Bayne’s Apple Valley Farm
Fall is one of the best seasons in Michigan. The leaves on the trees are changing with the crisp cool air. Fall football is here and most importantly Bayne’s apples are readying for harvest. Those apples will soon make Baynes into one of the most fun places to be including bounce houses and play areas for the kids. Dick and Pat Bayne planted their first apple trees about 45 years ago and the business is now owned by Patti Bayne-Tomczak who continues to bring us back year after year because of Bayne’s delictible fall time treats. Patti has worked hard to make her parents dream of a cider house destination a reality. Since taking over the cider mill Patti has added the cafe, bakery and gift shop which brings families from miles to their welcoming doorstep.
For many years we have journeyed to Freeland to Baynes Apple Valley Farm, passing by other cider mills because we love the sweet, fresh cider they press year after year. We have yet to be disappointed in a gallon of their apple nectar. You can watch Baynes press their cider on the weekends and mix the pressings from several different varieties to create their distinctive cider. They never pasturize their cider as this removes flavor and valuable nutrients. We have had cider from early season pressings that was lighter in color and crisper in flavor and then full-bodied cider from later in the season which was much sweeter. They have many varieties of apples to purchase and enjoy whether you are looking for a baking apple, a sauce apple or just a plain old apple to eat raw!
Cider and DOUGHNUTS
Since we are on eating….let’s talk about Bayne’s cider doughnuts. They are melt in your mouth perfection. We have often taken a Sunday drive for the sole purpose of picking up these tasty morsels. They are a moist and delicious cake with your choice of leaving it plain or cinnamon sugar coating. (We prefer the cinnamon sugar) There are many other baked goods offered such as pies, turnovers, muffins and cookies. All made fresh at their in-store bakery. Don’t forget to try one of the caramel apples!
The Courtland Cafe, nestled in the back of the store, offers patrons sandwiches, chili and hot and cold drinks. The cider slushies are wonderful–just beware of brain freeze! Baynes doesn’t add anything to their cider for their slushies, as we found at other cider mills who add apple concentrate to enhance the flavor. Baynes just lets their apples speak for themselves and it is naturally delicious!! We also were treated to a “Sunrise Slushie” which is a layering of cherry juice slush and apple cider slush. Not only does it look beautiful, it tastes wonderful as well.
Patti offers her guests several sandwich options. We tried the turkey and cheddar on a pretzel roll. A simple sandwich with a twist–a pretzel twist to be specific. It was a nice change from the typical sub bun or sliced bread. Patti also let us try her homemade chicken salad wrap. A prefect combination of chunked chicken breast, onion, celery, mayo and her secret ingredient–dried Michigan cherries! The tartness of the cherries really made this our favorite. Our kids devoured the chicken noodle soup in a bread bowl. Thick noodles that looked homemade, lots of veggies and of course chicken made this disappear so fast that I had to scrape a taste from the bottom of the bowl just so I could give you a review. There are a few tables in the cafe for you to enjoy your meal or pastry as well. So, feel free to get a bite to eat there and then get something to take home to enjoy later.
There is a little gift shop with unique home decor items such as candles and seasonal items for the fall holidays. They also carry a delicious selection of butters, jams and jellies for you to stock up your pantry or use as gifts. There are pumpkins and gourds for sale as well.
Baynes is a must on your fall time list. It is the essence of all things good about autumn in Michigan.
5395 Midland Rd., Freeland