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Gone Cherry Pickin’

by Meghann on July 13, 2012

Welcome to Cherry Land!

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Or – as they refer to it around hereRainier Fruit Company , one of Whole Foods amazing cherry distributors.

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Sit back, and relax, because boy do I have a doozy of a blog post for you about the incredible journey (from tree to packaging) of the cherry.

My day started early with a beautiful run near our bed & breakfast.

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I covered just over 3 miles and saw some beautiful vineyard, hops fields, and horses along the way. Did you know Washington state is the #1 hops producer in the country? I know I didn’t. Learned that little gem yesterday when we drove into town and saw tall looking vineyards – turns out they were hops fields.

After my short run, I had a quick shower before walking downstairs to breakfast.

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One of my favorite things about staying at a bed & breakfast is the delicious breakfast usually served in the morning. We were all greeted with fresh juice, yogurt, and homemade granola.

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I was really excited about the homemade granola, but really it was the yogurt that blew me away. It was thick, creamy, and heavenly.

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For our main course, we were served an italian frittata with fresh tomato sauce, havarti cheese, and parmesan. On the side came fresh fruit, a bran muffin, and roasted potatoes. Everything was absolutely delicious.

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After breakfast, we hopped in the SUV and road tripped it to Rainier Fruit Company across town.

Rainier is one of the largest fruit distributors in the Washington area. They handle a wide variety of fruit; including apples, grapes, pears, blueberries, and cherries(!).

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They have growers spread out across Yakima Valley, which can make it tough to travel and check in on all the fields.

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You know…. Unless you have a helicopter to get around in.

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Which they totally do. I mean who doesn’t now a days?!

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I mean, if you’re gonna travel across the backbone of Washington, you might as well travel in style. ;)

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First of all, this was my first helicopter ride ever (SO COOL!!!)

Second of all, they let me sit in front! Talk about a rush!

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I always thought helicopters were supposed to be shaky and scary, but this ride wasn’t at all. The take-off was so smooth and effortless that I didn’t even realize we were doing it. It was like all of a sudden I looked out the window and thought, “oh, that’s cool, we’re totally flying now.” No big deal.

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The views of the valley were amazing. We hovered at about 1000 feet up in the air and everything just resembled miniature toy versions of their full size counterparts. Nothing seemed real.

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The coolest thing was flying over the cherry fields and getting a good view from overhead. We were told that birds LOVE cherries, so when they’re on the verge of ripeness protective bird nets are placed on top of the cherry trees to protect the crop. The white ones you see in the background also have the same effect as an overcast sky, which cools the cherries down a bit.

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Halfway through our 30 minute flight across the valley, our pilot looked over and asked if I wanted to take over the controls. Part of me wanted to say no (too scary!), but the other part knew I couldn’t turn down the chance to say I’ve flown a helicopter before. He gave me a quick lesson of how to gently guide the helicopter with my hand, then turned the controls over to me.

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We quickly wobbled to the left, and then to the right – the stick was way more sensitive than I thought it would be!

Eventually I was able to even it out and guided us for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then my palms got sweaty and I handed the controllers back over. It was fun for a minute, but way too much pressure to go on for longer than that!

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Check out the Columbia River that runs right through the valley. Gorgeous!

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30 minutes after take off, we landed at our first destination for the day. We were starting our cherry journey from the beginning… in the field.

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From here you can kind of get a better view of the bird netting.

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Cherry season runs all summer and is broken up into parts based on type and variety. Some types of cherries ripen sooner than others, while others have to be harvested in stages. Typically they’ll go through and harvest the top layer of cherries on the trees first (since they get the most sun), then they’ll come back and get the second and third level of cherries on the trees once they’ve had their own time to ripen in the sun.

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The cherries being picked today were beautiful. Big, red, and juicy.

