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Exploring Michigan Cherry Farms: New Cherry Recipes for Sweet and Sour Cherries

By Carolyn Malcoun, "Cherry Picking," May/June 2012

Cherry Pie and more delicious sweet and savory recipes for cherries.


READER'S COMMENT:
"While this is a very nice article, you have misinformed your readers about sweet cherry season in Washington State. Cherry season in Washington & Oregon usually does not start till early June & runs through most of August. The...

Leelanau County covers a narrow finger of land that juts into Lake Michigan near Traverse City, about a 4 1/2 -hour drive northwest of Detroit. This region of Michigan is famous for cherries, especially sour ones (also called tart cherries). More than 12,000 acres of Leelanau are blanketed with cherry orchards, and this county alone is responsible for about one-fifth of the nation’s sour-cherry crop. The area has a perfect storm of factors—hilly terrain, proximity to a massive body of water and sandy soil—that makes it ideal. On chilly nights, the heavier cold air sinks down into the valley, keeping the temperatures on the hilltop orchards moderate. Lake Michigan keeps temperatures cool in the spring to prevent the trees from blossoming before the threat of frost disappears. And the sandy soils drain well, which is ideal for growing healthy cherry trees.

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