Shipping Fresh and Frozen Fruit
At King Orchards, quality comes first! We absolutely love sharing our quality fruit with all of our customers, near and far. However, providing fresh and frozen fruit outside our 50 mile radius does get more difficult.
As much as we wish we could ship all of our fresh fruit nationwide, we have only perfected fresh sweet cherry shipping, fresh Balaton tart cherry shipping, and fresh apple shipping.
Shipping Fresh Sweet Cherries: Growing Black Sweet Cherries has always been an intricate part of our business, however shipping them has taken many years to perfect. We harvest sweet cherries in July but have found there tends to be only one week of shipping (which boils down to a 1-2 day window since we ship at the beginning of the week to ensure they get there before the weekend). We ship these cherries in a Styrofoam cooler box, unwashed with the pits still in. Variety and size do differ from year to year but we can always guarantee they are the highest quality cherries of the season.
Shipping Balaton Tart Cherries: Michigan is known as the Cherry Capital of the World because of our tart cherries. As much as we would love to, we are unable to ship fresh Montmorency tart cherries due to oxidation issues (they oxidize in less than 24 hours). We have found a tart cherry that does ship well; the Balaton tart cherry. It is slightly firmer and darker in color than a Montmorency tart cherry which allows it to be shipped. They still do not have a very long cooler life (about 2 weeks) but it does provide a good option for someone who wants a fresh tart cherry. These are shipped unwashed, pit still intact in a Styrofoam cooler box.
Shipping Fresh Michigan Apples: Our little corner in Michigan is known for growing some of the best apples in the country. Our warm fall days and cool nights add sweetness and crunch to our apples that is rare to come by. Honeycrisp are our specialty. We ship apples in a padded, foam box that prevent the delicate apples from bruising while shipping. Each “layer” holds 18 apples. We typically ship apples from September – December.
We ship frozen, pitted tart cherries year ’round however it is much more economical to ship in the winter months since we do not require next day air shipping. If you are in Michigan or Chicagoland though, we can ship UPS Ground year ’round since they arrive the next day. We ship frozen cherries in 10 lb. (2-4 lb. bags and 1 2-lb. bag) boxes, 20 lb. (5-4 lb. bags) boxes, 30 lb. (3-10 lb. bags) boxes, and 40 lb. (one large bulk bag) box.
Frozen Montmorency Tart Cherries: This is the “typical” pie cherry. These cherries are bright red in color and tart in flavor. Montmorency tart cherries oxidize and parish very quickly so, unless you pick them on the farm, this is the best way to get “fresh” Montmorency tart cherries. Canned Montmorency tart cherries in water are also a very good option, especially in the summer when shipping frozen cherries is expensive.
Frozen Balaton Tart Cherries: Balaton tart cherries are slightly sweeter, more firm, and darker in color than a Montmorency tart cherry. These are a very good cherry to eat out of hand, add to smoothies, and still work well in a pie.