One of the joys of fall is biting into a crisp apple picked off a tree mere seconds ago.

There’s something special about that first bite — the sweetness of the juice, the crispness of the air, the laughter of other people nearby also taking in the tastes of autumn.

The apple crop in Michigan is expected to be a record-breaking 31 million bushels this year, up from 24 million bushels in 2015.

“Michigan had favorable weather conditions for growing apples during spring and summer 2016,” Diane Smith, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee, said. “Growers are indicating that the crop is plentiful and looks beautiful as well. Thanks to plenty of heat during the summer, the flavor will be great, too.”

Our region is great for apple lovers, as there are several apple orchards within an hour drive. That also means that fresh, local apples will also soon be on the shelves at our neighborhood grocery stores.

If you want to pick your own apples or buy a bushel or a peck directly from the source, check out one of these 16 nearby apple orchards.

Kercher’s Sunrise Orchards Farm Market
19498 C.R. 38, Goshen
574-533-6311

Miller Orchard
501 W. Randolph St., Nappanee
574-773-3923

Lehman’s Orchard
2280 Portage Road, Niles, Mich.
269-683-9078

Garwood Orchards
5911 W. 50 S., LaPorte
219-362-4385

Radke’s Orchards
8999 W. 200 N., Michigan City
219-872-3140

Pavolka Fruit Farm
1776 N. Wosniak Road, Michigan City
219-874-6056

Springhope Farm
18720 Cleveland Ave., Galien, Mich.
269-545-8313

Holloway Orchards
1737 Smith Road, Buchanan, Mich.
269-695-5069

Twin Maple Orchards
15352 Cleveland Ave., Galien, Mich.
269-545-8840

Earth First Farms
8335 Smith Road, Berrien Center, Mich.
269-815-3370

Hillside Orchards
8198 Fleisher Lane, Berrien Springs, Mich.
269-471-7558

Hildebrand Fruit Farms
10267 Garr Road, Berrien Springs, Mich.
269-471-1682

Calderwood Farms
2993 E. Lemon Creek Road, Berrien Springs, Mich.
269-471-2102

Quint’s Fruit Farm
497 E. Shawnee Road, Baroda, Mich.
269-422-1375

Phillippi Fruit Farm
13196 Cleveland Ave., Buchanan, Mich.
800-422-1700

Shafer Orchards
207 Shafer Road, Baroda, Mich.
269-422-1972

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