A Visit To The Apple Orchard – Peck & Bushel Fruit Company
The month of September always signifies the start of apple picking season in our household. We were recently invited to spend an afternoon at Peck & Bushel in Colgate. Our first stop, as we arrived at Peck & Bushel, was the gorgeous barn. What struck us the most was the clean and natural atmosphere mixed with rustic flavor. They have many sections in their barn to purchase fresh baked goods, household decorations, pre-picked apples, honey, applesauce and apple cider (all organic!) and a children’s drawing area!
As we made our way through the barn we noticed how friendly all of the workers were. After chatting with a few, we had the pleasure of meeting Joe and Jenny, the owners. You can really feel their passion for their orchard and how much joy this business gives them. You can read their story below.
Peck & Bushel Story…
Joe and Jenny’s journey began with a passion for growing healthy and great tasting fruit. Over a decade ago, Joe worked full time in the medical field. His week nights and weekends were spent in the backyard experimenting with organic apple tree management. Through much trial and error, he learned to produce fantastic quality, organically grown apples. The fruit of his labor proved too good to be kept a secret.
First Planting Day – 2010
Joe and Jenny started Peck & Bushel Organic Fruit Company in 2010 with a heap of hard work and 3,000 new apple trees. The greatly anticipated first planting day arrived in April 0f that year. They had a tractor, plenty of family help, and blind ambition. What they did not count on was three inches of rain on a newly tilled farm field. To say there was mud covering everything and everyone would be an understatement. “It was our first major lesson in the difficulties of farming. At times it’s Mother Nature vs. the farmer…that day Mother Nature won.”
The Secret to Growth
Since that very first planting, they have learned a lot about working with Mother Nature, instead of against her. They have had the help of many incredible neighbors, family, and friends. The orchard is now home to over 20,000 fruit trees and is still growing.
Joe is now a full time orchardist and board member with the Wisconsin Apple Growers Association. Jenny is a full-time CPA and spends most weekends at the farm.
Next it was time for the best part! Apple picking! We left the barn and made our way to the outdoor seating area, which is a great place to bring a lunch or enjoy your bakery! We followed a charming trail through the woods which led us to their orchards.
The first person we met once we reached the orchards was Billy, our “tour guide.”
This is exactly what makes Peck & Bushel so great, the staff and the quality of their products. Billy walked us around the orchard explaining each type of apple, how much care goes into maintaining the orchard and specifically sharing with us how this orchard is completely organic. They’re actually the only organic apple orchard in the upper Midwest. That gets a huge thumbs up from us moms! They do not use any pesticides on their apples!
We enjoyed the next hour picking apples with our children and strolling in and out of the orchard. We chatted with a few other apple pickers around us and asked them what their favorite part of Peck & Bushel was.
“Organic apples! That’s hard to find around here,” said one. “We love the friendly atmosphere. The staff is always really helpful and the apples are delicious each and every year,” said another family.
We definitely agreed that we will be putting Peck and Bushel on our annual fall bucket list to visit for years to come!
Scroll down for more Peck & Bushel Orchard information!
Where are they located?
5472 County Road Q
Colgate, Wisconsin 53072
When are they open?
Peck and Bushel is usually open Saturdays and Sundays from 10am-4pm. Please check their website and Facebook page for updates.
“Pick Your Own” $28 per peck
There is different pricing on pre-picked and half-pecks based on varieties.
Disclosure: Peck & Bushel Fruit Company has paid to advertise on the Washington County Busy Kids’ website and also invited our families to pick apples. Even though we receive compensation for posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely our own.***