Local cherries look pretty good overall and first ones should be available as soon as June 15 to 20, says Pinder Dhaliwal, president of the BC Fruit Growers’ Association.
According to Dhaliwal, 2019 has brought the right temperatures so far for cherry growing, although the Lapins variety has be a little on the lighter side. “Nice heat, not overly hot,” Dhaliwal said. “The temperature we have now is pretty good.” He says no matter where cherries are grown in the world, “there’s always some sort of weather challenges.”
The first cherries of the year are sold for local consumption, and beyond that, they’re exported to markets in the US, Europe and Asia. “Hong Kong, China – they go everywhere,” said Dhaliwal. “Japan opened up this year.”
To make those big trips, he said one common variety, bred in Summerland, was developed to have a long shelf life. Furthermore, cherries are not better protected against moisture because of newer machinery that employs hydro-cooling technology. After cherries, local farmers will be taking care of apricots and then peaches.