at thecore Apples provide a big boost of antioxidants, plus they are packed with vitamin C and fiber. Eat the skin—that’s where the fiber is. and Red Delicious dangling like jewels on the orchard trees. Also, America’s appetite for fresh, juicy apples continued to grow. The Honeycrisp, in particular, “broke the model for what consumers are willing to spend for a good eating experience, and it brought people into the market,” says Jim. Today, Applewood is in the hands of Jim and his brothers, Steve and Scott. They run the orchard and are also part of All Fresh GPS, a marketing and packing company that has two additional Michigan locations. All Fresh uses new technologies, such as a high-speed packing line, electronics, and software to sense any defects in fruit and to help bring a quality apple to Fresh Thyme bins and to the market more quickly. But on most days, Jim relishes the simplicity of the rolling Michigan hills, the scent of apples sweetening the air, and the feel of the family roots beneath his feet. “Sometimes when I’m at certain spots around the farm in early morning or late in the day, I might stand there and look out across the orchard. It is beautiful. I really love this place,” he says. “But I can’t do that for very long because right away I’m spotting a problem to take care of, seeing something that could be done better. You can’t stand still and remain a farmer.” Just like that very first tree did years ago, the orchard and the enterprise continue to grow. KEEP 'EM FRESH! Apples stay fresh longer if cool. Put them in your refrigerator crisper. But don’t store them with oranges; the fruits will break each other down more quickly. Apples will also ripen faster if touching each other. | September/October 2017 5 A P P L E W O O D O R C H A R D S & A L L F R E S H G P S Location: Deerfield, Michigan, with All Fresh locations also in Sparta and Comstock Park. Mission: Growing, gathering, and distributing “the best of the Michigan apple crop” (18 varieties from growers on 20,000 acres). Deerfield 004-005 Farm To Fork_Apples.indd 5 8/15/17 5:12 PM