Even if the story about George Washington chopping down his father’s cherry tree is just a tall tale, it’s still fun to ponder the idea that his namesake state is now the largest cherry producer in the country.
Take that, George. No ax wielded by a young man — even if he was working 24/7 — could begin to put a dent in this state’s sweet cherry production.
Eh, I cannot tell a lie, that was a blatant piece of journalistic grasping to find a lead-in to a discussion of cherries.
All that aside, the state’s cherry crop is one incredible success story. Though the state and North Central Washington are most famous for our apples, the cherries produced here are equally enjoyed throughout the nation and world.
The cherry seems such a fleeting thing. We bid farewell to winter with the beautiful blossoming of the cherry trees. We marvel at the fruit’s rapid growth on thousands of trees. We enjoy the sweet harvest of those cherries, buying them from local stores, fruit stands or harvesting at you-pick orchards.
And then, before the heat of summer has reached its full intensity, they’re gone. The trees are empty and the bulk of the fruit on its way to customers in distant places.
But what pleasure that fruit brings in its short lifespan.
In this edition of Business World, we’re all about the cherry. We examine how big and important a crop it is in North Central Washington and how its importance continues to grow.
We look at the evolution of the cherry varieties and even some of the tasty ways it is put to use locally.
In “researching” her story, reporter Christine Pratt brought several cherry cupcakes from Wenatchee’s Cake Chic Studio into the office. People quickly joined in the research and declared them delicious.
Pratt inconsiderately failed to bring back any chocolate-covered cherry ice cream or Funky Chunky Cherry Jam but wrote about them anyway.
All in all, we managed to celebrate the cherry, even as we were waiting for this year’s crop to ripen.
Speaking of celebration, we’re about to launch our search for our fourth class of 30 Under 35 honorees.
Each year we honor 30 people under the age of 35, both for their accomplishments and the promise they show as leaders of the future.
If you know someone deserving of this honor, we’ll soon be putting up the nominating form on wenatcheeworld.com while putting out the official call for nominees.
This is a very special honor topped off by a ceremony recognizing those selected. Our first three classes of 30 Under 35 were outstanding young people making a difference in their professions and in the community. We expect much the same this year.