound.
Beebe grows the standard “Bing” cherry, the one which people are most familiar with. Bings are large, dark and firm cherries that ship well (which is why they’re the most common cherry in the grocery stores); they’re nice and sweet and great for eating out of hand. However, they are susceptible to cracking if they get rained on near harvest, which is why cherry crops can be near non-existent in the wetter years.
Meyer grows two varieties: the early Bing-type, known as “Utah Giant” which, according to the description I found, is the industry favorite sweet cherry in Utah – it is said to be larger, firmer, and more flavorful than Bing, and is a good canner; and a slightly later variety known as “Lambert”, described as “a large, dark reddish purple fruit, firm and sweet, similar to Bing”.
Note: Both Beebe’s and Meyer grow all their fruit using an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program. Their main pest control practices include an annual dormant season spray (a horticultural oil, normally, which penetrates and smothers pests such as the overwintering pear psylla and fruit fly larvae). Oftentimes, this is all the pest control they do; however, in the case of cherries, both farms also spray “Delegate”, a product that effectively controls the “Spotted Wing Drosophila” fruit fly (Delegate was awarded the 2008 Presidential Green Chemistry Award.).
- for a complete definition of “Integrated Pest Management (IPM), see this Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_pest_management
- for more complete information about “Delegate”, see also: http://www.dowagro.com/en-us/usag/product-solution-finder/insecticides/delegatewg
- finally, for information about “Spotted Wing Drosophila” fruit flies, see http://www.ipm.msu.edu/invasive_species/spotted_wing_drosophila