Skylar Rae cherries return for summer
Harvest for Skylar Rae cherries is underway, bringing the bi-colored cherries back to the shelves for the season. Sarah Barkley, domestic sales at CMI Orchards, Wenatchee, WA, says that demand for the fruit is showing no signs of stopping.
“Skylar Rae cherries are special in so many ways,” says Barkley. “From their super sweet flavor and satisfying bite to the remarkable story of their discovery, they’re really superstars on the shelves.”
While the orchards contended with a ‘flash bloom’—where all the flowers opened up and started their race for pollination at the same time—Barkley explains the growing conditions in the Pacific Northwest produced Skylar Rae cherries.
Skylar Rae cherries were first discovered in 2004 by the Toftness family, who found a tree unlike any other in their orchard after following a rainbow. It seemed this discovery, following the unimaginable loss of their infant daughter, could only be a gift from nature meant to honor their daughter, Skylar Rae, and bring some light in the wake of their hardship.
Co-owner of the Skylar Rae brand, and Tip Top cherry variety, Troy Toftness explains that these cherries continue to grow in popularity and volume, by specially chosen growers in the U.S., plus in Chile and Australia, with plans to extend to several other countries.
“Our mission when growing Skylar Rae is to always put flavor first, which means letting the fruit ripen on the tree until it’s perfect. This lets the cherries soak up as much sunshine as possible and gives them the time they need to develop that signature Skylar Rae flavor,” says Toftness. “This also means sometimes you get a nice caramel glow on the cherries, which is a great indicator of the supreme sweetness of the fruit.”