Gleaning. A word I had never heard of until yesterday, and coincedently, today we were generously given an opportunity to glean. At a cherry orchard no less. That is, to collect leftover cherries after the paid pickers have been through.
Some trees had nary a cherry left, but others had some extremely well hidden ones. If you stuck your head right into the tree and looked up you could see, hiding amongst the leaves, large, dark, juicy orbs just waiting for us to pick. Like the most delicious treasure hunt. I even found a couple of white cherries, which are super sweet and juicy.
After gleaning two or three rows of different varieties : Stella, Vans, Lapins, we had all filled our buckets. With plenty of quality control testing along the way. We also had a tour of the packing shed, to see where the cherries are washed, sorted and packed before flying off to the mainland. A huge operation, with up to 400 people picking or packing during the short cherry season.
Now, what to do with 3kg cherries? I will bottle some, to eat in the winter, perhaps try to dry some, but mostly, they are delicious just as they are.
And gleaning, there is more later this week, with a friend inviting us to glean at their black currant farm. I'm going to try and make cassis with those.
And that, dear reader is what I love the most about summer in Tasmania, all the delicious fruit. And it's even better when it's gleaned! Cherrio!