Local cider mills are worth the trip this season
By Casey Samyn, Elaine Gerou and Elizabeth Chapa
Campus Life Editor, Managing Editor and Arts & Entertainment Editor
It is that time of year again, and cider mills are up and running for the fall season. As the weather gets cooler and with Halloween right around the corner, it is the perfect timing for a trip to the cider mill. The ideal date spot or family outing destination includes enjoying the best drinks and sweet treats just minutes away at local cider mills.
THREE CEDARS FARM
7897 SIX MILE RD, NORTHVILLE CHARTER TOWNSHIP, MI 48168
If one heads west down Six Mile Rd. past Schoolcraft College, the paved road turns into a dirt road, which leads to Three Cedars Farm. The atmosphere immediately changes as one feels as though they are in a different time—miles and miles away from any city. First time customers will enjoy the interesting, fun, fall decorations, while appreciating how clean and uncrowded the farm is. Customers who have been coming every year as part of a family tradition say that the general store is their favorite place, and the overall consensus of children is their favorite part is eating the donuts.
Jeff White, part of the Facilities Management staff said, “This season we have the Three Cedars Jamboree, which is an animatronic band playing in our kid’s area. We expect that to be a big crowd getter this year.”
Jennifer Whittaker, who is part of the family that owns the farm and works at the County Store, said she likes, “When families come together and enjoy the fall and just be a family.”
Three Cedars Farm has so much to offer, along with their cider and donuts, it is just a great place to visit for guests of any age.
OBSTBAUM ORCHARDS & CIDER MILL
9252 CURIE RD. NORTHVILLE, MI 4816
A cider mill that keeps to tradition and sticks to the basics is a perfect place for all ages. This season, Obstbaum Orchard & Cider Mill opened Sept. 6 offering apple cider, donuts and wine, all made on location.
As one walks into the store, to the right is a room enclosed with glass windows so guests can see the staff making the donuts. Other goods available, include pies, muffins, fritters, candy apples and fresh apples; along with honey, and jarred sauces made locally.
The best thing about this cider mill experience is the variety of drink choices. The options are cold apple cider, hard cider and wine. The fact that alcoholic beverages are offered at this site makes the cider mill stand out. Every step of wine-making happens on location, and the major ingredients that go into the wine come from there as well. Their special wine varieties include honey apple and cherry wine that have been national award winners. Peter Neuroth, son of the owners, said, “They develop it here, bottle it here and distribute it here.”
Additionally, hayrides are available, as well as the opportunity to purchase pumpkins and fall decorations. Plan a visit to Obstbaum Orchards for some of the best fall drinks and fresh donuts this season.
PARMENTER’S NORTHVILLE CIDER MILL
714 BASELINE RD NORTHVILLE, MI 48167
Just off Baseline Road in Northville is Parmenter’s Cider Mill, which is celebrating its 141st cider season this year. Although the wait for cider seems long on the weekends, the line goes by fast when there are so many things to see.
Parmeter’s is definitely a family affair. K.C. Kitter has been working at the Nut Mill and the Fudge Hut for 23 years, which makes about 16 different flavors of fudge. Kitter’s sister and nephew own the cider mill, while her niece runs the Chow Mill, which has cotton candy, kielbasa and hot dogs.
Along with the family operated businesses at the mill, there is an annual craft show. Lynn Fecteau, one of the vendors there, said she does roughly 20 craft shows a year, but has been coming to Parmenter’s for at least 20 years. Some of the items that she makes and sells are hats, scarves, dishcloths, oven mitts and colored ribbon halos for little girls to wear. Her grandchildren also make beaded jewelry for her to sell.
Through her 20 plus years at the cider mill, Fecteau thinks that people enjoy the cider the most, but also enjoy bringing their dogs and looking at the crafts. Parmenter’s has fewer activities for families with young children, but they make up for it with their spectacular cider and donuts, unusual playground equipment and with their craft show display of fall related items.
PLYMOUTH APPLE ORCHARDS & CIDER MILL
10685 WARREN RD, PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, MI 48170
The Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill is a trip that must be made by cider-drinking and donut-eating lovers this fall. Last year, they were voted Michigan’s BEST Apple Cider, and in 2010 their donuts were the best in the state.
“We have a traveling trophy, which is similar to the Stanley Cup, ” said proud manager of the last twelve years, Mary Krause.
The famous cinnamon sugar donuts and homemade cider are not the only reasons people have been visiting the orchard since it opened in 1977. Going to this particular cider mill is a cultural experience because several kinds of farm animals are on site, making for many great picture-taking opportunities.
For an even more cultured and educational experience, there is a pressing room where the cider is made fresh and anyone can watch, learn and be enthralled by the sweet magic.
Scenic tractor rides through the many rows of apple trees are also offered for three dollars, and there is even a stop along the way for a pumpkin-picking patch.
“I think with the Plymouth-Canton community you can be in the suburbs living in a cul-de-sac, and five minutes down the road you’re out in the country looking at the farm animals, and having your kids experience a little bit of the farm life that maybe the parents had when they were growing up,” said Krause.
With eight cash registers lined up across the counter, Plymouth Orchards and Cider Mill is ready for business and hopes autumn will bring nice weather for enjoyable cider visits.
When asked about her twelve years at Plymouth Orchards, Kruase said, “I couldn’t think of a better job. I came out here to be a schoolteacher to do the tours and that lead to a full time job. I love it. My employees are a great team of people to work with. The community supports us: they come out and are here all the time.”
Plymouth Orchards ask that Schoolcraft students come visit their cider mill to join the locals on having fun participating in fall festivities.