It’s apple season! Apple picking farms are in full swing, and grocery stores and farmers markets have baskets and shelves full of this yummy fruit on display. Want to have a fun family day? Then gather everyone together and go apple picking at an apple orchard. It’s a great way to enjoy the cool, sunny temps, while making some fun memories with your family.
Here are some tips on picking and storing fresh apples.
When are apples ripe for picking?
Apples are ready to pick when the indentation by the stem turns from green to yellow. And, the fruit should easily twist off the branch without breaking the spur or stem. Simply hold the apple in the palm of your hand, twist, lift and pull. If it doesn’t pull off with minimal resistance it’s not ripe.
How do I store them? Only store perfect fruit and handle with kid gloves. The room where you store your apples should have a low, even temperature, good ventilation and a moist atmosphere. Cellars are better than attics, where temperatures vary and the atmosphere is dryer. Wrap them in newspaper and put them in boxes. It helps to wrap apples in newspaper as it slows the shriveling process and isolates rots.
Store fruits and vegetables separately for better flavor and longer storage life. Stored ripe apples emit a gas called ethylene that speeds maturation of nearby fruits and vegetables. Plus, potatoes will sprout sooner and carrots will develop a bitter flavor. Small amounts of apples can be stored in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator for several weeks.
Fun Facts About Apples
- The crab apple is the only apple native to North America.
- Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
- 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
- 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
- 100 varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.
- Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free.
- A medium apple is about 80 calories.
- Apples are a great source of fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
- The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- The science of apple growing is called pomology.
- Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.
- The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea.
- Apples were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans.
- Apples are a member of the rose family.
- The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.
- In colonial time, apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.
- A peck of apples weight 10.5 pounds.
- A bushel of apples weights about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce.
- Archaeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.
- It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.