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Michigan Apple Time is Here!

Contact: Denise Yockey
(517) 336-4680

Lansing, Mich. – The 2004 Michigan apple harvest is underway, and despite a cool, wet summer the state's 1,000 apple growers are anticipating large-size apples with excellent flavor, according to the Michigan Apple Committee, the industry's market development organization. By the end of October, Michigan apple growers and their crews expect to hand-pick nearly 20 million bushels of apples.

“While excellent Michigan apples are available for 10 months of the year, fall is really the best time to get out and sample the wide variety of apples grown here,” said Denise Yockey, Executive Director of the Michigan Apple Committee. “Some apples are very short-lived in the marketplace due to limited supplies, so you need to buy them while you can. We believe that if the only apples a shopper has ever tried are Red Delicious and Golden Delicious, then they haven't tasted all Michigan has to offer!”

The nation's third-largest producer of apples, Michigan grows 22 varieties of apples on a commercial basis, which is likely more than any other state. State figures report another 40 types of antique apples or emerging varieties that are being grown at a small number of farms.

Michigan's apple harvest began in August with Paula Red, Ginger Gold, and other popular late-summer apples. In September, harvest picks up steam as growers begin picking Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, McIntosh, Jonathans, Red and Golden Delicious, and Empire apples. In October, Jonagold, Rome, Ida Red, Fuji, Winesap, Braeburn and Northern Spy round out the harvest, which is usually concluded around Halloween.

Some of the most popular and must-try new varieties include the Honeycrisp, which is likely to be sold out completely by November; the Fuji; and Jonagold.

Michigan apples are available at all Michigan retail stores, farmer's markets and local on-farm markets. A traditional Michigan fall activity is visiting a farm market and cider mill. Fun for all ages, farm markets also allow children to reconnect with their agricultural heritage and understand where food comes from.