But, back to the fall produce...apples are a huge crop here in Michigan. Here are some facts from http://www.wmta.org/colortour/:
*Apples are Michigan’s #1 most valuable fruit crop, with a value of about $91,000,000 annually to the apple grower.
*There are over 8 million apple trees, covering 41,000 acres, on 1,000 farms throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.
*Michigan expects to harvest 840 million pounds (or 20 million bushels) of apples this year.
*Apples are by far the largest fruit crop grown in Michigan. Michigan produced over 1.25 billion pounds of fruit in 2004 including apples, tart cherries, sweet cherries, blueberries, peaches, grapes, strawberries, pears and plums. Just over 60 percent of that amount was apples, which totaled 760 million pounds.
*Small family farmers who operate their own orchards dominate the Michigan apple industry. According to recent statistics, 99 percent of Michigan orchards had fewer than 100 acres in apples.
*Longtime favorite varieties still dominate Michigan’s orchards. The most prevalent variety remains the Red Delicious, followed closely by the Golden Delicious. The up-and-coming Gala or Royal Gala apple is rapidly gaining on tradition, however.
*Michigan also plays a vital role in processed apples. More than 68 percent of all Michigan apples are processed. Michigan is the largest supplier of apple slices used in commercially prepared apple pies. Michigan apples are also a main source for applesauce, fresh-cut slices, and fresh and shelf-stable apple cider.
I know, you came to my blog today to learn about apples grown in Michigan, right? LOL
I happily support the family orchards, by purchasing apples, squashes, pumpkins, etc. at their produce stands. Last fall I wrote about winter squash here.
Thursday, I bought some apples, and today I had the chance to can them.
Taking a bath:
All chopped up:
I bought this strainer to process them:
The final product:
I'm incredibly happy that the applesauce turned out pink. *Grin* I know, it sounds silly, but I truly love the color of the applesauce! I used Paula Reds for the sauce. It made a very nice, thick, smooth, *pink* sauce, which was just a little on the tart side. I was wanting to stay away from sugar, but I did add some sugar to take the "bite" out of the sauce. I got three quarts from a half bushel.
I want to try a few different varieties of apples for sauce. I just love to try different varieties of apples anyhow! So yummy, and the price is so good. I spent $5 on the apples, and *ahem* a little more than I wanted to on the strainer, but after I had run around everywhere looking for one, I bought the one I could find.
So now I have plans for more applesauce, apple butter, and apple pie filling. Oh yeah, I also bought some pears to can as well. Yum!