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The Farm is starting to bear its many fruits and vegetables for me to enjoy, but in many cases there are just too many to be able to use right away. One of the joys of growing your own fruits and vegetables is having the ability to preserve the numerous extras one receives.

If you don’t have your own fruit, check your local farmer’s markets; they offer a great variety, and it means supporting your local economy!

You may wonder why it is worth taking the time to preserve and put away fruits. Perhaps you have memories of grandmas and mothers working tirelessly to do so. When you put away a fruit, you know exactly what goes into it and where it comes from. Additionally, the flavor is a far cry from anything purchased in the frozen aisle at your grocery store.

This week, The Farm’s cherry trees have inundated us with an abundant supply of buckets filled to the brim with gorgeous fruit. While baking freshly picked cherry pies, cobblers, and tarts is immensely satisfying, there are only so many a person can eat! I never want to waste such precious fruit, and having already made a batch of jam, the rest will be frozen. Freezing fruit is one of the simplest ways to keep any item fresh; it is so much quicker and easier than canning. Forget the hot and messy pressure cooker (we will leave that for later use)! All you need is reusable freezer boxes or freezer bags (found at any grocery store).

Cherries can go from tree to freezer rather quickly compared to other fruits. All you need to do is rinse the cherries after they are picked, removing any dirt that could contaminate the fruit before you pit them. After they are rinsed, pit the cherries. There are a few different methods to do this. My mother has her own tried-and-true method of using her thumbnail to expertly and quickly remove the pit. For those of us without long nails, use a cherry pitting tool (affiliate link). Some swear by this tool, and others think they are a mess.

If you are new to pitting cherries and know no different, I think you will like this ingenious idea. My grandma always taught me to pit cherries by using an old oversized bobby pin (yes, the kind meant for hair). You simply use the hook end of the pin to catch the pit and remove it.

Large bowl full of the pits from sour cherries in a sink with some liquid in the bowl.

After pitting the fruit, it needs to be thoroughly washed. Use cold water and immerse the cherries, moving them around. Drain the water and repeat two to three times.

Large strainer filled with lots of pitted sour cherries with a stream of water running over the top to clean them.

Last, put the cherries in the containers of your choice. If you have a favorite pie or any recipes you use frequently, freeze cherries in conveniently sized quantities!

Two large plastic containers empty but ready to be filled with sour cherries to preserve them in the freezer.
Hand placing washed and pitted sour cherries into plastic freezer-safe containers from a large bowl in a sink.
Three containers filled with sour cherries with the pits removed sitting on a countertop before putting the lids on to go into the freezer.

Freeze and enjoy for months to come! These cherries will keep at least one year in the freezer and possibly more, but I’m guessing that with some delicious recipes, they won’t even last that long!

Recipes that use cherries

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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1 Comments

  1. Kaleb, you are such a inspirational gardener and cook! I just tried your chia seed, low sugar strawberry freezer jam. A bit tart, but I love it! At 68 one is suppose to eat healthy. Your doing that! This is wonderful to enjoy the old things in a new and better way! I have outdoor pots with lettuce, onions, parsley and cilantro this year. Making wonderful new dishes. Thanks for all your kind inspiring ideas! Joan Reid