When we took our trip up to Traverse City last month, we decided to do a little project. You see, Dan and I had been trying to think of ways to earn some extra money to help pay some of the medical bills for Baby #2. Most of our ideas never came to much of anything, but this idea actually did. It was our cherry picking project.
While we were up in Traverse City we took a morning to drive out on the peninsula to pick some cherries for $2 a pound. My parents and brother came along to help. We didn’t want to invest too much money in case our plans failed and all the cherries just went bad. So we decided to try to pick about 10 pounds.
It was a hot day, but the picking went fast and soon I realized that Dan didn’t even really need my help. So I picked a few, ate a few, and took some pictures. Lydia, also enjoyed picking cherries, eating cherries, and trying to get cherry juice all over her dress.
When we were getting close to 10 pounds, Dan found a nice tree with branches that hung down a bit like a willow. He camped out for a while enjoying fresh cherries in the shade, and I joined him.
When our bucket was full we left the orchard to pay and found that we had picked 12 pounds. Dan was short on cash and my mom ended up pitching in a little rather than wait for him to run all the way to the car and back. That ended the picking portion of our project.
We made a short commute to Dan’s parents’ house, where we washed, and double washed the cherries, and spread them out to dry. Later we learned that it’s best to wash the cherries right before you eat them so they stay fresh longer…oops. We wrapped up our weekend with Dan’s folks, spent the next days with the Dame’s, and arrived back home late Sunday night.
Our plan had been to sell the cherries in pint-sized cups at the playgrounds and parks near our house. Monday morning, however, was cool and rainy and the weather report called for thunderstorms all night Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday nights we have Bible study, and we always have one of Dan’s relatives over for dinner on Thursday. There was no way the cherries were going to stay fresh until Friday, so in a desperate attempt I threw a message up on my Facebook wall:
And much to our relief, a couple families from church bought all of our cherries! In the end we came out $20 ahead, despite all of the hiccups in our plan. (As a side note, the day we made the $20, Dan went to a college campus to tutor one of his old classmates. He ran inside to ask if he was allowed to park in a particular parking lot and on the way back found a young man writing him a ticket. He explained that he was just running in to ask if he could park there and the man responded, “Well, you can’t.” and handed him the ticket for $25)
So, was our cherry picking project a success? Yes and no. Now we know a little more about keeping cherries fresh, and we know they’ll sell down here for a profit. Maybe next year we’ll take orders ahead of time.