Our story began in 1912 when James Joseph Chinchiolo settled in Massachusetts as a fruit dealer after immigrating from Italy. Within a few years, he founded the Chinchiolo Fruit Company with his brother, paving the way for future generations. Establishing the family’s roots in farming and agriculture. After four generations of farming, we join James Patrick Chinchiolo, at the family's Cherry Orchards in Lodi, California.
In this documentary, we follow the family and their team through the journey of growing Fresh Cherries across a whole season. From pruning the crops and maintenance in the Winter to that indescribable moment in the early summer months when you finally try the first cherry of the season and a flood of emotions and memories come washing back.
“It's really at that moment when the cherry is super ripe and if I'm out here at six in the morning, just as the sun's coming up and I pick the cherry off the tree and pop in my mouth, it's this opportunity for all these emotions and memories to flood in from my childhood and from when my grandfather was alive… it's a really exciting time.” - James Chinchiolo
There are so many highs and lows to growing cherries, as the fruit is extremely delicate, multiple stars need to align in mother nature in order for the family to achieve a good season with the fruit. The smallest deviance from ideal conditions can cause a disaster! From frost late in the season damaging the buds, to temperatures too cold for bees to pollinate or if it rains just as the cherries are ready to be picked. To achieve these world class cherries takes decades of knowledge handed down through the generations, but also working collaboratively with mother nature to bring these delicate fruits to market.
California is a wonderful location for cherries, with ideal growing conditions. The night-time temperatures get cool enough to allow the fruit to grow, while glorious sunshine soaks the cherries in warm daylight temperatures so they can photosynthesise. All of the cherries at Chinchiolo farms are still picked by hand to ensure the best quality. This is a practice handed down through the generations of the family and these older methods ensure the highest of conditions for the fruit as no steps are skipped.
Early in the morning the teams here are busy picking the fruit when it’s cool, and keep the cherries temperatures cold so the best flavor remains until the customers take their first bite into the fruit. The family have carefully honed their skills from this generational knowledge to ensure the fruit tastes as good as the moment it was picked from the tree.
“When we’re able to produce our cherries and get them out into the marketplace that’s symbolic of my family, that’s us coming together and putting our efforts in one place to produce these beautiful cherries.” - James Chinchiolo
It’s a huge responsibility as a farmer, to be stewards of the land and that takes education and awareness from both the farmer and consumers. The Chinchiolo family has a close relationship with their customers and community around them and this shows through the documentary as a humbling experience for everyone. It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone to connect with nature, and that special moment can be seen in the enjoyment of children and their families when they join in with the cherry picking. Hear directly from 2 generations of Chinchiolo Owner’s, James and his father Tom Chinchiolo as they share these special and heart-warming moments.
Follow the team in this documentary through their journey of growing Fresh Cherries as they share their story on what it takes to create world class cherries in California. From the challenges of growing such a delicate fruit to the symbolic moment for the family at the end when the cherries are brought to market and the hard work throughout the year.