We celebrate Berries and Cherries Month in March every year. It’s the perfect time to indulge in too many berries and cherries and learn interesting facts about them. These delicious and well-known fruits are the perfect way to usher in Spring. Berries and cherries delight our taste buds and are used in almost all smoothies and even desserts! They come in a beautiful array of flavors and colors. While most people enjoy cherries in the middle of summer, Berries and Cherries Month serves to remind you that you can enjoy these yummy fruits at any time of year in all their forms.
History of Berries and Cherries Month
Cherries as we know them come from the sweet cherry tree common throughout Europe and parts of Northern Africa. We have eaten them since prehistoric times, and they were eventually introduced to England at Teynham by order of King Henry VIII. Berries also sustained hunter-gatherers for thousands of years before agriculture even started. Since then, they have spread all over the world, and we now enjoy them in all their variants.
Cherry trees are quite fussy and difficult to keep alive, especially in humid climates. Modern cherry production in the U.S. began in 1852 when Peter Dougherty began planting cherry trees on Michigan’s Old Mission Peninsula. Production quickly overtook other field crops and the first cherry processing plant was built. The Traverse City Canning Company soon shipped the ruby-red fruit to nearby towns. On the other hand, most berry species (over 400) are easy to grow and can handle full sun and sometimes less than optimal soil conditions. They were cultivated in Europe from the 17th century, and the U.S. has cultivated certain species for centuries.
March was chosen as Berries and Cherries Month for several reasons, one of which dates back to 1912 when Japan donated 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S., a symbol of friendship between the two nations. The park where the trees were planted is located in Washington D.C. One other reason is that March is the beginning of spring when we get to enjoy a nearly unlimited supply of these yummy fruits!
Berries and Cherries Month timeline
Modern cherry production begins in the U.S. as Peter Dougherty plants cherry trees on the Old Peninsula Mission, Michigan.
The first cherry processing plant, the Traverse City Canning Company, is built.
Japan donates 3,000 cherry trees to the U.S. to symbolize friendship between the two nations.
The world production of sweet cherries is 2,25 million tons, with Turkey producing 20% of this total.
Berries and Cherries Month FAQs
Are cherries and berries the same?
Berries and cherries are both fruits; however, cherries belong to another category of fleshy fruits called ‘drupes.’ These fruits include any fruit with a seed derived from a hard shell or “stone.”
How many different types of cherries are there?
There are about 1,200 varieties of cherries globally, each with its own unique taste and appearance. There are two different types of cherries, namely sweet and sour cherries. The common variety of cherries you will find in the supermarket are Bing cherries, Rain cherries, Chelan cherries, and Balaton cherries.
What are the benefits of cherries?
Cherries are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and other goodies. They also help the body function optimally
Berries and Cherries Month Activities
Fix yourself a berry drink
There's a berry for everyone from blueberries and raspberries to strawberries and peaches. Berries are packed with nutritional components like vitamin C, fiber, folic acid, and phytochemicals. With their natural sweetness and versatility in flavor, there are plenty of ways to get your daily berry intake. Try out different recipes this month, and find your favorite.
Incorporate cherries into your diet
Cherries are a good source of vitamins A and C and fiber and are nutritious fruit to add to your diet. They will strengthen your body's defenses and improve your overall health. Try them! Get the freshest bunch by buying locally or picking them yourself.
Grow your own
Cherry trees are showy, have fragrant flowers in Spring, and abundant fruit in late Spring and early Summer. Most berries are also easy to grow at home, and there are many varieties. Whatever you decide to grow, growing berries and cherries at home is certainly possible.
5 Fun Facts About Berries And Cherries
Soothes sore muscles
New research suggests that tart cherries can speed up recovery and soothe sore muscles after a workout.
Varieties of cherries
There are over 1,200 varieties of cherries.
The world's largest cherry pie was baked in British Columbia, Canada, and weighed nearly 40,000 pounds.
The world’s biggest berry
The world’s biggest blueberry was grown in Wilbinga, Western Australia, and set a new world record at 0,57 ounces and 1,4 inches in diameter.
Cherries are part of the rose family.
Why We Love Berries and Cherries Month
Rich in vitamins and fiber
Berries and Cherries Month allows us to eat our fill of these fruits that are good sources of vitamins and fiber. They are nutrient-dense superfoods packed with vitamins and minerals (such as potassium, copper, vitamin E, and polyphenols) that can boost the immune system by reducing inflammation in the body.
We get a whole month to taste all the different flavors and types of berries and cherries. Have fun exploring and trying all the deliciousness.
Cherries can help you sleep
They are one of the only natural sources of melatonin, which helps the body promote healthy, restful sleep. Just another reason to celebrate Berries and Cherries Month.
Berries and Cherries Month dates