Michigan’s apple harvest is well underway.
According to the Michian Apple Committee, apples are one of the largest and most valuable fruit crops grown in Michigan.
You know what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away and a large majority of those apples are being grown here in Michigan.
“We’re on pace to grow 28-million bushels of apples,” says Research Asst. with MSU Plant Pathology, Cory Outwater.
Outwater says there are more than 800 apple farms in Michigan.
And this year, growers will produce more than 1-billion pounds of apples.
A fully ripened crop made possible by the last spring’s late frost.
“They got a lot of built up energy they’re ready to put on more apples,” says Outwater.
He says nearly half of all those apples will end up in your local grocery store.
There’s so many picked, that’s why we see them year round.
But during apple season, it’s not always a golden delicious time growers.
A major problem can be the diseases spread between trees.
“Many of the varieties that consumers want to purchase like gala apples, fugi apples, those are very highly disease susceptible.,” says Plant Bacteriology Professor at MSU, George Sundin.
Sundin says Michigan’s humid environment is often to blame.
But at the same time, it’s cool nights make for more flavorful apples.
“The best thing to do is to buy Michigan apples because you know they’re produced locally. They haven’t traveled. They haven’t been stored for a long time,” says Sundin.
Giving us a little slice of homegrown goodness produced right in our backyard.
“You’re getting a really good product because it’s coming straight from the family farm,” says Outwater.
If you’re looking to learn more about one thing Michigan apples are used for, Fenner Nature Center is hosting it’s Apple Butter Festival this weekend.
For more information, head to Fenner Nature Center’s website.