Apple Picking and Storage Tips

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It’s sad to see summer go but New England has so much to offer in the fall, including apple picking season! Pick your own apple season officially gets started in September and lasts until late October.

apple picking

Here are a few apple picking tips to keep in mind on your visit to your local orchard:

• The best apples in an orchard will be found where the farmer has marked for picking on that day. Apple varieties ripen at different times. Color alone is not a good indicator of ripeness. Farmers use a variety of methods to determine fruit ripeness including days from bloom, seed color, and starch index. Trust your farmer to determine the best apples for picking on the day you visit.
• Only pick ripe apples. Unlike other fruits, like peaches, apples stop ripening once they are picked so you want to make sure they are picked at the right time.
• Apples ripen from the outside of the tree in, so the apples at the outside of the tree should be ready for picking first.
• To pick the apple, lift and twist it off of the branch. Don’t pull it off as it causes nearby apples to fall as well as damages the spur needed for next year’s apple. If the apple is ripe it should easily come off.
• Be gentle with the apples when placing them in the bag or basket. If you toss them in, they will bruise. They should be handled like you would handle an egg.

Here are some storing tips for after your apple picking trip:

• Keep apples cool in the refrigerator. Apples can last for weeks, depending on the variety. Some varieties keep better than others.
• Always be gentle with the apples. Bruised apples will rot more quickly.
• Wait to wash apples until just before they are used. Washing the apples immediately can result in spoiling.

Apple season in New England is the perfect time of year to enjoy family time and the beautiful fall weather. We hope your visit to your local orchard provides lasting family memories and excellent fruit!

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This post was written by Parlee Farms