Cherries – May 2015

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Cherries – Organics are Back!

The cherries are coming, the cherries are coming! Cherry season has arrived at Bella Viva and the dry yard is covered red with cherries. It’s a short season from just May to mid-June, but cherries are harvested across most of California’s Central Valley. At Bella Viva we are proud to grow our own cherries as well as partnering with local growers who share our passion for sustainability. We have several types of the dried cherries to fit every taste, including conventional, natural and organic. So come down to the store or buy online and enjoy the good life!

Attention health nuts! Take a tip from scientific research and eat cherries. They don’t just taste great, it turns out cherries are also good for your health. Dr. Russell J. Reiter, professor of neuroendocrinology at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio has conducted a five-month study on cherries. His findings have found significant levels of melatonin in Tart cherries. This naturally occurring hormone is also produced in the brain’s pineal gland. Its main function is to induce sleep but it has also been found to slow human’s aging process. Studies supported by The American Institute for Cancer Research also find high levels of Antioxidants in cherries that provide many health other benefits (ACIR).

Fun Facts About Cherries!

  • Fresh Rainer cherries are heart shaped (Delta Packing Co of Lodi).
  • Cherries are harvested in California for only about two months of the year (Delta Packing Co of Lodi).
  • Studies from the University of Pennsylvania suggests the melatonin in cherries helps reduce sleeplessness (PHYS).
  • The American Institute for Cancer Research reports Cherries are packed with antioxidants (AICR).

California Drought Update:

After a recent snowpack test revealed the lowest levels since its founding in 1950, Governor Jerry Brown has issued a radical executive order to implement mandatory water reductions in cities and towns across California to reduce water usage by 25 percent. Recent rainfall has helped to replenish reservoirs but typically 30% of the California’s water comes from the mountain snowpack, each year. In light of the sacrifices California’s agricultural industry has already suffered, the executive order does not apply to farmers. However, due to lack of available water last year, 500,000 acres were left uncultivated resulting in thousands of laid off farmworkers. Victor Martino, owner of Bella Viva Orchards, explained our situation realistically:

“[In the summer of] 2014 we thought the unprecedented low water allotment for our orchards from the Modesto Irrigation District couldn’t get any worse. Well it just has. Our California orchards require about 36 inches of water through the summer months. For the remainder of the year we typically get enough moisture from rainfall. In 2014 we received 26 inches, which was enough to get through harvest and barely enough to keep the trees alive. We suspect that the stress from last season’s lack of water contributed to this year’s light crop. This season we are allotted 18 inches and our orchard will not survive on that. To make a long story short our plan is: to remove 20% of the orchard, [to] use the small domestic well to irrigate 15% [of the orchard] and [to] use the 16 inches we will receive from the district on 65% of the orchard. If the drought persists another year, I fear that 85% of our Modesto Ca orchard will have to go.”

Matthew Muller
Bella Viva Copywriter

Thanks for choosing Bella Viva Orchards!