Thursday, 23 July 2009

Cherry Disaster

This is a very despondant post, as it deals with a total crop failure. Our fan trained cherry tree flowered really well this year, and there was a large number of green cherries. These began to turn red mid June, but as they are black cherries, Sunburst, they were not due to ripen completely until mid to late July. We waited impatiently, watching the luscious bunches of cheeries deepen in colour, and a couple of weeks ago, I decided some looked ripe enough to try. Imagine my horror when I realised those delicious deep red clusters concealed a horrific secret. They were welded together and inside a horrible caterpillar had been busy munching away.
A truly disgusting discovery, and I set too, separating the bunches, squashing caterpillars, and picking off the damaged fruit. There wasn't many left, and they were still a bit tart, so we decided to leave them for another week.
Well, the wasps then moved in, during the last weeek of school, they had an end of term feast, and ate most of the remaining cherries down to the stones! I took 3 perfect ones to my Mum for her birthday, and we had 5 each. Even then, my 5 were not perfect, I had to cut bits out of them!
I am not sure on the policy for next year, I found an article that said Kent growers did not produce organic cherries because of the need to spray in spring against caterpillars, but the article did not give any details. I do try to be organic, but to be honest, as Vicky said, she would prefer to have the cherries with a little bit of poison, than no cherries at all. If I could find out what is used, and if it is available to home growers, I could do some research and make an informed decision.
As far as the wasps are concerned, I am determined they will not get the plums. There is not many, and I don't want to lose them too!

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