Today’s Photo of the Day is courtesy of these cherry shakers waiting patiently for the cherries on Johnson Farms to be ripe (my family’s farm).
Initially, it sounded like they’d start shaking on Monday, but I talked to my brother Ward last night, and he said it might be a day or two or three later in the week (Update: Thursday, July 18, although you’ll find plenty of cherries for sale at the roadside farm stands).
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Everything is late this year, and Ward joked that they’d be picking apples into November. They very well could be! But it’s been done before, that’s for sure. Growing up, I remember many years where we picked apples in the snow.
The two shakers pictured above are “one-man” shakers, meaning one person drives the shaker and operates all the mechanisms, as opposed to the older shakers that require a “catching frame,” a catching frame driver and tarp pullers, or the even older “limb shakers” that were painstakingly slow as you moved through the orchards.
Even the one-mans still need someone to sort the leaves out of the tanks and forklift drivers to take the tanks away and bring new tanks to the shaker.
Last year, my brother Dean Johnson invested in a fancy new “side by side shaker,” which I believe is the newest incarnation of the cherry shaker. I took pictures and video, but don’t think I ever posted them, so look for those upcoming on the Gazette.
Click through below to see how a cherry shaker works…