Kapnick Orchards in Britton seems to have fared the best of the local growers, but even it will have only 25-50 percent of its typical crop. "We'll have apples and cider but probably only until Thanksgiving," says Sharon Shaffer. They froze a lot more early-season fruits like strawberries and blackberries, which they'll sell along with jams at their Ann Arbor stall.
And there's good news for one of the area's top autumn destinations. "We've been operating continuously for 127 years; we're not going to quit now," says Dexter Cider Mill cider-maker Richard Koziski. He often buys local apples for variety and to support nearby farmers, but since there are none this year, Koziski has been working with his orchardist in Kent County's fruit ridge, where April's frosts were less severe, to increase supply from there. In mid-month, he expected to open on August 24.
"We're fortunate to have a symbiotic relationship," Koziski says of his West Michigan connection. "We've helped them some years, and this year they're helping us."
[Originally published in September, 2012.]