Last weekend, I visited with John Platte of Platte Farm north of Grand Rapids. We talked about what to do with all of those apples he sells. There are eight varieties available from him at Fulton St. Farmers Market in Grand Rapids.
John started his farmers market career at the age of five, by going with family to the market in Muskegon Heights, MI. He’s been vending at Fulton St. Market for fifty years!
Here’s what’s available:
Braeburn: Very hard, slightly tart, great taste; cook or eat fresh.
Northern Spy: They are like a Granny Smith, tart, “Spys for pies” they say; bake or cook them.
Jonagold: Good for anything – cook or eat fresh. They’re sweet, so cut the sugar by least in half when baking or cooking. Also mix with Courtland and Ida Red to make no-sugar applesauce. It’s his favorite pie apple; nice texture and nice taste.
Gala: A great eating apple; can cook and bake with them
Fuji: Very sweet, very crunchy, hard; good to eat or cook it. They are not for pie though; too juicy.
Honey Crisp: juicy, crisp, crunchy. Make sauce or eat fresh. They are most people’s favorite, and he will have them into April this year.
Ida Red: A great all-purpose apple for eating raw or for pie or sauce.
Cortland: Eat, bake, or make sauce. This is the one they sell the most for applesauce.
Platte Farm is all run by family. It’s located on the ridge north of Grand Rapids, between 6 – 7 Mile Roads. The farm is 36 acres; 6 of it is apple orchard with 9 to 10 acres of vegetables where they use crop rotation strategies. In addition to apples, they grow and sell corn, tomatoes, melons, summer squash, zucchini, green beans, cucumbers, and pickles.
Find them every week at Fulton St. Farmers Market.