GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) - (08/25/17) - Hints of autumn are in the air, including this morning's extra chilly temperatures.
And that means thoughts of visiting mid-Michigan apple orchards and cider mills.
Every year is different, and this year, mic-Michigan orchards are dealing with some conditions they haven't experienced in the past couple of years.
Almar Orchards owner Jim Koan said, "And you know exactly how you're going to take care of this year's crop, Mother Nature turns around and gives you another boomerang."
The first boomerang has actually given has apple lovers a reason to cheer.
Koan added, "We bloomed earlier in the spring. Our harvest is going to start earlier in the fall."
However, warmer spring weather also created problems for growers in early May.
"The frost really got us bad also this year. We have about a ten percent crop of normal, said Koan"
Even though some mid-Michigan growers are dealing with a lack of apples, they'll make up for it with other options.
Those options include yummy donuts, whose appeal as a fall favorite has been growing in recent years.
(Store Manager and Donut Maker Scott Duso told me, "On a decent weekend September & October per day, on Saturdays & Sundays, we go through approximately 5000 donuts."
Farmers have even more ways to help make up for any crop losses, including apple cider production, which will also pick up once several early varieties like Paula Red and McIntosh are ready for harvest,
as well as hayrides and petting zoos.
"We live on last year's crop, and hopefully next year we'll have a good crop again," added Koan.
Last year, Michigan overtook New York state as the second largest apple producer in the country, harvesting 28 million bushels, according to the USDA.
While amounts won't be as big this year, what we lack for in quantity, we'll make up for in quality.