From being a great excuse to climb a tree, dunk someone’s head under water, and eat ridiculous amounts of pie (with whipped cream!) to the age-old adage of keeping the doctor away, Michigan apples are a staple of autumn in northern Michigan. There’s a few weeks left in the fresh-from-the-tree season, so grab a basket and hit the farm stands … because apples are, well, just plain awesome.
Did you know?
*Michigan is ranked third for apple production in the United States. Only Washington and New York grow more apples than we do, but Michigan shows some extra love with our official state flower: you guessed it, the apple blossom.
*The average consumer eats 42-pounds of apples and apple products in a year.
*It takes energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
*Fresh apples float because 25-percent of their volume is air. That’s why we bob—not dive—for apples!
A few farm markets to find fresh Michigan apples
Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Cider Mill, Rogers City—even the names makes us giggle. Knaebe’s is a “we pick ‘em, you bag ‘em” outfit, where folks can head into the barn to bag up crates of apples to call their own. The 13-acre orchard includes 30 varieties of apples and serves up fresh, unpasteurized cider and doughnuts that Ma and Pa Knaebe claim Bob, the donut robot, makes each morning. Seriously. What’s not to love? 989-734-2567.
Friske Orchards, Ellsworth—Going to Friske’s is like going to an apple festival that never ends. From the bakery and orchard café to the farm animals (including goats that have their own playground) and shopping, this three generation farm proves that old-fashioned fun can still be the apple of our eye. 888-968-3554.
Christmas Cove Farm, Northport—located only a half-hour from Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, the farm is a perfect fall pit stop. With more than 200 varieties of apples—including many rare and antique finds like the Spitzenburg and Sweet Banana, John the Apple Man is northern Michigan’s fruit growing guru. Stop in for some old-fashioned cider, and stay for stories on a slew of cool seeds. 231-386-5693.
For a complete list of farm stands and U-Pick orchards, check out the Michigan Land Use Institute’s Taste the Local Difference website, localdifference.org.
Make a tasty apple treat
Check out this easy recipe for deliciously chunky applesauce here. And if you’re feeling really ambitious, check out MyNorth community member Dean Bull’s how to guide for making a washing machine cider press that can churn out 50 gallons of the good stuff every hour!