A couple of weeks ago, one of our nurses brought in a couple of pints of fresh cherries from her own trees. Although they were on the smaller side, they were sweet and tasty.
As we had recently received over 200 lbs. of rhubarb and Sr. Rebecca was in jam-making mode, they made their way into a couple of batches of a cherry rhubarb “taste-treat.”
Sr. Christina pitted the cherries in preparation for this endeavor. Rather than simply discard the pits, why not try a little experiment? Wouldn’t it be fun for our residents to watch cherry trees grow from these?
The pits were carefully soaked and any remaining fruit fragments were removed. Next, they were set out to dry for a few days.
A bag of clean, dry pits now is sitting in a bottom refrigerator drawer for until December to provided the needed cold period for the proper preparation for germination. (There are several variations in instructions for this process.)
Sr. Christina’s parents had recently had trees removed from their front yard in Minnesota because of a Ash boar that is killing off trees in their area. Her mother is interested in possibly taking cherry saplings, so the above picture was taken for her information.
Really, cherries are nothing new for the human family, even if we’ve never grown them here before. Fossils point to human consumption dating back to prehistoric times. The Greeks and Romans enjoyed them, too. In fact, they were part of Roman soldiers’ rations. An interesting story is that they would discard them as they traveled and one could find old Roman roads by following the path of the cherry trees.
Perhaps one explanation for the varying instructions on growing cherries is due to the multiplicity of varieties which numbers over 1,000.
There are several dates commemorating different aspects of this cherished fruit, including January 3rd as Chocolate covered Cherry Day, April 23rd as Cherry Cheesecake Day, May 17th as Cherry Cobbler Day, May 26th as Cherry Dessert Day, and coming right up – August 28th is National Cherry Turnover Day.
Cherries are very nutritious and are even credited with stabilizing blood sugar levels, easing joint pain, and aiding with sleep.