begins with picking every cherry by hand.
Cherries are harvested into field lugs before being
placed into cherry bins.
Cherries are received at a facility nearby the orchards
for rapid processing.
Inspection of fruit brought directly from the orchard.
Hydrocooling of the harvested fruit takes the field
heat out of the cherry as soon as possible. Once cherries
are cooled with water, they are kept cool all the way
to the retailer.
Fruit from the hydrocoolers are brought inside and
ready for processing.
bins full of cherries run through the automated dumper
to begin the process through the packing facilities.
Bulk amounts of leaves and such are removed from this
initial phase. Cherries take a ride up their first elevator.
Cherries travel accross sorting conveyors. Any leftover
leaves are removed. Defects are removed and the cherries
travel through tubes to the next process.
Cherries are kept in water to keep the cool and provides
a way to keep them traveling throughout the process.
Cherries then take a ride up large elevators loaded
with large, crisp dark-sweet cherries.
Cherries are spread out accross the conveyor to be ready
for the next step.
Cherries travel down the sizer and the different row
size fruit is dropped into flumes full of water.
Sizing keeps the fruit a consistant size. Each flume
takes the cherries to different locations ready for
packing into bags, clam shells or bulk-fill cartons.
Elevators take the cherries from the sizing flumes up to the bagging/clam shell equipment.
Each bagging machine weighs the amount going into
the bag. Cherries are packed in 1 or 2 lb. bags for
the domestic markets.
Rainier cherries are packed in 1.25 lb. bags for domestic
distribution. 5 kilo cartons are also packed for some export
Clam shells are filled by several pieces of equipment. 2, 3, and 4 lb.
are the most widely used for dark-sweet cherries.
1 lb. and 2 lb. Rainier clam shells are also packed.
Cherries are also packed in bulk-fill cartons for
those markets that desire them. Each carton has a liner
that is sealed before being lided and palletized.