All Done! July 19, 2016

Thank you, thank you, thank you to all our wonderful customers for making what might have been a disaster into something special. We appreciate those of you who have such faith in us and who show up every year regardless of what comes our way. I want to give particular recognition to folks who came from Helena, Butte, Missoula, Kalispell, Billings, and points even farther afield to pick their own cherries when our packed fruit option fell through. What troopers you are!

While the orchard will enjoy the lazy days of mid-summer, Lise will be working hard on producing LOTS of our wonderful dried cherries and other products. And she, Albert and the sheep will continue to watch over the apples in preparation for our fall harvest.

I know I say it ever year, but the wonderful people who visit us and support us from year to year is what makes this whole crazy venture worthwhile.

See you in October.

If you would like to receive email updates from the orchard, simply click here. Or check out our Facebook page at Fat Robin Orchard & Farm.
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July 16, 2016

Hey Cherry Fans -

We are so close to being done, but we think we have one more day in us.

Tomorrow, Sunday, is probably your last opportunity to u-pick cherries at Fat Robin. We will be open from 9 until the cherries are gone, or 4 p.m., whichever comes first. This picking is for serious cherry fans. We will have you pick on our Lambert trees, which are larger, and are also the trees that sustained more of the rain damage, so you may need to take a bit more time picking for near-perfect fruit. Be sure to bring your sturdiest step stool or ladder, and containers to take your cherries home. If you plan to come later in the day, give us a call to make sure we still have fruit.

In case you missed previous posts, here are the details about how things are going so far. Directions and picking info are near the bottom.

Hope we see you on Sunday, July 17.
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July 13, 2016
So, here's the latest on the orchard. Over the last seven days, we have experienced two major rain events that combined dumped at least two inches of rain on us. Cherries in the late stages of development are very susceptible to cracking and splitting as they absorb the moisture through their skin. And that's what happened. Consequently, we find ourselves with between 40% to 60% damaged fruit in the Lamberts (the big trees).

Therefore, we will not be packing any fresh fruit this year. It is too labor-intensive to sort out the split cherries. The Lapins (the dwarf trees) fared much better.

We have decided to open the orchard to u-pick starting on Thursday, July 14. The u-pick price is $1.25 per pound for either variety. There is still plenty of nice fat fruit out there, it is just a little more of a challenge sorting through it. You can be as selective as you'd like picking fruit.

Our hours will be between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. through the weekend. We'll reevaluate things on Sunday for any future picking. Email us with questions. And we hope to see you soon.

Here are the particulars:

  • The available cherries are Lamberts on our venerable old full-sized trees, and Lapins on our younger dwarfing trees. If you choose to pick Lamberts or Lapins, you will need a short ladder or step-stool to get to that nice fruit above your head.
  • U-pick cherries sell for $1.25/#.
  • We request that you bring adequate containers to take your fruit home.
  • Our orchards are host to lots of beneficial insects and the occasional wasp or bee. Please dress accordingly, wear a hat, use sunscreen, drink water, and we recommend closed-toe shoes.
  • Your children are welcome and are a main reason we open for u-pick, but they are not allowed to climb the trees and we ask that you keep them with you, within a tree or two, at all times. And please, no children on ladders. At this point, there are NO cherries accessible to children. (We know you would never let your kids climb our trees or ladders or wonder off. But other people do and we need to remind them.)
  • We prefer if you leave your dog(s) at home, but if you must bring them with you, we require that you have them on a leash at all times and are prepared to clean up after them should the need arise. (Those other people, again.)
  • Please verify that we are open before coming out to the orchard. Things can change suddenly on a farm, and we want you to have a positive and memorable experience with us filled with LOTS of cherries. So make sure we are open with fruit available. Call 406.887.2869 or email or check back here.

If you've never been to the orchard, here are directions:

From Polson take Hwy 35 north six miles to Finley Point Rd. Turn left. Just after you see the sign for Finley Point State Park, make a left onto South Finley Point Rd. Go 1/4 mile and pass the cherry packing plant. We are the first dirt road past the packing plant on your right. Go to the top of the hill and come in our gate on your left. During u-pick season, we will have our "Fat Robin Organic Orchard & Farm" sign out at South Finley Point Rd to guide you. There may be hand-painted u-pick signs on the highway and right after you turn onto Finley Point Rd. That is NOT us. If you are coming to Fat Robin, pass those signs and follow the directions above.

From Big Fork take Hwy 35 South approximately 25 miles to Finley Point Rd. Turn right and follow the directions above.

Do not trust Google Maps or GPS systems, both may take you someplace else, which may be a nice diversion, but won't get you any of our yummy cherries.

Any questions? Need to make an appointment? Or order cherries? Call 406.887.2869 (no earlier than 7 a.m. or later than 9 p.m., please) or email us at info@fatrobinorchard.com.


Be a friend! Bring a friend! Tell a friend!

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Thanks again everyone! See you soon.