The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Lake Gives Apples

On my way back home from the Grand Traverse Lighthouse, I stopped in at an apple orchard. Christmas Cove Farm grows over 240 varieties of apples on their land near the tip of the Leelanau Peninsula.

There is rich history with many of the varieties grown there. The Zabergau was grown as far back as the 1700s in Germany. Snow has its roots in France even further back into the 1600s.

was a variety spread through this country by none other than Johnny Appleseed.

And Thomas Jefferson cultivated the Spitzenburg variety at Monticello.

Michigan -- especially the west side of the state -- is known for its rich agricultural tradition. This bountiful harvest is linked directly to Lake Michigan. It is the deep, fresh water of the lake that mediates the weather for this growing zone, and the glaciers that formed the lake also shaped the land for agriculture.

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