Posted by: Kath Usitalo | February 1, 2012

Cheers To Cherries

Roadside cherry stand on Old Mission Peninsula

February is National Cherry Month, a good time to digest some information about the little red fruit and find ways to celebrate it, pits and all:

Ornament we received as a gift

~ Michigan is home to the Cherry Capital, Traverse City, with about 75% of the nation’s tart cherries and 20% of sweet cherries grown here

~ Leelanau County is the top producing region in Michigan and also leads the nation in the number of cherry acres (12,250) and trees (1,303,465)

~ Michigan produces 200-250 million pounds of tart cherries each year

~ An average cherry tree yields about 7,000 tart cherries, enough for 28 pies

~ America’s Super Fruit is rich with antioxidants that help the heart, reduce cholesterol and belly fat and help relieve symptoms of arthritis and gout

Cherry Stout~ Martha Stewart has a recipe for Cherry Beer, but several Michigan craft breweries make their own versions, including Bell’s of Kalamazoo

~ Find links to cherry product sources at the Unofficial National Cherry Homepage

~ Start practicing for the 39th annual International Cherry Pit-Spitting Competition July 7, 2012 at Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire; the 2011 champion distance was 66′ 1-1/2″ achieved by Brian Krause of Jackson, Michigan. He holds the world record spit of 93′ 6-1/2″

~ Michigan has not one but two giant cherry pie tins along its roadsides: one near Charlevoix and another in Traverse City

(American Spoon photo)

~ I’m tempted to try this recipe for Sour Cherry Preserves Tart from American Spoon Foods

~ Shop Michigan’s own Cherry Republic for your sweetie; the Be My Cherry Valentine Chocolate Box is $24.95 or take advantage of sale prices on goodies like Cherry Jam, Chocolate Covered Cherries, Cherry Salsa and Cherry Chips

~ Head to Traverse City for the Cherry Capital Winter Wow!Fest February 17-19 or mark your calendar for the National Cherry Festival in Michigan’s Little Finger (July 7-14, 2012)

~ Check the National Cherry Festival site for the Cherry Recipe of the Week; the Cherry Chili with ground turkey (January 27) sounds tempting

~ Find cherry facts, news and recipes at Choose Cherries, the cherry marketing board, where you can sign on to get cherry tweets or become a cherry Facebook fan

Related Posts:

American Spoon: The Fruit’s The Thing

Sweetie-licious Cherry Berry Pie

Doggone Good Cherry Treats

Cherry Interesting

Pure Michigan



  1. Heading over the Old Mission this summer, can’t want to pick some cherries with my parents and enjoy some great wine at Blackstar, too! National Cherry Festival is not soon enough. Will be going to Cherry Blossom Festival in DC for my sister’s wedding. Check out for some great cherry festival information.

    • Counting the days. I hope to check out the cherry blossoms this year. Hurry, Spring! Thanks for checking in at Great Lakes Gazette.

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