July/Aug 2019 PIEG

Page 1

July/August 2019


COUNTRY LINES Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op

Notice To PIE&G Members Regarding Electric Rates

PIE&G Capital Credit Refunds Coming This Fall Knaebe’s Apple Farm Creates Magical Fall Memories

Tip Toe Through

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In This Issue July/August 2019 || Vol. 39, No. 7

Michigan’s Electric Cooperatives






Your photo could be featured here.


Executive Editor: Casey Clark Editor: Christine Dorr Copy Editor: Heidi Spencer

Follow Us On Instagram!

Design and Production: Karreen Bird Recipe Editor: Christin McKamey Publisher: Michigan Electric Cooperative Association Michigan Country Lines, USPS-591-710, is published monthly, except August and December, with periodicals postage paid at Lansing, Mich., and additional offices. It is the official publication of the Michigan Electric Cooperative Association, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Subscriptions are authorized for members of Alger Delta, Cherryland, Great Lakes, HomeWorks Tri-County, Midwest Energy & Communications, Ontonagon, Presque Isle, and Thumb electric cooperatives by their boards of directors. POSTMASTER: SEND ALL UAA TO CFS. Association officers are Robert Kran, Great Lakes Energy, chairman; Mark Kappler, HomeWorks Tri-County Electric, vice chairman; and Eric Baker, Wolverine Power Cooperative, secretarytreasurer. Craig Borr is president and CEO. CONTACT US/LETTERS TO EDITOR: Michigan Country Lines 201 Townsend St., Suite 900 Lansing, MI 48933 248-534-7358 editor@countrylines.com countrylines.com


Please notify your electric cooperative. See page 4 for contact information.

The appearance of advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the products or services advertised.

Come share in the splendor of rural Michigan with us

michigancountrylines This capture of a wave breaking in Lake Huron is the most brilliant @lensball capture we've ever seen. #gorgeous :@chase_gagnon

ON THE COVER The Tulip Time Festival is dedicated to honoring Holland, Michigan’s Dutch heritage, showcasing millions of tulips and celebrating the community today. This experience is so much more than tulips. With national and local entertainment, world-renowned Dutch dancers, artisan markets, fireworks, breathtaking sights just off the shores of Lake Michigan and some of the largest parades in Michigan, Tulip Time is truly an experience you don’t want to miss. Photography by Tyler Leipprandt

6 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column Exploring The Frankfort Scene Christal Frost, Media Personality

10 MI CO-OP KITCHEN Festive Desserts To Celebrate Summer


18 MI CO-OP COMMUNITY Guest Column

The Turtle Race Tradition Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy member

Win $150 for stories published! Guest Column: Country Lines invites members to submit their fond memories and stories. For guidelines and to submit your guest column go to countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab.

Christin McKamey & Our Readers

Enjoy a taste of the Old Country! This Dutch favorite recipe, Stamppot van Boerenkool: Curly Kale and Sausages, is shared with Tulip Time visitors from around the world. Enter Our Recipe Contest And Win A $50 Bill Credit!

14 FEATURE Tip Toe Through The Tulips Emily Haines Lloyd

Best of Michigan CRAFT BEER: Give us your personal craft beer favorite. We will publish this member– recommended list in our September issue. Submit your favorites at countrylines.com under the MI Co-op Community tab by July 20.



Directors Approve Electric Rate Increase







Board Of Directors Charles Arbour, Treasurer

23899 M32 S, Hillman MI 49746 989-657-4358 • Term Expires: 2020

Allan Berg, Vice-Chairman

1117 E. Heythaler Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-0044 • Term Expires 2020

Sandy Borowicz, Secretary

5341 Carlson Rd.,Cheboygan, MI 49721 231-627-9220 • Term Expires 2021

John Brown, Chairman

21 W. Devereaux Lake Rd., Indian River, MI 49749 231-625-2099 • Term Expires 2020

Sally Knopf

1849 W. 638 Hwy., Rogers City, MI 49779 989-734-4196 • Term Expires 2021

Kurt Krajniak

7630 Wallace Rd., Alpena, MI 49707 989-884-3037 • Term Expires 2019

Brentt Lucas

15841 Carr Rd., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-3678 • Term Expires 2019

Daryl Peterson

P.O. Box 54, Hillman, MI 49746 989-742-3145 • Term Expires 2021

Raymond Wozniak

6737 State St., Posen, MI 49776 989-766-2498 • Term Expires 2019

President & CEO: Tom Sobeck tsobeck@pieg.com

Communications Director/Co-op Editor: Maire Chagnon-Hazelman

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op 19831 M-68 Hwy., P.O. Box 308 Onaway, 49765

