About Hockaday Orchard
Hockaday Orchards is located at the Peaceful Valley Ranch on Angel Point. We are approximately 5 miles south of Lakeside, Montana. We are a 100+ year old, family run orchard that allows people to come and pick their own produce.
For four generations, we’ve opened our you pick orchard to people all over the country, passing through, for some of the best cherries on Flathead Lake.
Many of our customers tell stories of having their grandparents bring them as children and now they bring their own children or grandchildren, to pick cherries. We love to hear the stories of how they found us and what they do with their fruit. It is always an adventure and fun for us all.
For crop status and estimated picking dates, click here.
To locate us, see the map here.
For pricing and general information on how things work, see our How the U-Pick Process Works page.
We look forward to seeing you at the orchard soon!
Types of Fruit
We have many varieties of cherries available, some are heirloom and difficult to find in orchards now. Among these there are two main types – pollinizers and non-(or self) pollinating.
Pollinizers tend to be a drier cherry and are perfect for wine, brewing, and alcoholic beverages. Of our pollinizers we have Hardy Giant, Chinook, Van, and Tartarian. These tend to be a little bit softer of a cherry and some people prefer them to eat, over the mainstream brands. If you intend on making wine, please be sure to ask specifically for one of these cherry types, and we will get you on the right tree.
Non (or self) pollinating varieties that we carry are Bing, Lambert, Royal Anne, Chelan and Lapin. We will have Rainiers available within the next year or so, (our trees are still quite young). These are your typical eating cherry and are excellent for jams, jellies, pies, and pretty much any baking adventure involving cherries!
What Makes Our Cherries Different?
,Most of the orchards in the valley use irrigation, because they need to keep their trees watered to stay alive. They also have grass below them and the orchards are mowed. This can change the flavor of the cherries because they have access to a lot of water and absorb that water.
Cherries purchase in the store have been picked in a green state, in order to make it to their respective markets before going bad. They have all the sugar they will ever get. Though the color will continue to a darker color, making them look “ripe”, they will never have the full flavor of being naturally ripened.
We do not irrigate. Our trees are planted into the native soil which is basically beach gravel. We are very fortunate, with the blend of soil to rock, because it allows enough water for the trees, so we don’t need to irrigate them. The lack of water also changes the flavor of our cherries to be very sweet – with a much higher sugar concentration.
Since we are also U-Pick only, we can choose the opening date for when the cherries are truly ripe, ensuring our customers get sun-ripened, full sugar cherries right off the tree. You will be picking them in the prime when they are at their very best.