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Cherries have been grown in the Flathead region for more than 80 years. Our cool summer nights, long summer days, pristine air, and glacial soils, combined with the magical "lake effect" make for perfect growing conditions that produce a cherry with natural sweetness and tang without comparison.
We currently grow six cherry varieties for sale which are described below. Our cherries are available as fresh fruit in late July and early August. We offer them picked and packed directly from the orchard as well as through U-Pick, local natural foods markets, CSAs, and by mail order. Click here for pricing.
In the fall, we are pleased to offer Macinstoh apples to our u-pick customers. Our limited number of heirloom Wealthy apples go into our line of apple-based jams and jellies.
Lambert cherries are mahogany red, heart-shaped, rich, and sweet. Dried they are sweet and tangy, with an almost subtle smoky flavor. An older variety, they are getting harder to find. We consider them the quintessential "Flathead Cherry."
The "newer" Lapin cherries are a deep ruby red when ripe, with a bright cherry flavor. Dried they are tangy-sweet and pair well with citrus in cooking and baking.
When fresh and ripe, Van cherries are
nearly black and incredibly sweet. Dried they are pure concentrated chewy cherry goodness. Vans are seldom sold as fresh fruit, planted primarily as pollinators in most orchards.
Rainiers, the queen of the orchard, are delicate, fat, yellow cherries with a lovely rosy blush. Considered a premium cherry, they generally command a higher price due to the extra work required to keep them unblemished.
Whenever you dig into cherry pie, you are eating Montmorency cherries. Their beautiful bright "cherry red" belies their intensely tart flavor. Not for the faint of heart for fresh fruit, they are normally processed into pies and jams to enjoy their distinctive flavor year-round.
If you combined the color and flavor profile of a sweet cherry with the tartness of the traditional pie cherry, the Montmorency, you might get something close to a Balaton. Developed in Hungary, and a newcomer to the States, they are dark purple, smaller and round and pack a tart-sweet punch.
McIntosh, the Canadian National apple, have been cultivated for 200 years and were discovered there. They are a vivid red highlighted with bright green and white speckles. Their bright white flesh has a sweet-tart flavor that mellows with age. Locals love them for fresh fruit, but especially for applesauce which takes on a lovely rosy hue. Their high apple fragrance is heady near harvest time.
The Wealthy is an old American apple well suited to cold climates. Its medium-sized, green fruit has a scarlet blush and crisp white flesh with occasional pink flecks. It is multipurpose, but shines in the kitchen in pies, crisps, and sauces. Lively vinous flavor with light, fruity tones makes for excellent cider. Antique variety, originates from Minnesota, circa 1860. (Info from Stark Bros.)