Heat Your Home with Cherry Pits – A Biomass Alternative Fuel
Tart cherries have been long known for their ability to fight joint pain caused by gout and arthritis. However, did you know the pit of the cherry is one of the top biomass alternative fuels for pellet stoves?
This means that almost every part of the cherry is used in some way and best of all cherry pits are a renewable energy source. Cherries are harvested annually and once the raw fruit goes through the initial production process, the pits are immediately removed.
Where do Cherry Pits Come From?
Cherries are part of the Prunus family and also referred to as a stone fruit. The reason is the cherry has a single pit in the center. In botany, this is referred to as a drupe. The fruit itself has a fleshy outer part that can be consumed and a hard single pit or stone in the center. Other examples of stone fruits include peaches and plums.
Since the pits are part of the cherry itself, the annual available of cherry pits is dependent on the overall tart cherry harvest. The annual U.S. cherry crop yield is approximately 270 million pounds, with the State of Michigan producing approximately 70% or about 190 million pounds annually. The northern western region of the lower peninsula of Michigan, referred to as the “Traverse Bay Farms” region is the area that grows the majority of the Michigan tart cherry crop.
The Michigan cherry crop harvest usually begins the second week of July until Mid-August. During this time the cherries are harvested from the trees. In fact, there are approximately 7,000 cherries per tree. This means each cherry tree yields 7,000 cherry pits and since each cherry pit weights about an ounce, each tree produces approximately 425 pounds of cherry pits to heat your home.
Since the supply of cherry pits is dependent on the overall tart cherry crop yield, they sell out very fast. Due do the amount of time to prepare the cherry pits, they are usually available from Mid-September until Mid- November. Due to the limited supply, once they sell out for the current year they are unable until the next harvest year.
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The Cherry Pit Production Process
Once the cherry pits are removed from the fruit, the pits are then scrubbed to remove any residue remaining from the fruit. Once the residue is removed, the next step in cherry pit production is they are washed and then dried. Finally, they are stored in massive cherry bit containers to prevent moisture. The final step is the repackage the bulk pits into 13lb. or 40 lb. bags for the individual consumer.
Why Cherry Pits are an Excellent Choice to Heat Your Home
When compared to other forms of pellet heating including wheat pellets, corn and sugar beet pellets, the cherry pellets deliver more BTU’s per pound.
Check out the comparison chart for each of the BTU output:
- Sugar Beet Pellets: 7000 BTU’s
- Wheat Pellets: 8000 BTU’s
- Corn Pellets: 8500 BTU’s
- Cherry Pellets: 9500 BTU’s
As you can see from the above chart, cherry pits deliver more heating power when compared to other pellet alternatives. In addition, they produce less ash to clean up and remove when compared to other heating options, too.
Cherry Pits and Pain Relief
Cherry pits are fast becoming an excellent choice for those looking to fight joint pain naturally. Since the cherry pit is hallow it is able to hold hot or cold temperatures for extended time. This means they can assist with relieving muscle cramps, reducing arthritis pain, back pain and even headaches. This have lead to the creation of dozens of cherry cushion that can be placed in the microwave for heat or in the freezer for cold. The most popular cherry cushion is the Cherry Hug.
If you’re looking for a eco-friendly, renewable, cost effective way to heat your home consider using cherry pits. Click Here to download a free copy of the Tart Cherry Report