The first thing to say about this cherry season is that at least it's better than last year. The drought last summer coupled with the Mother's Day night freeze has lead to a smaller than average crop of Michigan cherries in many places this year. Now we have had too much rain recently which is causing the cherries to crack and the flavor to be diluted. Maybe next year we will get it right!
A lot of places are offering limited or no u-pick. But there is still a chance to get out and pick your own cherries this year. Here is the information you need about various orchards across the state. If you are not going to go out and pick yourself, check your local farmer's market or some retailers. Whole Foods Market in Michigan is carrying sweet cherries from Sparta, MI and the Produce Station in Ann Arbor has sweet, tart, and Rainier cherries from Eau Claire.
(1) Kapnick Orchards in Britton did not have a large enough crop to offer u-pick this year. They are selling their cherries at farmer's markets they go to, both sweet and tart. For more information, call 877-450-6096.
(2) Wasem Fruit Farm in Milan lost most of their cherry crop. What they had was quickly sold out via pre-orders and with some limited supply for the Ann Arbor Farmer's market.
(3) Frank Farms in Berrien Center was offering u-pick tart cherries, but quickly ran out. They still have already picked cherries available for purchase. They also offer free pitting. For more info, call (269) 461-4125.
(4) Erwin Orchards are located in South Lyon on Silver Lake Road. Their u-pick began on Saturday, July 6th 2013. They have sweet cherries for picking ($4 per pound). They are open daily 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM while supplies last. For more info call 248-437-4701.
(5) Corey Lake Orchards in Three Rivers had a small crop of cherries this year, so they ran out quickly.
(6) Fruit Acres Farm in Coloma ran out of sweet cherries quickly, but they do have plenty of tart cherries to pick through July 14th. The price per pound is $1.29. For more info call (269) 208-3591.
(7) Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire : Sweet cherries are finished for the year but the sour ones are still available and the picking is easy. They also offer a pitting machine, so you can pit your cherries before you head home. For more info, call 269-782-7101.
(8) Lehman's Orchard in Niles has sour cherries available for picking. For more info, call 269-683-9078.
(9) Farmer White's in Williamsburg has cherries availble for the picking. For more info call (231) 632-1500.
(10) King Orchards in Kewadin, here is the info from their website: "Sweet cherries: We are now hoping that the sweet cherries will get started around July 5. Usually we have them in the market for a few days before they are ready at the u-pick farm. This is one of our heaviest sweet crops ever. We have several varieties of sweets so that they should be available for 2-3 weeks.Tart cherries: Tart cherries have a very heavy fruit set and we are excited for this very large crop. We expect that they will start around July 13, and they will be available for 3 weeks or so. We will have u-pick at both farm markets, and at the M88 market we will have a pitter available to pit the cherries you picked yourself. This should be a great tart cherry year. will begin picking sweet cherries on July 12th and sour cherries on July 18th. For more info, call 877-937-5464.
(11) North Star Organics in Frankfort has Organic Black and Gold Sweets and Montmorency Tart Cherries. They anticipate u-pick beginning Friday, July 19th and finishing on Sunday July 28th. For more info, call (231) 352-4865.
(12) Santucci Farm in Traverse City are open daily for sweet cherry picking now, with tart cherries come shortly. For more info, call (517) 974-7233.