no less than fifteen frost-freeze events followed in April and May, killing almost all the blossoms in Washtenaw County--and the nascent fruit they harbored. Though no one is yet willing to be quoted as saying it, 2012 is shaping up to be the worst apple season on record, not only for Washtenaw County, but for the entire state.
"I've walked and walked all through here, and haven't seen a single apple," says seventy-three-year-old Ruth Broesamle, tears rolling down her cheeks as she surveys row after row of barren trees in the Lutz orchard. "I've never seen anything like this."
Lutzes have farmed here on Macon Road since 1882. Ruth's brother, Bill Lutz, tended the orchard and nearby farm until his death last fall. Now carrying on the family legacy falls on Ruth's son, John, a confident thirty-four-year-old with a full beard and a DeKalb Corn baseball cap.