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The branches are heavy this time of year in Door County’s cherry orchards. So grab a bucket and start picking! As we drove along highways 57 and 42 over the weekend we noticed the orchards dotted with pickers, cherry buckets wrapped around their waists. Cherry picking is one of those time honored traditions that make Door County summers so sweet. Or should we say “tart!”

Sweet vs. tart cherries

While some Door County orchards do have sweet cherries, they mostly grow Montmorency Tart cherries. Those tart cherries are what make up the filling in Door County’s famous cherry pies. The season is a short one, usually a few weeks from mid July to early August. You can always check the Door County Cherry Blossoms report to see when the cherries are ready or visit each orchard’s Facebook page.

Picking cherries is fun for all ages

Choice Orchards is one of those places you can bring the family for pick-your-own cherries. Sweet cherries are ready first. Then the tart cherries. We filled buckets with the help of the kids. They were not thrilled when they learned they were too tart to enjoy! If they thought they could sample their way through the outing, they were wrong! These tart cherries went back home for pie filling and topping for vanilla ice cream. We froze the extras for a later date of pie baking.

We have also picked cherries at Seaquist Orchards located between Sister Bay and Ellison Bay. For even more cherry orchards that have pick-your-own days and hours, Destination Door County lists more than a dozen on their site, and includes the history of Door County cherries and some recipes!

Head to a market for all things cherry

So let’s say the idea of picking your own Door County cherries sounds like too much work, or the timing of your Door County visit doesn’t match with the season, just shop for them! You’ll find frozen cherries, dried cherries, cherry juice and even cherry BBQ sauce. You can shop for cherries in granola, or baked into sweet treats. On a recent trip to Wood Orchard Market in Egg Harbor, a shopper told us, as we picked up a dozen cherry donuts, that they “are life changing!”

Many of the orchards have their own markets that are filled with Door County made products. Stock up for your Door County vacation rental or to take back home with you at the end of your getaway. They also make great gifts for those who didn’t make the trip! Maybe a jar of cherries jubilee for the friends who watered your plants or watched your dogs? You can also find many of these products at the local grocery stores. We found the items below at the market in downtown Fish Creek.

Keep your eye out for cherry products wherever your Door County visit takes you. Eat the cherry pie after taking in a traditional Door County fish boil. Or try the famous Door County Cherry Stuffed French Toast at the While Gull Inn in Fish Creek. Order a cherry mimosa or uncork a bottle of cherry wine!

With a cherry on top!

Make your cherry picking experience complete, by staying at a place that fits the theme! You’ll love staying at The Cherry Cabana in Sister Bay! A perfect base camp for your Door County adventures.

Rae

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