Hour Detroit shared a pretty amazing looking recipe from Zingerman’s Roadhouse for Bacon Fried Apple Cobbler that looks pretty darned incredible. I thought I’d share the link here in case anyone wants to join me in a little gratuitous assault on your arteries. Have a great weekend folks!
A Healthier Michigan is a pretty cool blog with some state-specific tips for better health. Their post on the annual Michigan’s Apple Crunch Day (Thursday, October 13) says that every October, schools, organizations, and businesses bite into Michigan apples on the same day, setting records for apples eaten.
It’s a partnership between the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Farm to School, Cherry Capital Foods and Cultivate Michigan as a reminder of the importance of agriculture and knowing where your food comes from. Last year 400,000 people in Michigan ate a Michigan-grown apple on Apple Crunch Day!
The Michigan Apple Committee notes that with 11.3 million apple trees covering 35,500 acres on 825 family-run farms, Michigan is the nation’s third largest producer of apples!
Here’s a video with photos from last year’s Apple Crunch by Cherry Capital Foods!
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.
More apples on Michigan in Pictures!
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.
The Image of the Month for October 2007 from the Archives of Michigan begin:
This photo depicts apple pickers in the Old Mission Peninsula. It was taken in the early 1890’s. (The caption on the front of the photo gives the year as “1894.” However, identifying information on the back gives the year as “1891.” The exact date, then, is uncertain.)
Michigan’s “fruit belt” strides the shore of Lake Michigan. The Lake itself plays a key role. It functions as a moderating body, preventing temperatures from getting too cold in the fall and too hot in the summer. It also provides the frequent rainfall that fruit farmers require. This climate combines with rich soil and regional topography to provide ideal fruit-growing conditions.
Michigan’s fruit industry started to boom about the time of the Civil War. By then, Chicago’s growing population had provided a ready market. Transportation improvements (notably the expansion of railroads) provided greater access to this and other population centers.
Read on for more about this and other great photos from Michigan’s past, and if you’d like to learn more about apples in the present day, check out the first ever Absolute Michigan Word of the Week: Apples!