Best of the ‘Burbs: Orchard or You-Pick Farm
Sutter's Ridge Family Farm gets first place
Sutter’s Ridge Family Farm
2074 Sutter Drive, Mount Horeb
What to Pick: Raspberries, 20 varieties of apples, pumpkins.
Fall Fun: In addition to pumpkin picking, families can spend an entire afternoon exploring the 6.5-acre corn maze, playing with kitties in the kitten barn, greeting goats and horses, climbing a hay pile and riding along a tricycle track. Warm up afterward with hot apple cider.
Good to Know: Sutter’s Ridge also has a stand at the Dane County Farmers’ Market. Depending on the season, find asparagus, strawberries, raspberries, sunflowers, apples, caramel apples, baked goods, squash, pumpkins and preserves.
Eugster’s Farm Market & Petting Farm
3865 Highway 138, Stoughton
What to Pick: Nearly 10 types of apples, pumpkins.
Fall Fun: Orchard Days is in September and the Fall Festival is in October. Festivities include wagon rides, two corn mazes, shows and demos, a haunted house and a petting farm, which is open starting June 10.
Good to Know: In addition to produce stands in Monona, Verona, McFarland, Middleton, Oregon and Stoughton from early July to the end of August, Eugster’s sells fresh produce–sweet corn, green beans, onions, blueberries, potatoes, peaches, cucumbers and more–daily in summer and fall.
Third place (tie)
2227 Fitchburg Drive, Fitchburg
What to Pick: Raspberries, nearly 20 types of apples, pumpkins.
Fall Fun: Pumpkin picking is just the start of the seasonal happenings at this old-fashioned Norwegian-style farm. Weekends in September and October are filled with horse-drawn hayrides, scaretroll-making contests, folk and bluegrass music under the apple trees and Harold Potterson’s Hallowed Haunts and Harried Hunts for Little Wizards and Trolls.
Good to Know: Eplegaarden also sells squash, grapes, popcorn, Indian corn and gourds on-site.
Door Creek Orchard
3252 Vilas Road, Cottage Grove
What to Pick: Apples, grapes, pre-picked pumpkins from a neighboring farmer
Fall Fun: While Door Creek doesn’t host a big festival, fall is a great time to escape into nature at this sustainability-minded orchard just 10 minutes away from Madison.
Good to Know: In addition to 87 varieties of modern and heirloom apples–which will be available to pick later this month–Door Creek also carries eight types of fall-ripening pears, apple cider, honey, and meat and wool from the Black Welsh Mountain Sheep they raise.
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