As many of you know by now, the early warm March temperatures combined with several April freezes has damaged much of the tree fruit crop in Michigan. One of the saddest of these is apples. Every fall people flow to apple orchards across the state, but now this year many will go without their usual cider and donuts. The Detroit Free Press said that Michigan normally averages a harvest of 25 million bushels a year. In 2012, the estimated crop is a very poor 3 million bushels. That's staggering!
You might be asking, "Are there any places that will still be able to offer u-pick this year?" This page will keep track of those places. Your best bet is to call these places to confirm before you head out. I will also include at the bottom of the page those farms that I can confirm will have no u-pick apples this fall.
Make sure to like my u-pick facebook page to receive updates on all kinds of Michigan u-pick fruit news throughout the year.
Expected to have u-pick this year:
1. Blake Farms (Armada, MI) is NOW open for u-pick. They have ginger gold, an early McIntosh variety, and Paula Red apples. They have decided this year to buy apples for cider and save what they have on their trees for u-pick and sales.
2. Spicer Orchard (Fenton, MI) may have some u-pick apples, but they will be on the light side and scattered.
3. Whittier Fruit Farm (Rochester, MI) will offer a limited amount of u-pick apples on weekends only. It will only be with some varieties, and they may run out before the weekend is over. Best to call ahead (585-594-9054)
4. Erie Orchards (Erie, MI) will have u-pick apples available.
5. Big Dan's U-Pick and Farm Market (Hartford, MI) will only have u-pick during the 3rd & 4th week of September and only Golden Delicious and Jonagold apples.
6. Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm (Eau Claire, MI) lost half of their apple crop, yet they still have a crop available for u-pickers. Contact them for more information.
Will not be offering u-pick this year:
1. Wasem Fruit Farm (Milan, MI) has a 100% crop loss, but are still planning fall activities.
2. Kapnick Orchards (Britton, MI)
3. Fruit Acres Farm (Coloma, MI)
4. Erwin Orchards (South Lyon, MI) has a 100% crop loss. They will be buying apples to make cider.
5. Long Family Orchard & Cider Mill (Commerce Township, MI)
6. Miller's Big Red (Washington, MI)
7. Stony Creek Orchard & Cider Mill (Romeo, MI) still has pre-picked apples available in limited quantities.
8. Clearview Orchards (Haslett, MI) still has pre-picked apples.
Here are some apple related kitchen tools I recommend:
Amco Dial-A-Slice Adjustable Apple Corer and Slicer : Allows you to slice apples into either 8 or 16 pieces
Zyliss Soft Skin Peeler : The best peeler I have ever owned. Does a great job peeling an apple.
Mirro Foley 2-Quart Stainless Steel Food Mill : A great tool for making your own applesauce. You can make the sauce without having to do any peeling.