The Story Behind the Strawberries at Engelberry Farm

By: Britney Shiflet Email
By: Britney Shiflet Email

Father's Day is fast approaching, leaving many in a frenzy searching for gift ideas, but sometimes the perfect gift translates to the perfect meal, and the perfect mean translates to the perfect ingredients.

Engelberry Farm Owner Mike Matushak says strawberries could be the perfect touch of sweetness for any dinner or dessert plate. He's a dad, a businessman, and a strawberry farmer on top of it all. He says pruning these fields isn't a simple task.

"It's one of those deals where you've got to like it. If you don't like it, it's a lot of work," says Matushak.

Frosty nights and constant care keep Matushak busy at Engelberry, especially with the early spring this year. He and his wife Jeannine own two farms, one in Wausau which she manages and one in Merrill which he covers. He says during the three-week picking season, life on the farm gets a little wild.

He admitted it's completely a joint effort saying, "When it comes to picking season, she takes care of all the picking, so when I need more boxes, I run them down and when I need something, she'll bring it to me."

Mike Matushak says it takes effort from family and friends as well to keep the farms afloat. Something he learned when he was a young boy, pruning strawberry fields for another farmer.

He noted all those years on strawberry farms taught him how to run the fields, along with the best ways to make sure the crop stays strong.

Engelberry farm closes in a couple of weeks due to the early start for this season. To get there from Merrill, drive 3 miles North on Highway 107; it will be on the left side. To reach Engelberry from Tomahawk, drive 18 miles South on Highway 107; the farm will be on the right side of the road.

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