2012 has been a hard year on farmers for many reasons – many of us remember vividly the drought and heat that left us all sweltering, but our local fruit farmers also had to deal with an early warm spring that was hit with a late frost wiping out many if not all the young budding flowers. Many of the orchards and fruit farms around the state, including several I have down you-pick at – are trying to deal with 75%-90% crop loss!!!

Just last week the Journal Sentinel ran an article, Few reasons to holler over this year’s apple harvest, on the same topic, and does a great job of summing up this year’s fruit crop status and highlights several farms and farmers in specific. 

For those of us that love  Wisconsin’s strong agricultural heritage and support local foods for their many benefits – whether that be because they are often more healthy, sustainable, or fair – this year it is crucial to go out and buy from your local Wisconsin fruit farmer so that they all can stay in business. What a loss it would be to not have the Wisconsin cherries, apples, berries and many other fruits that I so enjoy!

If you don’t know where a local fruit farm is here is a nice website that highlights pick-your-own farms. Check it to find pick your own farms near you: http://www.pickyourown.org/WI.htm

If you know of any other resources – please post them as a comment to this post.

One other way to help our farmers weather tough times is to purchase a CSA (community supported agriculture) share at a farm. There are many farms that have fruit CSA options.Please comment if you have or know of a farm that sells fruit shares in a CSA.

For those of you with more a green thumb – here are few resources that may help your fruit: