“We try to tell people what’s happening. We have pictures of the trees, pictures of the people in the orchards,” Pepperl said. “We’re trying to bring the orchard to their home.”
Stemilt Growers has more than 7,000 Facebook fans, but he said he hopes to build that to more than 100,000.
Domex Superfresh Growers, Yakima, began putting quick-response codes on its apple bags during spring 2011 and subsequently rolled them out on all cherry bags and clamshells for the entire cherry season, said Loren Queen, marketing and communications manager.
The QR codes take consumers to a mobile website where they can learn about cherries, such as the differences between rainiers and dark sweet cherries.
In July 2011 alone, the mobile site received 2,000 hits, he said.
This year, Superfresh Growers plans to add videos featuring the crop’s progress.
“Cherries are really about the locale where they’re grown rather than local — you just can’t grow a cherry anywhere,” Queen said. “Consumers like to know who’s growing their fruit. Especially with cherries, it’s family farmers who are hand-growing each cherry for them to eat.”