Business Office & Billing: 989-733-8515 Toll-Free: 800-423-6634 Gas Emergency Toll-Free: 800-655-8565

pieg.com Join us on Facebook. facebook.com/PIEGCooperative

Most PIE&G natural gas rates and charges are not regulated by the Michigan Public Service Commission. Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Tom Sobeck, President & CEO


aising rates is not something that excites us and it’s definitely not my favorite topic, but it is an inevitable aspect of doing business. We are constantly faced with increasing costs and the need to maintain and upgrade our facilities to be able to provide the quality of service you expect. The topic does allow me the opportunity to explain how we arrived at the decision. There is a specific process we undertake to determine whether a rate increase is necessary. It starts with a review of various aspects of our operations. We conduct a rate study to evaluate how the current rate structure is performing. This year’s analysis indicated that an increase to several rate classes was necessary. Excluding the Outdoor Lighting rate class, the increase should range from 0.65% for small commercial accounts to 2.21% for monthly residential accounts. While it may not seem like it, an increase this small is actually the good news for everyone. Another key element of the study is to determine whether every rate class is paying their fair share, or if certain classes are subsidizing others. Thankfully, this aspect of our rate review and analysis indicated that our rates are performing as they should and all rate classes are essentially paying their own way. Another part of any rate review process is a comparison of our rates to local utilities and industry peers. The result of this peer comparison provides us with more positive news. The table (below) illustrates just how competitive your cooperative’s residential rate is compared to other Michigan cooperatives and to neighboring electric utilities. It would be easy for me to say, “The results speak for themselves.” Indeed they do, but I must also recognize the hard work and dedication of our employees and the board for their constant efforts to maintain efficient and reliable electric service for our members. It’s been six years since the last increase to electric rates. We are proud of our ability to manage the cooperative in a way that maintains safe, reliable electric service at an extremely competitive cost. Thank you all for the trust you have placed in us to operate and maintain your electric and natural gas utility. Have a safe and happy summer!

Monthly Residential Electric Rate Comparison Utility

250 kWh

500 kWh

1000 kWh

Michigan Cooperatives Average




Local Utilities Average*








*Includes Alpena Power Company, Consumer’s Energy and PIE&G.


Board In Action


t its special open board meeting, the PIE&G board of directors approved changes to the cooperative’s electric rates (see below “Notice to Members of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op”).

At their most recent meetings, the PIE&G board of directors:

Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op and authorized the board chairman to execute the agreement. • Authorized CEO Sobeck to submit a letter of interest related to the acquisition of the Onaway Airport property to the Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners. • Authorized CEO Sobeck to request a natural gas franchise in Warner Township.

• Approved capital retirements of $2,471,000 to take place in October 2019. • Approved a $1,000 donation to the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation’s Cooperative System Integrity Fund. • Approved an employment agreement with Thomas Sobeck as president and chief executive officer of

• Approved the Building Committee’s recommendation of Brivar Construction Co. of Brighton to act as construction manager for the co-op headquarters building project. • Appointed members to the 2019 Annual Meeting Nominating Committee. • Accepted the leadership team reports.

Notice to Members of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op Electric Tariff and Rule Changes Effective Sept. 1, 2019 The Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op board of directors adopted the following changes to the cooperative’s electric tariffs at a Special Open Meeting held May 28, 2019, in accordance with P.A. 167. a. Accepted the 2018 Times Interest Earned Ratio (TIER) analysis and approved a revenue increase of $617,401. b. Revised the cooperative’s energy distribution rate for monthly residential, seasonal residential, general service, large general service, primary service and outdoor lighting rate classes as indicated below to reflect the TIER analysis and the cost to serve for bills rendered on or after September 1, 2019. NOTE: There were no changes to the monthly availability charge. RATE CLASS

CURRENT RATE (Per kWh or Monthly)

INCREASE (Per kWh or Monthly)



Monthly Residential*





Seasonal Residential*





General Service





Large General Service





Primary Service





Outdoor Lighting 175W MV 400W MV 100W HPS 250W HPS 40W LED T5 70W LED T3/T5

$11.40 $19.70 $9.00 $14.80 $6.80 $7.70

$1.08 $2.47 $0.62 $1.55 $0.25 $0.43

$12.48 $22.17 $9.62 $16.35 $7.05 $8.13


*The average monthly residential member uses around 662 kWh/month (for an increase of about $1.95/month). The average seasonal residential member uses around 209 kWh/month (for an increase of about $1/month).




