We find out when the best time is to get your Flathead cherries - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

We find out when the best time is to get your Flathead cherries

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We spoke with President of the Flathead Cherry Co-op Bruce Johnson who tells us when the best time is to get your hands on the famous Flathead cherries.  Johnson tells us most cherries will be at their best at the end of July.

Johnson explains, “The larger varieties will probably be the last week in July is when they'll start and then go for a couple of weeks after that.”

Be careful when you’re buying cherries.  If local Flathead cherries are what you’re looking for some cherry stands are selling out of state cherries.  Johnson tells me the best way to guarantee that you’re getting local Flathead cherries is to just ask.

Johnson says, “The best way to do it is when you pull up to their stand ask them.  Ask them are these local Flathead cherries if that's what you want.”

Unfortunately, the intense heat Montana has been experiencing is impacting the cherry harvest.  The heat speeds up the growing process, and it’s not cheap to keep the trees hydrated constantly.  But Johnson tells me it’s something that has to be done.

Johnson say, “These hot days, the trees will wilt unless you keep them in water.”

Johnson tells us he uses well water on his property which means his water bill goes up to maintain his cherry trees.  He tells us it’s all worth it. 

Too much water won’t help either.  We asked Johnson if a good down pour would help his cherry trees, and he tells us that would actually be worse.  An intense down pour splits the fruit, making it unsellable to grocery stores.  However, split fruit does get re purposed.  Johnson tells us the split fruit is used in juices, jams and wine. 

If you can’t get enough cherries visit downtown Polson on Saturday July 15th for the annual Flathead cherry festival.  Local vendors will be selling all things cherries starting at 9:00 a.m.

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