Mequon 10945 N. Port Washington Rd. Mequon, WI 53092 414-228-6444
Oak Creek 7001 S. Howell Ave. Oak Creek, WI 53154 414-622-1574
FANCY FOOT WORK
Wauwatosa 10125 W. North Ave. Wauwatosa, WI 53226 414-257-0676
New Berlin 3610 Michelle Witmer Memorial Dr. Suite 110 New Berlin, WI 53151 262-821-1588
A BERRY, BERRY EXTRAORDINARY JUNE
The Yearly Strawberry Harvest
A lot of people don’t know this, but I grew up on a small dairy farm in Sturgeon Bay. Or, at least, it started as a dairy farm. Things sort of escalated from there.
far back as the 1930s. My parents coordinate the operation, my grandpa delivers the product to local grocery stores and consumer subscribers, and my sisters and I run the small attached storefront, go to farmer’s markets, and pick and pick and pick. Even my sisters’ kids love getting involved, and I know within a year or two, my Zoey will be toddling from row to row, tasting all of the different strawberries. I have to say, living in the midst of a strawberry cornucopia spoils you when it comes to preference. I know which specific strain and species of strawberry is the most mouthwatering. I’m a bit bitter, though — my parents discontinued that particular variety since they’re not exactly the prettiest. All of us constantly debate which variety is objectively the best, but there are two things we agree on: Strangely enough, you’ll rarely see me eating any kind of strawberry dessert. I’m of the opinion that strawberries should be left alone. If they need sugar, you’ve got the wrong berries. Every year, I look forward to the June harvest. It’s about twice as exhausting as my job here at Milwaukee Foot & Ankle, but it’s also a fantastic time, getting the whole family working together toward a singular goal. We catch up, our kids play, and everyone is contented after a hard day’s work. So, next time you’re visiting Sturgeon Bay, stop by Malvitz Bay Farms! I know for sure you won’t be able to find a better berry anywhere else. Lucy Meier 1. 2. Late-season, small, dark strawberries are more flavorful. Store-bought berries are completely tasteless.
In 1985, my sisters and I, little girls doing our chores around the dairy farm, were busy dreaming of Disney World. The place represented a form of magic for each of us, and apparently, our preoccupation made it into
the heads of our mom and dad. But, as any parent will tell you, a trip to “The Most Magical Place On Earth” isn’t exactly cheap, and they had to get creative. The one thing they had an overabundance of was land, so they decided to branch out a bit, planting a few lines of strawberries in a corner of the farm. They planned to sell the berries for a little surplus of cash for the Disney fund. We did end up using the berry money to go to the Magic Kingdom a couple of years later, but the importance of those few strawberry crops ended up being slightly more wide-reaching than our extra fun vacation fund. Over time, the strawberry business took over, until our humble dairy farm had been converted to a multi-produce operation. Nowadays, Malvitz Bay Farms grows all kinds of vegetables, from asparagus and kohlrabi to zucchini; multiple fruits including rhubarb and apples; and even free-range chickens. But our true pride and joy is our strawberry patch, packed with over 12,000 strawberry plants of 12 different varieties. We now have 9 miles’ worth of strawberry plants on our farm. Every June, like clockwork, my sisters and I head home for a doozy of a harvest. It’s a family business in the truest sense. My great-grandpa started the farm way back in the day — it’s where my dad grew up — so we’ve been farming that land since as
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