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Exporting Okanagan cherries worldwide can be quite complex

These days, Okanagan cherries are being harvested up until late August or even early September and shipped by sea to coincide with the Autumn Moon Festival in China. Beth Cavers, general manager of the B.C. Cherry Association: “The cherry fruit flies are peaking in the first two weeks of July and they just tail right off after that. You have growers who are picking beautiful ripe fruit in the first couple of weeks in August and there’s not a cherry fruit fly in sight.”

The Lapin cherry was developed at the Summerland research station about 30 years ago and was considered marvellous because it ripened later in the season. But now, it’s considered a mid-season variety. That’s due, in part, to new varieties being developed in Summerland to ripen later but also because growers are planting further north and higher up the hills. These methods slow the ripening, but also carry the risk of an early frost in September.

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