On the cover of the May 1, 2014, issue about labor, Fidalina Lleneas is pictured emptying a bucket of Sweetheart cherries into a bin at a Zirkle Fruit Company ranch west of Yakima, Washington.
At the bottom of the bucket, you can see her picker i.d. tag which will be scanned to keep track of the quantity and condition of fruit she picks. At her left elbow, a foam bin cover is just visible, rolled aside while cherries are added to the bin.
The wet foam cover helps cool and protect the cherries while in the orchard and during transport to the warehouse. Cherry harvest in Washington State begins in late May to early June for early varieties in warmer areas like the Tri-Cities, and continues through August with later-maturing varieties.
The 2014 cherry crop is expected to be 20 to 25 million boxes, if the weather cooperates.
One of our editors asked if we were confused, picturing cherries on the May 1 cover, since May 15 is our cherry issue. The point here, though, is the labor involved in getting fruit off the tree and out of the orchard.
People don’t appear on many Good Fruit Grower covers; this particularly engaging closeup of a young woman picking cherries reminds me of a photo of Dena Saedi picking apples near Manson, Washington, that we ran on the cover of our September 1993, issue.
The photo was taken on July 31, 2012, at 7:44 a.m., and shot at 1/50th sec., f/5.6, ISO 800, using a Nikon D300s digital camera with an AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm 1:2.8G ED lens. The photographer is Tim Hull, www.timhullphoto.com.