MI CO-OP Community

Road pin’ Trip With Christal Frost



very time I travel back to my Benzie County roots, I marvel at how everything feels both exactly the same and somehow very different. I graduated from Benzie Central High School 21 years ago and as I drive through the hilly terrain toward Frankfort, I can’t shake the notion that, although the route hasn’t changed, everything along the way seems to have grown up—including me. Downtown Frankfort is just waking up as I make my first stop at Crescent Bakery for a welcomed cup of coffee, delicious breakfast panini and the bakery’s world-famous fritters. Fueled by caffeine and sugar, it’s time to journey to Frankfort’s pride and joy, the Point Betsie Lighthouse. With views of the Manitou Passage, the Point Betsie Lighthouse is rumored to be the most photographed lighthouse of all time. The views are unparalleled, and it still stands today as a beacon of beauty and direction. Although Point Betsie still functions as a navigation aid, the majestic lighthouse also regularly hosts museum tours and weddings. Curious visitors can even rent the Keeper’s Quarters— available from late May through October. No visit to Frankfort is complete without a stop at Crystal Gardens. Crystal Gardens has been the source for gardening supplies for more than 40 years. However, Crystal Gardens has evolved to give visitors more of an experience, including a rock shop filled with unique gifts made with Petoskey stones and geodes, the Barn Swallow antique store—and even the Nature Exhibit which boasts peacocks, butterflies, a fairy garden and a gigantic stone turtle. My absolute favorite at the Gardens, though, is an entire greenhouse, called Mom’s House, which is fully dedicated to the hardy geranium.

Rolling through town, I spot the A&W Restaurant, in addition to hot dogs, burgers, fries and root beer, A&W


sells nostalgia; and I am definitely buying! I pull up to a drive-in spot and am served by a friendly waitress. Staying in the car, I turn on ‘50s music and pretend I’ve gone back in time. The next stop is Main Street. I marvel at the historic Garden Theatre, the gem of downtown Frankfort. I then make my way into Frannie’s Follies, a must-stop shop for tourists and anyone looking for a t-shirt or trinket. Sunbeams of Promise catches my eye next, and there I find a huge variety of local stones, including the elusive Leland Blue. Our final stop leads us to Elberta, Frankfort’s port city sister, just two miles away. In fact, this tiny town was once known as South Frankfort. My tour ends at the Cabbage Shed, a building that has more history and character than any other place in the county. First built in 1867, the shed offers over 70 varieties of Irish whiskey and the longest running open mic night in Benzie County. If you leave the Cabbage Shed without trying the Drunken Beans, you will never forgive yourself. Only a 45-minute drive from Traverse City, Frankfort has managed to hold on to its small-town charm. And, it welcomes you, like a hug from an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Christal Frost is a media personality who can be heard on Today’s Country MusicWTCM, The Christal Frost Show on NewsTalk 580-WTCM AM.






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See Frankfort In Action

Christal Frost filmed her Frankfort adventure, now available on countrylines.com. For behind-the-scenes footage, see the “Road Trippin” story highlight album on our Instagram @michigancountrylines.


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• Garden Theatre • Frannie’s Follies • Sunbeams of Promise

A& W

Nearby on Main Street:



Directors Approve $2.470 Million In Refunds To Members Capital Credits from 1987–1988 and 2002–2003 to be retired.


t their April meeting, PIE&G’s board of directors authorized approximately $2,470,000 in capital credit retirements. Members who received electric service in 1987–1988 or 2002–2003 will receive an amount of the above in proportion to their energy use. Checks for the capital credit refund will be mailed in the fall of 2019. As a member-owned, not-for-profit organization, when PIE&G revenues exceed expenses, “capital” is generated and “credited” to individual members on a pro rata basis, depending on their purchases of electricity or gas. Capital credits are used to build the facilities needed to serve members or may be retired and refunded whenever the board of directors determines that the co-op’s financial condition will not be impaired. Since its inception, PIE&G has refunded approximately $16.9 million in capital credits back to its members.

Heat& Save Beat the

Holiday Closing PIE&G’S office will be closed Monday, September 2, for Labor Day. Payments will post to accounts the same day if made online at pieg.com using SmartHub or if using Pay-byphone at 1-866-999-4571. Drop box payments will be posted to accounts on the next open business day. For electric emergencies, call 1-800-423-6634. For gas emergencies, call 989-655-8565 or 911.

