Hillcrest Orchard - Our History
Hillcrest Orchard was planted in 1958 by Francis Fleming and his father, James. It was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. Francis Fleming and family for a quarter of a century, and was comprised of 22 acres of apple trees and one acre of cherries. Most of their produce was sold from a roadside market located at the intersection of State Highways 61 and 171 on the east end of Orchard Ridge, still used by Hillcrest to this day.
In the spring of 1985, the orchard was purchased by Robert Zimpel of Plainfield, Wisconsin. He is a former resident of the area, having graduated from the Readstown High School. His sister, Bonnie Beranek, formerly managed the orchard, a job now taken over by Terre Van Haren with the help of long-time area resident Robert "Bob" Johnson. Johnson remembers helping plant the original orchard back in the days of the Flemings.
The original orchard (with the exception of the cherry trees) continued to be in production for a number of years after Mr. Zimpel purchased Hillcrest. In 1986, however, a number of new trees were planted, and over the course of time the old trees were removed. Today, the orchard consists of trees that have all been planted since 1986.
In addition to apples, Hillcrest offers pick-your-own strawberries and raspberries, Christmas trees, pumpkins, squash, gourds, sweet corn, Indian corn, and other fresh produce. During the season, we also sell other Wisconsin products, such as potatoes, cranberries, honey, sorghum, maple syrup, apple butter, various jams and jellies, cheese, and of course, apple cider.