Courtesy Grower Direct Marketing LLCStockton, Calif.-based O-G Packing & Cold Storage Co. and Grower Direct Marketing LLC launched greenhouse-grown cherries April 13, about two weeks ahead of orchards in the state’s Bakersfield and Arvin area.
They ship under the GDM Golden Standard label. O-G Packing grows the cherries; the company owns Grower Direct Marketing.
Availability is brief, with the window expected to close about April 25. At that point the company plans to begin Bakersfield and Arvin production.
“It’s a small amount of cherries but enough to fill the demand during this time,” Cotton said.
“We know of only two greenhouse cherry growers in the world,” said Mark Cotton, sales manager at Grower Direct Marketing. “Our only competition is a Spanish grower. We’re not aware of other North American cherry greenhouses.”
The greenhouse program is in the Stockton area.
“It’s taken many years just to set a crop,” Cotton said. “That was the hardest part and took a lot of trial and error. We’re announcing this now because we’re confident we’ll be able to set a crop in the future and grow this greenhouse cherry program.”
Cotton forecast good quality and promotable volumes on the southern orchards.
Stockton-area cherry orchards aren’t expected to start until about May 20.
O-G Packing also grows blueberries, apricots and walnuts.