Fresh Fruit and Produce in Southwestern Michigan - 
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3151 Niles Road
St Joseph, MI 49085
(269) 429-0596
Nyes Apple Barn Fresh Fruit and Produce
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Nyes Apple Barn Fresh Fruit and Produce
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Nyes Apple Barn Fresh Fruit and Produce
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May - October
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Nyes Apple Barn Fresh Fruit and Produce
              Farm Market Farm Fresh Fruit Upick
Scroll through the page, or click on the links below to see the following information.

Apple Trees in Blossom in 2008
Kaitlyn in the Apples in 2006

Fresh Apple Nutrition Facts:

Kaitlyn just hanging around!

How To Store Apples:
  • Most early apples are best for fresh eating, salads, fruit cups and desserts. Refrigerate them and use them within 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Apples bought in bulk should be stored in the hydrator or in a covered container in the refrigerator to maintain proper humidity.
  • Apples kept in a polyethylene bag in the refrigerator should be misted inside the bad periodically during storage. Properly refrigerated apples can have a shelf life of 90 or more days.
  • With no refrigerator space available, keep apples in as cool a place as possible and line the basket with aluminum foil or plastic to prevent moisture loss. Covering the basket with a damp towel will also help increase humidity.
  • Polished red apples make a handsome centerpiece. But don't keep apples in the fruit bowl for days at a time. They will dry out, soften, lose flavor and develop tough skin.
  • Keep Them Cool! Store fresh Michigan apples in the refrigerator. Left at room temperature, apples will deteriorate 10 times faster.
  • Store apples away from strong-smelling foods, to prevent them from absorbing unpleasant odors.
  • Coat apple slices and dices in a mixture of one part lemon juice to three parts water - or in vitamin C-fortified 100% apple juice like - to slow browning.
  • Wash apples in cool water before serving.
Summer fruits (Strawberries, cherries, raspberries, apricots and peaches) should be selected and stored in similar fashion, however additional care should be taken to keep these fruits free of excess moisture prior to storage, and refrigerated immediately after purchase up until used (apricots and peaches can be finished off by leaving at room temperature a day before use).

Guide To Buying Apples:
  • Select apples that are firm to the touch, for the best flavor and crunchiness.
  • Select apples that are bruise-free, and handle them gently to prevent bruising.
  • Here's a table to help you calculate how many apples you need or can use. For reference, a medium apple is a little less than 3 inches in diameter.
1 lb. apples
2 large, 3 medium or 4 to 5 small; or approximately 3 cups peeled, sliced or diced fruit.
2 lb. apples
6 to 8 medium or enough for 1 (9") pie.
1 bu. apples
40 lbs. or about 120 medium; enough for about 20 (9") pies, or 16 to 20 quarts applesauce.

Apple Varieties:
Mid July
Lodi (Transparent)
An old fashioned variety available in Mid July. Green, soft, very tart. Fantastic for pies or crisp or sauce. Does not store well and must be used within a couple of weeks. Grandma's favorite for applesauce, add a few red hot candies to give it a nice pink flavor.

August to early September
Paula Red
The earliest good eating apple. Full, tart flavor with crunch, similar to Cortland. Paula Reds don't store well so eat them quick. Fresh eating, sauce, pies. Introduced in Michigan, 1967.
Ginger Gold
Looks like a Golden Delicious, but the two are not related. Sweet, spicy taste with a light texture and a pleasant crunch. Good for fresh eating, and slices stay white in salads. Introduced in Virginia, 1982.

Mid September
A new standard for crispness and flavor. This rock-hard apple has a mild sweet flavor and yellowish flesh. Good eating out of storage. Fresh eating, salads. Introduced in New Zealand, 1965. Angela and Jacquie's favorite early eating apple, great in apple salad.
Granddaddy of the New York apple industry. Sweet to tart, highly aromatic flavor. Fresh eating, sauce. Some people bake with Macs; however, the slices lose their shape when used in pie, crisp, and other baked dishes. Discovered in Ontario, 1811; introduced 1870.
Extremely, explosively crisp and juicy with a well-balanced sweet/tart flavor. This one-of-a-kind apple gets its great eating character from its uniquely oversized cells. While the flesh of other apples cleaves between cells, leaving the cell walls intact, when bitten, Honeycrisp's extra-large cells burst open, releasing a mouthful of juice. Flesh is slow to turn brown when cut. Fresh eating, cooking, salad. Slices hold their shape in pies. Stores for months and months and stays crisp. Introduced in Minnesota, 1991. Vince, Kaitlyn and Grandma's favorite for eating. If you find Kaitlyn in the Apple Barn, she'll always tell you to buy these.

