Location: 8678 Cty C in Sturgeon Bay
Acreage: Five acres of strawberries, one hoop house and many acres of sweet corn!
Meet your growers: Fred and Mary Malvitz
Located in Sturgeon Bay, just south of Little Sturgeon Bay on County C, is Malvitz Bay Farms, owned by Fred and Mary Malvitz.
Both came from farming families, and when they started their own family, they wanted to raise their children in the same way. They began their grade A dairy farm – plus pumpkins and sweet corn – and soon, they were raising four daughters alongside their crops.
Fred’s parents, Fred Jr. and Jillian Malvitz, had grown strawberries on their farm and recommended it to Fred and Mary as a way to bring in some extra money to fund a family trip to Disney World. Taking the advice, they planted their first strawberry patch – a half acre – in 1987.
That patch helped them to save enough to earn their vacation money, and it has now become a family tradition. Today the strawberry patch covers more than five acres, and Fred and Mary’s children and grandchildren have a hand in picking the berries each year.
“The kids take vacation and take turns coming home to help pick every year,” Mary said. “The grandchildren are old enough to help now, so it should be getting easier, but we are moving slower now.”
It’s also a great summer outing for visiting families to participate in the pick-your-own-strawberries days. This year, the Malvitzes had to cancel the pick-your-own option, but they’re looking forward to offering it again next summer.
Now, as we enter fall, the farm becomes a hot spot for sweet corn and pumpkins. In nonpandemic times, the Malvitzes are fixtures at the weekly Sturgeon Bay farmers’ market, but this year they’ve stepped back.
“Many of our customers have been coming to the farm to get their produce rather than the markets, which has been helpful,” Mary said.
It’s currently sweet corn season, and Mary stands behind her statement that they have the best sweet corn in the county. Among their varieties is an early one, which they plant in May and cover with plastic until the weather is warmer. That means it’s ready to pick in July, allowing them to sell sweet corn from mid-summer through the first frost.
Soon – around mid-September – they’ll be picking pumpkins and begin selling fall décor at the farm, including cornstalks, hay bales, gourds and specialty pumpkins. The Malvitzes are excited for families and children to visit the farm to pick out their seasonal goods.
Currently offering: Tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn and soon, pumpkins
How to get the goods: Visit the farm stand (cash only) at 8678 Cty C in Sturgeon Bay, and visit malvitzbayfarms.com to find out more about seasonal goods and CSA sign-up for 2021.