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All of the cherries are picked by hand, by some of the thousands of seasonal pickers who sleep, eat, and work at the fields through the season. They work in the field with crews, filling up 20-25 pound buckets of cherries. As they fill the bucket, an inspector is on hand throwing out the bad and ensuring the quality of the cherry is on par with the company’s goals. This is only the first of many rounds of inspections the cherries will face on their long journey to the supermarket shelves.

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Each bucket of cherries is labeled clearly with variety, lot number, and date. This information stays with the cherries from the minute they’re picked from the tree, to when they are packaged and shipped. It’s important to have everything marked just in case something goes wrong.

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The cherries are also graded by size in this stage – larger cherries = $$.

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Nothing better than a fresh cherry right off the tree.

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From the field, the cherries are immediately picked up and brought through a 40 degree hydro-cooler bath. Their goal is to keep the cherries at 35 degrees from that point on.

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Form the cooler, they are placed in the truck and shipped to Rainier headquarters to be packed and shipped.

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Some fun facts I learned in the field:

  • Heat kills cherries! Try to keep them cool at home by storing them in the fridge. They’ll keep longer and you’ll have a better cherry in the end.
  • The cherries we picked today could be at a Whole Foods near you tomorrow. Rainier has a 24-hr turn around policy and likes to get cherries out the door asap after they’re picked.
  • 90% of cherries at Rainier are conventional, and 10% are organic. Because of the higher price point, there isn’t a huge pull for organic cherries.
  • You can usually tell a good cherry by the stem. A healthy stem, means a healthy cherry.

We left our cherries at the field, and promised we meet up with them again at the plant.

While they were taking their sweet time driving through the valley, we hopped back in the helicopter to head to lunch.

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Can’t say I’ve ever taken a helicopter to lunch before. I could get used to this.

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My blogging buddies – Gaby and Anjali.

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Lunch was at Cave B Inn – Tendril’s Restaurant.

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I wasn’t feeling the heavy sandwiches, so I went with the scallops. The meal was light and refreshing – exactly what I was going for.

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Some sparkling wine for dessert? Don’t mind if I do!

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After lunch we hopped back in the helicopters and re-met up with our cherries at the packing plant. (In reality, these weren’t the actual cherries we picked, but they could have just as easily been the same ones.)

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Check these babies out – they don’t get much fresher than that!

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We were rockin’ the neon vests in the plant. Safety first!

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Once the cherries arrive at the plant, a small sampling from each lot is taken for quality control. (p.s. this is the owner’s daughter working the machine. I love how Rainier is a 5th-generation family business.)

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The cherries are tested for firmness, sweetness, size, stem diameter, etc. before moving inside (after they’ve passed all the tests, of course.)

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From there, the cherries enter the plant and have their first run on the conveyor belt.

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This is where the excess leaves and sticks are tossed aside, and the stems are split.

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Form there, the cherries are sorted by size. All of the cherries that are a certain size or higher, make their way down the sorter and onto the next round of quality control.

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The ones that are too small, fall down the tubes and are sold to another company to eventually become maraschino cherries.

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The large cherries that pass the test, will next go through the hands-on sorting line.

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Each lot has its own list of specific defects that the sorters are asked to look out for.

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The smaller cherries are placed in the green bin to join the other small cherries heading to a maraschino future, the ones with cosmetic imperfections (such as heal cracks) are placed in the red bin and will eventually become jam or a dried cherries. None of the cherries that come in will go to waste. The ones that aren’t good enough to go to market, will be sold to other companies to be repurposed in other manners.

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After the cherries are sorted by hand, they take a very cold bath to cool them back down and clean them up.

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They are then sorted one last time by size, just to make sure there weren’t any small stragglers.

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Our guide called it a “cherry water slide” park.

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From there they are packaged to sell.

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Different buyers request different packing. Most of the supermarkets prefer plastic bags to sell by the pound, while wholesalers (like Costco), like the plastic “clam” packaging where they all weigh the same and can be priced the same.

The last stop is the cooler, where they’re boxed up and loaded on the trucks.

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That’s one crazy journey the cherries make!

What I found interesting was how much quality control goes into the cherries. These babies are tested, then retested, sorted, then resorted, and washed, then rewashed. It’s amazing any of them even make it out the door! But it’s the way that Rainier makes sure that the highest quality product goes out the door and the customer is happy with the beautiful cherries they paid for.

After our tour concluded, we were brought back for a cherry taste testing. Rainier grows 7 variety of cherries, and we had a chance to try 5 of them side-by-side.

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Unfortunately, most stores do not market cherries by variety, they’re usually labeled by “sweet” or “sour” (with the exception of the white fleshed Rainier cherry). Different varieties of cherries ripen at different times during the season, so your bag of “sweet” cherries in early June could be bing, while you’re “sweet” cherries in July could be skeena. This is why you never really know what you’re going to get when you buy cherries from one week to the next during the season. Interesting, right?

It was still fun to sample what was offered side-by-side to really see which ones stood out over others.

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The Lapin cherries are big, fleshy cherries that aren’t generally as sweet as other varieties. They’re not a favorite of buyers and are usually shipped to the lower end stores.

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Skeena are sweeter cherries that have a nice, firm crisp to them. Their picking window is very short. I liked how sweet and crunchy these cherries were, definitely a favorite.

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The Rainier cherries have a wide range of flavor depending on when they are picked. I had a not-so-great bag of Rainier cherries the other week that weren’t sweet and probably picked too early. The ones they had us try today were perfect. They were so sweet, they were almost like candy. These are also white fleshed cherries that makes them stand out a little bit from other sweet cherries.

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The Sweetheart cherries are named after the heart they resemble on the vine. They have a moderate crunch with a softer skin and a bit of a tartness to them. These were my favorite. I think they would be great in a baked good or pie.

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The Bing is the most traditional cherry, but I have to say it was my least favorite out of all of them. It had less of a bite and was sort of blah. I mean, it was still a good cherry, but after tasting it next to the rest, I have to say it falls to the bottom of the pack. Sorry, Bing!

I think at this point we were all a little cherried-out. We had been eating them all day (from the tree to the plant to taste testing) and I believe we were all ready for a good meal. Luckily, we had one waiting for us at the Inn. A 6-course cherry themed feast. Yes, please!

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Local Washington wine, of course. ;)

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The bread was served with a in-house butter made with fresh herbs from the garden outside.

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First course: Seared Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast, Soft Herbed Polenta, Walla Walla Sweet Onion Jam, and finished with a Rainier Cherry Cabernet Reduction.

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I’m not usually a fan of duck, but this duck was perfect. It melted under my fork and just went perfectly with the sweet onion jam and cherry cabernet reduction. I also loved the polenta, which was a little grainy, but not in a bad way.

Second course: Fresh Organic Mixed Greens from the Garden Gorgonzola Cheese and Housemade Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

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The cheese, oh the cheese! I would have been happy with that little block of gorgonzola and nothing else. :)

Third course: Fresh Alaskan Halibut with Shittake Mushroom Risotto, Oregon Shrimp Sauce and Drizzle of Truffle Oil.

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The fish had been pan fired, which gave it a nice crisp coating. The risotto was extra rich and creamy. They only gave a little taste, but that little taste was really all you needed.

Fourth course: Anderson Farms Lamb Chops, Grilled and Glazed with Washington Apple, Dijon and Soy. Finished with a Benton Cherry Sauce.

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This was sadly my least favorite dish. The lamb was a little fatty and I did not like the potato. It was the only low point of the entire meal.

Fifth course: Zirkle Fruit Organic Blueberry Shortcake, Fresh Creme and Wild Mint.

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No words. By far my favorite dish of the night.

Sixth course: Birchfield Manor Chocolate Tray

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I tried the housemade caramel and chocolate cookie stick. I ate all of the caramel, but didn’t really like the cookie stick.

