Cherry Harvest

By , September 3, 2018

This has been another bad year for our cherry tree, and it shows.

Several moose browsed it over the winter, and even as recently as July. A bear got into it recently (see Wild Life). As ever, it didn’t get enough sun—it’s in our front yard, shaded from the morning sun by a wind break that protects the cabin from sea spray. All of these conditions conspired yet again to bring us a less than banner cherry harvest.

In fact, the entire year’s yield fits into an old marmalade jar. We pitted them, covered them in brandy with a spoonful of powdered sugar stirred in, and have set them aside to souse for a week or so before becoming dessert some evening.


Our entire 2018 cherry harvest (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

The harvest was so pitiful, in fact, that Michelle’s beginning to question whether or not we should keep the tree. Its fruit ripens months after other, larger, healthier trees around town, it seems.

I’m in favor of hanging on to it, if only for its history. The cherry trees that grow locally, (St. Ann’s, I believe) may have come to the region with the Russians when they colonized Alaska. The original owners of the homestead planted this tree. Sure, we don’t get more than a pie or batch of wine in good years, but I’m not quite ready to let it go.

Besides, it’s autumn now. By Halloween, this tree’s foliage will have turned from lush green to yellow. Even with the blossoms in spring, its autumn colors may be even more beautiful. It’s become a seasonal marker we look forward to, even if we can’t eat cherry tarts or the like to celebrate it when it happens.

cherry leaves turning in autumn

The leaves are just beginning to turn yellow. The whole tree will be yellow by Halloween (Photo: Mark A. Zeiger).

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