When Will Cherries Be Ripe?

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When will cherries be ripe on the Old Mission Peninsula? I asked my go-to person for all things farm related – my niece, Heatherlyn Johnson Reamer, who manages Johnson Farms. She says that light sweet cherries like Golds and Napoleons should be ripe around July 11.

Dark sweets like Windsor and Schmidt varieties should be ripe four to five days later, around July 15 or 16. Tart cherries follow shortly after dark sweets, and should be ripe within a few days, around July 17 or 18.

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“The Peninsula has its mini micro climates, so some areas are ready before others,” says Heather. “We don’t have anything to sell to the public yet, but it won’t be long.”

Johnson Farms’ roadside stand is located on Center Road (M37) about a half-mile past Mapleton on the right. You’ll see a big operation there – the “cooling pad” – with lots of large wooden boxes and white tanks, soon to be filled with cherries coming to and fro from the orchard. The farm stand is out by the road and will have cherries and other fruits and veggies in season.

cherries, gold cherries, johnson farms
“Gold” Cherries on Johnson Farms | Jane Boursaw Photo

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A lifelong resident of the Old Mission Peninsula, Jane grew up on a cherry farm (Johnson Farms), married the boy next door (Tim Boursaw), and raised two kids there (Will and Marissa). Her 35-year career as a photojournalist includes bylines with the New York Times and Ladies' Home Journal, and interviews with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. But she loves writing about the OMP most of all.

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