Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

No cherry jackpot this season in Door County, Wisconsin October 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 9:12 AM
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REMEMBER THAT WONDERFUL and unseasonably warm weather we embraced last March? Then remember the cold and freezing weather which followed in April, as if the two months traded spots temperature-wise. Not a good thing when you own an orchard.

This sign along Wisconsin Highway 42 south of Fish Creek marks The Cherry Hut roadside cherry business, established in 1949.

I hadn’t thought much about that warm spring until a recent visit to Door County, Wisconsin, famous for its cherry orchards.

The northeastern Wisconsin peninsula experienced the same type of weird warm winter weather we did here in Minnesota, causing the cherry tree buds to form early and then freeze.

The cherry pit spit at Lautenbach’s Country Winery & Market, Fish Creek.

According to the Wisconsin Cherry Growers, Door County’s typical cherry crop of 12 million pounds was expected this year to hover around 700,000.

At first glance you would think this is a cherry product. Not so. This is apple butter sold by The Cherry Hut. I assume the apple crop was also down this year in Door County as it is in Minnesota.

The cherry harvest is long done in Door County. But even a poor crop doesn’t stop this tourist destination from promoting cherries and offering samples of cherry wines and juices and cherry salsa from, I presume, primarily last season’s crop.

And restaurants, like Julie’s Park Cafe in Fish Creek, were still offering up slices of delicious Door County cherry pie.

A $5 slice of tart Door County cherry pie…

…shared by three–my husband, second daughter and me.

© Copyright 2012 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


12 Responses to “No cherry jackpot this season in Door County, Wisconsin”

  1. treadlemusic Says:

    Shortly after reading last Spring about the freeze in Door County, I also read that their tourism so depends on cherries that the various places there were buying cherries from elsewhere in order to fulfill the “Door County cherry” needs that the visitors expect!!!!! This is a very costly solution ($$$ for “imported” cherries were very high!!!) but the loss of tourism $$$ is much more devastating!!!! Interesting! I read those same production figures…amazing!

  2. cecilia Says:

    Oh I know how they felt, all my fruit trees were wiped out this year there are bare shelves in the cave because of it.. Lets hope next year is better!! Lovely shot of the cherry pie.. c

  3. hotlyspiced Says:

    I feel so sorry for farmers. Everything they do is so reliant on the weather. That’s a very dismal harvest xx

  4. That is quite a luscious looking slice of pie!

  5. Yes, that freeze was a total bummer for crops. My mouth dropped open at those numbers: 12 million pounds vrs. 700,000! Ouch. Around here the apple crop was ok, numbers-wise, but they all have hail damage. Every single apple at the two orchards around town is a second this year, due to the hail.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Oh, wow, all the apples are seconds. We like to buy those from a local orchard for apple crisp. I know some orchards in this region don’t have U-pick this year due to the crop loss.

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