Peck and Bushel Fruit Company in Colgate doesn't just offer an organic alternative to your favorite apple varieties.¬†Wisconsin's only organic apple orchard also offers a return to the old-fashioned fruit-picking experience. That is, they're focused more on making their apples taste delicious, and less on frills like bouncy houses and pony rides.
After experimenting in his own backyard with organic growing methods for over 20 years, Joe Fahey and his wife Jennifer purchased over 70 acres of sun-kissed land with views of Holy Hill in 2009. They've been nurturing it the earth-friendly way ever since.¬†
They use no synthetically manufactured chemicals, pesticides or fertilizers. Instead, they use plants like crabapple trees to attract bees to do their bidding. They use a trellis system, similar to a vineyard, that enhances air flow and allows more sun to get in. They use a clay and kale based spray that acts as a bug irritant and sunscreen. And they grow apples that are meant to be grown in the Midwest.¬†
To complement Joe's natural growing methods, his wife Jennifer packages it all up to reflect the farm-country atmosphere of their land. Everything from the rustic wooden signs in the orchard to the red and white checkered covers on their jars of applesauce is a testimony to her knack for marketing.
The result of their efforts is an orchard filled with 6,000 dwarf apple trees, boasting 800-foot rows of luscious red Honeycrisp apples and yellow Blondies with a sweet banana-like flavor. Of course, some varieties didn't turn out so well this year, like the stubborn McIntosh crop.
But Fahey doesn't seem bothered by the challenges that come with trying to accomplish what some believe is impossible, or at least too difficult to try. With his orchard in its infancy, he seems to enjoy perfecting the growing process and studying the science behind his labor. He's looking forward to a 4,000-tree expansion for next year's growing season.¬†
And the steady stream of customers from the surrounding area suggest it's a good bet.
If you'd like to plan a visit, they are open on the weekends only. You can buy their pre-picked apples, applesauce, caramel apples, and other homemade products at their drive-by stand.
For the pick-your-own experience, call mid-week to see what's on tap for the upcoming weekend.
If you want to find out more about this innovative fruit farm, check our their website at peckandbushel.com.
No Talkbacks for this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Calie Joy Herbst
Published March 10, 2014
Based on the crowd Saturday morning at the Milwaukee County Winter's Farmers' Market at the Mitchell Park Domes, I may be the only person left who hasn't already fallen in love with this free, weekly family-friendly event.
Published March 6, 2014
It's been a rough winter, even for hardened Wisconsinites like us. If the frigid temperatures have kept you and your kids inside, you may want to check out the latest green-built exhibit at the Betty Brinn's Children's Museum for a taste of the outdoors.
Published Feb. 15, 2014
I officially have a new favorite family friendly restaurant in the area. It's modern, yet cozy and welcoming. It's packed with kids and families, but not obnoxious or sticky (you know what I mean).
Published Feb. 7, 2014
Here's what to say - and what not to say - to pregnant women. Got it?
Published Jan. 20, 2014
This weekend alone, Wehr Nature Center in Franklin, Boerner Botanical Gardens in Hales Corners and Schlitz Audubon Nature Center in Bayside are all offering winter-themed events and celebrations.
Published Jan. 7, 2014
Milwaukee native Elizabeth Rees recently launched a business called Chasing Paper that can help people like us to change the entire look of a space within a reasonable budget.
Published Jan. 4, 2014
There's nothing more hopeful than a clean slate. With the new year upon us, we can put our imperfections and mistakes behind us, and journey into 2014 sans last year's baggage. What are your parenting resolutions for 2014?
Published Dec. 30, 2013
I am looking forward to a year of beautiful memories with my growing family. Here is my attempt at creating the quintessential Milwaukee Bucket List for Families for 2014.
Published Dec. 9, 2013
Downtown may not be the first place you think of to find family-friendly holiday fun, but it should be! Milwaukee's Downtown is looking festive with holiday decorations and bustling with free and inexpensive family-friendly events throughout the entire month of December.
Published Nov. 25, 2013
Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and many of us are counting our blessings and pausing to appreciate what's really important in life. But are we raising our kids to be thankful, as well?