Cherry season cut short

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FILER, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - Cherry season for one local orchard started last weekend. Eight days later, it's done.

With most seasons lasting four to five weeks, Kelley's Canyon Orchard in Filer struggled to keep up with the demand due to the rough winter.

Co-owner Gretchen Kelley Bietz told us an April frost in addition to the lack of pollination cost them majority of the crop this year.

"I would say that we have a 30 percent cherry crop this year when normally we would be able to go until at least the third week of July," she added.

Although they recorded their biggest day in history on their opening day last Saturday, Bietz describes this year as disappointing.

"That is the life of an orchardist," she said. "Last year, we had more cherries than we could possibly sell. They were growing in ropes down every branch and this year you had to hunt and peck just a little bit."

As a 109-year-old orchard, they've seen it all. The worst season Bietz recalls dated back to 2010 when they lost every fruit.

"It's just as much work for a short season as it is for a long season," she said. "And that's what's hard. Everybody still has to prune and thin and we still have to pick and we still have to irrigate. And it doesn't matter if the season is four days long or four weeks long."

They now look forward to a robust peach season, which will start mid-August until the end of September. They will also offer other fruits, including plums, pears, and apples.



 
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