Traverse Bay Cherry
Directory of Cherry Farms located in the Traverse Bay Region of Michigan.

The Traverse Bay Region of Michigan stretches from Little Traverse Bay to south of the Grand Traverse Bay. Little Traverse Bay is home to two well-known towns of Northern Michigan: Harbor Springs and Petoskey. In addition, the towns of Charlevoix and Mackinac Island are within a short drive from the Litter Traverse Bay.

The Old Mission Peninsula splits the Grand Traverse Bay into to smaller bays. These are called West Bay and East Bay. The entire is 32 miles long and Traverse City is situated at the base of the bay. Traverse City is known the world over at the Cherry Capital of the World. This region of Northern Western Michigan grows approximately 50%-60% of all of the U.S. tart cherry crop.

In fact, recent research on the natural health benefits of the tart cherry has increased the interest in this tiny red fruit from a pie filling to a nutraceutical ingredient. Several products are now produced from the tart cherry including tart cherry juice, tart cherry juice concentrate, tart cherry capsules and tart cherry powder.

The Extraordinary History Of Montmorency Tart Cherries:
Sweet and tart cherries have pleased the palates of food lovers for centuries. Their ruby-red color and tangy taste won cherries a place on the tables of Roman conquerors, Greek citizens and Chinese noblemen. Cherries were brought to America by ship with early settlers in the 1600s.

Later, French colonists from Normandy brought pits that they planted along the Saint Lawrence River and on down into the Great Lakes area. Sweet and tart Cherry trees were part of the gardens of French settlers as they established such cities as Detroit, Vincennes, and other midwestern settlements.

Modern day cherry production began in the mid-1800s. Peter Dougherty was a Presbyterian missionary living in northern Michigan. In 1852, he planted tart cherry trees on Old Mission Peninsula (near Traverse City, Michigan). Much to the surprise of the other farmers and Indians who lived in the area, Dougherty's tart cherry trees flourished and soon other residents of the area planted trees. The area proved to be ideal for growing sweet and tart cherries because Lake Michigan tempers Arctic winds in winter and cools the orchards in summer.

The first commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893 on Ridgewood Farm near the site of Dougherty's original plantings. By the early 1900s, the tart cherry industry was firmly established in the state with orchards not only in the Traverse City area, but all along Lake Michigan from Benton Harbor to Elk Rapids. Soon production surpassed other major crops. The first cherry processing facility, Traverse City Canning Company, was built just south of Traverse City, and the ruby-red tart cherry fruit was soon shipped to Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee.

The Montmorency is the primary variety of tart cherry. It was planted in the early orchards and is still used today. The fruit is excellent for pies, preserves and juice. The newest American variety of tart cherry is the Balaton. Dr. Amy Iezzoni developed this tart cherry variety at Michigan State University. It currently has limited production, but has great potential for the fresh market and for juice.

"I recommend (Fruit Advantage Tart Cherry) to all of my clients."
Monica M., Cadillac, MI, Certified Massage Therapist and personal trainer - more testimonials

Directory of Cherry Farms in the Traverse Bay region of Michigan

A brief overview of tart cherry harvesting techniques used by farmers in Northern Michigan to harvest tart cherries.

The first step in the harvest is to shake the tart cherries from the tree. A special machine is used to shake the tart cherries from the tree. The next step is to wash the newly harvest cherries and prepare them for processing. The quality control conveyor belt is one of many of steps in processing cherries. Poor quality cherries are removed, while  premium cherries continue.

Here is a list of fruit farms (tart cherry, apple farms, peach farms, etc.) in Northern Michigan. This is not a complete list of all of the fruit farms in Northern Michigan. However, we will add to our directory continuously.

Bardenhagen Farms - Suttons Bay, MI
Elliott Farms - Lake Leelanau, MI
Harbor Hill Fruit Farms - Lake Leelanau, MI
Iott Farms - Oliver Township, MI
Lyons Farms - Traverse City, MI
Hoxsie Farms - Acme, MI
Frosty Arces - Williamsburg, MI
  List of companies that sell tart cherry products including tart cherry capsules, tart cherry juice concentrate, dried cherries and more.
Traverse Bay Farms -
Fruit Advantage -
Cherry Capsules -

We are continuously updating our directory. Please check back often to view our list
of cherry farms in Northern Michigan


University of Michigan Studies Tart Cherry Powder

New Flash: April 30, 2007

Tart Cherries may help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and more...

Initial research from the University of Michigan finds tart cherry powder made from whole tart cherries may help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and also fight cell oxidative stress (cell damage caused by free radicals).

Earlier studies show that tart cherries are packed with naturally occurring antioxidants to help maintain a healthy body. On April 30, 2007, the results of a study conducted by the University of Michigan were presented at the Experimental Biology 2007 meeting in Washington D.C..

During the study, whole tart cherry powder was fed to two test groups of rats. The tart cherry powder equated either to 1 percent or 10 percent of their diets for a 90 day period. Another study group received diets with no whole cherry powder.

The results showed that the cherry-enriched (tart cherry powder) diets had experienced additional health benefits when compared to the none cherry-enriched diets.

The researchers found that the rats in the study which were fed tart cherry powder benefited from just modest amounts of tart cherry powder. Some of the results included lower levels of cell oxidative stress (possibly due to the synergistic benefits of the compounds found in the tart cherry powder). In addition, the study indicated the tart cherry powder may also help maintain cardiovascular health in the subjects.

The researchers also indicated that after receiving promising cardiovascular results from using tart cherry powder in the study, the U of M team will soon launch clinical trials on humans with tart cherry powder.

Learn more about the Fruit Advantage tart cherry capsules:

Fruit Advantage Montmorency Tart Cherry Capsules
Fruit Advantage Cherry Prime

Source: Cherry-enriched diets reduce metabolic syndrome and oxidative stress in lean Dahl-SS rats. Experimental Biology 2007 225.8, Seymour EM, Singer AAM, Bennink MR, Bolling SF. Presented in minisymposium 225, Dietary Bioactive Compounds: Chronic Disease Risk Reduction.

Montmorency Tart Cherry Research
Recent research conducted at Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston and Brunswick Laboratory in Wareham, MA reveals each 100 gram serving (about 3 1/2 oz.) of tart cherry juice concentrate delivers over 12,000 ORAC units (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity). See the chart to the left for the antioxidant capacity of selected fruits.

Higher ORAC values are imperative to maintaining a health body simply because antioxidants fight free radicals in the body. A free radical is an unbalanced and reactive molecule that has lost one or more of its electrons.  Free radicals attempt to rob needed electrons from other molecules. If you have ever witnessed a cut apple or potato turn brown, you are witnessing what free radicals can do to healthy molecules.

Many people, think of the free radical reaction in your body similar to "cellular rust". Rust on metal is actually an oxidation reaction.  While free radicals occur naturally in oru bodies, we increase them by exposing ourselves to many pollutants, cigarette smoke and even ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

ORAC units help to fight free radicals. Tart Cherry Juice Concentrate is an excellent source of ORAC to help the body in fight free radicals.




Click Here to Montmorency Tart Cherry Products

* The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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