Brad Fowler with Hood River Cherry Company Discusses Crop, Taste, and More This Cherry Season
- by Kayla Webb
HOOD RIVER, OR - There’s no sweeter time than cherry season, and nothing screams summer more to me than open road and a bag of cherries in the passenger seat. Hood River Cherry Company is gearing up for its cherry season now, so all of us road trippers can rest assured that we’ll be prepped and ready with the quintessential summer snack.
I caught up with Brad Fowler, Co-Founder, to learn more about the cherry season starting July 18th and running until September.
“This year, we’re seeing a much lighter crop than last year, which actually means better quality. Last year, we didn’t have as good of quality as we’re used to, but we have better expectations for this year’s crop turning out a pretty good quality product,” Brad tells me. “We’re always going to want bigger cherries, and this crop’s fruit size looks to be more like what we’ve always had and what we do.”
Kicking off the season is Hood River’s Bing and Rainier varieties, with Skeena, Lapin, and Sweetheart finishing off the season in September. All of Hood River’s orchards are located at higher elevations, which Brad notes makes growing a pain in the neck but produces a better-quality fruit that turns out to be the best of the season.
“We should be getting back to our purpose this season. Our purpose has always been only taste, which is a simple concept, but one that is sometimes lost on most of our competitors,” Brad explains. “We’re a small operation and with our cherries you can taste the difference in our big, flavorful, and sweet fruit. If we can grow a cherry that is the best on the market and tastes good, then we’ve had a successful season.”
With the start of the season just around the corner, I ask Brad if there have been any challenges, and Brad knocks on wood.
“So far, it’s been good. Rain clouds can roll in quickly, but so far, we haven’t had any growing challenges. It’s been an ideal year,” Brad hesitates to tell me.
And, here’s to hoping the blue skies are here to stay!
Available in 2.5 lb and quarter lb bags, Hood River Cherry Company’s cherries are hitting the market soon and I’ll be buckling a bag into my car faster than you can say “Happy Summer!”
For more crop updates like this, stick with us at AndNowUKnow.