What I Learned at Porter's Orchard
Orchards are friendly places. That is part of their appeal—in addition to fresh donuts and cider. I spent last Sunday afternoon at Porters Orchard in Goodrich exploring the corn maze, looking at farm animals and taste-testing product. Although Porters is known for their apples and award-wining cider, they also have U-Pick raspberries and blackberries. I'd never picked raspberries there before, so I was excited to try their berries.
Porters is a causal place, which is one of the reasons I chose to go there. The unmarked raspberry patch I went to lines the road the tractor uses for hayrides. The raspberries were delicious, firm and plentiful. After finding several small bugs and an occasional ant, I suggested to my daughter that Porters raspberries are grown organically.
When I stumbled upon a very large black and yellow spider—which looked like something that belongs in the jungle—I was sure that we had indeed found organic raspberries. At $10 for 4 pints, I was thrilled.
When I spoke to owner Dee Porter she confirmed that no pesticides or herbicides are used on their raspberries, and we marveled at the size the of the spider I found. Its Latin name is Argiope aurantia, and it lives throughout the United States. According to the Ohio DNR, the yellow garden spider is not aggressive and poses no threat to humans.
Dee also told me about the history of the orchard that was founded in 1919 by her husband's grandfather, Raymond Walter Porter. She talked about the farms' series of expansions including a cider press in 1939, an expanded farm market and donut shop in 1976 and a bakery in 1997.
Products from Porter's Orchard can also be found at the Davison Farmers Market and the Flint Farmers' market.
Find out more at Porter's Orchard