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Celebrating Fruit

Updated: May 5, 2023

MY APPRECIATION FOR THE FARM TO TABLE movement along the M-22 corridor is indeed showcased by our region’s fruit bounty. Agri-Tourism is a term that describes the rural character of our region which is accessible for all because of the glorious 116-mile M-22 two-lane highway that purposely meanders from Manistee to Traverse City. The landscape offers vast displays of fields, orchards, and vineyards. Yes, we are in a very prolific “fruit belt.” Many thanks are owed to Lake Michigan for producing the moderation in temperatures that helps support our supply of luscious fruit. Spring is that time of year when fruit trees start the process of pollination – a sight to see that gradually produces the bounty of summer and fall orbs. Our farms up and down M-22 put on this dazzling show in a cooperative relationship with wind and bees displaying a blanket of white flowers in an amazing sequence of biological transformation. Thank you, Mother Nature. What makes M-22 so attractive and unique is it offers easy access to so many farms. Cherries, apples, peaches, pears, and plums are all displayed in orchards and are joined by vines and bushes that feature grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.

Chef and author Abra Berens, resides in Three Oaks Michigan where she serves as executive chef/principal for Granor Farms a southwest Michigan leader in farm-to-table cuisine. She has amassed many diverse credentials which include farming in Northport and later helping in the launch of Leelanau Farm Club’s unique culinary footprint with their farm-to-table platform. This spring she is out promoting her new cookbook up and down M-22. Pulp - A Practical Guide to Cooking with Fruit. It is hot off the press and features fruit in all its recipes. It will be showing up at many independent bookstores in our region. I’m looking forward to picking up a copy. I was particularly attracted to her expressed fondness for including more fruit in sweet and savory presentations which spurs my culinary interests.

Here's to celebrating fruit.

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