Michigan Apple Blossom Day – Hillary Heeren
On May tenth I visited a Sparta Michigan Apple Shipper for their Apple Blossom Day. Many schools from the greater Grand Rapids area were invited to attend. I was able to meet and talk about Michigan Apples with students from Coopersville, Grandville, Grand Rapids Public, Grand Rapids Christian, as well as other schools.
There was a tour for the students to learn about an apple’s life cycle. They began with introductions to the Michigan Apple Committee’s Mascot and me. While I handed out stickers of Michigan Apples one student asked if I was really royalty. I told him I ruled over all the Michigan Apples and in response he said, “Oh, so you’re not from England then”. While I was entertained by his remark I had another student mention my height. As she said, “You’re really tall!” I told her, “That is because I eat a lot of Michigan Apples!”
I asked the student’s what products they could think of which use Michigan Apples. The most common responses I received were: apple juice, apple cider, and apple pie. One student said caramel apples were her favorite and her class quickly agreed. Before they had to move on to the next station, I was able to educate the students on some of the more popular varieties of Michigan Apples.
The rest of the tour included stops learning about Michigan Apple products, the grafting process, apple blossoms, farm machinery, pollination, wind machines, pests, and harvesting. When the student’s left they received a bag of goodies including Michigan Apple pencils and bookmarks to help remind them of the knowledge of Michigan Apples they learned throughout the day.