Posts for Crop Updates & Orchard Talk

Posted on May 14 under Crop Updates & Orchard Talk

We are always getting asked about the estimated dates for this years’ crops. Here you will find the dates we harvested fruits and veggies last year. Of course, every year is different, but this will give you a good estimate for this year.

Asparagus – May 6th through June 19th

Strawberries – June 16th through July 8th

Raspberries – July 1st (available through summer and fall)

Sweet Cherries – July 1st through August 6th

U-Pick Sweet Cherries – July 5th through July 28th

Apricots – August 2nd through August 29th

U-Pick Apricots – August 10th through August 15th

Bay City Sweet Corn – July 19th until we get our own

King Orchards’ Sweet Corn – August 4th through October 5th

Prune Plums – August 17th (usually around 3 weeks or so)

Red Haven Peaches – August 19th through September 9th

Gingergolds – August 24th (available in the market for 6 weeks or so)

Bartlett Pears – August 31st (available 4 weeks or so)

Honeycrisp – September 9th (available in our market through the winter)

Gala – September 15th (available in our market through the winter)

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Posted on Aug 31 under Crop Updates & Orchard Talk

Pick your own apples is officially open at our M-88 Market. As of 8/31, we are picking both Gingergold and McIntosh apples. We are looking forward to a great apple crop this year. The trees are full of beautiful fruit! We also have apples available to purchase in both markets including Sansa, Zestar, Paula Red, Gingergold, and McIntosh.

Along with apples, we still have Red Haven peaches. The quality has been top notch this year! They are sweet and full of flavor. We also have Castleton plums and nectarines (get ’em while they’re still here)!

John’s famous sweet corn is at its peak! We have it available in all quantities so get your canning or freezing done now. Speaking of canning, this is the last weekend for canning tomatoes. They are very high quality but we have a limited supply.

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Posted on Jul 01 under Crop Updates & Orchard Talk

The first weekend in July is looking like it is going to be perfect for pick your own fruit! The weather stations are predicting sun and some heat. Our strawberry patch at our M-88 Market is FULL of berries! The patch is very clean and the berries are sweet and juicy!

Pick your own raspberries are just starting to trickle in. The patch will be getting more full further into the week.The best time to come for raspberries is in the morning since they tend to get picked over by the afternoon.

The cherry crop is looking fantastic! We are looking forward to a great season. We are hoping to get a few cherries in our markets in the next day or 2 and hope to start u-pick cherries by the 6th (we don’t want to rush a good thing!). We will have our pitters up and running by next weekend 7/8 (if all goes well).

Pick your own tart cherries usually begins around July 15th. The trees are loaded and we are expecting a great crop!

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Summer FruitCast at King Orchards near Traverse City and Petoskey Michigan

Summer at King Orchards

Here at King Orchards, we have been working diligently throughout the year to provide you with the premier produce of the summer. Our trees have been trimmed, equipment cleaned, and staff hired to ensure that your King Orchards experience is nothing less than a great time. So here is an update on the farm, the family, and the fun.

New on the Farm…

We are entering our 37th summer harvest! Even though we’ve been around for a few decades we keep adding new to the lineup of fun and delicious. We are very excited for our NEW strawberry patch that started producing sweet and red berries over the weekend. This is our first year with our OWN strawberries and we cannot harvest them fast enough. As of right now, there are no u-pick strawberries but that may change as we get further into the season. The bakery is already running full speed and producing pies, breads and snacks daily. Stop by for a strawberry rhubarb pie before they are gone! As we look ahead to July, we are expecting a great crop of sweet and tart cherries as well as raspberries. It’s a little early to estimate a start date, but we always hope to have some in the fruit stands by July 4th and U-Pick within a few days of the holiday. Our guys can’t wait to get the pitters running for all of you smoothie drinkers that have used up your stock of frozen, pitted cherries from last year. As for apricots, nectarines, peaches, and plums; it looks like we have a medium sized crop out there and U-Pick availability will be determined at a later day. Our vegetable patch is also looking good. We can already tell that John’s sweet corn is going to produce some of the best corn we’ve ever had.

To wrap things up, it’s looking like we are going to have a stellar summer. We can only encourage everyone to swing by one of our markets located on US-31 or M-88 to experience it for yourselves. Feel free to head to US-31 to chat with Rose about the best recipes for pie or M-88 to check out our new strawberry patch. After all, memories are made at King Orchards.

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Posted on Jun 05 under Crop Updates & Orchard Talk

A baby tart cherryWe are looking forward to a strong cherry crop this year! The trees are full of green leaves and little cherries. At this point, we feel as though the cherry trees have officially survived the frost season and will produce a healthy crop of cherries if the weather continues to cooperate. We hope to have sweet cherries just after the 4th of July and tart cherries around mid July. We will have both of our cherry pitters up and running again this year at our M-88 Market.

All the other fruit is looking great right now. Apricots have fruit setting and early strawberries hit full bloom last week. We are still waiting to see what is hanging on peaches, nectarines, apples, and pears but we have high hopes. We are looking forward to a very fruitful year!

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Posted on May 25 under Crop Updates & Orchard Talk, Recipes
Servings: 4
Total Time: 15 Minutes

Asparagus and feta saladIngredients

  • 1 lb. asparagus, about 24 spears, ends trimmed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, from one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from one lemon
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Place asparagus spears in baking dish and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Put asparagus on the grill, making sure spears are perpendicular to grates so they don’t fall through. Set asparagus dish next to grill (do not clean). Cover and cook asparagus for 3-4 minutes, until nicely browned and tender-crisp. Remove asparagus from grill and place back in baking dish. Let cool, then transfer spears to cutting board and cut into 1½” pieces. Place cut asparagus back in dish, then add remaining tablespoon olive oil, feta, lemon zest and lemon juice. Toss gently and season with more salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste. Serve room temperature or cold.

Grilled Asparagus

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Posted on May 10 under Crop Updates & Orchard Talk

Montmorency tart cherries in Northern Michigan at King OrchardsSpring Blossom Update

It is hard to keep our readers up to date on the spring blossoms since it moves so quickly, but here is our update as of now.

Apricots were the first to open, which is typical. They are already past their prime and dropping petals.

Sweet cherries have been opening slowly for a week or so. The cold weather has slowed the bloom so some blossoms will be in petal fall even as other are still opening over the next few days. There will be some white blossoms still over the weekend.

Peaches; Our varieties have small, nondescript flowers that will be open over the weekend.

Nectarines; Pretty pink bloom! These will be opening today and should be good through the weekend but we don’t have many trees.

Tart cherries are not open but I expect good blossoms maybe Friday-Sunday. These are a great variety to see in Northern Michigan and at King Orchards since they are planted in big blocks.

Apples are last and probably will start over the weekend and be strong next week.

Frost Update

We ran our wind machines Sunday and Monday night (these wind machine towers help to mix warmer air up high with cooler air down low to increase the temperature). We did get down to 26.5F in some low spots. At this point, I think damage is limited to some early sweets, early strawberries, and apricots. I can’t tell yet, but I think we are still on track for a very nice crop of everything. However, the asparagus froze out for this picking. We mowed the damaged stalks yesterday and we expect to grow the next batch by Sunday or Monday.


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Posted on Jan 30 under Cherry Juice, Crop Updates & Orchard Talk

In February, we celebrate Montmorency tart cherries during National Tart Cherry Month.

To help you celebrate National Tart Cherry Month with us, we are offering $9.99 flat rate shipping on your entire order in the contiguous U.S. (Alaska and Hawaii $9.99 flat rate shipping on a maximum of 10 quarts of cherry juice concentrate) throughout the month of February. Take advantage of this sale by trying out some tart cherry products you’ve had your eye on (my personal favorite is our dark chocolate covered dried cherries) or up your order from 3 quarts of concentrate to 5 quarts. As always, we are still offering free shipping on tart cherry capsules and 1 oz. packets of cherry juice concentrate.

A cherry isn’t just a cherry. #MontmorencyMatters

When you Choose Cherries, make sure you’re choosing the varietal Montmorency. Download the Road to Montmorency to to discover why the Montmorency varietal is the Cherry with More!

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Posted on Jan 04 under Cherry Juice, Crop Updates & Orchard Talk

Sale on King Orchards Montmorency Tart Cherry CapsulesUpgraded Cherry Capsules

As many of you know, we have recently upgraded our Montmorency Cherry Capsules. We have added more powder into every capsule (from 435 mg to 500 mg) and more capsules into every bottle (from 60 capsules to 90 capsules). For the month of January, we will be offering a sale on 4 bottles of capsules for $16.50/bottle + free shipping (regular price $16.99).

Coupon Code: capsules

Use this coupon code when you checkout online.

Shop Cherry Capsules Here

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Posted on Dec 28 under Crop Updates & Orchard Talk, Recipes

curry spiced nuts with dried cherries recipeThis easy recipe is the perfect appetizer to bring to a party!

This Curry Spiced Nuts with Dried Cherries recipe is easy to make and will be gone before you know it!


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries


Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet.

Add the almonds, cashews and pepitas, then stir in the curry powder, cumin and salt.

Toast the nuts for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in the dried Montmorency tart cherries and let the mixture cool.  Serve.

Recipe courtesy of Dara Michalski,

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