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Despite Rain, Cherries Ripen at Farm in the Poconos

CHESTNUTHILL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- A farm in the Poconos is getting ready for a busy weekend of cherry picking.

Dreary weather didn't stop people from stopping by Heckman Orchards near Effort to pick up some fresh produce. One item on the checklist for many people -- cherries.

"I am looking forward to it," John Cady said. "It's always nice to have those firm red cherries, you know. They taste so good and so sweet. It's a good time of the year to get them."

The farm in Chestnuthill Township will host a three-day cherry-picking event starting Friday.

Mark Heckman is co-owner of the farm. He wasn't sure how the crop would turn out because of all the rain.

"We were a little bit nervous with all of the rain because sometimes a lot of rain tends to split the cherries open. Our cherries didn't split open. They are looking really good, and with all the moisture they seem to look a little larger this year, so it's looking really good," Heckman said.

With about 400 trees on two acres of land, people are going to have plenty of cherries to pick this weekend. The recent dry spell that we had really helped the fruit ripen.

Early July is when people start picking cherries.

This year, the price of cherries at Heckman only went up in price by a few cents.

"They are kind of the same, maybe up a little bit, but they are the same as what they have been," Heckman said.

Ana Marcos lives in New York City but visits her sister who lives in the Poconos. She always stops by Heckman's and is happy to see the cherries are looking good.

"The more sun they have, the sweeter they become. But with a lot of rain, you never know. The red ones look good. That is my favorite fruit, that and strawberries."

Pick your own cherries at Heckman Orchards runs from Friday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Cherries are $2.35 a pound.

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