Locally grown and made at Lesser Farms and Orchard


Family owned and family operated. A visit to Lesser Farms and Orchard in Dexter Township is a unique one because it’s truly a local spot of goodness where things like the fresh cider, apples and honey are grown and made on the land that’s been farmed by the family for generations.

Driving into the driveway/parking spot at 12651 Island Lake Road, you will see pumpkins on display and a bit further on, behind the house, the apple trees. The question before a visitor is what are you there for, cider for a fall party, pumpkin for a pie, tasty honey or maybe some apples.

As you walk into the sales area near the rear of the home, one will see the different apples sorted in different size bags and crates. There’s Northern Spies, Jonathon, McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Mutsu, Ida Red, Gala, Prime Gold, Honey Crisp, Empire, Granny Smith and Fuji.

It’s a tough pick, but it depends on what you want to do with them: cooking, baking or eating. There’s a list of tastes and uses on the wall nearby giving the potential buyer an idea. As an example, the list says: Northern Spies are great for crisp, slightly tart pies while Gala are sweet and great for eating.

In one corner of the room there are jars of honey, jellies, jams and pickles, and in another there are bags of plums and peaches.

A big attraction for many visitors is the cider, which is pressed in a room across the lawn inside a barn outfitted to produce the tasty drink. During the season, they are making over 200 gallons a week.

The Sun Times News (STN) spoke with Carol Lesser about the apples. She said the orchard has been on the land for a long time, but it was in 1962 when her family began selling the “nice apples” by the roadside. From there, that part of the operation grew over the years and eventually led into making cider.

STN spoke with Dale Lesser while he was helping to press some fresh cider. As he and the team worked, he talked about their business plan being quite simple: they are a family farm, who sells what they produce.

They take pride in what they sell because it has their name on it. For over 100 years and generations of family members, they’ve done what they do best.

For those interested in paying a visit, Lesser Farms and Orchard is located at 12651 Island Lake Road. The hours are closed Monday and Tuesday, and open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1-6 on Sundays. They can be reached at 734-426-8009. They’re also on Facebook.

I'm interested
I disagree with this
This is unverified