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A cherry on top: Apple Annie's opens for cherry pickin'

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 11, 2024

WILLCOX, Ariz. (KGUN) — The cherries are ripe and ready for the picking at Apple Annie's.

Apple Annie’s Orchardhas opened its pick-your-own fruit season, offering visitors the chance to harvest cherries and other fruits amidst slightly cooler weather than nearby Tucson.

Following a devastating frost last spring that wiped out the entire crop, the orchard is now brimming with sweet cherries.

"We lost our entire crop of cherries, apples, peaches – everything to frost in the spring. We had nothing for you-pick last year," said Mandy Kirkendall, Director of Fun at Apple Annie's.

This year, the orchard is thriving.

“There are varieties that people will know. We grow Rainier cherries, all of them are sweet cherries,” Kirkendall said, adding that the orchard also boasts three varieties of red cherries.

The orchard, located about an hour and a half east of Tucson, offers a respite from the city heat and the opportunity to pick fresh fruit straight from the trees.

“It’s worth the trip, it’s not a long trip. The weather is beautiful, it’s always a little cooler here, and you get fresh produce,” said visitor Sherrie Gahn.

Cherry picking is available daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a rate of $6.99 per pound.

Visitors can also purchase pre-picked cherries for $7.99 per pound.

The orchard will transition to apricots, plums, peaches, and apples as the summer progresses, ensuring a steady supply of fresh produce.

"We’ll be getting into some apricots, plums, huge peach crop and apples," Kirkendall said.

In addition to fresh fruit, the orchard offers a selection of baked goods.

"We’re gonna make pies, we’ll make jams and we’ll make compotes," said Kelly Godbout, highlighting the variety of uses for the orchard’s produce.

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Eddie Celaya is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9. Born in Tucson and raised in the Phoenix area, Eddie is a life-long Arizonan and graduate of the University of Arizona who loves the desert and mountains and hates the cold. Previously, Eddie worked in print media at the Arizona Daily Star. Share your story ideas with Eddie at edward.celaya@kgun9.com, or by connecting on Facebook or Instagram.