EDITORIAL: Innovation is great for cherry growers

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A cherry juice plant taking shape at Finley Point is good news for Flathead cherry growers. The new venture will produce high-quality fruit juices and culinary sauces using culled or damaged fruit that typically has been discarded or sold at a loss to farmers.

Given the fact that between 10 and 30 percent of the cherry crop typically is culled for various deficiencies, this value-added option will be a great economic benefit for our local cherry growers.

Canadian cherry farmers Gary and Susan Snow, who developed the juicing process and equipment, have successfully marketed their product north of the border for six years. Flathead cherry growers are pleased the Snows are expanding their operation and moving back to Yellow Bay, where they previously resided.

As Susan Snow aptly noted, the juicing operation is a good reminder that necessity is the mother of invention. The couple plans to develop a second juicing line next year and has even bigger plans beyond that. We laud their entrepreneurial spirit.

Bringing a smile to many

More women throughout the Flathead Valley are smiling, thanks to a Whitefish nonprofit’s efforts to provide restorative dental care to qualifying head-of-household women or those with disabilities who can’t afford to get their teeth fixed.

Soroptimist International of Whitefish has expanded its Smile of Hope program this year, offering free dental care to a wider cross-section of low-income women. The Soroptimists use money earned from their Thrift Haus in Whitefish and partner with a dozen local dentists to maximize the amount of restorative care they’re able to provide. When the program started in 2008, the idea was to literally fix smiles to give low-income women the confidence to go after jobs and job promotions.

This kind of community collaboration has us smiling from ear to ear.

Wonderful wizard of words

Congratulations to Sarah Rye, the new Montana spelling champion.

By correctly spelling “herringbone,” the home-schooled Kalispell eighth-grader triumphed in the Treasure State Spelling Bee on Saturday.

That honor qualifies Rye, who previously won the Flathead County Spelling Bee, for the prestigious National Spelling Bee.

Good luck to our own wizard of words.

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