How We Began
It all began 43 years ago, when Marvin and Barbara Lesch moved from Waukesha to the farmlands of Richfield. The long abandoned 1.5-acre orchard consisting of 35 large apple trees was in need of desperate repair, almost as much as the farmstead. All three kids (Samantha, Leo, and Matthew) helped expand the family’s hobby orchard to 3.5 acres early in the 1980’s. Today, we have approximately 550 trees with only a handful of the original trees remaining, including our treasured Wolf River tree that produces apples over two pounds each. In the early 2000’s, middle son Leo helped expand the orchard another 2 acres with the addition of 20 plus apple varieties. This has ushered in an era of Pine Hill Orchard specializing in nearly forty-five different apple varieties.
Continuing The Family Legacy
Over the years, our retail apple stand near Holy Hill has made quite the numerous improvements as well. The Lesch family first started selling out of a white trailer and wood paneled station wagon. Many, many Dodge caravans later, we finally acquired the Holy Hill property and recycled a Cousin’s Sub mobile vendor building to officially place a roof over people’s heads. This building helped eliminate our daily setup and teardowns that were extremely taxing on Barb and everyone that would lend a helping hand.
The Lesch’s are going on 3 generations as Samantha and Jason Sutherland’s three kids (Brooke, Aylea, Izak) pick up more of the workload. Matthew and Kim anchor the expansion into the farmer’s market realm in Whitefish Bay and Oconomowoc. Annually, Marvin and Samantha along with other helpers, clock in close to 1000 hours on pruning the trees, which allows for proper light and air to flow through the orchard. Doing so allows Pine Hill Orchard to use significantly less commercial sprays compared to other orchards.
Why We Don’t Offer Pick-Your-Own
We’re a small boutique orchard residing on less than 5 acres of land on a quiet country road some seven miles away from our retail stand near Holy Hill. Our orchard is home to some 550 trees, many of which tower over 10 feet. Due to our smaller size and taller trees, we don’t offer pick-your-own. The damage caused by improper picking techniques hurt the following year’s crop as well. In short, we do the picking for you, so you can enjoy the fall colors at one of our picnic tables!
Visiting Pine Hill Orchards
The Lesch’s are happy to welcome customers back for the 2020 apple season. We have added more picnic space and have a few trails around our 10 acres for your enjoyment, come out and enjoy some fresh Kettle Moraine air!
We want to thank our dearest friends and family members that have helped us out and made these last 43 years possible!
Check Us Out Before You Visit
Want to learn a little bit more about us? Check out these videos from Fox6 and Tastemade: