Apricots, Pears & Plums
Michigan apricots are not so easy to find! We are pushing the limits growing them this far north but it is worth the challenge!
The joy of biting into Michigan apricots can put a smile on anyone’s face. We hear it all the time-“I don’t like apricots”. Unfortunately, most people have not had the experience of biting into a fresh, tree ripened, Michigan ‘cot. As soon as they do however, their opinion quickly changes as juice drips down their smiling face.
Michigan apricots bloom early, and are ready for harvest right after the cherries. They are usually ripe by the end of July. Apricots are an ancient fruit originating from China, and cultivated in Europe 2,000 years ago.
They are not a fruit of significant commercial importance in Michigan, but true lovers of this fruit say that we grow some of the best tasting Apricots anywhere. We grow Goldcots, a variety developed at Michigan State University, as well as three varieties from the Harrow Research Station in Ontario: Harcot (early); Harglow (mid-season); and Harlane (late season).
Everyone’s favorite! Great for canning and fresh eating. They are very sweet and juicy. This is the most versatile pear, and is especially well suited to our northern climate, as the trees require cold winter temperatures to be at their best (900-1000 hours below 45 degrees to properly break their rest period).
A large, high quality late ripening russet pear, these are often referred to as winter pears. They will store as late as November when kept cool. To ensure the sweet, juicy flavor they are famous for, they should be gold in color. Take two or three at a time out of cold storage and set them on the counter until they ripen to a golden color. This way you can extend the season for great Bosc fresh eating.
We always have Stanley plums in the fruitstand in early September. The Stanley is by far the most popular plum variety, especially for the roadside fruitstand market. Incidentally, did you know that Michigan has more roadside fruit markets than any other state?
Believe it or not, we have customers who drive over 500 miles just to buy northern Michigan fruit.