Bounty

Bounty, photo by Bob Gudas

The Freep reports that Michigan is forecasting a crop of almost 29 million bushels of apples in 2014:

This year’s estimate is just under the record 30 million bushels that were picked last year. The yield in 2013 was so robust that some of the state’s growers and packers, most of whom are on the west side of the state, filled their storerooms and even rented additional space to handle all the extra big crop.

In addition to setting a record, Smith said last year’s bumper crop put Michigan in the No. 2 spot for apple production, pushing New York down to No. 3.

Washington is by far the No. 1 apple-producing state in the country, growing more than twice as many apples as Michigan and New York combined.

Additional fun apple fact from this well-done Freep article: If you want Michigan apples, McDonald’s has them. The fast food giant is a major customer for the Michigan apple industry, purchasing 25.5 million pounds in 2013.

View Bob’s photo from last October of an orchard near Rothbury in west Michigan bigger and see more pics in his slideshow.

More apples on Michigan in Pictures!

Summer Corn

Summer Corn, photo by PepOmint

Corn is coming in – hope you get to taste some this weekend!!

View PepOmint’s photo background big and see more in her slideshow.

 

Cherry Time in Michigan

July 11, 2014

Ready to Pick

Ready to Pick, photo by Bruce

While much of the state is still waiting on cherries to ripen, the National Cherry Festival is heading into the final weekend for their 88th annual event. Their history page says (in part):

French colonists from Normandy brought pits that they planted along the Saint Lawrence River and on down into the Great Lakes area. Cherry trees were part of the gardens of French settlers as they established such cities as Detroit, Vincennes, and other midwestern settlements.

Modern day cherry production began in the mid-1800s. Peter Dougherty was a Presbyterian missionary living in northern Michigan. In 1852, he planted cherry trees on Old Mission Peninsula (near Traverse City, Michigan). Much to the surprise of the other farmers and Indians who lived in the area, Dougherty’s cherry trees flourished and soon other residents of the area planted trees. The area proved to be ideal for growing cherries because Lake Michigan tempers Arctic winds in winter and cools the orchards in summer.

The first commercial tart cherry orchards in Michigan were planted in 1893 on Ridgewood Farm near the site of Dougherty’s original plantings. By the early 1900s, the tart cherry industry was firmly established in the state with orchards not only in the Traverse City area, but all along Lake Michigan from Benton Harbor to Elk Rapids. Soon production surpassed other major crops. The first cherry processing facility, Traverse City Canning Company, was built just south of Traverse City, and the ruby-red fruit was soon shipped to Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee.

…The most famous sweet cherry variety is the Bing cherry; this cherry variety got its name from one of Lewelling’s Chinese workmen. Another sweet cherry variety is the Lambert, which also got its start on Lewelling Farms. The Rainier cherry, a light sweet variety, originated from the cross breeding of the Bing and Van varieties by Dr. Harold W. Fogle at the Washington State University Research Station in Prosser, Washington. The Bing, Lambert and Rainier varieties together account for more than 95 percent of the Northwest sweet cherry production.

Today, the U. S. cherry industry produces more than 650 million pounds of tart and sweet cherries each year. Much of the cherry production is concentrated in Michigan and the Northwest. Michigan grows about 75 percent of the tart cherry crop. Oregon and Washington harvest about 60 percent of the sweet cherry crop. Other states with commercial cherry crops are Utah, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania and California.

Read on for more, and if you want to read about how some cherry farmers think that Federal cherry policy is leaving dollars in the orchards, head over to this Bridge Magazine article on how USDA cherry policy impacts Michigan cherry farmers.

Bruce photographed these beauties last week at at Lemon Creek Winery near Baroda. View his pic background bigtacular and see more in his slideshow.

More cherries and more summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!

Strawberry Moon by kevins stuff

The Clark Kent Moon of June, photo by Kevin

June’s full moon takes place this Friday, the 13th. That convergence last happened in 2000, and you superstitious folks can breathe easy as it won’t happen again until 2049.

Regarding the June moon’s delicious name, the Farmer’s Almanac says:

The month of June’s full Moon’s name is the Full Strawberry Moon. June’s Full Strawberry Moon got its name because the Algonquin tribes knew it as a signal to gather ripening fruit.

It was often known as the Full Rose Moon in Europe (where strawberries aren’t native).

I checked and the Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market is reporting they have strawberries, so I assume the rest of the state will soon follow suit.

View Kevin’s photo bigger and view lots more in his The Moon slideshow.

Bees & Blossoms

May 30, 2014

Bees and Blossoms by 45th parallel exposure

Blossoms & Bees, photo by Lee Lynn Awe

View Lee Lynn’s photo background bigtacular and see more in her slideshow.

More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.

The White Morels are just starting. Taken in the City Limits of Boyne City, Michigan, along with some others I might add.

The White Morels are just starting. Taken in the City Limits of Boyne City, Michigan, along with some others I might add., photo by Rick Wolanin

I’ve started to get reports of morels trickling in from here in Traverse City and other locations in the state. While we’re a ways from full-on morel madness, it’s a good time to start getting excited about the return of this once-a-year woodland delicacy.

Over 7 years, Michigan in Pictures has accumulated a lot of morel features – here are some favorites along with a couple from other sites:

Rick lives in Boyne City, one of Michigan’s morel epicenters. View his photo bigger and check out more of his great morel photos!

Coincidentally enough, I just found out that Ken will be doing the next Glen Arbor Art Association Talk About Art this Thursday, April 10, 7:30 p.m. at the GAAA in Glen Arbor.

Spring Speak ... violet

Spring Speak … violet, photo by Ken Scott

Today’s post comes via eatdrinkTCMichigan is the second most agriculturally diverse state in the U.S. and that diversity doesn’t stop at the market! Our woods are alive with tasty and nutritious food if you know where to look. In our Wild Food Wednesdays we’ll tip you off to seasonal goodies and give you a recipe or two so you can enjoy the meal as much as the hike to find it!

In many years, we will have seen Viola sororia (Common blue violet) in the woods and often in our lawns by now. Violets can be found in a variety of soil conditions, from moist and even swampy deciduous forests to drier forests (though not usually near pines). The flowers and young leaves are delicious! The Culinary Violet page at the American Violet Society says (in part):

Both the flowers and leaves in fresh and dried forms have been standard fare in Europe and other areas in the world since before the 14th century. Fresh flowers are most often used for garnishing and crystallizing, The pungent perfume of some varieties of v.odorata adds inimitable sweetness to desserts, fruit salads and teas while the mild pea flavor of v.tricolor and most other viola combines equally well with sweet or savory foods, like grilled meats and steamed vegetables. The heart-shaped leaves of the v. odorata provide a free source of greens throughout a long growing season. They add texture to green salads when young and tender. Later in the season, slightly tougher, older leaves are cooked with other potted herbs and greens in soups, stews and stir-frys.

Violets aren’t just another pretty face. They are loaded with phytochemicals and medicinal constituents that have been used in the treatment of numerous health problems from the common cold to cancer. The late Euell Gibbons even referred to them as “nature’s vitamin pill (1).” A 1/2 cup serving of leaves can provide as much vitamin C as three oranges.

You can see some more photos and a county distribution at the Herbarium of the University of Michigan and get a lot more, including recipes, from eatdrinkTC!

Ken took this shot in March of 2012. See it on Flickr and see more in his Flowers slideshow!

More flowers and more food on Michigan in Pictures!

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