APRICOTS & CHERRIES
The sun kisses the exposed cheeks of our apricots, giving them a rosy blush on their light orange skin. Once you bite into this lush stone fruit, you experience a firm, deep orange flesh, the essence of summer.
The first apricot trees at Harmony Orchards were planted by our grandfather in the late 1920’s. That orchard would soon become apples, but eighty years later two of those original apricot trees still flourish. These lone trees have survived seventy plus years of winter freezes and spring frosts and still produce fruit. They are the inspiration for our new plantings.
In 2002, when we began looking for the right niche in a marketplace awash in apples, we chose two varieties of apricots. The Rival variety was selected for its superior flavor and texture, with the equally delicious Goldrich interspersed throughout the orchard as pollenizers.
A perfect micro climate exists at the end of the Yakima Valley, where we farm. Being located next to the Cascade Mountains positions us in the late part of the growing season, allowing us to bring you some of the last apricots harvested in the season. This unique site and decreased insect pressure allows us to grow these apricots organically.
LE CRÈME APRICOT
The Le Crème Apricot is a direct descendant from the oldest apricots which were grown in China. At their origin apricots were white green. The fruit was quite fragile and to gain some firmness, the original variety was bred with an old Spanish white variety the Moniqui and a Japanese variety used for pickling the Moume. The Le Crème has a unique honey flavor and very high sugar content reaching 21 to 25 Brix. Because of its off white color this apricot was named “Le Crème” – in French it translates to the cream. After tasting one you will start referring to these apricots as the Crème de la Crème – or the best of the best.
Washington Apricots are known for their sweetness. Each tree is handpicked for maturity several times ensuring you the best possible eating experience. The Goldrich Apricot is a cross between SunGlo and Perfection. The cross was made in 1954 by Harold Fogles. Goldrich trees are vigorous and productive and are used on our orchards to cross-pollinate with Rival. The fruit is large and oval with nearly equal halves of bright orange, waxy skin with almost no blush. The ground color must be allowed to develop fully to assure low acidity. This apricot is freestone with a firm, deep orange flesh and a fine texture with excellent flavor. It is great eating with an initial sharp bite, which then eases into the sweetness of the fruit.
The Sweetheart Cherry tree is a new self-fruitful cherry tree. It produces a fruit that remains firm when picked and eaten. The tree resists cracking and ripens late. It is fast becoming a popular cherry tree.The fruit is sweet, delicious and considered a black cherry. Eat them fresh – once you start you cannot stop – or include in your favorite dessert recipes.
Sweetheart Cherries are one of the last cherries of the season. Their unique taste is a spectacular and wonderful finale for the summer.