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Agriculture has played an important role in Door County’s culture and economy since the 1800s. These days, Door County is still home to many family-owned and -operated orchards that produce cherries and apples as well as farms that focus on berries, dairy, and other products. With their dedication to locally sourced food, these farms supply food and produce to local families, grocers, and chefs so they can craft dishes that truly capture the Door County farm-to-table spirit.
Check Out the Summer Guide for Vacation Inspiration
Cherries are a staple at local orchards and are ripe for the picking mid-July to mid-August. The cherry industry is a staple of Door County and has a long and interesting history on the peninsula. At one point, Door County was annually harvesting 10-percent of all cherries grown in the country!
While not as noticed as the cherry, Door County falls bring about a variety of delicious apples. Not only can you buy apples but also apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, applesauce, and more. Apples are ripe mid-September to mid-October.
Wine & Fruit Wine
Many of the orchards in the county produce their own wines, including some varieties that are made with local fruit, and offer samples when you drop in as well as bottles and even cases for sale. You'll also spot local wines at grocery stores, farmers markets, restaurants, and other businesses.
Preserves & Spreadables
Many orchards and farm stands offer homemade jams, jellies, preserves, pickled veggies, apple and fruit butters, mustards, cheese spreads, and more to try. Each place creates its own unique flavors, so make sure you try a bit of every business's options!
Not all orchards have them, but some hold seasonal festivals to celebrate the harvest. Farm festivals in Door County typically include a lot of family activities, including cherry pit spitting contests, hayrides, cherry/apple picking, berry and fruit picking, food, live music, and more.
There are a number of country stores dotting the sides of highways and backroads all across the peninsula and Washington Island. Most are larger stores with a wide selection of local foods and goods, as well as other attractions, making country stores great for pitstops in between activities or an activity all on their own.
Another way to experience local agriculture is through farmers markets. Many farmers and growers will bring their fresh produce, homemade food products, flowers and plants, crafts, and more to sell. Door County has quite a few markets around the region—find a list here.
Roadside Farm Stands
If you keep your eyes peeled while driving, you can also find locals behind roadside stands selling their wares fresh from the farm. As you drive from place to place, see if you can spot a sign advertising fresh produce. They might take you off the beaten path, but the flavor is well worth it.
Come fall, many farms open their fields for picking, pumpkin harvests, and family activities as well.
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