This past Saturday I went with Stacey, Olga, Kaoru, and Stacey’s baby M sour cherry picking at Butler’s Orchard in Germantown, MD. This is the second year that I’ve gone to Butler’s Orchard to pick sour cherries. The variety grown by Butler’s Orchard is Montmorency. Unlike their sweet counterparts, sour cherries are tart and make for the best cherry jam and pie.
We also took advantage of the opportunity, and picked some blueberries. Butler’s Orchard grows several types, the main four are: Bluetta, Duke, Bluecrop, and Blueray. These are great for snacking, but I mostly freeze them to use in my smoothies.
The sour cherry season in this area is only about 2-3 weeks in late June/early July. This year’s crop was really small. Cherry trees typically need about 1,200 cumulative hours (that’s about 7 weeks) of dormant time at 45°F or below. We had a really warm winter, and warm and cold spells throughout spring. All these factors may have contributed to the lower yield. So if you see any sour cherries at your local farmer’s market, don’t wait to get them. They won’t be around for long.
Here are three of the recipes I like to make most with sour cherries. I’ve made them countless times, and they are fail-proof.
Butler’s Orchard is located at 22200 Davis Mill Road, Germantown, MD 20876