Stay cool this summer while saving energy. Here are a few tips to help: ▪ Turn off and unplug electronics, and head outside.

▪ Use shades, blinds and drapes to keep out the heat.

▪ Grill outside to reduce heat generated by the stove or oven.

▪ Use ceiling fans to create a cooling breeze. ▪ Turn fans off in unoccupied rooms— fans cool people, not rooms.

michigan-energy.org | 877.296.4319

Energy Optimization programs and incentives are applicable to Michigan electric service locations only. Other restrictions may apply. For a complete list of participating utilities, visit michigan-energy.org.

Photo Contest 1

Most votes on Facebook!





Four-Legged Friends 1. So you really think you’re gonna leave me here? —Beau Williams, Atlanta 2. Vincent the Shepherd, Guardian of the Straights. —Jeremy Boak, Mackinaw City 3. Sleepy Boy, Captain Zetterberg—Julie DePrekel, Posen 4. B waaahahahahaa!! You crack me up!! —Nicole Hoeft, Rogers City 5. Should we adopt the cat in the shelter’s ad!?!? —Jeanie Stevens, Onaway 6. Bright Eyes—Elizabeth York, Cheboygan 7. Happy 4th of July—Gloria Zalewski, Lewiston 8. Majestic Dozer—Susan Amyotte, Onaway



8 Enter to win up to a

Submit Your Favorite “Sunrise/Sunset” Photos!

Submit your best photo and encourage your friends to vote! The photo receiving the most votes from our Facebook contest will be printed in an issue of Country Lines along with some of our other favorites.


energy bill credit!

Our July/August theme is Sunrise/Sunset. Photos can be submitted through July 20 to be featured in our September issue.

Enter Your Photos And Win A Bill Credit!

To enter the contest visit facebook.com/PIEGCooperative and click “Photo Contest” from the menu tabs. If you’re not on Facebook, that’s okay. You can also enter the contest at pieg.com/content/photo-contest. Enter your picture, cast your vote, and encourage others to vote for you as well. If your photo is printed in Country Lines during 2019, you will be entered to win a credit of up to $200 on your December 2019 bill. MICHIGAN COUNTRY LINES


Festive Desserts Celebrate summer with these delectable recipes. Photos by Robert Bruce Photography

Winning Recipe!

Frosty Lemon Pie Rita Schuette, Midwest Energy ¾ ¹⁄³ ¼ • 3 2 1 •

cup sugar cup lemon juice cup butter, cubed dash salt eggs, slightly beaten pints vanilla ice cream, softened and divided graham cracker crust (9 inches) whipped topping, fresh mint and lemon peel for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice, sugar, butter and salt. Cook and stir over medium heat till sugar is dissolved and butter melted. Whisk a small amount of the sugar mixture into the eggs several times. Return all to the saucepan. Cook and stir over medium heat till mixture reaches 160 F or is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Refrigerate till cool. Spread half of the ice cream in the crust. Freeze for 1 hour or till firm. Cover with half of the lemon mixture and freeze for 1 hour——repeat layers. After the 2nd layer of lemon mixture, cover and freeze several hours or overnight. Remove from freezer 10 minutes before serving. Garnish if desired. Watch a video of this month’s winning recipe at micoopkitchen.com/videos 10 JULY/AUGUST 2019

Grandma’s Scottish Shortbread Gail Gurnee, Great Lakes Energy 1 cup softened butter ½ cup sugar 2½ cups flour Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream butter and sugar together. Gradually knead in flour until well blended. Place in 9-inch ungreased cake pan and roll or press dough in until smooth. Press the tines of a fork around the edges and prick the middle of the dough. Bake for 10 minutes. Turn down oven to 300 F and bake for an additional 50 minutes until nicely browned. Run a knife around the edge to prevent cookies sticking to pan. Cut into short little squares immediately before cookies harden.

Lime Ice Cream Dessert Joyce Tamminga, Great Lakes Energy


Crust: 1½ cups Ritz cracker crumbs (about 34 crackers) 4 tablespoons sugar 5 tablespoons melted butter

GUEST CHEF This traditional Dutch favorite is shared with Tulip Time visitors from around the world. Enjoy a taste of the Old Country!

Filling: 2 quarts vanilla ice cream (½ gallon) 1 quart lime sherbet Topping: 4 tablespoons lime or lemon juice ²⁄³ cups sugar 2 eggs, well beaten 6 tablespoons butter Mix cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; press into 9x13 inch pan. Chill. Soften ice cream and sherbet enough to mix well and spread over crust. Freeze. Mix topping ingredients in a heavy

saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat until thick. Cool completely. Spread the topping on the ice cream. Keep frozen. Note: This can also be made with orange sherbet and orange juice in the place of lime sherbet and lime juice.

