It is cherry picking season in Door County, Wisconsin, a popular vacation spot in the upper Midwest. The Door County Peninsula is easily accessible for people from Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison, Green Bay and the Twin Cities. Door County has a history of cherry growing that dates back to the 19th century. Visitors come to see the cherry blossoms in the spring and pick sweet and tart cherries in the summer. As you travel up the peninsula you will find dozens of farm markets filled with fresh cherry baked goods and ready picked cherries. Plan your visit in July for U-Pick Cherries at several local orchards.
Door County Cherries
The Door County Peninsula is ideal for growing cherries with its unique climate of cooler spring months and suitable soil composition. The first Montmorency cherry orchard was planted on the peninsula in 1858. At the peak of its season in 1959, Door County was known as Cherryland USA and grew 95% of the tart cherry crop in the United States. Door County’s alkaline soil and shallow limestone deposits proved to be well suited for growing fruit trees. The ideal weather conditions influenced by the waters of Lake Michigan and Green Bay prevent early frost and create gentle winds to ensure proper pollination in the spring. Early farmers in the county recognized this special microclimate and developed some of the earliest and largest fruit orchards in the state. Some of the biggest names in the county, Seaquist, Lautenbach and Zettel, got their start with a modest grove of cherry trees.
Pick Your Own Cherries
Families return summer after summer to visit their favorite orchard and pick tart Montmorency Cherries right from the trees loaded with fruit. Picking cherries is a great way to teach your kids how our food is grown and harvested. Sun ripened cherries handpicked and eaten that day is a special treat. Remember to bring some good walking shoes and a bottle of water and plan on spending an hour or two picking and strolling through the rows of cherry trees. Slow down and enjoy your visit to a pick-your-own cherry orchard in Door County.
Door County U-Pick Cherry Orchards
Stop at one of the following orchards on your next Door County vacation and pick your own fresh cherries. Buckets are provided. Please call ahead to make sure cherries are ready and available for picking.
Alexander’s Cherry Orchard – Brussels, WI
Cherry Lane Orchards – Sturgeon Bay, WI
Choice Orchards – Sturgeon Bay, WI
HyLine Orchard – Fish Creek, WI
Kielar Akers Orchard – Sturgeon Bay, WI
Lautenbach’s Orchrd Country Winery & Market – Fish Creek, WI
Meleddy Cherry Orchard – Sturgeon Bay, WI
Paradise Orchard – Brussels, WI
Robertson Orchards – Sturgeon Bay, WI
Schartner’s Farm Market – Egg Harbor, WI
Zettel Farms – Bailey’s Harbor, WI
For more information about Door County Cherries visit http://wisconsincherrygrowers.org/