SOUTH LYON (WWJ) – A South Lyon cider mill says this year’s wild weather has devastated their fruit crop and for the first time in 100 years, the orchard’s fall festivities are in jeopardy.
Erwin’s Orchards and Cider Mill, on Pontiac Trail, is one of the state’s most popular places for families to spend a few hours to pick their own fruit, but according to co-owner Linda Erwin, that won’t be happening this fall.
Erwin said you can blame that on Mother Nature.
“On April 29, 2012, we lost our sweet cherry crop when it got down to 23 degrees and stayed there for six hours. That same night, for the first time in our history, the killer freeze also took our entire apple crop,” said Erwin.
The warm weather of March led to killing frost in April, which wiped out many of Michigan’s fruit crops. The trees bloomed too early and they couldn’t stand up to the cold.
In the months following the sudden spring frost, the orchard was hoping to salvage some of their crop, but Erwin said it was a total loss — three acres of sweet cherries and 175 acres of apples were ruined.
Erwin said the orchard is hoping to buy apples from another Michigan grower to sell cider and make other seasonal apple treats.
Despite the loss, Erwin Orchards will still open for business when the leaves start to change colors.
“Be assured that we will be open this fall, with pick your own red and yellow raspberries and pumpkins, as well as all of our other annual fun fall activities,” she said.
Visitors will also still be able to take a wagon ride through the orchard, as well as enjoy their other activities such as a petting farm, corn and hay mazes, and haunted attractions as it gets closer to Halloween.
Erwin Orchards and Cider Mill is open daily beginning Friday, August 24. For more information, visit www.erwinorchards.com.