Because we live in the bounteous Fruit Belt I suppose I am a bit jaded about what the average person pays for fruit. (One of the final straws of our moving from Minnesota was the $48 pricetag on a peck (half bushel) of Macintosh apples.) I’m even more jaded now that I get much of my fruit for free.
Did you know that Michigan, after California, has the most diverse acreage for growing things in the U.S.? It’s true. Agricultural commodities, from elk to ginseng to cranberries to wheat to apples and our famous cherries, we do grow a lot of stuff here. Considering most folks associate Michigan with our top-of-the-bottom lists (unemployment, home mortgage failures, etc.), I think folks should also know what we do right.
Child labor: a good thing
So Saturday we actually “went retail” and visited a local U-Pick apple orchard. (U-Pick: isn’t that the oddest term ever.) Of course, most places can’t *just* let you pick apples. Nope. You can fish, run through a corn maze, get your face painted, listen to live music or tumble in one of those moonwalk things (that is, you can if you are small), and of course go on a hayride. Eat cinnamon donuts, or a caramel apple, or a hotdog, and of course drink lots of fresh cider. It was all a bit much for me, including the price for picking three pecks of apples ($24). Then I realized that was a sixth of what the Minnesota farm wanted for the same apples, so I bucked up and paid them. The girls sure had fun picking them though.