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Growing Fruit Since 1840

Frequently Asked Questions

 

  • Life is about chapters. Farming is an everyday adventure full of triumphs, failures, hope, sadness but most of all, growth. As we uncovered our strawberries this spring our growing fears and concerns from the last several years have been confirmed. We have made the very difficult decision that this will be our last year growing strawberries and they will no longer be a part of our book for the future.

    We have always strived to provide our customers with the best possible product and after growing strawberries for 72 years, our fields are tired and can no longer sustain growing berries for you. After soil testing and speaking with various experts it is clear that our land is yelling for help, and it is our job to listen before it’s too late. We must provide this land with the break it needs before it becomes barren. Growing strawberries is very hard on the soil. Each year as we grow our food, we take nutrients from the soil, and unfortunately, we do not have enough land to properly replace those nutrients at the rate it needs. For the next several years, what was once strawberries, will now be cover crops to help add life back to its veins until the soil nutrients are back up to where they need to be. This will also allow us to free up other farmland to more properly rotate the crops we are continuing to grow.  What was once a pumpkin patch, might turn into orchard, where pumpkins were one year, might be popcorn the next. Have you ever felt burnt out and wanted to trade jobs for a little bit? That’s what we are doing with our soil, trading jobs. We are allowing our land to take the time it needs to be whole again. We are so thankful for what this soil has given us so far and it’s time for us to treat it properly and show it the love it deserves.

    We hope that you all know that this decision was not made lightly. We know that many of you will be heartbroken by this. However, we do hope that after the feelings of sadness and disappointment pass you will begin to realize that we are doing this for the future and continuation of this farm.  Our attention now will turn to focus on longevity instead of instant gratification, and setting up future generations for success. We will further grow the farm by introducing new crops that have never been grown here before and expanding things that we already grow (like plums) but, that we seem to never have enough of every year. We hope to add more varieties of apples, pumpkins to pick, plants to enjoy, and bakery to indulge in.

    So, what can you expect during our final strawberry season?  That’s a good question.  We will not have enough berries this summer to offer pick your own. We will just be doing pre-picked strawberries but will still have pick your own sugar snap peas. The bakery and greenhouse will still be open at that time as well.  When the season gets closer, we will be sending out another email with more details of how we will be handling our final strawberry season.

    Thank you for your continued support and kindness as we look forward to the future-still in the same book just onto a new chapter.

  • No, the government just passed a new food safety law that strictly forbids domesticated animals on a farm unless they are working animals.  (please see the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule, for more details). Sorry for any inconvenience, we are not happy about it either.

    This farm is the home of our personal dogs and we had to get them classified as working animals, but they are no longer allowed inside the buildings or in the fields during harvest.

  • You are allowed one or two apples to taste while doing pick your own.  You are not allowed to eat as many as you would like. Please remember this produce is the farmers paycheck and how we stay in business and pay our employees. Purchasing food at a farm is no different here than if you were buying it at a grocery store.  Grocery stores do not allow eating all you want before paying.  Thank you for your understanding.

  • No. We are a working farm and our family lives here.  For these reasons and for everyone’s safety we cannot have people just walking around the orchard when we are not open for pick your own.  Thank you for respecting our property and our posted business hours.  Here are some links for some nice nearby parks that you could enjoy a walk through!

    https://www.village.thiensville.wi.us/Facilities/Facility/Details/2

    https://www.ci.mequon.wi.us/parks/page/lemke-park

    http://www.village.germantown.wi.us/Facilities/Facility/Details/Friedenfeld-Park-4

  • The corn maze is $5.00 per person, children 4 and under are free.

    Rules are as followed:

    Please stay on the path, do not cut through the corn.

    No throwing or picking corn.

    No alcohol

    No smoking, vaping or open flames!!  The corn is dry and would be very easy to start on fire.

    No alcohol.

    Please be respectful of others.

    Anyone who is found to be disobeying these rules will be asked to leave immediately without a refund.  Thank you for your understanding!

  • Anyone entering the beer garden under the age of 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

    We will be carding everyone!  Please have your valid photo ID ready when you place your order.