Raspberry Delight Pound Cake Tracy Fisher, Thumb Electric 1 1 4 1 ¹⁄³ ½ 2 ¼ 2 2 •

French vanilla or yellow cake mix small instant vanilla pudding mix large eggs cup water cup oil cup sour cream cups raspberries fresh or frozen cup water tablespoons sugar tablespoons raspberry jello (powder) cornstarch, to thicken

Preheat over to 350 F. Mix cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, water, oil and sour cream according to cake mix directions on the box. Pour into prepared Bundt pan. In large saucepan, cook remaining ingredients over medium heat. Bring to a boil. Thicken filling

Stamppot van Boerenkool: Curly Kale and Sausages

with cornstarch and water. Drop filling by spoonfuls over top of unbaked cake. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then turn cake out onto a plate. Dust with powdered sugar or serve with whipped cream.

Venison: due August 1 Christmas Cookies: due September 1 Submit your favorite recipe for a chance to win a $50 bill credit and have your recipe featured in Country Lines with a photo and a video. Go to micoopkitchen.com for more information and to register.

Enter to win a


energy bill credit!

2–3 3 • 1 4

lbs. curly kale lbs. cut-up potatoes Milk, salt, and pepper lb. smoked sausage tbsp. oleo

Strip, wash, and cut kale very fine. Boil kale in water with salt about 40 minutes. Add peeled, cut-up potatoes and sausage and enough water to prevent burning. Cook 30 minutes. Remove sausage from pan. Mash kale and potatoes and stir in boiled milk until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Read the full story about the Tulip Time Festival on page 14, and find this recipe and others at micoopkitchen.com.



PIE&G Communities First Fund

AWARDS $23,000 IN LOCAL GRANTS Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op members continue to give generously to assist area community organizations and individuals through the voluntary round up of their electric and natural gas billings. Member contributions to the PIE&G Communities First Fund enable awards for grants and scholarships in their local communities within PIE&G’s service area. At a recent meeting, the PIE&G Communities First Fund board of directors finalized the review of applications and made awards of $23,000 in grants and scholarships to the recipients below and on the back cover.

CHEBOYGAN COUNTY PIE&G First Fund awarded money to Cheboygan Carnegie 501 (C)(3) in partnership with Holbert LLC ($2,500) to assist with The Building Stabilization Project, to address existing structure concerns such as heat loss, lack of insulation and replacement of single pane windows. The Cheboygan Carnegie reopened two years ago; since then, over 8,000 visitors, 100 musicians, and 36 gallery shows and lectures took place. The building stabilization project is expected to be completed in three months.

Jake, a miniature therapy horse at The Pony Club of Montmorency County, enjoys being with children just as much as they enjoy being with him. Members of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, in full regalia, demonstrating dance steps at a regional Pow Wow hosted every three years by the Pl County Historical Museum, with financial support from the PIE&G Communities First Fund.

MONTMORENCY COUNTY The Pony Club ($2,500) received funds to help with the costs of construction for a new therapy room inside one of the miniature horse barns to accommodate visits by children, veterans, and elderly. The therapy room is a safe “living room” style environment for year-round interaction with the therapeutic miniature horses.

PRESQUE ISLE COUNTY Presque Isle County Historical Museum ($2,000) received funds to defray admission costs to the Northern Lake Huron Native American Pow Wow (Northern Lake Huron NAPW) and Trapper Rendezvous event. The Northern Lake Huron NAPW and Trapper Rendezvous will take place on Friday and Saturday, August 2–3, 2019, in conjunction with Rogers City’s Nautical City Festival. The main elements of the event include the Pow Wow, Trapper & Trader Rendezvous, and Native American Crafts. Rogers City Area Senior Inc. was awarded $1,500 to assist with the purchase of new flooring, refrigeration and entry curb improvements. The Rogers City Senior and Community Center began as a senior based center in 1998 and has expanded to include the community and various groups.


About Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G): PIE&G provides electric and natural gas service to about 30,850 member-owners across northeast Michigan and is headquartered in Onaway. PIE&G is one of the largest employers in Presque Isle County, with 77 employees servicing about 33,500 electric meters and nearly 13,500 natural gas meters. Since 1997, the PIE&G Communities First Fund has provided over $1.5 million in grants to local nonprofits. For more information, please visit pieg.com.

