We had the opportunity to participate in our church’s Pacific Northwest mission trip a few weeks ago. Rather than flying to Washington, we decided to embark on a family trip and drive to Washington and back again. Talk about an adventure! Aside from two people trying to get into our hotel room on two separate nights in completely different states, we had a pretty laid back road trip. As part of our adventure, we ended up picking cherries in Mosier, Oregon.

Picking Cherries

This orchard was amazing. Rows and rows and rows of cherry trees were available for picking. We ended up being directed to the back of the farm and picked from various varieties – Rainier, yellow cherries, and a few others. I can’t even remember their names. We had a great time and really learned a lot about cherries.

I think for Lauren the best part was eating them. 🙂

We were originally driving around just checking out a few back roads and came across several “pick your own” farms. This one was at the top of the hill and somewhat secluded so we chose it. The staff was very friendly and helped us find the right trees.

picking cherries

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By the way – $1.50 a pound!!! That is an amazing price…especially when we pay $3.98 or more a pound down here in Texas. And see those green stems in the picture above? So fresh! Our stems down here are always brown.picking cherries

Had we been at home we would have canned them into a jam, or made a pie, but since this was the beginning of our mission trip, we wouldn’t be home for awhile. We donated them to the crew on our mission trip and snacked on them during group meals. That way … everyone could enjoy them!

But, here are a few recipes for fresh cherries..


  • 2-1/2 pounds fresh tart cherries, washed and pitted
  • 1 package powdered fruit pectin
  • 1/2 teaspoon butter
  • 4 3/4 cups sugar

Process cherries in batches in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour into a large pot, like a dutch oven. Stir in pectin and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Remove from heat; skim off foam. Ladle hot mixture into six hot sterilized half-pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace, if necessary, by adding hot mixture. Wipe rims. Center lids on jars; screw on bands until fingertip tight.

Place jars into canner with simmering water, ensuring that they are completely covered with water. Bring to a boil; process for 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.

Yield: 6 half-pints.




  • 5 cups pitted canned tart red cherries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon juice


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk

Drain cherries, reserving 1-1/4 cups juice; set aside. Discard remaining juice. In a large saucepan, combine the sugars, cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg; stir in lemon juice and reserved cherry juice until smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.Add cherries; pour into an ungreased 9-in. square baking pan. For topping, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in enough milk to moisten. Drop by tablespoonfuls over cherries. Bake at 450° for 10-13 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 6-8 servings.