We got a tip (thanks Lisa!) that a couple farmstands close to the city would order pounds and pounds of sour cherries during the summer and make them available for pre-order. Then you go on the appointed day and lug home your big pail of sour cherries — all for a very low price.
One farm had them for much less than $2/pound. We opted for a pail that came in at a little more than $2/pound, though, because the cherries were already pitted! This is going to save us a lot of work when we turn them into jam and preserves.
It also made us realize, seeing the other kinds of fruit available for bulk order, that this is a much cheaper (and easier) way to get our fruit for summer preserving or wine-making. If you're looking for massive quantities of strawberries, plums, peaches, or apples, call around to your local farms and see if there are bulk options. You may find yourself saving a lot of money.
And now for the real question: what should we do with all our cherries? Cherry clafoutis has already been accomplished; what about the rest?
Related: Eat Cheap: Farmstands in the Country
(Images: Faith Durand)