This week, the first Belgian cherries of the season, from Hoepertingen, Haspengouw, were auctioned at BFV in Sint-Truiden and donated to the "healthcare heroes" of the Covid-19 department at Sint-Trudo hospital, the cooperative revealed.
The cherries, cultivated in tunnels, are the early-maturing Bellise and Samba varieties, which benefit from a firm flesh and a sweet taste.
The fruit was donated by grower Theo Jammaers, formerly of Fancy Fruit, as a show of gratitude to the staff who cared for him when he was hospitalised at Sint-Trudo some years ago.
“Cherries have always been his favourite fruit and he never misses an opportunity to introduce others to his passion,” said Karel Belmans, field coordinator at BFV. “Theo set up the tunnel cultivation ten years ago to offer early cherries as a first at Plant Days at Castle Hex in Heers during the second weekend of June. This year everything is different, but together with the good weather and the beautiful region, Haspengouw, it is good to enjoy juicy Belgian cherries."