Cherry festival invites Praguers to fill a basket for free

Cherry orchards in Prague date back to the 15th century, they flourished in the post-war era and are being revived once again.

Expats.cz Staff

Written by Expats.cz Staff Published on 21.06.2022 10:11:00 (updated on 21.06.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

A typical Czech garden isn’t complete without some type of stone fruit tree. Stone fruits, especially plums, are frequently used to make fruit dumplings that freeze well and allow you to enjoy the season’s best bounty well beyond summer.

Cherry (třešeň) is the first of these trees to bear fruit. For a couple of weeks in summer, this fruit is plentiful. The sour morello variety (víšeň) follows on soon after. These more tart relatives of the ordinary cherry can be almost black and are a perfect filling for strudel as a change from apples.

Stores start stocking cherries this time of year but cherry-picking has become a tradition in Prague which is home to more than sixty orchards that are open to the public.

Every weekend until the end of the month, the Vrch Třešňovka orchard in Hrdlořezy is hosting a cherry festival. The event invites participants to rent a ladder on-site for the small fee of CZK 50/hour and, in association with the "Na Ovoce" initiative enjoy accompanying events including concerts and workshops.

Cibulka orchard in Prague / photo
Cibulka orchard in Prague / photo praha-priroda.cz

See a map of orchards open to the public at Na Ovoce. The City of Prague also has a district-by-district guide to orchards and maps. The cherry festival runs from now through June 30 at  Vrch Třešňovka orchard in Hrdlořezy.

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"Over time, Prague's 'třešňobraní' has become an unmissable event...Last year, thanks to the great commitment of the participants, we managed to save more than 2,000 kg of fruit in four days, which would otherwise remain useless," Kateřina Kubánková, the founder of the Na Ovoce association told Czech news server iDnes.cz.

The history of traditional orchards here dates back to the 15th century but a number of Prague orchards originated in the post-war period, between the 1950s and 1960s, when they were still on the outskirts of Prague. Planted as production orchards to supply the citizens of Prague with fruit, over time, however, they were felled or became overgrown.

In recent years, the city of Prague has revived the orchards and in cooperation with Na Ovoce has released the Prague Fruit Orchard book guide, on sale now with maps of the 15 most beautiful public orchards in Prague.

The biggest number of orchards in Prague are cherry orchards (39%), followed by apple trees (25%), plum trees (16%), pear trees (13% ), and apricots (2%) and walnuts (2%). The city also counts among its orchards, almonds, chestnuts, and mulberries, in total, over 300 different varieties of fruit trees.

To use your cherry harvest make a traditional Czech bublanina "bubble cakes" a delicious summer sponge cake. Read the full recipe here.

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