VIDEO: Cherry season in the pits for the Okanagan

Arndt Orchards said it's the worst season on record
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Janet Hoang and her daughter Emma visiting from Calgary spent the morning picking cherries at Arndt Orchards on July 4, 2024.

Damage from the January cold snap in the Okanagan is showing with the start of cherry season.

Arndt Orchards opened their u-pick cherry orchards on July 3 with heavily cut back operations.

Owner Allen Arndt said they are only open on weekday mornings, tour buses have been denied this season, and the usual extras at the orchard like gelato are not available this year.

"In a normal year we would run weekends, seven days a week for 40 days," Arndt said. The last bad season he experienced saw 11 days of operation. Arndt said they'll be lucky to get eight this summer.

Cherry crops are down an estimated 90 per cent at the orchard and the staccato, lapin and sweetheart varieties are not available this year.

Arndt noted that they are in slightly better shape than other growers commenting that the rain in June didn't do the same damage they would typically see.

"Normally we would get splits like crazy," the grower said.

Arndt said knowing the January cold snap was going to cause problems the farm didn't do as much pruning on the cherry trees, possibly protecting what has grown from the elements.

The orchard opens for day three of the season at 7:30 a.m. on July 5.

Stay up-to-date on operations and available cherry varieties at arndtorchards.com.



Brittany Webster

About the Author: Brittany Webster

I am a video journalist based in Kelowna and capturing life in the Okanagan
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