Leelanau News and Events

Final Call For Fresh Cherries This Week; More Juicy Inside Info From Leelanau County Growers

By Emily Tyra | Aug. 2, 2021

Leelanau fruit report: Cherry harvest is still in full swing for about one more week at the northernmost points on the peninsula, including for commercial grower Cherry Home Orchards in Northport.

This is contrary to rumors otherwise, farmer Phil Hallstedt of Northport’s Hallstedt Homestead Cherries tells the Leelanau Ticker, “many people have read or think the season is over, but we have a final late variety called Sweethearts which is an awesome cherry — large, dark red and scrumptious. The earlier the better to come pick, as I believe we will be finished next weekend Saturday, August 7 at the latest.” Hallstedt's sweet cherry orchard at 8227 N. Matheson Road is open to the public for pre-picked or U-Pick cherries 10am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, and noon-5pm on Sunday. 

Josiah Bakker of family-run Bakkers Acres on Setterbo Road in Suttons Bay says though this year was a short season for sweet cherries with good percentage of the local crop lost due to splitting, they will be bringing the last of the washed and hand-sorted Balaton cherries fresh to the Leelanau Famers Markets this week. (Stay tuned for their homegrown peaches, and a fall reprise of their raspberries.)

Bulldog Berries U-Pick and wholesale blueberry farm on 7187 East Harrys Road in Elmwood Township currently offers U-Pick from their newly mature Lowbush blueberry bushes, Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 5pm, and 9am to 3pm on Sunday. The growers note, “We want to ensure that there are sufficient ripe berries for picking, so the U-Pick operating days are subject to change, based on how the field is looking and weather.” Check Bulldog Berries’ Facebook page for any day-by-day closures, or find picking days and times at 231-360-9964. (The farm is always closed Mondays.)

Coming in hot: juicy Leelanau-grown peaches. The farmers at Cherry Beach Orchards in Suttons Bay — who sell fruit at several of the Leelanau Farmers Markets — say they are looking for some heat to accelerate tree-ripening, with their first harvest just a couple of weeks out. Meanwhile, farmer Kevin VerSnyder of VerSnyder Orchards says most of his early peach varieties were killed by a cold winter, but he picked one of the later varieties over the weekend and “the crop looks good!”

Ripe peaches are stocked today (Monday, August 2) at the VerSnyder Orchards stand at 1530 S. Lakeshore Drive (County Road 643) in Lake Leelanau. Peaches sell out quickly so check the Facebook page for the latest farmstand updates.

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