It's apple harvest season in Michigan and the state really loves apples.

We take them for lunch, use them in pies and fresh cider helps us wash down doughnuts.

They're not just important to our stomachs, they're a big part of our economy.

Michigan is the third largest apple producing state in the country, according to the Michigan Apple Committee. The state harvested 20 million bushels of apples in 2017 and there are 11.3 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 35,500 acres on 825 family-run farms.

Harvesting begins at the end of August.

Whether you're picking them from an orchard or from a shelf in the grocery store, here's a look at the different varieties of apples grown in Michigan and when they're harvested, so you know when to be on the lookout for them.

Paula Red

Available: Aug. 22

The first available and pleasingly tart.

Ginger Gold

Available: Aug. 23

Sweet-tasting with a hint of tartness.


Available: Sept. 7

A soft bite over a mellow sweetness.


Available: Sept. 8

Juicy with a lightly tart flavor.


Available: Sept. 17

A cross between a McIntosh and Jonathan. It's rich and spicy.


Available: Sept. 17

Sweet as honey with a crisp bite.

Golden Delicious

Available: Sept. 21

A gingerly-smooth taste. It's known for it's sweetness.


Available: Sept. 21

A crisp, spicy tang that blends well with other apples.


Available: Sept. 23

Versatile with a firm texture. Sweet, yet tart, flavor.


Available: Sept. 26

Tender, juicy white flesh with a hint of tartness.


Available: Sept. 27

A must-try.

Red Delicious

Available: Sept. 29

Full-flavored sweetness.


Available: Sept. 29

Crisp and sweet.


Available: Oct. 3

Excellent for baking.

Ida Red

Available: Oct. 9

Tastes tangy and tart.


Available: Oct. 24

Firm apple with spicy-sweet flavor.