The height of cherry season runs 3-4 weeks in mid- to late-July, but can be impacted by weather so start checking in late June. They run concurrently with raspberries and blueberries. Here are a few places you can pick your own cherries near Rochester, NY.
Pick Your Own Cherries
- Burch Farms Hilton
- Whittier Fruit Farm Gates
- Schutt’s Apple Mill Webster
- Burnap’s Farm Market & Garden Cafe Sodus
- G and S Orchards Walworth
- Bittner Singer Orchards Appleton
- Hurd Orchards Holley
- Morgan’s Farm Market Marion
- Watt Farms Albion
- Murphy Orchards Burt
- Kappus Farms Burt
June Cherry Festival
Varick Winery, roughly an hour from Rochester on Cayuga Lake, hosts their annual 2-day Cherry Festival near the end of June.
Pick sweet and sour cherries from Varick Winery’s five acres of beautiful cherry trees. Savor Varick Winery fine wines and New York crafted bottle beers, scrumptious ice cream, and delicious fresh-baked goods.
And, of course, cherry-themed items for purchase among other vendor offerings.
Tips for when you pick your own cherries
Thank you to pickyourown.org for these helpful tips!
- The difference is simple: sweet cherries taste sweeter and are eaten fresh. Pie cherries are very tart and most people prefer to use them in pies, jams, preserves, jellies and butters, adding sugar to sweeten them.
- Cherries, like peaches, continue to increase in size until they are ripe. They should be picked when they are of maximum size and full-flavored.
- Picking before they are fully mature will not ripen off the tree.
- Sweet cherries become firm when ripe (the stems usually stay attached when you pick a sweet cherry), and sour cherries part easily from the stem.
- Cherries that are to be shipped will keep longer if the stems are left attached. They will store in the refrigerator for two to three days.
- Bring something to drink and a few snacks; you’d be surprised how you can work up a thirst and appetite! And don’t forget hats and sunscreen for the sun. Bugs usually aren’t a problem, but some deet might be good to bring along if it has been rainy.
- Avoid placing the picked cherries in the sunshine any longer than necessary. It is better to put them in the shade of a tree or shed than in the car trunk or on the car seat.
- Always call before you go to the farm. They are affected by weather (especially rain and cooler temperatures) more than most crops. And when they are in season, a large turnout can pick a field clean before noon, so call first.
- If you use your own containers, remember that heaping Cherries more than 3 inches deep will smash the lower ones. Plastic dishpans, metal oven pans with 3 inch tall sides and large pots make good containers. I like the Glad storage containers like the one at right.
- Don’t wash until you are ready to use them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling.
- Cherries are more perishable than blueberries or strawberries, so make a point of refrigerating them as immediately as possible after purchase.
- Even under ideal conditions cherries will only keep for a few days in a refrigerator, so for best flavor and texture, consume or freeze them as soon as possible after purchase.
Where is your favorite spot to pick cherries?
Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!