Wittenbach Family

Wittenbach Orchards

Belding, Michigan
Founded: 1899

Wittenbach Orchards is a fifth generation family farm that grows over 220 acres of apples. The foundation for Wittenbach Orchards was built when Fredrick Wittenbach moved to Michigan from Switzerland and purchased the original farmstead in 1899. At one time, the farm had a dairy herd, raised sheep, and grew peaches, asparagus, apples, and row crops. Today, the farm focuses on apple production for the fresh market in addition to growing field corn and soybeans. All twelve varieties of apple trees are planted at medium to high densities and are supported by trellis systems and tree stakes. Wittenbach Orchards is a wholesale operation and the majority of the fruit is sold by a local packing house and sales agency. The remaining portion of the fruit is supplied to independently owned farm markets.

Despite his retired status, Ed Wittenbach works on the farm nearly every day, but his son, Mike, manages the operation. Mike’s eldest, Elizabeth, joined the farm after graduating from Michigan State University in 2016. The third, fourth, and fifth generations are enjoying farming together.