Looking for Apple Picking Tips in 2021? Scroll down this page and follow the links. And if you bring home some fruit or vegetables and want to can, freeze, make jam, salsa or pickles, see this page for simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, click on the resources dropdown above.
Notes for February 2021: Crop growth is slowing down, except for Christmas tree farms and if you live in southern California, southern Texas, Florida or along the Gulf coast where citrus are ripe, and believe it or not, the blueberry and strawberry season in those areas is about to begin. See your state harvest calendar . This year, much of the country is still seeing mild weather, so lettuce, peas, broccoli, cabbage and other greens are thriving. And this is a good time to get a canner and learn how to preserve foods for the winter, like canning some applesauce, apple butter or jam, which make great gifts. As do your own homemade specialty liqueurs! How about homemade cranberry sauce or a pumpkin pie made from a real pumpkin for the holidays? See our comprehensive list of easy home canning, jam and jelly making, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. A fun winter activity is to make your own ice cream, even gelato, or low fat or low sugar ice cream - see this page. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me!
Easter will be April 4, 2021 - if you want to take your children to a free Easter egg hunt - see our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!
Children's Consignment Sales occur in both the Spring and Fall See our companion website to find a local community or church kid's consignment sale!
Apples are one of the easiest fruit to pick and use. They're big, not easily bruised, most varieties store well, they can be eaten fresh, cooked, canned, frozen and made into many tasty and healthy dishes. Apples are fat-free, low sodium, and cholesterol-free. A bushel weighs between 42 and 48 lbs and typically has 85 to 95 apples, depending on their size. And if you're looking for many, many facts about apples, see this page!
Most modern apple orchards have dwarf trees that are very close to the ground - my 3 year old finds it easy to pick apples! (photo above and below)
Select firm, bruise-free apples. The color can be anything from dark green, to yellow, pink, orange, bright red, dark red or even a combination. It all depends on the variety. And color is not really how you tell when an apple is ripe. Apples should be crisp and firm.
The key will be to ask the farmer which are ripe. He will know because it is calculated from the number of days since the trees flowered. And he will track that date carefully , if he's a good apple grower!
The farmer will also know what characteristics to look for in the particular varieties that he is growing.
Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples out the outside of the tree will ripen first. Once they are picked, they stop ripening. Picking apples directly from a tree is easy. Roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist; don't pull straight away from the tree. If two apples are joined together at the top, both will come away at the same time. Don't shake the trees or branches. If the apple you are trying to pick drops, (or others on the tree) go ahead and pick it up. They're perfectly fine! But do wash them before you eat them!
A visitor who grew up on an orchard says to try to leave the stem on the apples. He says that helped them store longer!
You may have read on a website somewhere that you can buy unripe apples and ripen them at home. Nope, not really. See this page for an explanation along with references and links to sources.
Of the apple, that is. You really need to choose the type of apple that is best suited for your purpose. Apples can be suited for eating fresh, cooking, baking, applesauce, storing, etc. I have a fairly extensive guide to apple varieties here!
You should get this much...
Commonly made products
(85 to 95 apples)
|1 bushel = 12 to 15 qt.
canned applesauce (no sugar added), 14 - 18 with sugar
1 bushel = 10 to 12 qt. juice
||1 quart applesauce||2 pints|
|8 medium apples = 2.25 lbs||1 nine-inch apple pie
3 cups of applesauce
|1 peck = 10 to 14 lbs||1
peck makes = 3 or 4.5 qts.
canned applesauce (no sugar added), 3.3 to 5.5 with sugar
1 peck makes 2.5 to 3.5 qt. juice
I do and it's easy and fast. Apple trees I planted in my yard two years ago are bearing several dozen fruit each this year! Here's a guide to selecting a variety to grow and how!
And a fun tour? Check out Cider Mills.com! They list the cider mills where you can go for a tour (and tasting! yum!)
The U.S. Apple Association's estimate of the size of the 2014 United States apple crop is 263.8 million bushels. The USDA's August 12th estimate was for 259.2 million bushels.
The Presto Pressure
canners are out
of stock, but Tfal's
Above is the
2020 version of
the Ball Blue Book