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Put a fork in me. I’m done. ;)

Can’t wait for more cherry adventures in the morning!

Oh! And you can have your own cherry adventures too!

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Don’t forget to check out the Whole Foods Cherry Fest 1-day sale! Only $1.99 a pound! Who knows? You might even purchase some of the cherries I helped pick today! ;)

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ales July 13, 2012 at 4:13 am

Wow, what a great post! Seems like you had an awesome fun and information filled day. I love cherries although they seem such a “high maintenance” fruit and I find it impossible to tell at the store if it’s a nice sweet, slightly tart one or if they all turn out to be kinda blah ( which I had to sadly discover way too often lately).
Since I eat most of my fruits on the go I also appreciate fruits without any waste to dispose of and spitting out the pits and keeping them in your hand is … well, let’s just say there are better fruits to take on the go :-)

Anyways, so jealous of your helicopter ride! So cool!

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2 Kelly @ My Love Affair with Running July 13, 2012 at 4:45 am

Ahhh this would be my heaven!! Copious amounts of cherries….
That Bed and Breakfast looked so good. Thick, creamy, no-artifical-anything yoghurt is always the best :)

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3 Beth July 13, 2012 at 6:39 am

Thanks so much for this post! I love cherries so much and do buy them at Whole Foods, so I’ve probably eaten some cherries from the orchard you visited–how cool!

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4 Amanda July 13, 2012 at 7:03 am

I don’t generally like cherries, but I did not know about the different varieties and how they differ in flavor when they’re picked. Who knows, maybe I’ve only gotten weird bags and I actually do like them.

That’s really cool they let you fly the helicopter though, I would have been freaking out! I don’t like heights, or flying, but my cousin is a heli pilot and she loves it.

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5 Sara @my less serious life July 13, 2012 at 7:36 am

what an adventure! love the helicopter ride. i recently took my boyfriend on both of our first helicopter rides for his birthday. it is truly an exciting and perfect way to explore a new place!

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6 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats July 13, 2012 at 7:38 am

Ahhhhh I’m so jealous! You really are blessed to get to do these things! And I’ve never been on a helicopter either, I bet that was awesome!! I’m glad you had such a great experience, and good food! I’ll also be sure to keep my cherries cool, I didn’t know that!

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7 Hope @ With A Side Of Hope July 13, 2012 at 8:05 am

Wow! What an amazing opportunity! Thank you so much for posting all about cherries. I learned a lot from this post. I love the Rainer cherries. They are my favorite :)

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8 Pam July 13, 2012 at 8:26 am

Very cool! Looks like fun!

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9 Ida July 13, 2012 at 9:15 am

I love B&Bs too! And full fat yogurt does taste amazing

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10 Kathy July 13, 2012 at 9:24 am

I know I have said you have cool posts often but seriously this one tops most!!

This could be a little informational post for the company and put on their website…it was so good, informative, fun and is even making my mouth water a little bit…what a great day you had.

(jealous? nah….I think I would have freaked in the helicopter …glad you did it and not me this time…ha!)

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11 Mary @ food and fun on the run July 13, 2012 at 9:28 am

Wow! What an amazing experience! Looks like you are having so much fun! And the food you have been having – yum, yum, yum!! Such a fun, informative post!

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12 Gabby (Quest for Delicious) July 13, 2012 at 9:28 am

I’ve never been a huge fan of cherries, but I bet they’re awesome straight off the tree!

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13 Carly July 13, 2012 at 9:31 am

Wow, the helicopter ride sounds awesome!

I am curious, did Rainier talk about how they pay their pickers? I ask only because I just finished reading “The American Way of Eating” by Tracie McMillan, and one of the things she did for the book was work as a migrant worker in California. There was a huge contrast in how workers were paid, and many of them didn’t make much. Just curious if Ranier treats their workers better, especially with the Whole Foods connection!

Here’s the book link if you are curious: http://www.amazon.com/The-American-Way-Eating-Undercover/dp/1439171955/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1342186183&sr=8-1&keywords=the+american+way+of+eating

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14 Kate July 13, 2012 at 11:33 am

I was going to ask the same thing — migrant and farmworker treatment & pay is something that doesn’t get talked about often enough.

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15 Sarah July 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I work for an office that helps provide farmworker housing throughout central Washington. I don’t know about wages or the Rainier company specifically, but I can tell you there is a strong effort on the part of many Washington farmers to provide safe, healthy housing for the migrant workers.

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16 Meghann July 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Hi Carly, The pickers are paid per bucket of what they pick. On average a picker makes roughly $125 per day, we were told of really good pickers who could make up to $225 per day. Minimum wage in Yakima Valley is $8.25-ish per hour and if for any reason the workers don’t pick enough to make minimum wage, Rainier will pay the rest to make sure those figures are met. That’s pretty rare though, considering most make more than that.

50% are “guest workers” that are brought to Washington through a government sponsored program and the other 50% are locals. We actually covered a lot of the guest worker practices today, so I’ll be sure to include a lot more info in my next post.

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17 Meg July 13, 2012 at 9:32 am

Soooo…Whole Foods sponsored this whole trip to Seattle for you, put you up in a nice B&B, took care of some very nice meals for you, flew you around in a helicoptor to visit the cherry fields and there’s not one word in this entire post about whether the growers for this distributor use sustainable farming practices or what kind of employment practices they follow – you know, for those seasonal migrant farm workers who “sleep, eat, and work at the fields through the season.” Crazy. I know this kind of stuff isn’t really the focus of your blog, but it just seems to fly in the face of everything I thought Whole Foods is supposed to be about. The idea of environmental and social responsibility is supposedly embedded in everything they do.

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18 Meghann July 13, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Hi Meg, We went into a lot of detail about the seasonal workers today. I’ll be sure to address all of that in my afternoon post. Thanks.

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19 Lena @Fit on the Rocks July 13, 2012 at 10:03 am

That is such a cool experience! I LOVE cherries (but not cherry pie or artificial cherry flavorings), so I would probably be going to town on those. They really hooked you guys up with some amazing meals, too.

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20 Grace @ Grace Dishes July 13, 2012 at 10:14 am

Gorgeous photos! I used to live in Seattle so your posts really take me back :)

I love your helicopter ride recap because it reminds me of my first one last year in New Zealand! Isn’t it breath-taking!?

I had no idea Rainier Cherries were a family business! Super cool!

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21 Kim @ Living, Laughing & Losing July 13, 2012 at 10:25 am

Wow, what an action packed day! So cool that you were able to experience that. :)

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22 Kelly July 13, 2012 at 10:29 am

Very Cool!

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23 Sneakers2Sandals July 13, 2012 at 10:31 am

Oh.My.Goodness! What a freaking cool experience!! I’m so happy for you to have experienced this. You’ll never forget this day :P

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24 Cait's Plate July 13, 2012 at 10:52 am

Sooooo jealous!!!

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25 Lindsay @ Running the Windy City July 13, 2012 at 11:00 am

What an awesome day! I looove cherries and would be so happy just sitting around picking/eating them all day :P.

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26 Stephanie July 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

I’m dying because you’re all over my hometown! If you’re staying at Birchfield Manor, which judging by the pictures and your mention of the hop fields, I think you are, say hi to my parents! They live at the end of Birchfield Road on the hill! You can totally see their house from where you are! Did you go to Ranier’s Orchards in Selah?

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27 Samantha July 13, 2012 at 12:26 pm

totally went to whole foods right as they opened to ensure i got the best cherries they had out. a little bit cherry obsessed here!

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28 Kristen July 13, 2012 at 12:30 pm

It’s official, you have the coolest job. EVER. I mean you get to do the most unique things…really makes me wish I enjoyed what I do. You are very lucky :)

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29 anne p July 13, 2012 at 12:44 pm

This is so freaking cool. Great overview and I’m so jealous of the helicopter!!