    No alcohol carry ins.

    All drinks must stay in the beer garden area.  The permit we have is very strict on this and we don’t want to lose our license.  If you bring your drink outside of the area you will be asked to dump it out.

    No smoking or vaping within 50 feet of the beer garden.

    Please clean up after yourself.

    If you do not follow our rules, you will be asked to leave.  Thank you for your cooperation.

     

     

  • No, we provide you with bags.  You have the option of picking either a 1 peck size bag (about 10 pounds) or a half bushel bag (about 20 pounds)

  • Cash is preferred but we do accept American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover and debit cards!  Due to raising fees we do have a $5.00 minimum on all credit card purchases.  Thank you for your understanding.

  • If you are coming during apple season with just a small group of people/family you do not need to make a reservation or call ahead.  If you would like to bring a school group, daycare, have a company picking party, ect, please call 262-242-2737 during our open business hours or email sue@barthelfruitfarm.com if you are reaching out before we open for the season. Thank you!

  • We have the option to pick your own apples and pumpkins and also a corn maze!  We do not offer hayrides, petting zoo, ect.

  • Yes! During the fall, our apple trees have plenty of apples that hang low enough for a child to pick themselves.  And they can spend as long as they would like to search for the “perfect” pumpkin in the patch.  Please be mindful of their whereabouts and keep them close to you as there can be a lot of traffic and please have respect for the other customers that are picking as well.  Thank you for your cooperation

  • No we do not, but if you want to enter the orchard you must purchase a bag for picking and you have to pay for everything that you pick.  We do not allow people to just go into the orchard to take pictures/wander around if there is no intention on purchasing anything.  Thank you for your understanding.

  • No, it is roped off because the fruit on the trees and/or field is not ripe.  We also may be working in these areas. For your safety, and for the safety of our staff, please abide by the signs. The ripening fruit thanks you!

  • No we do not.

  • Sorry, but due to this being a working farm and due to changing insurance policies, for your safety and our staffs we cannot have people in the orchard when we are closed.  Thank you for your understanding.

    If you do come when we are open to the public you must still purchase a bag for picking if you would like to go into the orchard.  Due to having issues in the past with people only picking produce for the pictures, and then throwing it on the ground when finished, we do require everyone who goes in the orchard to purchase at least a peck size pick your own bag. This means if you have 5 sessions here, you must purchase at least 5 pick your own bags. If pumpkins are picked for pictures those must be purchased as well. Thank you for your cooperation.

  • A peck bag of apples is about 10 pounds, or 1/4 of a bushel.

  • All fruit is sprayed, even organic.  We practice a method called Integrated Pest Management.  IPM is a decision-making process that utilizes all available pest management strategies to prevent economically damaging pest outbreaks.  Utilizing this program has allowed us to greatly minimize spray and environmental effects associated with pest management practices and grow safe food.  Also, in 2020 we  started a program called mating disruption in addition to IPM.  This will continue to helped us reduce our spraying even more!

    For more detailed information please visit:  https://www.epa.gov/safepestcontrol/integrated-pest-management-ipm-principles

    and  https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/mating-disruption

    For information on organic vs conventional please see this article from Scientific American

    https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/httpblogsscientificamericancomscience-sushi20110718mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/

    or from Our World in Data https://ourworldindata.org/is-organic-agriculture-better-for-the-environment

  • No, I’m sorry we do not.  I recommend Minors Garden center in Brown Deer, they have a large selection of fruit trees to purchase.

  • No, I’m sorry we do not.

  • Yes we do!  You can either pick your own off the ground for a discounted price, or get them from inside the barn (pre picked deer apples are a limited supply, first come, first serve).  We also appreciate it if you bring your own containers to transfer the deer apples into.  Thank you!

  • In the spring our Greenhouse will stay open, no matter the weather, for you to purchase plants. In the fall our store will always remain open.  If it is lightening we will not allow people to pick their own.

    If in doubt, please call before coming out. 262.242.2737

  • Yes we do!

    If you would like to purchase a gift card during our off season, please email sue@barthelfruitfarm.com