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Berry loved – It’s strawberry time!

Sunny Hill produce farm has been in operation since 1979

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June 16, 2023

SUAMICO – It’s almost time for an annual beloved Wisconsin tradition – strawberry picking.

Sunny Hill Farm – located at 1922 Oak Road in Suamico – has held its own in the produce business for more than 40 years.

And though the farm is probably most well-known for its big red berries – which the owners are very proud of – it offers much more than that.

“We have all kinds of fruits and vegetables – grown right here on the farm – to offer,” Kerry Bruntz, one of the operators of Sunny Hill, said. “We have carrots, cucumbers, green beans, peppers, potatoes, sweet corn, tomatoes and more.”
How it began
In operation since 1979, Kerry, who now runs things with his son Logan, said Sunny Hill used to be a dairy farm.

“My grandparents (Raymond and Violet DuChateau) ran the farm, but Raymond – my mom’s dad – retired from dairy farming in 1978,” he said. “Shortly after that, my dad Roland began dabbling around a bit with berries and veggies.”

Kerry said his dad was a parochial school teacher, so seeking extra income and food might have been more out of necessity.

“He was trying to feed a family of six – four kids, himself and my mom,” he said. “It was something (he did) for extra cash, but it also put food on the table – it’s grown over the years.”

Roland passed away from ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in January 2020.

“When my dad passed away, I was terrified,” Kerry said. “I didn’t even know if I wanted to continue with Sunny Hill without him. There were a lot of unknowns at that point.”

Logan, a 2019 Bay Port High School graduate, said he worked the produce stands from a young age.

“My grandpa set me up at Maplewood Meats when I was eight or nine,” he said. “I did that until I was 18, but then I started working more around the farm.”

After graduating from high school, Logan said he went away to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire for a year and then completed a semester at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

//, left, and Logan Bruntz operate Sunny Hill Farm in Suamico. Due to the lack of rainfall in the past month, the father-son duo said the strawberry fields have been watered diligently this spring. Rich Palzewic Photo

“When my grandpa was diagnosed with ALS, I got more involved in the farm,” he said. “I’ve recently gotten even more involved and am learning more things.”

When asked if his year-and-a-half worth of schooling helped him prepare for farm work, Logan answered quickly.

“No – I think I changed my major like five times,” he laughed. “I had no clue what I wanted to do.”

Kerry said he and his brother Ed began selling Sunny Hill produce around Lambeau Field during Packers games and eventually a roadside stand opened at Stadium Bakery located just steps from the stadium.
Lasts only a few weeks
The strawberry season lasts only a few short weeks, but Kerry said the work lasts a lot longer than that.

“Around the first of May, we take the straw off the plants, but we have to make sure there aren’t any late frosts,” he said. “During the previous fall, we put straw on the new plants to protect them from freezing.”

Once planted, a strawberry plant takes more than a year to mature and be ready for picking.

“We did a few things in April when we had some hot weather, but this year, it was a bit later than normal because of our tough late winter/early spring,” Logan said.

Strawberries need hot weather and sunshine – something that’s been plentiful in May/June.

They also need precipitation – something that’s been lacking as of late.

“We have two wells we use for irrigation,” Kerry said. “Lack of rain makes for stressful times – it makes things harder. When we have to set the irrigation up, it takes time away from other things. We’ve been planting sweet corn now, and it’s been so dry we’ve had to immediately water it to get the plant to come out of the ground – normally that’s not an issue.”

Kerry said they have a few full-time employees and others who work seasonally to help harvest the produce.

“We also get plenty of help from friends and family,” he said. “My nephew will even work here for the summer to help out.”
How, where to pick up produce
Logan said Sunny Hill operates various area produce stands throughout the area.

“In addition to Maplewood Meats, we are at Ace Hardware on Ridge Road, Timsan’s on East Mason, the Ledgeview Shell on (County Road) GV, the Edge Salon on Allouez Avenue, at Chicos Café in Kimberly and a new one coming for this sweet corn season at Marco’s Pizza on Glendale (in Howard).”

Logan said customers can also pre-order select produce and jam online at

“Don’t forget, we are always closed on Saturdays,” he said.

// Hill Farm, located at 1922 Oak Road in Suamico, will also operate several sweet corn stands in the area later this growing season. Submitted Photo

To keep updated on picking conditions, follow Sunny Hill on Facebook (Sunny Hill Farm-Green Bay) or Instagram (sunnyhillfarm_gb).
The future
Kerry said there are no immediate plans to change “anything dealing with Sunny Hill.”

“I wouldn’t say expansion is something we’ve looked at,” he said. “If anything, there’s a chance we’d downsize some. This area is expanding with new housing – some land we’ve been farming for many years is owned by the Village of Howard. Eventually, that will probably be a subdivision.”

Logan said there is available land to rent, but a problem comes with that.

“You might not be close to a water source,” he said. “In times like this, you need that.”

The father-son duo both said the plan – at least for now – is to have Logan take over the daily operations at some point.

“I told Logan, ‘As long as circumstances allow us to keep going, we’ll keep running Sunny Hill,’” Kerry said. “You never know what tomorrow will bring. Some unknowns go along with farming.”

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