After a deep-dive into countless fascinating facts about the fruit, we’ve cherry-picked our favorite bits of trivia in honor of National Cherry Month. Read on for our top six anecdotes about cherries.
You’ve likely heard the tale as old as America itself – George Washington, the Father of our Nation, was given a hatchet by his own father in his younger years. As the story goes, Washington used his gift to chop down a cherry tree – not yet realizing the taboo of this act. When called out by outraged onlookers, Washington immediately confessed to his faux paux – famously quipping that he “cannot tell a lie,” regardless of the infamy his honesty earned.
Few people realize that this classic story is not only misquoted quite often – Washington’s famous tale of honesty was a lie from the very start. In 1799, following the death of our first president, the public craved any information on Washington that they could get their hands on (keep in mind that the onset of the internet was still centuries away). Mason Locke Weems seized this opportunity to release the first biography of Washington’s fascinating life of liberty – while taking some liberties of his own with the story’s details. Weems eloquently described young Washington’s hunger for something to hack with his new ax, frequently targeting his mother’s pea plants and other small exploits before removing the bark of a nearby cherry tree. While Washington's mission was thoroughly executed, Weems explained that the remaining vulnerability of the fully-barked cherry tree ruined its chances for healthy growth. While this story never actually happened, the fascinated public couldn’t get enough of this and other fables, hence the proliferation of the story for the next two hundred years.
While Washington didn’t actually kill that cherry tree, cherries may have killed a later President, Zachary Taylor. At a Fourth of July celebration in 1850, Zachary Taylor took a leisurely stroll through our Nation’s capital before settling in for a glass of warm milk and a big bowl of fresh-picked cherries. However, he quickly developed severe stomach cramps and within days he was dead. Experts presume Salmonella was present in the cherries or milk he consumed, as the 1800s weren’t exactly known for the food sanitation or safety standards we’ve implemented since. Rest in peace, President Taylor. Thankfully, we can safely enjoy cherries and beverages - and Black Cherry CBD beverages - today with detailed information on exactly what we're drinking.
Approximately twenty types of cherries are produced for commercial sale and consumption for the public to enjoy. However, more than a thousand different types of cherries exist today – with more than 500 sweet varieties and just as many tart ones. In other words, only two percent of cherry types deemed to be the tastiest make their way to the shelves of farmers markets and retail stores. Talk about cherry picking!
Washington State produces roughly 62 percent of sweet cherries sold throughout the United States. Sweet cherries are most popular during the summer time, when they’re ripe for raw consumption. Oregon, California, and Washington collectively produce 94% of the nation’s sweet cherries. Tart cherries – which are most commonly used for cooking – stem primarily from Michigan farms. In fact, more than half of the country’s tart cherries are grown in Michigan.
From the Kennedys to the Fords, some families make history together with their contributions to society or uncanny talent. Such is the case for the Krause family, who’ve smashed world records as unprecedented cherry-pit spitters. At Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s annual competition, Brian showcased his skills with an unprecedented pit-spit of 93 feet. His father and brother held cherry pit-spitting records before passing the family torch to Brian.
A single cherry tree produces an average of 7,000 cherries. Rather than waste time picking cherries individually, most modern growers use mechanical shakers to separate cherries from their branches. These shakers grip the tree and rattle it intensely, loosening the cherries until they fall to a tarp below, which then feed onto a conveyer belt to be sorted and eventually packaged. Check out this video to see the process in action.
Contrary to popular misconception, Bing Cherries owe their name to a different source. Cherries of this type are the namesake of orchard foreman Ah Bing (whose name I’ll forever envy). Bing collaborated with fellow farmer Seth Lewelling to cultivate the rich, red bing cherries we still know and love today. As legend has it, Ah Bing supervised thirty workers at the Lewelling nursery as a gifted horticulturalist. Sadly, The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 demanded Bing’s deportation and barred his ability to return. Lewelling popularized their collaborative dreamchild throughout the United States after naming the fruit in his partner’s honor.
In honor of National Cherry Month, we raise a can of our rich, flavorful Sparkling CBD Black Cherry Soda to cherries. All five flavors of our hemp CBD beverages are delicious and refreshing. Our products all contain phytocannabinoid-rich, broad spectrum hemp extract and can be delivered right to your doorstep. Better yet, each flavor of sparkling CBD sodais vegan, non-GMO, and free of gluten, sodium, and preservatives. PCR hemp extract is one of just five ingredients in every sparkling CBD soda can, and you’ll taste that sweet simplicity with every sip.