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I would not of thought....

Posted by rosecavalier 3 AB (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 9, 12 at 6:53

It often intrigues me how time changes what one takes for granted.

Sourcing what I refer to as "high quality foods" is an enjoyable preoccupation for me and what the "land" has to offer can be amazing.
Each fall I travel to the "cut block" areas (where forestry companies have harvested previously)to pick blueberries...and in the past, under the right conditions, these cut blocks would be blue with an unending sea of food for humans and fauna alike. There was no way that two or four legged consumers of these delectable morsels would bicker...everyone would share the wealth. Everyone ended up with an extra inch of fat around their midsection!

Blueberry pie

What I thought as an inexhaustible supply in recent years has become somewhat exhausted. Two of my favorite patches southeast and southwest of Grande Prairie have been sprayed with broadleaf herbicide by the local forestry companies to eliminate willow and poplar competition in coniferous stands...too bad for me and my furry friends...I would not of thought...

I'm always interested when someone mentions fruit/berry picking and I heard that there was a cherry orchard on the north side of the Peace River near Berwyn, Alberta. So I decided to pay a visit.

North Peace cherry orchard

Was I impressed...I had been conditioned, as a northerner, that you drive south for cherries...a long ways the Okanagan valley of British Columbia. This far north, well maintained orchard had five or six cultivars of hardy cherries and they were loaded...I would not of thought...

Cupid cherry

This photo is from a Cupid cherry we picked 33lbs, travelled home, and over the next two days pitted and stored them in the freezer...a wonderful experience in high quality food procurement.

This time of year we reap the rewards of our labor:

Cupid Cherry Pie

And I must say that the cherries are excellent in every good as the wild blueberries...I would not of thought...

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: I would not of thought....

That is sad about the blueberries being destroyed.
And interesting that there is a cherry orchard so far north.
My Carmine Jewel is still small.
My neighbour has two cherry trees which were just loaded this year.

RE: I would not of thought....


I'm really looking forward to my collection of ten cherry bushes coming into production! I just wish there was a good blueberry patch nearby and that the commercially available mid and highbush varieties were fully hardy, to which I've given up on them.

RE: I would not of thought....

Looking good!
How do you get the pits out? I found out it can be a problem with small sherries.

Fruit production was good this year in most places, we have lots of honeyberries, black currant and plums in freezer. Still makeing some wine with around 100lb of Evans.

This from Oct.14
Cherry plums on the left, sprouts sunshine and Auenbacher prune plums.
Oct. 14, 2012

Oct. 14, 2012

RE: I would not of thought....

Dang! I just broke my fork trying to get at those pies.

RE: I would not of thought....

Is that a custard topping on the pies in the last picture?
Looks yummy!

RE: I would not of thought....

  • Posted by pudge 2/3 Sask (My Page) on
    Sat, Nov 10, 12 at 15:34

Oh my gosh, yum, yum, and yum.

now I want pie

RE: I would not of thought....

Caroline: Yes, that is a long ways north to have a large cherry orchard, and a real testament to the Stuart family's persistence to get it established...a Herculean task...I'm sure it took a decade of TLC. And, of course, I'm grateful to the fertile mind(s) that developed the hardy cherry cultivars in the first place..that likely took two decades of TLC or more...would you or some of our readers know what individuals were involved in this breeding program?

Terrance: Ten cherry trees...that will yield a lot of fruit...have you tried to get them established before? My son-in-law has had 2 Evans trees die back to the ground and has given me, it looked like they were not hardening off before winter...perhaps because of excess nitrogen...they were planted on an old barnyard site.

Konrad: In the photo below you will see the brand of pitter I use...recommended and sold by the Stuarts (orchardist)...and you are absolutely correct on the pitter not working so well on the smaller cherries.

cherry pitter

Because of the heavy crop, I had the wasteful luxury of picking the large cherries. In the photo you can see the transparent pit catch compartment at the bottom...instead of disposing of the pits, I stewed them for 15 minutes and made pancake syrup...I mix that with wild chokecherry syrup...mmm..mmm.

The photos of your fruit and subsequent pie are exquisite...maybe we should have a pie cook-off! Are the yellow plums the same as Mirabellan plums? How do you get your grapes to ripen?

RE: I would not of thought....

Thank you Rose, ...I had the same or similar pitter some years ago from Bosch Kitchen Center but returned it because of the odd misses. Now we use single pitter, there you can physically feel the pit in your hand,..just because it's safer on your teeth.

The yellow sprouts sunshine is larger, needs pollination, super hardy, probably you can grow them too. The Mirabelle is a European and self fruitful, [needs shelter, not that hardy] super sweet, needs a longer season, did well this year and last, picked around mid Oct, same with grape.

North,..custard topping is made from 4 eggs, mixed with some milk, wife adopt it from my Mom's recipe.

I put a little Cupid in this year...will see how they compare to Evans.

Here a Evans and Sprout's Sunshine Plum

RE: I would not of thought....

I think this thread should come with the warning that it is NOT to be viewed while on an empty stomach!

rosecavalier, I no longer grow 'Evans', my trees had previously grown wonderfully to about 10 ft, then were killed nearly outright by a very hard spring frost while breaking dormancy. My aunt's large thriving trees have gone into steep decline and will soon perish.

My U of S collection appears to be about a year behind the bushes shown above. There was a few cherries this year that I have to say were rather very good.

RE: I would not of thought....

LOL CLBlakey & Terry

I have lots of Evans...perhaps we can trade, can you spare some waterlilies?..I only have one left, [white] in the pond which survived the last winter, I know,..suppose to take them out in the fall, hopefully when the root cellar is complete next year I'll be more attentive.

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