Summertime is cherry-picking season in Michigan. Those interested in picking their own cherries can drive to a farm, pick their own cherries right from the trees and pay for what they harvest. Michigan offers dozens of cherry picking options across the state, and except for those located in northeastern Michigan or the upper peninsula, residents and visitors to Michigan won't have to travel far to find a cherry-picking farm.
A.W. Overhiser Farms
Residents and visitors in southwestern Michigan should check out A.W. Overhiser Farms located in South Haven (www.overhiserorchads.com). Allan Wade and Kim Myers, the current owners of the farm, keep about 40,000 trees, including several varieties of both sweet and tart cherry trees. Wade and Myers open the cherry-picking season every year on the 4th of July. Pickers show up at the farm, check in and go out to the orchards to pick until their baskets are full. Pickers pay for their cherries by weight. The farm also features a market where patrons can buy pre-picked cherries and cherry products.
Spicer Orchards is located in Fenton in southeastern Michigan (www.spicerorchards.com). The Spicer family has run this farm for five generations. Tart cherry season is from July 1st to August 1st and sweet cherry season is from July 1st to July 20th. The farm has a pitting machine on site if patrons want to pit their picked cherries before leaving. For more family fun, the Spicer family has built three mazes in various levels of difficulty.
Ed Dunneback and Girls Farm Market
Ed Dunneback and Girls Farm Market is located in Grand Rapids, which is in west-central Michigan (www.dunnebackfarm.com). This farm specializes in growing apples, strawberries and sweet cherries. The cherry season starts around the 4th of July. When fruit is in season, the farm is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Customers also can shop in the farmers market for fruit products and tasty treats such as homemade doughnuts, pies and turnovers.
Visitors and residents in east-central Michigan should head to Montrose Orchards in Montrose (www.montroseorchards.com). This family-owned and operated farm is over 85 years old and grows over 200 acres of crops. Cherry season starts in early July. Pickers can also enjoy orchard tours, hay rides and the market which sells fruit products and baked goods.
King Orchards is located in northwestern Michigan in Central Lake (www.kingorchards.com). The farm grows 130 acres of tart cherries, which come into season in July. King Orchards is open daily Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They sell a homemade cherry juice, called Tart Cherry, commercially. It is available for sale at the orchard's market.
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