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Bing Cherries from Christopher Ranch in Gilroy

Thursday afternoon on my way back to the City, I pulled off 101 to stop at the cherry stand for Christopher Ranch on the southside of Gilroy.

Image of Christopher Ranch’s roadside cherry stand -
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/229/50...

Finally, some good quality Bing cherries this season! These were so plump and fresh, picked from the ranch’s own orchards. And, a good deal too at $5 for a boxful of nearly two pounds. A few were a bit soft and some were on the light side, but overall, quite good. Organic cherries are also available for $7.

Image of Christopher Ranch’s cherries -
http://farm1.static.flickr.com/211/50...

Fresh garlic and Christopher Ranch packaged products are also available for sale here.

The stand is on the eastside of the highway 101, just south of the junction with highway 25. There’s no merge or turn-off lane here, but a wide shoulder, and the sight lines for approaching traffic are unobstructed for a safe return to the highway.

Gilroy cherries thread -
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/46855

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  1. Thanks for the tip. I have been wanting some good cherries. If we are down that way, I will stop in and get some. We had some cherries from a fruit stand in Watsonville last week and they were ok, but not very flavorful. Yesterday I tasted some cherries at Whole Foods in San Jose, which were pretty decent, but at $5/lb, I passed on them.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jenni

      We've had some pretty good Bings from Food Maxx for $2.98/lb.

      Please keep us posted on your cherry hunt.

      1. re: Melanie Wong

        Thanks Melanie, as usual great advice. We stopped at the Christopher Ranch stand today and bought three of the 2 lb plastic bags of cherries at $6 each. Excellent, ripe large cherries.
        On the way down we ate lunch in Gilroy at Los Pericos (I recommend the garlic shrimp), and then purchased 3 lbs of carnitas to go at Carnitas Michoacan.
        I may never need to eat again ...

        1. re: BarbaraBell

          Thanks Melanie... I was at Gilroy yesterday and bought three of them.

    2. Thanks...on my last trip south we couldn't convince the driver (we were with another couple) to stop for cherries either coming or going! the getting on and off the freeway can be daunting, so it is helpful to know that this one isn't bad...

      I bought cherries at Alemany yesterday. Unfortunately, I've already forgotten the price, but they were reasonably priced, but quality was only ok. The red heart strawberries on the other hand, were delicious (I think from Medina farms?; the strawberry vendor is a few down from All-Star tamales in that same row). If you ask for a box, she puts a few extra berries on top. and of course, I've already forgotten what I paid for them as well. it wasn't expensive, whatever it was, at least for a good strawberry!

      1. Yesterday I was finally going in the right direction at the right time to stop at Christopher Ranch's cherry stand. Still $5 for a box. They're bigger than last year and full of ripe flavor, but a bit soft this late in the season. This might be the last weekend for Bings.

        1. Wanted to mention that Gilroy's cherry stands have been open for business for two weeks. Last Thursday I stopped at Christopher Ranch's stand. Only Garnets available, these were quite juicy and sweet, but soft. The Bings are a little late this year and not ready for harvest yet.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Bings are finally in at Olson's Cherry Stand. $5 for the medium carton, still a bit tart and light in color and flavor - should be better as the days go by.

          2. Finally had a chance to stop at the stand yesterday. The boxes are still $5 and the Bings are huge. I bought a box of Rainiers, mostly giant but some smaller ones too. There was a special on "baby Bings", the smaller sizes, $3 per box or 2 boxes for $5. I bought some of those too, as they tasted just as good and were a bit firmer than the larger ones.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Have to rescind the rec for the baby Bings - the sample was good, but the box I brought home has tannic skins and overripe flavors.

            2. As of last week, the various cherry shacks in Gilroy are open and selling local fruit. This afternoon I stopped at Christopher Ranch's stand on the east side of Hwy 101 for the first cherries of the season. A box is now $6. The lady said that quantities are low this year and it will be a short season because there was rain during flowering. The cherries were a mix of colors from medium red to very dark.

              1. Driving north yesterday, no Christopher Ranch cherry stand. Maybe it skipped this year.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  It might be too late. I just received my fourth and likely last shipment of cherries from Gilroy (Andy's) on Tuesday. This week's varieties were Van and Black Republican. Brooks were first, followed by Bings and Raniers 2 weeks ago.

                  In terms of quality, I would not have guessed this was a bad year for cherries. Every single cherry was perfect, with the Raniers being the best. I had always thought Raniers were inferior even when picked fresh off the tree during Brentwood U-Pick, but apparently I had never had a good one.

                  1. re: felice

                    I saw a few open stands around Hollister on my day trip to Monterey the weekend before this past one; didn't stop to check them out.

                    But yes, it might too late for this year. My back yard bing cherries (in the Central Valley) were all harvested well before Memorial Day. Quality was very good, but (as may be true with the commercial cherries as well) it was a bad year in terms of quantity.

                    1. re: felice

                      Other cherry stands were still open along that corridor. Christopher Ranch cherries were featured at Nob Hill/Raley's. Maybe the stand was there earlier in the season.

                      I envy your Andy's Orchard (Morgan Hill) harvest.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong

                        I assumed that you might pick some up from their store on the way to SF from Gilroy.

                        The cherries were so good I am considering extending the subscription into the peach season since I couldn't do the Masumoto Elbertas this year. You've reported on great stone from Andy's in the past and I attended one of their Harvest walks about 10 years ago. I tried over 50 peach varieties - it was like a professional wine tasting event. I didn't spit, but I had to take very careful notes to figure out which variety I liked best.

                        I am fed up with stone fruit picked underripe or prematurely, even at the better farmers markets. I am glad there are still places left that refuse to compromise quality.