Whether connecting the weary traveler to their surroundings, or adding perspective to the cultured native, useful and fun mobile apps help to unlock the secrets of the Awesome Mitten experience. Back in July, we explored two Michigan-based mobile apps: a digital Mitten tour guide app (Michigan Travel Guide) and a hoppy variation to Candy Crush (Michigan Micro Caps). This month’s installment of the “Accessing the Mitten Through Your Thumbs Series” reveals local farmers’ markets, orchards and cider mills, corn mazes, and more Michigan brews!
Accessing the Mitten Through Your Thumbs Series, Part 2:
App No. 1: Michigan Farm Markets by Michigan Apple Committee (FREE!)
Wondering where to pick up pumpkins for carving or the best spot for hot cider and doughnuts in town? Look no further! The Michigan Farm Markets (available on iOS mobile apps) application contains a database of currently 371 local farmers’ markets across the state of Michigan. An alphabetical directory of the farmers’ markets shows a hanging open sign logo next to markets currently open during hours of operation. A search option is available to look up markets by town, county, municipality or family farm name (e.g. Wiard’s Orchard in Ypsilanti, MI or City of East Lansing Farmers Market), and an interactive map (see below) allows the user to select a dropped pin and reveal the name of the market. The user can also add a farmers’ market to a favorite’s list by selecting the heart in the top right corner on the screen showing the farmers’ market details.
As the user pulls up the details of each farmers’ market (see below), a list of available amenities such as: produce available for U-picking or for sale (e.g. blueberries, honey, pumpkins, organic selection, etc.), hot cider, animal petting, orchards, events, tours and more! A fun fact or information section reveals more about what produce is available, or how long the family farm has been in business (e.g. Bowerman Blueberries has been family owned and operated in Holland, MI since 1954 or Cobblestone farm Museum in Ann Arbor, MI, an 1844 classic revival farmhouse which provides a sneak peek into past life in Washtenaw County!) Contact e-mail information and hours of operation are also listed under the detailed view, and with the single tap on the screen, the user can call the market, pull up their website or bring up directions in Google Maps or other interactive map application.
App No. 2: Mi BREW by BREWbyME (FREE!)
If playing up to level 50 in Michigan Micro Caps has got you thirsty, Mi BREW (available in iOS mobile apps) comes to your side when it comes to finding a particular batch brew from your local craft brewery. A complete directory of 168 craft breweries, pubs and beer production facilities is available at your fingertips, including longtime standing, recently-opened and in-planning-phase brewery establishments (planning as denoted by a yellow hard hat e.g. Batch Brewing Company in Detroit, MI or Fish Hook Brewing Co. in Muskegon, MI). Each brewery listing includes a background statement, five-star rating system and reviews written by other MI Brew users, complete beer menu, hours of operation, address and telephone number. The beer menu comes complete with brew type (e.g. Saison, IPA, Porter, etc.), alcohol by volume (ABV) content and beer measurement figures (e.g. Original Gravity— also the name of a brewing company in Milan, MI! or International Bittering Units). With Michigan recently ranked No. 5 in the country for craft beer, there’s no excuse not to download this handy application to find the best beer in the state!
Stay tuned for the next installment of the “Accessing the Mitten Through Your Thumbs Series” as we guide you through the Awesome Mitten, one application at a time! What mobile apps do you find useful in discovering The Mitten?