BLOOMFIELD HILLS (WWJ) – Cooler, fall-like weather can only mean one thing in Michigan besides football … area cider mills are packed.

WWJ’s Beth Fisher reports it’s a good thing after the state’s apple crop was heavily damaged by frost last year.

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The sunny but cool day brought a good crowd out to the Franklin Cider Mill where folks were snapping up cider and donuts from the mill.

Owner, Barry Peltz, says the crop is closer to 30 million bushels of Michigan apples this year compared to just 3 million last year. “Instead of the three percent – the apple crop is really flourishing.”

The growing yield has had a positive effect on the price of apples too. They’ve gone down. “We’re going to have in Honey Crisp apples, we’re going to have Gala Red, we’re going to have Paula Red, we’re going to have Ginger Gold, and we’re going to have Macintosh, and Jonathan,” Peltz said.

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All of the above varieties go into the mix for the cider drink.

Thirteen-year old Adara Sesi tells WWJ that she loves riding her bike to the cider mill. “I like that you can sit, drink cider and eat donuts by the river,” she said. “And it’s very family friendly.”

Deborah Slobin of W. Bloomfield had two gallons of cider. “I love it, coming in the fall is the best – I lived in Miami for 23 years and coming back to Michigan – I love the cider mill,” Slobin said. Along with cider there is a farmer’s market, roasted corn, hot dogs and horse drawn carriage rides.

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