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Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries – Growing Strawberries for 3 Generations at Erickson Orchards

It’s that time of year again!

The 4th of July is right around the corner. The boys and I are getting ready to celebrate our nation’s independence day with a family cookout and watching fireworks over Lake Superior. But we’re also celebrating another gem – Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries.

Bayfield is renowned for its microclimate, making it an ideal place to grow a variety of berries, apples, and other fruits. And the place to get them is Erickson Orchards. The Erickson Family grows berries, apples, and more.

For my family and me, there is nothing better than biting into a delicious Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberry. Unlike the ones you find in the store, they’re much sweeter. Because they’re so delicious, you’ll find them on menus all around Bayfield, from strawberry shortcakes to jams, pies, and on top of salads.

I’m Mollie, and my husband and I own Seagull Bay. This week we’re highlighting the kick-off to berry season with Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries.

The Story Behind Erickson Orchards

Jim and Fred Erickson standing in front of a apple tree in Bayfield, Wisconsin

The Erickson family has been farming for over 100 years. It all started with Martin and Christine Erickson planting their first apple trees around the turn of the 20th century. Martin was a commercial fisherman and spent most of his time on the waters of Lake Superior, so it was up to Christine to manage the farm. Soon they added other crops like:

  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Green Beans

In the 1940s, Christine was nicknamed the “The Bean Queen.” Her fields grew vast amounts of beans. During this time, green beans were a profitable crop grown by Bayfield Farmers and distributed to other places in the Midwest by the Bayfield Cannery.

Christine and Martin’s son Jim and his wife Muriel took over the farm in 1954. Over the years, they have expanded the orchard to over 3,500 apple trees. They have since added new varieties of apple trees and pears.

Jim, like his father, also worked as a commercial fisherman. Muriel, a Bayfield High School home economics teacher, opened Erickson’s Country Store and Bakery, where she sold her homemade jams, jellies, pies, and apple cider donuts.

Fast forward 60 years, Jim and Muriel’s son runs the farm. Fred and his wife Julie (along with Fred’s sisters) are working together to uphold their family’s legacy while growing some of the best Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries.

How You Can Pick Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries at Erickson Orchards

Little girl picking Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries

Erickson Orchards is a 5-minute drive from Seagull Bay on Betzold Road in the middle of the “Bayfield Fruit Loop.”

Sitting on the Bayfield hillside, Erickson Orchards offers two ways to get your Bayfield Strawberries – pre-picked berries and pick-you-own.

Of course, it’s easier to buy pre-picked berries, and to be honest, this is how I roll most of the time. Running after three boys, coordinating Bank’s nap time, and meeting the needs of the motel leaves me little time to pick berries. But If your looking for an authentic Bayfield experience picking your own strawberries is the way to go.

Our parents often talked about picking berries for various farmers during the summers when they were kids. Berry-picking was a popular summer job for Bayfield’s youth, helping them to earn money for candy.

They would wake up early to pick berries until about noon. The morning was (and still is) the best time to pick berries to help avoid the hot afternoon sun. We recommend bringing a big sun hat, sunscreen, and a water bottle for a day out picking berries.

When picking berries, you’ll first need to check in with a farm worker. They’ll guide you to the best rows. Once you know where to go, you can grab your flat and start picking. Of course, you’re welcome to sneak a few berries while your picking. But trust us, your flat will fill faster if you can practice some self-control 🙂.

Once you’ve filled your flat full of juicy berries, carry it to the farm worker to have your berries weighed. Here you can have a friendly competition with others to see who can pick the most strawberries. Then you’ll pay for your berries based on the weight you pick.

Now it’s time to start dreaming up the best ways to enjoy your berries. We personally love:

  • Jam or jelly
  • Strawberry rhubarb pie
  • Shortcake
  • Homemade strawberry ice cream
  • Berries and cream

I could go on and on with all the mouth-watering ways you can enjoy your berries. Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries are ready to be picked from late June to mid-July.

Get the Full Bayfield Orchard Experience at Erickson Orchards

Three children sitting in large chair at Erickson Orchards in Bayfield, Wisconsin

Strawberries are the kick-off to the berry and fruit season in Bayfield. You can usually find something to pick in one of the Bayfield Orchards anytime after the 4th of July until the end of October. Between strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and apples, there is something delicious for everyone.

If you happen to visit us during the off-season or aren’t interested in picking berries, you can visit Erickson’s Country Store and Bakery. Here you can purchase jams, jellies, Muriel’s infamous apple cider donuts, and other unique gifts.

Come autumn, there’s nothing like sipping a hot cup of coffee and nibbling a fresh apple cider donut while visiting the orchard.

Erickson Orchard is a perfect way to get the farm-to-table experience. And honestly, I think the berries taste better when you get them from a local farm or pick them yourself. The only question left is, how are you going to enjoy your strawberries?

Experience the Joy of Picking Your Own Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries While Staying at Seagull Bay

Hands holding Bayfield Wisconsin Strawberries

Erickson Orchards is one of many family-owned farms you can visit when you come to Bayfield.

Bayfield boasts freshly grown berries, apples, cherries, and pears. You can also find local:

  • Wineries
  • Distilleries
  • Cideries

They all showcase the delicious and spectacular fruit Bayfield is known for. And this is just one of the many adventures you can experience when you stay with us at Seagull Bay.

At Seagull Bay, we serve as your base camp for all your Bayfield and Lake Superior adventures.

We offer:

  • King and Queen beds
  • Stunning lake views with balconies
  • Fully-equipped kitchens
  • Direct access to the Brownstone hiking trail
  • A peaceful and quiet setting located on the edge of town

BOOK NOW and start planning your summer vacation and experience the joy of picking fresh Bayfield Wisconsin strawberries.

Your memories with a view!

Mollie, Isaac, Axel, Ridge, and Banks

Quick Links:

Erickson Orchards/Facebook Page

July 3, 2023

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