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Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013

Discovering regional apple orchards

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Despite our state’s unfailing commitment to manufacturing exceptional cheese and beer, Wisconsin is also home to dozens of family-owned-and-operated apple orchards, producing hundreds of varieties throughout the state. In an effort to engage consumers, the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association has provided a useful resource on its website to help consumers locate orchards within a comfortable driving distance. Brightonwoods Orchard, Ela Orchard, Door Creek Orchard and Nieman Orchards are just a few of the many wonderful options presented on waga.org.

 

Brightonwoods Orchard

Situated near the scenic Richard Bong State Recreation Area in western Kenosha County, Brightonwoods Orchard (1072 288th Ave.) grows more than 200 varieties on its expansive property. Pre-picked or sold in bulk, Brightonwoods’ apples can be purchased on site, along with homemade apple cider, seasonal gourds, caramel apples and locally produced honey. The Burlington orchard takes part in the Brookfield Farmers’ Market, the South Shore Farmers’ Market and the Westown Farmers’ Market through the end of October. For more information, visit brightonwoodsorchard.com.

 

Ela Orchard

A regular at the Burlington Farmers’ Market, the East Town Market and the Westtown Farmers’ Market, Ela Orchard (31308 Washington Ave., Rochester) grows and sells more than 30 varieties of apples and four types of pears, which are used to make Ela Orchard’s homemade apple cider. To learn more about Ela Orchard or to obtain directions to the property, visit elaorchard.com.

 

Door Creek Orchard

Located in Cottage Grove, a small town less than 10 minutes outside of Madison, the Door Creek Orchard (3252 Vilas Road) allows ambitious visitors to pick their own Cortland, Gala, Greening, Jonafree, Jonamac and McIntosh apples, in addition to selecting from several other already-picked varieties. The onsite orchard store also sells Door Creek Orchard’s homemade apple cider and gift items from other area farms and businesses. Visit doorcreekorchard.com to learn more.

 

Nieman Orchards

A shinning example of the American family-farm tradition, Nieman Orchards has remained on the same expanse of land in the care of the Nieman family for nine generations. Located in Cedarburg (9932 Pioneer Road), Nieman Orchards grows more than 40 varieties of apples; produces a natural apple cider; and sells a variety of Wisconsin-made jellies, jams, honeys, syrups, seasonal gourds and popcorn in its Cedarburg salesroom. Depending on the availability of the produce and the cooperativeness of the weather, customers can find Nieman Orchards through December at the West Allis Farmers’ Market. To learn more about Nieman Orchards’ produce and cider, visit niemanorchards.com.