Bringing Aging Power Grid Into 21st Century:


PIE&G is committed to providing our members with power that is both reliable and affordable. To continue doing that, we must make improvements to bring our aging power grid into the 21st century. Utilities across the state and country are facing a similar challenge, and we want to keep our members updated on what these coming changes entail. One of the upgrades we’re considering is Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI), which involves installing upgraded meters on homes and businesses that are wirelessly connected to PIE&G. Why do we need that? Because it allows us to serve you better, in a more cost-efficient way. How so? Well, local forests have suffered disease and invasive species in recent years, making them more prone to damage in Northern Michigan’s high winds and during storms. As a result, power outages occur more often. AMI allows us to identify homes and businesses that are without power immediately. This is especially valuable when nobody is home, or the service is a second home, cottage or hunting camp. We can use the information AMI provides to plan for restoring power and to give our

members the most up-to-date information regarding estimated restoral times. AMI means we can diagnose outages and plan for effective restoration efforts, which in turn allows us to better serve you with more reliable, less expensive power. Yes, less expensive. We are continually searching for ways to minimize our costs, and AMI provides opportunities to do that. One of the most obvious is the ability to obtain readings without having to do in person, on-site meter readings. AMI also provides a daily summary of our members’ power consumption, which means we can quickly answer questions and help them to resolve any problems they may have. It can be particularly helpful with seasonal accounts, allowing us to provide members with immediate feedback and a quick summary of consumption patterns. We’ll be updating you in future articles about other efforts PIE&G is considering to better serve you in the 21st century. As always, our goal is to empower you—with both energy and information. Thanks for allowing PIE&G to serve you.

“AMI means we can diagnose outages and plan for effective restoration efforts, which in turn allows us to better serve you with more reliable, less expensive power.”



By Emily Haines Lloyd Photography by Tyler Leipprandt


or the past 90 years, the first week of May has been a time when Michiganders dust off the cobwebs of winter and look for the first signs of spring. In Holland, Michigan, the first signs look like millions of tulips bursting through the soil to delight locals and visitors alike. Tulip Time was once a local beautification project that started with 100,000 bulbs in 1929. Today it has grown to become an international hot spot for travelers from all around the world to engage in Dutch history while tiptoeing through nearly five million tulips.

In May 2019, Michigan Country Lines teamed up with Tyler Leipprandt of Michigan Sky Media for an Instagram takeover to cover Tulip Time. Leipprandt, an expert at drone photography, captured images that showcase why Tulip Time is just the kind of adventure you can start dreaming of for next spring. “Tulip Time is an opportunity for people to come and marvel at the spectacular tulip gardens and displays,” said Tulip Time Executive Director Gwen Auwerda. “But it’s also the perfect time to explore the beauty of Lake Michigan living.” If the views are saturated with bright pops of flowering color, the history that the event brings to the streets of Holland is equally rich. City officials, volunteers, and even residents don their historically accurate costumes—


complete with real wooden shoes—providing a glimpse into life during the late 1800s and early 1900s. These traditions are proudly passed down through generations, as spectators will find local high schoolers performing traditional Dutch dancing, called Klompen, at demonstrations, as well as through the streets in multiple parades which are scheduled during the week-long event. Along with the themed-parades (Volksparade/ People’s Parade, Kinderparade/Children’s Parade, and Muziekparade/Music Parade), there are dancing demos, flower walks, and an artisan market. At Windmill Island Gardens, visitors can marvel at not only tulip gardens, but “De Zwaan,” the last Netherlands-built working windmill in the United States. Folks can take the four flights up to the windmill for a historical tour, then look at the Amsterdam

street organ, ride on the antique carousel, or purchase some fresh-milled flour to commemorate the visit. Over the years, the charm has never left Tulip Time, but new attractions have been added—a lively carnival sets up annually at the Civic Center, craft and art shows are displayed in the park, festival-goers can try yoga in the tulips, and many food and beverage demos are also featured. The latter is unsurprising, as the food and beverage scene has never been stronger. In fact, Holland boasts a variety of eateries for all preferences and a vibrant beer and spirits scene—including several breweries and distilleries who all participate in hosting the 500,000 people the festival brings in annually within a short, nine-day period.

