Whether you’re an employee or a local resident, you may be curious about our process for growing our cherries and maintaining our orchards. Cherries are a delicate and demanding crop to grow and are very labour intensive.
Once tree ripened, each particular variety must be harvested in a short time window of a few days to a week — and this harvest is all by hand. We also require staff to sort and pack the cherries from our facility. We have many varieties planted at varied locations, helping spread the maturity out to provide a longer work season for our staff and to provide our customers with a steady supply.
To complete our harvest when the cherries are at their best, we need large crews of people, many of whom reside in dorms and campsites we provide. For our peak season in July and August, we recruit over 1,000 staff locally, from across Canada, and around the world.
Cherries are thin skinned and fragile. After a rainfall, unless the collected water is promptly removed, the flesh of the cherry will expand, causing the skin of the cherry to split. These split cherries are unsaleable and wasted. Using a combination of helicopters, tractor mounted blowers, and stationary wind machines, we strive to promptly shake the water off the cherries following every rainstorm. We are in a race against time to dry the cherries before they split, especially if it has rained overnight. We want to dry the fruit before the heat of the morning sun can magnify the damage.
Unfortunately this can mean weather-related early morning disturbances for our neighbours, and we ask for your understanding of this inconvenience.