Late September
Sweet to tart, very aromatic flavor reflects Mac parentage. Pure white flesh is slow to turn brown when cut. Great range in size makes for lots of snack-sized and cooking apples. Fresh eating, cooking, salad. Introduced in New York, 1915.
Rich flavor with a balance of sweet and tart, juicy and crisp. Empires you find in grocery stores are always from the earliest pickings, and can be bland. Allowed to ripen fully on the tree, Empires develop a glorious aroma and bold taste. Late on the tree, Empire is my favorite apple. Keeps well. Multi-purpose apple good for fresh eating and cooking. Introduced in New York, 1966. It was Dale's favorite eating apple and Jacquie likes it for eating and baking. The Empire was also her student's favorite apple while she was teaching.
Red Delicious
Coarse textured, firm and sweet. Not recommended for baking, but a traditional favorite for fresh eating, salads, and dried apples. Can you say "damning with faint praise"? This Western standard will always be popular. It's fun to grow, and we endeavor to produce as fine a Red Delicious as you can find anywhere. Introduced in Iowa, 1894.

Early October
An amazing combination of high sugar-the highest of any apple-with a perfect balance of acidity is what makes Jonagold a boldly flavorful apple. Juicy, crisp, and often very large. Of the truly two-colored apples, Jonagold is the prettiest by far, with beautiful creamy-yellow flesh. Brings great flavor to apple dishes, but the sauce can be thin. Not a long-range keeper. Introduced in New York, 1968. Angela's favorite pie apple, especially if mixed with Crispin (Mutsu). We use this apple at the Apple Barn for Caramel Apples. It is Jacquie's favorite apple to use for pies, cobbler, and crisp mixed with Empire or by itself.
Golden Delicious
Fine-textured, sweet and juicy, with a mild flavor and a super-thin skin. Excellent for fresh eating and good for baking, too (use less sugar than with other varieties in recipes). An excellent subject for dried apples. Stores well and shares no parentage with Red Delicious. Introduced in West Virginia, 1912. Angela's favorite for Caramel Apples!

Mid October
Ida Red
An all-purpose apple with a balanced, tangy flavor and good crisp texture. Bright red skin and red-streaked white flesh. Idas make the most beautiful deep pink applesauce if you leave the skins on during cooking and then process it through a food mill. Most late apples are good keepers; Ida Red is no exception, good for winter baking. Introduced in Idaho, 1942.
Northern Spy
The ultimate for apple crisp, this truly local variety has a loyal cult following. Northern Spy is large and pink-fleshed with a snappy tart flavor. Unlike other cooking apples, this one is tasty enough to be eaten out of hand or sliced and spread with peanut butter. The slices stay firm in pies and hold their shape. Try it baked, too. Found in East Bloomfield, NY, around 1800
This big, crisp, sweet dessert apple is a shelf-life champion. Leave it in your fruit bowl for a week, and it'll still be firm and juicy. A sub-acid variety, its flavor is almost entirely sugary. Fantastic winter-long keeper. Introduced in Japan, 1962. Angela's favorite eating apple.
Crispin (Mutsu)
Looks like its parent, Golden Delicious, but don't let looks fool you. This large and bulbous variety packs a zippy, flavorful punch, a good, full blend of sugar, acid, juice and crunch. Flesh stays white when cut-partner it with Empire for a great fruit salad. Introduced in Japan as 'Mutsu,' 1930s. Angela's favorite pie apple when mixed with Jonagold.
Perfect fried apple slices sitting next to a pork chop are probably Red Romes. These superb cooking apples retain their shape beautifully as well as their tart flavor. This old time variety originated in Ohio in 1816 but is widely grown in New York State.
Perk up your tossed salad with chunks of sweet-tart Braeburn apples and raspberry vinaigrette. These crisp apples will keep you reaching for more.