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30 Caroline July 13, 2012 at 12:49 pm

I’ve been eating lots of Rainier cherries the last few days and am loving them. Delicious! Thanks for sharing about the process from tree to store- so interesting. Have a great time out there:)

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31 Lea July 13, 2012 at 1:01 pm

I did the Rainer tour when we lived in Seattle! A friends husband works there at their headquarters, I learned to LOVE the Rainer white cherries! Too bad their so expensive in the east coast :)

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32 Annette @FitnessPerks July 13, 2012 at 1:46 pm

Oh WOW!! This looks like such an awesome day.

Riding a helicopter is pretty cool. I love being that high up :) We did it in Switzerland–so cool.

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33 Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers July 13, 2012 at 2:10 pm

How neat! I love the helicopter photos!

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34 Sam @ Better With Sprinkles July 13, 2012 at 2:13 pm

I had no idea there were no many different kinds of cherries! I always just assumed sweet, sour and maraschino…so cool.

And flying a helicopter…how many people can say they’ve done that? Definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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35 Emily N July 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Oh WOW! Everything there is so cool! And I do love me some cherries!

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36 Liz July 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

I cannot understand how you get paid and selected to do these kinds of posts when you cannot proofread what you are getting PAID to do. Let me point out a few for you, and note some much needed corrections, or ask questions for clarity.
“Rainier played the role of our AWESOME hosts today as [they] shared with us[] everything we wanted to know about cherries!”
“One of my favorite perks of staying at a bed & breakfast is the delicious breakfast usually served in the morning.” Are you trying to say that B&Bs usually serve breakfast? Given that they are bed and breakfasts, this makes sense. Or do you mean that breakfast is usually served in the morning?
“In theory, these weren’t the actual cherries we picked, but they could have just as easily been the same ones.” – I don’t think you mean in theory. In actuality, perhaps?
“Each lot has its own list of specific defects that might be more predominant than [in] other[] [lots] that the sorters are asked to look out for. ”
“I also loved the polenta, which was a little grindy, but not in a bad way.” Gritty? Grainy? I’m not sure grindy is a word used to describe food.
It’s really not that hard.

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37 Liz July 14, 2012 at 7:10 am

So you fix some of them, but not all of them, and don’t edit your content without a disclaimer. Okay.

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38 Laura July 14, 2012 at 10:56 am

Can someone say bitch alert? Geez. If you don’t like what you’re reading go find another blog! Maybe you could start on about proper English usage since you’re such an expert! Ha! :)

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39 Brianne July 14, 2012 at 11:24 am

There is very terrible grammar and punctuation used on this blog and it is distracting from the content. It is really not to much to ask that Meaghan review the content before publishing. There are plenty of places that offer adult refresher courses in proper grammar if she has trouble catching the problem. Liz has a fair point, this is her job after all and not just a personal blog.

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40 Liz July 14, 2012 at 10:23 pm

I love that there’s a typo in your comment about proper English usage. I guess you don’t notice all of the errors?
Anyway, I think that because Meghann gets paid, and sponsored by major companies like Whole Foods (who paid for this trip) that she might make a little bit more of an effort to present something to them that was polished and reflective or something that they’d pay thousands of dollars for. I somehow don’t feel that a post that has this many errors would be a good investment of my money.

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41 kate July 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm

good thing you aren’t investing in it, only your time :) if you don’t think reading this is a good investment of your time, then don’t!

42 Erin July 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm

I enjoy reading Meghann’s blog, but I have to agree with Liz on this one…..I don’t think it’s that hard to proof read, Google, or hit spell check.

It’s not a matter of being grammar patrol, being a bitch (Laura), or nit-picking. It is distracting to read a post full of errors and it takes away from the professionalism of the blog. I feel embarrassed for Meghann (as well as other bloggers) when I see these types of errors, especially since it’s so simple to just do a double check of the post or Google if you’re uncertain of a word. I mean, in any job, wouldn’t you want to come across as smart and not make silly errors?

