A local failure of our favorite variety of apple (Northern spys) provided some motivation to drive 3.5 hr to SW Michigan to the Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm. They grow a couple of hundred varieties of apples, and you can taste many of them so you will certainly get to try something you've never had before. Now this is not exactly a selfish action as a number of our friends are counting on us to import enough apples for everybody. Last year the Phactors made the same trip and it was cold, wet, and completely miserable, and the apples were not their best so picking wasn't easy. "Apple pickin' weather" according to a senior member of the Mendus family. This year was a nice fall day and dry! And the apples were in much better shape and the trees were loaded so picking was easy. If any of our N. Spy friends are reading this, you will get apples, a few. A brief discussion with the apple patriarch turned to the Holiday apple, a variety TPP was unfamiliar with. This is a fabulous apple! The flesh is pure white and very crispy, but bursting with juice. The taste is a complex sweet tart combo. Excellent. According to the description this is a hybrid between a Jonathon and a Macoun developed in Ohio. Travel suggestion: the route to this orchard will take you close to Three Oaks which is worth a visit. First and foremost is Drier's Meat Market. The sawdust on the floor will be fresh. Try a ring of bologna or liverwurst; you will not be disappointed. Further down the street is an old corset factory that now houses a theater, a restaurant, and the Journeyman Distillery. The quite peppery rye whiskey is special. The white whiskey is (think fancy moonshine) is surprisingly fruity, and strong! Everything is 100 proof. For an October afternoon, the joint was jumping. So think apples, sausage, and whiskey, all in a one day trip! Success!