“ Tulip Time is an opportunity for people to come and marvel at the spectacular tulip gardens and displays. But it’s also the perfect time to explore the beauty of Lake Michigan living.” — Gwen Auwerda, Tulip Time Executive Director

“We have over 800 volunteers along with city workers and businesses who make this more than an event,” said Auwerda. “Tulip Time is a part of the fabric of our community.” Over the years, while Tulip Time continues to grow and provide wonderful new experiences for attendees, it’s the quaint charm that has been a constant. So next spring, as the tulip bulbs once again sprout their brightly colored petals, make plans to visit Holland’s Tulip Time. Those sweet flowers are a reminder of spring’s hope, but also a proud past that one little town along Lake Michigan is keeping alive. Photo courtesy of Tulip Time.



Knaebe's offers horse-drawn wagon rides through the farm and orchard all throughout the fall.

Andy and Dana Hefele, owners of Knaebe’s Apple Farm, are pictured with their son.

KNAEBE’S APPLE FARM & ORCHARD Creates Magical Fall Memories For All Ages By Heidi Spencer

hen visitors step onto Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm each year, they discover a “wonderful sensory overload for all things fall in the best sort of way,” exclaimed Dana Hefele, co-owner of Knaebe’s Apple Farm. Since taking over the family business four years ago, owners Andy and Dana Hefele have continued the long-time tradition of creating magical fall memories for the Rogers City community—and for apple lovers from around the state.


“We are one of the only apple orchards on the northeast side of Michigan,” said Dana. “So our patrons come from all over. They keep coming back and even bring their friends to sample our amazing donuts, drink cider, wander through our corn maze and, of course, pick and buy apples!” Knaebe’s Apple Farm began almost accidentally for Andy’s stepfather, Ed “Doc” Knaebe, and his wife, Dusty. In 1982, after practicing dentistry in Kalamazoo, Doc returned to his roots in Rogers City with Dusty and their two boys, Andy and Joe Hefele, where they bought 120 acres of land and Doc settled into work as a full-time dentist. “Doc has always enjoyed science and nature,” said Dana, “but his one true love is tax deductions!” In 1985, Doc purchased a tractor to putz around his farm and soon learned that if he planted a crop, his tractor would be tax deductible.


“And just like that—an apple farmer was born,” laughed Dana. After planting a variety of apple trees and transforming Knaebe Apple Farm into a well-respected orchard, Doc retired from dentistry to farm full time in 1996. Business grew and Doc and Dusty managed farm operations for nearly another 20 years. Meanwhile, Andy and Dana were busy raising a young son and working in their own careers (that had nothing to do with farming) when Doc and Dusty made plans to retire. It was then that Andy knew if he didn’t take over the family business or at least “give it a try,” he would live to regret it. “Andy and I jumped in with both feet and never looked back,” Dana said. When Andy and Dana took over the farm in 2015, more than 40 varieties of apples were being harvested from about 5,000 trees, including several heirloom varieties, which “turned out to be great for making hard cider.” Andy’s foray into hard cider production led to the birth of Twisted Roots, a café and bar known for wood-fired pizza (topped with vegetables grown on the farm), and about a dozen varieties of hard cider.

Since Twisted Roots debuted in 2016, production has more than tripled. Andy enjoys coming up with new hard cider options, like cinnamon vanilla or bourbon peach. “We weren’t sure if hard cider would be a ‘thing’ in our community,” Dana admitted. “But it turns out a lot of people love it! And the pizzas are a perfect pairing!” Today, the 60-member staff at Knaebe’s Apple Farm works hard to provide an apple orchard experience that Michiganders of all ages can enjoy. The staff bakes and stocks fall staples like apple pies, apple crisp, their famous BAM donut—and, of course, old-fashioned apple cider. “Fall hits you when you walk into Knaebe’s,” concluded Dana. “You see fall. You smell fall. You taste fall. From learning the proper way to pick an apple to thumbing through a cookbook at the gift shop, Knaebe’s is a place where you leave feeling happier than when you arrived and wholeheartedly ready to embrace the season.” Follow the farm on Facebook and visit mmmunchykrunchyapplefarm.com. Knaebe’s is located at 2621 S. Karsten Rd., Rogers City, Michigan 49779, 989-351-7868.

HERE’S THE SCOOP Fall fun at Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm is both affordable and entertaining. This year, the farm opens August 29 and runs every Thursday—Sunday until November 3. Knaebe’s Farm does not charge a fee for admission or parking, and their playground, farm animals and corn maze are always free. For extra weekend fun, check out these family-friendly activities available (weather permitting) every Saturday and Sunday: • Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides through the orchard ($4 per person) • Pony Rides ($4 per child) • Barrel Train Ride ($2 per child) • Mac an’ Squasher Apple Slingshot ($2 for 12 shots)

Owner Andy Hefele has created a dozen hard apple cider varieties for adult visitors to sample. Of course, traditional, old fashioned apple cider is also always available.


