Tree-Mendus Apples and Black River Book Store: South Haven, MI

We stopped at Indiana's Dune State Park on the way to South Haven

A quick detour to Indiana’s Dune State Park on the way to South Haven

We spent two beautiful nights camping at the Covert/South Haven KOA.  It had been a while since our last visit.  Where there were once secluded rustic sites behind a small fishing pond there are now fancy shmancy cabins with bathrooms, AC, gas grills, and decks.  The horror!  Actually they seem kind of nice.  A bit pricey (about $130/night in high season; closer to $70 other times) but probably much cheaper than other South Haven options and a whole lot more fun than a hotel room.  But we chose, for the 32nd and 33rd time this year, to sleep in our tent.  You might be asking yourself why?  Well, besides saving money we were really looking forward to kicking back by a fire (a big no-no at any Holiday Inn).

apples, apples, apples

So we spent the money we saved by camping on apples and used books.  For the former we ventured a bit south to the Tree-Mendus Fruit orchard which grows an outstanding 200+ variety of apples (as well as peaches, blackberries, and other fruits).  Many of the apples offered were either heritage or hybrid fruits.  Taking a cue from the surrounding vineyards, they provide apple tastings which are guided by a kind of fruit sommelier.  We fell in love with the Hawaii apple which is a cross between a Gravenstein and Golden Delicious.  Corey and I also were impressed by the Northern Spy but Henna less so (supposedly they make an excellent pie).  The Empire (a heritage apple) was also quite tasty.  After we made a mental note of what we wished to pick we caught a hay ride into the apple orchard for some serious picking along with a little fall leaf peeping.

Henna picking an apple

The next day we visited South Haven before driving the three hours home.  South Haven is as cute as a place can be without being sickening sweet.  On Columbus Day 2015 it had a sleepy kind of feel that is probably never present in the summer.  Just before venturing deep into the lake via the pier (with waves lapping over our feet the whole way west), we stumbled upon Black River Books.

henna reading

This is our checklist for a used book store.

A huge selection of used books as well as new books penned by area authors?  Check.

One big friendly dog?  Actually two labradoodles that like to be pet.

Coffee?  Yes and also homemade cardamom toast both of which were served on the honor system and next to comfy couches.

Interesting and likeable proprietors?  The husband and wife were as knowledgeable about books as they were nice.  And they gave us the recipe for their homemade cardamom toast.  What’s not to like?

Link to Tree-Mendus Fruit

Link to Black River Books

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