In Maryland, one can count on about ten weeks of local corn and tomatoes, maybe a bit fewer of peaches. But small fruits come and go quickly. You will not see strawberries much past the beginning of June, and the cherries that have been at market the last two weekends may not be next weekend.
Strawberries require only so much preparation, blackberries none but rinsing. Cherries to be cooked will need to be pitted though, and that takes time. Yesterday I pitted something close to a quart of loose cherries. Even with a chair to rest my knee on, I found it a little tiring to the back. I suspect that even those with better small-muscle coordination would have found it a slow business.
There are machines to pit cherries. Friends have one, but they make trips to pick their own fruit, they cook more desserts, though very moderate drinkers they infuse vodka with the flavors from crushed fruits. I can't see cluttering the kitchen with a tool that I might use three times in an unusually busy year.
But what if one could arrange to share a pitting device with households where the cherries ripen earlier or later? A household in Henrico County, Virginia, might be able to share a pitter withAdams County, Pennsylvania, and one in Montgomery County, Maryland, with one in Sullivan County, Pennsylvania. As a form of social networking, the sharing of cherry pitters would be more useful than many. Someone would have to arrange that the devices arrived at the southern limit of growing with a sheaf of two or three UPS tags for the northerly households; and at the end of the year, the northernmost would have to return them to the depot. I don't imagine that anyone would make a lot of money from the scheme, though. Maybe some college alumni association could take it up.