Michigan Wine Photo Contest

November 12, 2013

vineyard path

vineyard path, photo by aimeeern

The Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council says that Michigan has 2,650 acres devoted to wine grapes, making Michigan the fifth state in wine grape production in the nation. Our vineyard area has doubled in the past decade, and Michigan’s 101 commercial wineries produce over 1.3 million gallons of wine annually, good for 13th in wine production. Wine touring & wineries are attracting over 2 million visitors annually, and the chief way our state tells the story of our wines & wineries is through Michigan Wine Country Magazine.

The folks at the Wine Council are seeking your help in telling that story through the Michigan Wine Country Photo Contest. Entry runs through November 26th and you can enter 1-10 photos of Michigan vineyards, wine, wineries or tasting rooms for a shot at the 2014 cover of Michigan Wine Country and one of two grand prize wine touring packages! Click that link for all the details.

Check Amy’s photo out background bigtacular and see more in her great vineyard slideshow.

Much more Michigan wine on Michigan in Pictures!

The Pumpkin Armada

October 25, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween!, photo by jnhkrawczyk

If you’re still in the market for pumpkins, check out this listing of Michigan pumpkin patches, hayrides & corn mazes.

Jill took this shot at Parmenter’s Cider Mill in Northville. View it bigger and see more in her Halloween slideshow.

More pumpkin info on Michigan in Pictures!

Kawkawlin River

Kawkawlin River, photo by conradthedog

A Brief History of the Kawkawlin River from the Kawkawlin Watershed Property Owner Association says that the native name for Kawkawlin was U GUH KON NING or ‘place of pike fish’. They add that the Saginaw Treaty of 1819 was negotiated by Lewis Cass with the Chippewa Indians and opened the lands of Saginaw Valley to settlers for $1.25 per acre and have lots more history & information at the link above.

Check out Jon’s photo background big and see more in his Michigan slideshow.

Many more rivers on Michigan in Pictures.

Red McIntosh apples

Red McIntosh apples, photo by vostok71

The Detroit Free Press writes that Michigan apples are back – and in a big way.

This year’s harvest could be one of the largest Michigan has ever seen, the Michigan Apple Committee said Friday after the U.S. Apple Association released its estimate for Michigan’s 2013 apple crop. The 30-million-bushel projection was welcome news after last year’s wacky spring weather devastated 90% of the overall apple crop, which yielded just 2.7 million bushels. The state averages about 20 million bushels a year, the committee said.

“Our growers, packers and shippers are already moving Michigan apples into the marketplace and are thrilled with the estimates for this year’s crop,” said Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, who was in attendance at the USApple announcement in Chicago. “There’s a lot of buzz around the estimate here in Chicago and in our state.”

The Apple Committee said a crop like this year’s could pump as much as $900 million into the state’s economy, and industry experts say perfect weather conditions are to thank.

Good news for everyone who was left cider-less and apple-less last fall! Read on at the Freep and get lots more about Michigan’s largest fruit crop from the Michigan Apple Committee or their Facebook page.

Last year I used a photo Sergei took of the Wolf River apple (Michigan’s largest) on a post about our smallest crop ever, so it’s fitting to return to celebrate! Check his photo out background bigtacular and see more in his apple slideshow.

More apples on Michigan in Pictures.

NASA turns 55

July 29, 2013

Milky Way - Silos

Milky Way – Silos, photo by eddy.matt

“To reach for new heights and reveal the unknown so that what we do and learn will benefit all humankind.”
~NASA’s Vision

On July 29, 1958, President Dwight D Eisenhower signed the  National Aeronautics and Space Act that established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration aka NASA. While I don’t think that we’ve seen quite the advances we expected after making it to the moon in just over a decade, NASA has evolved into a science agency that is engaged in an incredible range of operations from theoretical research (warp drive is my current favorite) to monitoring our planet, solar system and the visible universe (measuring Northern Lights and roving Mars) to a permanent presence in space (I watched NASA TV live from the International Space Station this morning) and plans for a manned Mars mission.

Check Matthew’s photo out bigger and see more in his slideshow. This photo is a still from a gorgeous time-lapse on the Leelanau Peninsula that he did last year in July.

More space on Michigan in Pictures!

Knee High in July

July 1, 2013

Cornfields of Armada

Cornfields of Armada, photo by scottie_williford

Although today’s corn is generally well past knee high by the 4th of July, our cold spring has the saying ringing true.

View Scottie’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.


farmersmrktMQT_starwberrysmichigan_0471square, photo by CreateWithKim

Ed Vielmetti has his annual strawberry report up for 2013.  He reports that in the Ann Arbor area they’re expecting the first strawberries next week or early the following week. As you move north, the first strawberries move back a few days.

Kim shot this a few years ago in Marquette – check it out bigger and see more in her Farmer’s Markets slideshow.

More strawberries on Michigan in Pictures!


empire apple tree blossoming 4/4 2013

empire apple tree blossoming, photo by Alissa Holland

NPR’s Noah Adams visited “The Ridge” to see how the apple crop was faring in 2013 after the devastation of 2012. The engaging 4 minute piece looks at methods they use to battle frost and how last year’s 99% wipeout hurt farmers. It’s well worth your time, but if you’re looking for the punch-line, the crop appears to have the potential for full harvest.

The Ridge Economic Agricultural Partners (REAP) explain:

Fruit Ridge or “the Ridge” is a topographical land feature located NW of Grand Rapids, Michigan and considered to be an agricultural mecca. The glaciers of long ago left behind gently rolling slopes. The deposits were fertile clay loam soils with excellent moisture holding qualities that provided great soil and terrain for the growing of premium fruits, vegetables and the raising of livestock, including buffalo.

Approximately 8 miles wide by 20 miles long, the Fruit Ridge is regarded as one of the prime fruit-growing regions in the world. Elevations greater than 800 feet and its location (about 25 miles from Lake Michigan), creates a unique climate (ideal growing and moderate winters) for fruit production. The Ridge supplies 60% of the states (Michigan) apples. An estimated 66% of the Ridge lies in Kent County, all within 20 miles of downtown Grand Rapids.

“The Ridge” is an area of 158 square miles (8 miles wide and 20 miles long) covering 7 townships and 4 counties: Kent (Alpine, Sparta, Tyrone), Newago (Ashland), Muskegon (Casnovia) and Ottawa (Chester and Wright).

Click through for more about the growers and markets and also see Fruit Ridge on Wikipedia.

Alissa took this photo of a blossoming Empire apple tree in her backyard on May 7th. See it bigger on black and view many more in her how my garden grows slideshow.

More apples and more farms on on Michigan in Pictures.

Cherry Orchard ... spring snow

Cherry Orchard … spring snow, photo by Ken Scott

The National Weather Service noted that the high temperature yesterday at the Otsego County Airport in Gaylord only reached 35 degrees – a new record for the coldest high temperature for the date that crushed the previous record of 44 degrees from 2003. It was also the coldest high temperature ever recorded in the month of May for Gaylord. They notched a record snowfall of 2 inches as well, beating the old record of 1 inch from 1971.

Temperatures dipped into the 20s across the state last night. Although the word isn’t in yet about the effect those temps have had, an mLive article about the apple crop on Fruit Ridge explains:

As fruit trees begin to develop and blossom each spring, their ability to withstand cold temperatures is greatly reduced. As bloom nears, temperatures in the upper 20-degree can cause considerable damage to early blooming crop varieties.

Currently on the area’s Fruit Ridge — a band of ideal growing land northwest of Grand Rapids — several different varieties of apples are in bloom, said Armock. Also, sweet cherries are nearly past bloom in some areas, he said. Tart cherries are in the flowering stage of bloom, as well as some varieties of strawberries and blueberries.

In fact, across the state, growers have been making preparations for “potentially the largest crop of apples and cherries that we’ve ever seen,” said Armock, who estimated the 2013 crop could yield between 30 and 34 million bushels of apples this year, from Traverse City down to the state line.

Read on for more, and here’s hoping their efforts at bringing in helicopters last night paid off. After the near total destruction of the apple, tart cherry and other crops last year, it would be a hard blow to stand.

View Ken’s photo on black and see more in his massive Leelanau slideshow.


Good wine

Good wine, photo by {Anita}

April is Michigan Wine Month and as we bid farewell to a chilly April with signs of a much more springlike May on the way, I’d like to shout out the  Michigan Grape & Wine Industry Council.

Michigan reached the 100 winery mark in 2013, and the Wine Council is the state entity tasked with sharing all the good news about this booming industry. This month they launched an all-new website packed with information about our state’s wineries & wine industry including Michigan wine events, the history of Michigan’s wine industry and some facts about Michigan wine. Some highlights:

  • Michigan has 15,000 acres of vineyards making Michigan the fourth largest grape-growing state. Although most of the acreage is devoted to juice grapes such as Concord and Niagara for juice, about 2,650 acres are devoted to wine grapes, making Michigan the fifth state in wine grape production in the nation.
  • Michigan’s vineyard area has doubled over the last 10 years.
  • Our state’s wineries produce more than 1.3 million gallons of wine annually, making Michigan 13th in wine production, with the vast majority of production from Michigan-grown grapes.
  • Three types of grapes are used for wine in Michigan: Vinifera (classic European), Hybrid (botanical crosses of vinifera and native North American grapes), and true native varieties (often used to juice production).
  • Vinifera planted in Michigan include Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio/Gris, Pinot Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Auxerrois,
  • Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Hybrids include Vidal, Chambourcin, Marechal Foch and Vignoles.
  • Each year, Michigan’s wine, grapes and grape juice products and related industries produce nearly $790 million of total economic value to the State of Michigan and account for more than 5,000 jobs across the state.

Check this photo out on black and also see more from Anita on Michigan in Pictures.

Michigan in Pictures also has more about Michigan wine!


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