I left for Gettysburg, Pennsylvania early on Monday morning. The picture above is of Mt. McLoughlin and the clouds surrounding her. It was right after my take-off and at this point I was nervously excited. It was like leaving for summer camp...what if no one likes me? What if I'm the odd girl out? What if my blog is completely out of place? I shouldn't have worried because when I got to the airport to meet up another of the bloggers (Dawn from Not Just A Mommy) and to catch our ride to the hotel, I was welcomed and felt so at ease. It was a very telling sign of how the rest of the trip would go.
At the meet and greet, we scored some seriously cute swag. The item under that cookie is an apron, and it is absolutely the sweetest thing you ever saw. We chatted, had some great food, and then had a food styling workshop, which you all know I could use some help with. I came away with some good ideas and a fire to produce better shots of my food and things for you all to see. It was a great night!
Early the next morning, we headed out the orchard. Gene Livelsberger, Field Representative Raw Fruit, hopped onto the bus with us to take us on a tour of the orchard. The cherry season is in full swing, and due to some less than desirable conditions this year, is going to be a short one for the growers. They were harvesting cherries when we got there and we got to go out into the orchards to observe the machines at work.
Cherries were perfectly ripe and ready to be plucked from the trees. We may have eaten quite a few as we meandered through the orchard seeking the perfect shots and learning about the harvesting process.
How lovely is that? What a perfect way to spend the morning!
The cherries are harvested by a machine that gently grasps the trunk of the tree and shakes the cherries off. They hit the orange-y colored part of the machine and roll down to a conveyor belt.
The belt takes the cherries up and drops them down into an ice-filled container so the cherries stay icy cold until they are shipped to the warehouse. These cherries lose texture very quickly if not kept cold and used as soon as possible. I believe that I heard that they can be kept for only 3 days at the most, so they really are fresh when they make it into your can of Lucky Leaf Premium Cherry Pie Filling!
That's fresh! One of my all time favorite shots.
All the bloggers in the Bonnie Brae Fruit Farms orchard with the grower Jim Lott and his daughter Sarah Lott.
In other orchard news, the peaches are coming on!
Speaking of orchards, how amazing does that look? Ahhhh acres of fruit trees. How beautiful.
I'm going to stop here for today and do the rest of the trip in another post. It seriously was such an amazing, wonderful experience. It's hard for me to put it all into words, but I'll try. The longer we were there and the more I learned about the orchards and the growers and the company itself, the more I knew that being a Blog Ambassador for Lucky Leaf was going to be an easy job for me. This is seriously a company that I believe in and trust 100%. You'll see more on why that is tomorrow, but for today I just want to tell you how lucky I feel to be part of something this good.
Lucky Leaf, Lucky Me.