National Cherry Month
Thanks to recent archaeological evidence, we now know that human beings have enjoyed cherries since at least the Stone Age. Fossilized cherry pits have been found in prehistoric caves all over Asia and Europe. Later on, Roman soldiers spread their range even further by discarding the pits left over from the cherries in their rations, and these pits took root.
There’s a good reason why this fruit has been so popular for thousands of years. It’s because they’re tasty and easy to transport. Even modern people love this fruit, as evidenced by all the cherry-themed holidays and events that occur all over the world. One of the observances we’re going to talk about here is National Cherry Month. February is when this month is observed by people all over North America and perhaps even the world.
The History Of National Cherry Month
Even though National Cherry Month was proclaimed by William G. Milliken sometime during his term as Michigan Governor, February as National Cherry Month actually began during the 1910s after Japan had sent 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. as a symbol of friendship between the two countries. Although these trees don’t flower until the last week of March or the first week of April, February is the time when they begin to bud for the spring.
Juicy Facts About Cherries
In almost every holiday article we write, we try to include a section that provides basic facts about the holiday or the subject it celebrates. National Cherry Month is no exception to that rule, so we decided to list some facts about cherries below for everyone to enjoy.
- Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees to Washington, D.C., on March 26, 1912.
- There are more than 500 varieties of sweet cherries and about the same number of tart cherry varieties.
- Approximately 94% of America’s sweet cherries are grown in California, Oregon, and Washington.
- Over half of America’s tart cherries are grown in Michigan.
- Turkey produces more than 530,000 tons of cherries, while the U.S. produces only 345,000 tons.
Observing National Cherry Month
During this month, everyone is encouraged to enjoy some cherries, although, to be honest, they’re probably going to have to enjoy frozen or canned cherries because fresh ones aren’t yet in season.
Harvest begins for most cherry crops between mid-April and late July, so it’s a little early for cherries. Another alternative to fresh cherries is dried cherries, and they’re particularly good when used in trail mix. Anyone wishing to spread the word about this month can do so by using the hashtag #NationalCherryMonth on social media.