Fall Apple Events – Hillary Heeren
Sparta’s Harvest on the Ridge Apple Festival
On September seventeenth, I attended Sparta’s Harvest on the Ridge Apple Festival. While there I was asked to hand out Michigan apples including some Honeycrisp, Cortland, McIntosh, and Gala to the delight of the festival’s participants. One of the highlights of the festival was watching many of the children bob for Michigan apples and once success was achieved to see the triumph on their little faces!
There were many tables set up for visitors to peruse. The crowd was able to check out local merchant’s wares including jewelry, wood carvings, toys, as well as one of the local mill’s award winning Michigan Apple Cider.
There were several contests held during the festival. The obvious favorite by the crowd was the Michigan Apple Dessert contest and even though they were not the judges everyone was able to taste each one. Since they were made from Michigan apples I think we can presume they were all delicious! I was given the honor of announcing and handing out awards for the most popular antique tractors.
Yet again it was another beautiful day in Michigan and this event was the perfect way to celebrate the harvest season!
Charlotte’s Country Mill
On Saturday September twenty-fourth I visited Charlotte’s Country Mill. There were many activities for families to partake in such as a hayride through the orchard, pony rides, an apple art contest, a corn maze, as well as going out to the orchard and picking your own Michigan apples. In one of several barns on the property visitors could get a bite to eat and a band was playing lively music for all to enjoy. There was also a gift shop with many different apple themed items. I was even able to try some of the Michigan Apple wine they had available!
One of the highlights was helping two brothers who were from out of state to surprise their brother who is a Michigan resident on his birthday. While waiting for his arrival I was able to discuss different varieties of Michigan apples with the brothers.
Before the end of the day I was asked to hand out awards to the children who won the apple art contest. This event, as all the others before have reminded me of what a special honor it is to be Michigan Apple Royalty while providing me with a perfect platform to spread the joy of Michigan Apples.
Canton’s Holiday Market
On Saturday October first, I traveled to Canton’s Holiday Market. When I arrived I met with Chef Paul, who was friendly and has an obvious love of Michigan Apples! We were placed in the produce department by a lovely display of Michigan varieties including: Honeycrisps, Jonagolds, McIntoshs and Golden Delicious. We were handing out Michigan Apple cider samples to customers. I think many customers were surprised to learn the cider was made from many varieties grown here in Michigan.
We had many people ask about Michigan Honeycrisp apples which allowed us the opportunity to explain about the different harvest periods for many Michigan apple varieties. Chef Paul brought a couple recipes including one for Michigan Apple salsa and Michigan Apple harvest salad. There was also a handy reference sheet about Michigan Apples. Customers could take the sheet to learn more about which Michigan Apple variety is best on salads, to eat fresh, to bake, to make sauce with, among other things.
By the end of the day the cooler of Michigan apple cider was very near to being sold out. I was not surprised to see how many gallons of cider as well as how many fresh Michigan Apples had sold, because when you have a great product like Michigan Apples to work with they sell themselves!