Get to Know Your Vendor: Lutz Orchards

The Lutz Family has been in the apple business for over 5 generations, and Ruth Lutz is carrying on the tradition of selling antique and heirloom apple varieties.  The farm has a long and storied history which started with a dairy farm and apple orchard located amid their lovely centennial farm (over 100 years in one family) on Macon Road between Saline and Tecumseh.  Outside a sign advertises both Apples and Åpfels, a nod to the German lineage of Lutz’s family, one of the many German families that settled in this part of Michigan. Lutz’s great-grandfather purchased the farm in 1882.  In 1884, that same great-grandfather built the solid red barn where Lutz now stores her apples along with the straw and hay a nephew grows for Lutz’s 22 dairy cows.  Lutz’s father set out the 12 acre apple orchard, which is about a mile from the barn, between 1929 and 1931. Ruth Lutz’s brother, Bill Lutz,  owned the orchard since 1983 after his dad passed away, and it recently passed to Ruth’s son, John Braesamle, to manage the farm.

Ruth Lutz loves to talk about the many varieties that she sells, and has a book with many of the antique varieties at the market to share this knowledge with customers.  The heirloom apples she brings includes Greening (developed in Rhode Island in the 1700’s), Wolf River (developed in Wisconsin circa 1870’s), and Snow Apple (developed in Vermont since the 1600’s), many from the same trees her father planted.  She also volutneers with 4-H, and has been active with her local chapter since 1948, as well as participating in the local “Apple Day” festival at the Pittsfield Grange.  Visit her stand or check out her beautiful farm at:

11039 Macon Rd., Saline, MI 48175