Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Trip to the Cider Mill: Michigan Apples, Cider, and Raspberries

~Updated September 23, 2018~
Our Mill of choice - no frills...just tradition.
We went to the cider mill recently. Here in Michigan, visiting the cider mill in September and October is a strong tradition and ritual not seen in most other states.  We enjoy going to a cider mill that doesn't have the thrills, frills, and chills that virtually most others have.  You know the kind I mean:  over-commercialized with singing skeletons, mechanical hillbilly bear band,  $10 per kid play area,  $3 hot dogs...yeah,  you know what I'm talking about.  That's not the type I enjoy going to.  We've been to that kind in previous years and don't plan on going back.  They are way too crowded, way over-priced, and wa-a-ay over-commercialized for our taste.
But I am glad they are there for those who like 'em.
We would rather go to pick apples, drink cider, and eat doughnuts.
Maybe have a haystack to climb.
And not return home broke.
It took some searching but we found one right smack dab in the middle of  "cider mill country" - Romeo, Michigan. Within just a few miles of Romeo Village are at least five cider mills, and all but one are of the suburbanite's dream, varying from extreme commercialization  (did I mention the haunted barn?)  down  (or up)  to the good old-fashioned mill.
We chose Stony Creek Orchard - the most basic of them all.
It was like we were meant to pick these apples...
In speaking with one of the owners, she told me that there are some customers who have complained because there was nothing to do except, well, pick apples, drink fresh cider made right there, and eat fresh doughnuts.
On the other hand, there were many more who, like me, have thanked them for having nothing else but apple  (and raspberry)  picking, cider drinking, and doughnut eating.
Okay, they have a small hay climbing area for the kids.  And it doesn't cost anything for them to do so.
And a tractor hayride out to the apple orchards.
I can handle that.
And so can my kids.  The fun, besides picking apples off the trees, is eating warm fresh doughnuts and drinking freshly pressed cider.
The fun is our family outing, from grandma  (when she was still alive)  to grandkids.
The fun is the apple picking

Oh yeah - - -

The perfect apple - - -

The fun is in the raspberry picking.

The raspberries taste as good as they look!
These apples will be baked in a pie very soon!

And so will these...and apple sauce!

This is an older picture and it includes my mother, who passed away in 2017.
It was she who taught me how to begin family traditions.
Stony Creek Orchards caters to folks like us who do not want the over-priced highly commercialized  pay-an-extra-nickel-for-a-cup-for-your-cider  cider mills.
It was a very enjoyable way to spend an autumn day.

~ By the way, my hat is off to Yates Cider Mill in Rochester, Michigan.  They may not have apple picking, but it is another low-frills mill to go to.  Their big plus is a country pathway for visitors to walk alongside the Clinton River, which is very beautiful this time of year. ~

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The BUTT'RY and BOOK'RY said...

Sounds like my kind of place!
We are so fortunate to have just moved to the old fashioned-est little NY town where the Farmers and the Amish mingle and do everything SLOW and Simply. Our Home is surrounded by apple orchards (two hundred acres)with Draft Horses in every pasture! It's like a dream in a time standing still. Can't ask for it any better! Thank the Lord!
Have a wonderful week, Blessings, Linnie

Historical Ken said...

Linnie -
You ARE living a dream! We hope to be in a similar situation but there are things that just keep preventing that from happening. At least it's a relatively short (40 min) drive to the orchards.
By the way, my g g grandmother's name was Linnie. How neat!!

Civil Folks said...

Ken, sounds like a wonderful time. We, too, try to shun the commercialized for the simple.

Apples and presses are abundant in north Georgia where temps are cooler. We will be traveling toward the end of the month and will be looking for a place as you've described.


An Historical Lady said...

Just our kind of place too! We went to one we like---a 1780's farm in Maine last weekend---Brackett's orchard. No kitch! Bought apples, cider, and Maine potatoes, and have been happily making all things apple ever since, not to mention Adam's fav---homemade mashed potatoes!

Richard Cottrell said...

Oh Ken, What can I say, what a life you lead. I wish you could have made the last train to Clarksville. Maybe soon. Richard from My Old Historic House.

MonkingsMusings said...

Thank you so much for both your blogs. We live in Dearborn and I agree with the cost of cider mills. I didn't even know about these ones. I knew about the Franklin Cider Mill but we haven't been there in about 10 years.