Apple History:
The apple emerged as a celebrated fruit at the beginning of the peopling of Earth. Whether you start with Adam and Eve or the anthropological data on Stone Age man in Europe, the apple was there. Greek and Roman mythology refer to apples as symbols of love and beauty. When the Romans conquered England about the first century B.C., they brought apple cultivation with them. William Tell gained fame by shooting an apple off his son's head at the order of invaders of Switzerland.
The Pilgrims discovered crabapples had preceded them to America, but the fruit was not very edible. The Massachusetts Bay Colony requested seeds and cuttings from England, which were brought over on later voyages of the Mayflower. Other Europeans brought apple stock to Virginia and the Southwest, and a Massachusetts man, John Chapman, became famous for planting trees throughout Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois (his name became "Johnny Appleseed"). Seeds from an apple given to a London sea Capitan in 1820 are sometimes said to be the origin of the State of Washington apple crop (now the largest in the U.S.).
As the country was settled, nearly every farm grew some apples. Although some were very good, most of the early varieties would be considered poor today. Of nearly 8000 varieties known around the world, about 100 are grown in commercial quantity in the U.S., with the top 10 comprising over 90% of the crop.
Our modern orchards combine the rich heritage of apple growing with research and field trials to grow an annual U.S. crop exceeding 220,000,000 bushels. New varieties are still being discovered and cultivated, with the best eventually becoming "household words" like McIntosh, Delicious, Empire, Rome, Spartan, Cortland, Granny Smith, etc. Recent arrivals include Fuji, Braeburn, Liberty, and more than a few "throwbacks" to antique varieties are now enjoying a resurgence.
It can certainly be said that an apple combines the best attributes of "something old and something new".

Apple Fun Facts:
  • Americans eat approximately 19.6 pounds of fresh apples annually.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • The most popular variety in the United States is the Red Delicious.
  • Fresh apples float because 25 percent of their volume is air.
  • There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples grown in the world.
  • Almost one-half of the U.S. apple crop is processed into apple products, such as apple juice, applesauce, apple pie filling, and canned apple slices.
  • Apples are Michigan's largest and most valuable fruit crop, with a value of about $100 million annually to the apple growers. About 903 million pounds were harvested in 2006.
  • Value-added marketing and processing enhance the economic contribution of Michigan Apples up to $700 million of economic impact annually.
  • There are over 7.5 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 37,000 acres, on 950 family-run farms throughout Michigan's Lower Peninsula. Single family farmers dominate the Michigan industry, 99 percent of Michigan orchards have fewer than 100 acres in apples.
  • Newer apple orchards are trending toward high-density planting, upwards of 500 trees per acre. Well-trained, high-density plantings come into production much more rapidly than "standard" apple trees of old, so growers can bring desirable new varieties to market more quickly.
  • Michigan is the largest supplier of apple slices used in commercially prepared apple pies. Michigan apples are also a main source for applesauce, fresh-cut slices, and fresh and shelf-stable apple cider.
  • Longtime favorite varieties still dominate Michigan's orchards. The most prevalent variety remains the Red Delicious, followed closely by the Golden Delicious. The Gala is rapidly gaining on tradition, however.
  • The Honeycrisp variety is continually growing in popularity. Look for it in September and October, and enjoy it while you can, as it will most likely be gone by mid-November! A growing number of Honeycrisp tree plantings still aren't in pace with its popularity among consumers! Honeycrisp has a crisp, juicy bite and a sweet flavor. They are best for fresh eating and also a great addition to salads!
  • Keep Them Cool! Store fresh Michigan apples in the refrigerator. Left at room temperature, apples will deteriorate 10 times faster.
  • Michigan ranks 3rd in the nation's production of apples.
  • The average apple is 90% water, contains 80 calories and is extremely high in bulk. An apple eaten with the skin on contains more soluble fiber than a bowl of oatmeal.
  • Cool nights help give apples their color. Sunny warm days help sweeten and ripen apples.