The Rapidian

U-Pick cherries ready for first of July

Family-owned Moelker Orchards expect heavy traffic for shortened cherry picking season.

Moelker Orchard and Family Farm Market

Events and fruit available throughout the year.

For events, pictures, and of course fruit, visit their website.

Expected cherry dates: July 1 - 3

Fresh cherries only available to pickers

Fresh cherries only available to pickers /Moelker Orchard

For the first few days of July, Moelker Orchards and Farm Market will provide “U-Pick” cherry events where fruit enthusiasts from all over can come to pick fresh cherries. They offer white-gold cherries, black sweet cherries, Selah sweet cherries, and tart cherries.

“We normally have it for a couple weeks in July,” Bonnie Moelker says. She is expecting the cherries to be ready for picking on July 1 or shortly after. This year, their cherry supply will be down a little; there was a freeze on Mother’s Day that hurt a portion of the crops.

“The rest of the fruit and everything is still great,” Moelker says. The orchards and farm market will still be well-stocked with apples, peaches, plums, a pumpkin patch, fresh cider and baked goods this year.

Family farms and orchards across the country have been passed down through generations, and Moelker Orchards and Farm Market is no exception. Since 1907, the Moelker family has been bringing a variety of fruit to West Michigan with quality as their highest priority.

Bonnie Moelker and her husband currently own the land and have lived and worked on location for a long time. Moelker joined her husband 22 years ago where he had been living his entire life.

They sell a majority of their products through their own orchards, packing houses and a farmers market, however, the cherries are only available to customers fresh.

“It’s hard to put a number on how many people come through each day,” Moelker says. She sees an estimated 500-plus people come each day during the U-pick session. Since a smaller crop means fewer days to pick cherries, she expects it to be just as busy if not busier.

The Moelker family includes three children that work on the orchards as well. The orchards have been passed down through generations for over a century, but the baton pass for these owners is still not on the horizon.

“We aren’t really thinking about that,” Moelker says. She says she isn’t worried yet about another Moelker running the place: she has fresh cherries to sell.

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