Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cherry Season

I took a quick trip up to my dad's house today. I had quite the agenda.

First we stopped at an estate sale halfway up in Norton Shores. It was the last day of the sale so everything was half priced. I got a few little kitchen gadgets. And a game- Parcheesi !

Then I had to head out to Mears to deliver a part for my hubby for work. That was fun! I ran into two guys I knew from high school that worked there.

Then we drove through Silver Lake and took a peek at the sand dunes.

My main objective was to take a look at our pop-up camper that is being stored on my dad's farm. Last year mice had infested it and it was a disaster. But we were able to clean it up enough to use it. I'm not sure we will be so fortunate this year.

We have our camping reservations set for the first full week in August. When I got to my dad's I discovered bees had taken it over this year. I sprayed them as best I could but they were still swarming everywhere. I was going to bring the camper back with me but discovered our hitch was not on our van. Oh, bother. Looks like we will be making another trip north soon.
(I talked about my cute Skamper makeover here)

My dad started shaking cherries this week so we walked out to the orchard and I grabbed some pictures while they were hard at work. This trip isn't going to prove productive so it may as well be fun.

My dad has a one man shaker. This is much different than the one he used when I lived at home.

It does actually take more than one person to get the job done though.

 My dad runs the machine but you also need someone to man the tank and get rid of all the leaves and sticks.

It is pretty impressive to watch. My dad centers the tree between two clamps on the front. They grab a hold of the tree. The tarps swing out to encircle the tree. Then the clamps shake the tree. The cherries roll down the tarp and onto a belt that carries the cherries into the tank. Pretty cool, huh? Of course, some cherries get left behind on the tree or shook outside of the shaker. But it is so much faster than hand picking every single cherry from every single tree.

Here are some pictures that show the process.

 A video of it all would have been better, but you get the picture. (har, har)

You also need a man that brings empty cherry tanks to the shaker when the current one gets full. My brother, Nate, and Big Joe were doing that. (I've been calling him Big Joe since I can remember and I'm not sure why because he isn't very big).

They bring the full cherry tanks back to the cooling pad where they get a water hose stuck in the tank and the gunk cleaned out a little more.

 This is my Grandpa Plummer. He amazes me. He is in his 80s and still working hard around the farm.

And now for a break.

 I love going to my dad's, but especially in the summer. It's the best place to be.

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