Enjoy pizza topped with farm-fresh vegetables at Twisted Roots.

• It’s always free to visit the farm animals. Just pay a small fee to feed them.

When visiting Knaebe’s Apple Farm, owners Andy and Dana Hefele attest that ordering their Classic Apple Crisp is “the best decision you’ll make all year.” The Hefele’s share their farm’s famous Apple Crisp recipe below, so now you can keep that good decision-making going all year long by whipping up this taste of fall to wow your family and friends.


14 cups of peeled & sliced apples (Knaebe’s recommends using tart apples like Ida Red and Jonathan) 1/4 cup of sugar 2 tablespoons of flour


Crumble Topping:

2 cups of packed brown sugar 2 cups of flour 11/2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats 21/4 teaspoons of cinnamon 11/2 teaspoons of nutmeg 2 sticks of butter, cut into small cubes

Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine apples, sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour. Spread apples into a greased 9x13 pan. Combine crumble topping ingredients and sprinkle over the apples. Bake for 1 hour. Serve warm, topped with vanilla ice cream and a spoonful or two of caramel sauce.

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The Turtle Race Tradition By Jean Alexander, Great Lakes Energy member


very summer since 1986 our family travels to Six Mile Lake cottage for a week of simple, but magical, lakefront family fun and an interesting tradition—Turtle Races. The morning of departure from Indiana brings together: three sisters, one niece, four nephews, and grandma. Loading the car is always a hoot, as we fit suitcases, extra food, linens, treats for the trip, and even bicycles. The usual eight or nine passengers somehow all fit in, too.

Where In Michigan Is This? Identify the correct location of the photo above by July 20 and be entered into a drawing to win a $50 electric bill credit. Enter your guess at countrylines.com or send by mail to: Country Lines Mystery Photo, 201 Townsend St., Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933. Include the name on your account, address, phone number and the name of your co-op. Our Mystery Photo Contest winner from the May issue is Elsa Oja, an Ontonagon County REA Co-op member, who correctly identified the photo as historic downtown Calumet. Winners are announced in the following issues of Country Lines: January, March, May, July/August, September and November/December.

What fun upon arrival it is assigning beds, cots and blow up mattresses. Our lakefront offers a playground with sand, boats, a dock, badminton, floats, fishing rods, and a shallow lake. Days are spent fishing, swimming, floating on rafts, baseball games, catching crawdads, laughter, and days of splendid family togetherness. Of course, one day is always chosen for the famous “Turtle Races.” We scout for turtles along the lakeshore, spray paint the start and finish lines and assign everyone a turtle. Each turtle is then named. We hold many races—some long races, some short runs, “a sprayed box-shaped form” where turtles go in all directions to cross lines and continue racing has even been created by grandma for the day. The longest and last race always ends with turtles racing back into the lake, and we bid our turtles goodbye. Our adventure then culminates with prizes being awarded to all the winning “turtle coaches.” Each summer we are reminded how strange it is that turtles never seem to move in a straight path, but wander around going nowhere specific except to the water. But, hopefully, next year we will each get a better, bigger and wiser turtle. Jean enjoys sports, nature and going “up north” to Michigan as often as possible.

May 2019

Photo by Cody McClellan @codyjmcclellanphotography


“We are reminded how strange it is that turtles never seem to move in a straight path, but wander around going nowhere specific except to the water.”

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PIE&G Communities First Fund Board

AWARDS $14,500 IN SCHOLARSHIPS To Area High School Graduates The PIE&G Communities First Fund board of directors is pleased to announce that 14 scholarships of $1,000 each were awarded to the following high school seniors: ALCONA


Raegen Eller

Brooke Grulke Cameryn Koenig Nicholas Taratuta

ALPENA Lindsey Hoppe ATLANTA Sara Blanton CHEBOYGAN Amy Ostman Devin Socolovitch FOREST HILLS CENTRAL Katherine Bell

ONAWAY Cienna Domke POSEN Brooke Ciarkowski Jeremy Misiak ROGERS CITY Daniel Bielas Amanda Wirgau

Rogers City High School students Amanda Wirgau (left) and Daniel Bielas (right) each received a $1,000 scholarship from PIE&G. CEO Tom Sobeck presented the awards.

In addition to these scholarships, the A. Barkley Travis Memorial Scholarship, valued at $500, was awarded to Savannah Pasney from Cheboygan.

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