I can choose to NOT read Meghann’s blog, or any blog for that matter, but I don’t think expecting proper punctuation or grammar is too much to ask from someone who makes their living as a writer, is it?

43 Karen July 13, 2012 at 2:49 pm

What a great post…thanks for sharing! :)

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44 Sharon Cash July 13, 2012 at 3:04 pm

Awesome post! Thanks for the recap on your cherry journey experience. I’m currently in love with Rainer cherries. Thanks for the tip on the 1 day sale. I’ll have to check with my local Whole Foods to see if they’re participating.

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45 Meghan July 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm

So this is unrelated to your cherry post (which I bought on the way into work this morning because of your blog :), but I saw this and thought of you. Not affiliated, didn’t even contribute… but it did seem like something that’d be perfect for your tris, and actually for most active women :) Hope you have a safe flight back!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/956860865/bia-the-first-gps-sports-watch-for-womenby-women

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46 Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily July 13, 2012 at 7:27 pm

How freaking cool!!!
I love cherries, we bought a giant bag the other day and they are just about gone.

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47 Angela @ Happy Fit Mama July 13, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Ridin’ in style! How very cool. Love cherries and can’t wait for cherry season to start soon here. Fresh cherries picked off the tree are wayyyyy better than store bought!

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48 Sara@RunningInPinkProject July 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm

How fun!! Ive never been in to fresh cherries but maybe Ive just never gotten a good batch. Sometimes my local supermarket is iffy. Also, all of the food you are posting looks AMAZING!!

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49 Liz July 13, 2012 at 9:01 pm

I’m thrilled to see commenters asking about the laborers! I work for a company that’s doing a huge push for farmworker welfare, and it always feels like a fringe issue. Seeing people ask about it here gives me hope that we can actually make a difference. Thanks Meals and Miles readers!

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50 The Many Thoughts of a Reader July 13, 2012 at 9:34 pm

That food looked amazinggggg. Great information!

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51 Cate July 13, 2012 at 9:54 pm

This is so neat! How cool that you got such a great opportunity to see how cherries the whole cherry growing/picking/shipping process works. It looks beautiful out there!
I used to be really against cherries, I don’t really know why, but now they are definitely one of my favorite fruits. I didn’t know there were so many varieties either, very interesting.

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52 Emma July 13, 2012 at 10:19 pm

What an awesome day! I never really thought about what’s involved with getting fruit from the tree to my refrigerator before.
Also, super jealous that you got to fly in a helicopter! That sounds so cool!

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53 Jaclyn July 13, 2012 at 10:39 pm

What a great post! Loved to see the entire process for the cherries. Do you ever just pinch yourself that you get to do these amazing adventures!?

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54 Dee July 14, 2012 at 12:20 am

Hi Meghann,
The one thing I was hoping to read about the most wasn’t addressed- but hopefully in next post?
It is about the amount of pesticides used on cherries- I hear it’s bad and considered one of the dirty dozen.
I would like to know what kind and how much pesticides are used by this company ( and why they annoy provide more affordable organic cherries)?
I love cherries , but not sure that the large amount of pesticide we are ingesting is worth the taste of cherries longterm ( no matter how much we tr and rinse them off)!
That’s my big concern about cherries ( but maybe company was trying to distract us from this major problem with helicopter rides and fancy dinners?)

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55 steph July 14, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Yum! I took advantage of yesterday’s Whole Foods sale and am wowed by the process. Very cool!

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56 Emily P July 15, 2012 at 9:27 am

by far, your coolest post yet! thanks for sharing :)

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57 Natasha @ Moody Girl in Style July 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm

It looks like you had an amazing time. I didn’t realize there were so many different steps to getting cherries to the grocery stores. I’m super jealous that you rode in and flew a helicopter. That’s pretty cool!

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