The third-largest apple producing state in the country, Michigan is ready to celebrate its apple harvest this fall. On September 16, Michigan Apple Crunch – a statewide event organized by Cherry Capital Foods and Food Day – hit a new high in participation. While the exact numbers are still being tallied, we do know that more than 300,000 apples were crunched. Read on to learn more about Michigan’s apple orchards and festivals.
MAC’s work with the Michigan Apples
The Michigan Apple Committee is dedicated to helping promote the state’s famous produce. Through samplings, demonstrations, meal tips and other initiatives, the MAC hopes to increase consumer interest in Michigan apples. It also works to promote the state’s many varieties and how to use them in recipes. To support the cause, the committee is working with retailers to promote the various uses of apples. Here are some examples of its initiatives:
In an effort to promote healthy living and prevent obesity, the Michigan Apple Committee has been working with local retailers. One of their popular healthy-living promotions has been the giveaway of treadmills to consumers. In order to make the giveaways more accessible to people across the state, the MAC is working more directly with retailers. MAC offers participating retailers a variety of advertising and promotional materials in the community. The organization uses email addresses to send ongoing information and updates.
A total of 346,000 sliced and whole apples were donated by Michigan apple growers and shippers. In addition to the donated product, the Michigan Apple Committee also worked with processing and shipping organizations to deliver the apples to the food bank in need. More than three truckloads of Michigan grown apples will be donated to school districts throughout Michigan. The donations are also being used to feed children when school is out. This will help the food service workers keep up their normal feeding schedule.
MAC’s work with Michigan apples 2015
Michigan’s apple orchards
In 2000, fire blight destroyed a large portion of Southwest Lower Michigan’s apple orchards, crippling the industry with $42 million in losses. Meanwhile, up North, apple farmers escaped the fire blight because of traditionally cold springs and winters. But that didn’t last long. In 2011 a new outbreak brought fire blight to Michigan’s orchards, and the situation has become increasingly dire.
A number of Michigan orchards are family owned and operated, and many are multi-generational. Nearly 70 percent of the state’s apples are grown in fruit ridges northwest of Grand Rapids. These “Ridge” orchards are the home of thriving multi-generational families that trace their roots back to the early settlements in the area. The area became the epicenter of a booming fruit industry in the mid-1800s, and the state celebrated its king of apples by hosting an outdoor celebration in 1886.
In spite of the tough crop year, Michigan’s apple growers kept a positive attitude by investing in the industry and looking to the future. Michigan was the third largest producer of apples in the country in 2011, with 26 million bushels of apples produced. With an estimated $2.2 billion in annual apple sales, the state is positioned to be a top apple producer in the United States. With a large number of apple orchards and growing regions, Michigan is one of the best places to buy apples.
Michigan’s apple varieties
If you want to enjoy the fresh taste of apples, you may be interested in learning more about Michigan’s apple varieties. These fruits are grown in nine million trees north of Grand Rapids. Last year, growers in Michigan harvested over 24 million bushels of apples. Apples in Michigan have a mellow, crisp flavor, and are a perfect choice for salads and baked goods. Despite the short growing season, these apples can be enjoyed throughout the year.
This year’s harvest of Michigan apples is largely underway. Several farms have already finished harvesting their fruit, but many are still waiting for Braeburn, Cameo, and Winesap to mature. Harvest of Northern Spy and Red Delicious is already complete. Fuji, Crispen, and Law Rome are being harvested now. There is still plenty of time to buy the best apples and start enjoying the fresh fruit.
With nearly 11 million trees in commercial production and 775 family-run farms, Michigan apples are a major part of the state’s agricultural mix. Apples in Michigan last season generated $900 million in economic activity and are the leading tree fruit in the state. In addition, the Michigan apple industry is the leader in tree fruit sales. It also generates over $800 million in economic activity every year. So, if you’re looking for a delicious snack, consider Michigan’s apple varieties 2015
Apple growers in Michigan aren’t giving up yet, however. In fact, this year’s Michigan apple crop is expected to be up to ten times more abundant than last year. However, with such a large harvest comes a series of storage problems. This could crash the market and reduce grower profits. To avoid these problems, growers are using SmartFresh, a technology developed by Michigan State University’s Randy Beaudry, who is working on improving the method of controlled-atmosphere storage.
Michigan’s apple festival
If you’re planning to visit Michigan’s apple country this fall, you’ll want to head to one of its many apple festivals. Michigan’s apple festival takes place each September in the town of Charlevoix. This year, more than thirty varieties of apples will be available, and you can taste all the different flavors of this fall harvest. The West Michigan Apple Festival, which is open to the public, is a free event that features live music, art displays, apple seed-popping contests, and an array of other activities. You can also enter a contest to pick the biggest apple of the season, or just buy and eat an apple pie!
The Michigan Apple Fest is a free family event celebrating the harvest of fresh apples and vegetables. The festival includes fun activities for all ages, including free inflatable bounce houses and balloon animals, local foods and beverages, craft workshops, live music, and local eats. You can even compete in the famous Couch Race! If you want to see some of the craziest events in the state, here are some suggestions for you to plan your trip to Michigan.
The PCCA was started in 1983 with the goal of promoting the arts in the state. It offers a full range of art classes and cultural programs, including community involvement projects and outreach projects. The festival also features the Michigan Sanctioned Kansas City BBQ Cook-Off Competition. If you’re planning a trip to the area, you’ll also want to take advantage of the PCCA’s Art & Apples Festival.
Michigan’s apple industry
The state of Michigan’s apple industry is expected to produce 31 million bushels of apples this year. That’s about 7 million more than in 2015. Historically, the state grows about 22.8 million bushels of apples each year. According to the Michigan Apple Committee, a nonprofit that promotes the industry, a recent wave of frosts and freezes killed many trees. Despite the challenges of the growing season, the state’s apple industry was able to set new shipment records during the month of October, when the fruit was distributed to 18 countries and 26 states.
Some growers are already finished harvesting the apples from their trees, but most are nearing the end of the growing season. Braeburn, Cameo, and Winesap are nearing maturity and growers are waiting for those varieties to finish growing. Northern Spy, Red Delicious, and Crispen have already been harvested. Other varieties are being harvested this week: Fuji, Crispen, and Law Rome. The season ends soon for the Michigan apple industry.
The state’s apple harvest this year is projected to be higher than in recent years due to favorable weather conditions. In May, temperatures were warm enough and timely rains were available, which allowed apples to bloom and produce fruit. This year, Michigan growers experienced excellent pollinating conditions and minimal frost damage. The dry weather throughout July kept diseases at bay, which helped the industry recover. A recent survey found that Michigan is the eighth-largest apple producer in the United States, and the state’s apple crop is expected to grow at least one percent higher than the state’s average.
The state’s Apple Queen will be a representative of the Michigan Apple Industry. She will represent the industry for a year, and attend various festivals, parades, and events to promote the industry. The competition will be contested by four young ladies, each with a unique connection to the apple industry. It is up to each one to show their passion for the industry and its local growers. But in the end, both contestants are eager to spread the word.