There are just some things you can’t do in New York City. Like pick juicy, ripe cherries right off the tree and plop them in a bucket (or directly in your mouth, shhh don’t tell the farmer!). We can’t do that in NYC! It’s not fair!
And that’s why we have New Jersey! Leave it to the Garden State to supply such a summer delight.
My dear aunt and uncle live in Princeton, NJ so as a kid, my family would spend a long weekend New Jersey every summer. I have the best memories of catching fire flies, running through sprinklers, and begging my mom to take me to Terhune Orchards. Terhune Orchards was, and still very much is, THE BEST. It is where I fell in love with kitty cats, where I first chased a chicken, and where, over the years, I have easily picked my own body weight in blueberries- the freshest money can buy!
Blueberries? I thought you were talking about cherries! Well, here’s the story:
My mom and I arrived at Terhune on a slightly chilly July early afternoon. If I was a kid I’da been singing with excitement, “Here we go to the blueberry bush! The blueberry bush, the blueberry bush!” But I’m a cool New Yorker, so I kept my excitement plastered on my face in a big ol’ grin.
As soon as we walk on to the farm, the smile leaves my face. They’ve stopped blueberry picking for the day! Too many pickers came that morning, the bushes are too bare! NOOOO! THIS IS THE MOST UNFAIR! I wrote a poem about blueberries in the 3rd grade! Now do you understand the level of my obsession? If I can still recite it, will you let us in to pick blueberries? Just me and my mom- 2 more people can’t possibly matter!
Plink, plank, pluck it! Blueberries in my bucket!
Such a temptation I can not resist!
I reach right in, with my fist.
I grab a hand full, blueberries galore!
Such as you cannot buy at a store.
I gobble them up- yum yum yummy!
Blueberries in my tum tum tummy!
I got an A+ on that poem and I still remember it. Yet I refrained from reciting it at the farm in an effort to make them bend the rules. I know, I didn’t even try. I just bought a basket of blueberries someone else had picked and went cherry picking instead!
Neither my mom nor I had been cherry picking before. Let me tell you, it’s a lot harder than blueberry picking!
There are over 20 different kinds of cherries! I had no idea! Every row had different trees with slightly different tastes. Of course I was Cherry Goldilocks, This tree is too sweet! This tree is too sour! This tree is jusssst right! The bright red ones photograph the best but generally the darker the red, the better the taste.
Apparently this year produced more cherries than Terhune Orchards has seen in recent years! Cherry picking doesn’t usually go all the way into July, so we while we were unlucky on the blueberry front, we were very lucky on the cherry front! You’ll have the opposite luck at Terhune Orchards is you go now. Cherry picking is over, but they still have plenty of blueberries and blackberry picking now too! August 1-2 the farm is having a Peach Festival which sounds really fun and you can read all about on Terhune’s Facebook page.
The trip to Terhune Orchards from NYC is unfortunately not easy via public transportation. But if you have car access (and a driver’s license unlike me), it’s less than an hour away! I highly recommend the day trip! It’d be fun in the fall too! http://www.terhuneorchards.com/
Have you ever been cherry picking? Blueberry picking? Strawberry? Apple? (You know I love apple picking.) Did you ever write a silly poem in 3rd grade that you still remember today? Happy farm memories? Let me know!