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Ramon Lopez Santiago harvests cherries in Mosier, Oregon. Photo by Paloma Ayala, Hood River, Oregon.

Ramon Lopez Santiago harvests cherries in Mosier, Oregon. Photo by Paloma Ayala, Hood River, Oregon.

"Cherry" Artwork by Donna Rose Derrer, Corvallis, Montana.

Artwork by Donna Rose Derrer, Corvallis, Montana.

They’re coming! Those wonderful, succulent, sweet cherries are at this very moment growing on those beautiful trees right along with my anticipation. We all know they’re a fragile fruit to grow and ship, but—at least for us cherry-loving consumers—the rewards are so worth the risk many of you take on.

That’s why we’re enthused to have a couple of great covers this month that celebrate cherries.

For our May 1 issue—which focuses on labor—we feature Ramon Lopez Santiago harvesting a crop in a Mosier, Oregon, orchard. I love how this photo, taken by photographer Paloma Ayala of Hood River, captures the focus and skill Ramon brings to his work.

Just the other day, I heard a grower compare the skill of picking to the talent of needlepoint. Picking isn’t something that can be learned in just a few hours, but rather it’s a continual learning, a skill built upon season after season. I feel as if I can see that skill in action as I look at this image and into Ramon’s experienced eyes. Here’s someone who has mastered his craft.

This is Paloma’s first cover for the magazine. You can see more of her great work at

For our May 15 issue, we have artist Donna Rose Derrer’s painting of “Cherry.” It’s a brilliantly textured piece, with bold colorful strokes of various reds combining into that oh-so-familiar beautiful fruit that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into this season. You can see more of Donna Rose’s artwork at

Donna Rose lives in Montana, and it just so happens we have an article in this very issue about Montana’s late-season market. Associate editor Richard Lehnert finds there’s a lot of enthusiasm among Montana growers as they experiment with later varieties on new training systems to meet market demands for larger fruit that is available all the way to Labor Day. Yes, that certainly sounds wonderful to me.

I wanted to add that we’ll soon be seeking submissions for photos and artwork to feature on our covers for next year. We’ll have more detailed information in the coming weeks—both here at and in our magazine. We feel very fortunate to be able to feature incredible images that celebrate the good work of growers and the fruit industry in each issue. It’s a tradition that relies on the talent of photographers and artists like Paloma and Donna Rose and many others. I’m looking forward—just as I’m sure you are—to seeing more wonderful work in our upcoming issues.