Cherries and picotas from Jerte constitute 45% of Spain's production and are recognized by National and International level. They have recognized the Denomination of Origin and their region is recognized as "Asset of Cultural Interest (BIC) since 1973".
We are going to discuss probe controlled irrigation and its influence on quality and quantity.
Cultivation of cherries and picotas in Spain
Cherries and picotas are grown in a temperate climate, with Italy and Spain being the main European producers.
After peaches and apple trees, the cherry tree is the most abundant in the Peninsula, highlighting the cultivation in the Communities of Aragon and Extremadura.
Within Extremadura we have the denomination of origin of the «Jerte picotas» recognized for their quality.
Cherries and picotas from Jerte
The cherry is the fruit of the cherry tree and the Jerte picotas are a characteristic variety of the Jerte Valley that naturally shed its peduncle, which makes them different from cherries at first glance.
In addition, the Jerte pillories are crunchy in texture and very sweet.
Picotas are slightly smaller than traditional cherries.
Its cultivation dates from the seventeenth century and its quality is due to the characteristics of the area, a valley between mountains of 2000 meters of altitude and with irrigation from natural springs. The situation of the Jerte valley means that the winters are intense and the cherry tree has guaranteed cold hours. The mild springs due to the situation in the valley and thus the flowering does not have the risk of late frosts that could harm the fruit set.
The varieties of:
- Black beak.
- Lemon pick.
- Red beak.
Irrigation controlled with probes in the cherries and picotas of the Jerte
The cherry tree withstands low temperatures well, needing around 1000 hours below 6º for germination to begin.
- We can control the cold hours with the Meteo Plantae station and thus know when the buds begin to rise.
- In the fruit setting, a degree of humidity is necessary and that frost does not occur.
- The cherry tree is sensitive to excess moisture in fruit growth. It can crack the pulp and cause its loss.
Plantae humidity sensors and probes allow humidity control in all phases. Especially necessary in intensive plantations that require more water and can accumulate salinity.
The information from the sensors in real time allows the farmer to modify the irrigation quantities so that the Jerte picotas have an exceptional quality and the production increases considerably.
Properties of cherries and picotas
Red fruits are all excellent for health and cherries and picota stand out.
- They have abundant vitamins A, B, C and E.
- They are antioxidants.
- Abundant fiber.
- They favor the skin and the immune system.
- Diuretic, cleansing and anti-inflammatory.
- We highlight the contribution of potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium.
- Advisable in diets and in cases of problems with uric acid.
Other applications of cherry
In addition to its fruit, the cherry tree is highly valued for its wood. It is considered one of the hardest woods and therefore widely used for furniture. Its characteristics in terms of its color and its beta make it a highly appreciated and expensive wood.
Jerte cherry jam
- Un kilo de picotas.
- Medio kilo de azúcar moreno.
- The juice of a lemon.
- We split the pillory and remove the bone.
- We put all the ingredients in a deep pot.
- We let the fruit cook with the sugar for an hour over a very low heat.
- We pass it through a masher or beat it with the mixer. To taste.
- We put it in glass jars and close them with an airtight lid. We place them until they cool upside down covered with a cloth.
- If we observe that the lid is hollowed, it is that the vacuum has not been made correctly and then we must keep it in the refrigerator and consume it. If the vacuum is correct we can keep it in a cool place until we are going to use it.