NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: A question about storing apples  (Read 876 times)

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
A question about storing apples
« on: August 29, 2018, 08:35:37 pm »
We live in southern Scotland at 1000', so just on the borderline for growing apples.  Some trees have succeeded, others have faded away.  This year with the hot weather, we have a really good crop, especially on our Blenheim Orange and a cooker whose name I have forgotten.  In previous years we lose a proportion, a large proportion, of our fruit to birds and wasps.  The trees are too large to cover.  Most of the varieties we have are ready to pick in the first half of October, except one which is earlier.  I can't see the crop, which looks ready now but is not in fact ripe, will survive more than a month.  Also the frosts will almost certainly be here before October.


My question is, can apples be picked early for storage, or must the seeds be brown? :apple: :apple: :apple:
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie
Voss Electric Fence

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 07:06:39 am »
According to RHS apples store best when picked sl under-ripe.
I gave up on the idea of storing them traditionally unless i built a purpose rodent free shed and the nuiance of periodic checks. So I stew and freeze. I did a large bucketful yesterday and it turned into just 3x500ml margarine tubs. I used a mix of eating apples (the only one I happen to know the name of 'sunset' ) with a few cookers thrown in otherwise they end up too sweet - no sugar needed. The Williams pears i picked 3 days ago are ready for stewing as halves today and freezing and then i'll do more apples.
15 tubs apples/pears and the same again of currants/blueberries plus a few damson/plum does me for the period before the rhubarb is back and the raspberries start.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 07:29:42 pm »
Thanks pgkevet.  We tried one of the Blenheims today and although it's not ripe, it was delicious and perfect for eating.  As officially they have another 4-5 weeks to go before they're ripe, we have decided to eat them fresh from the tree, then whenever we see the first wasp hole or bird peck we will pick the rest and store them.  Once the cookers start to fall, we'll pick the rest to store.  The other varieties don't look at all ripe yet.
Until last year, I used to store apples in the freezer as you recommend, but I found I never got round to using them.  This means I still have some from previous years.  We have a proper apple store and, as long as we can eat them by the new year, they will store fine in there.  Now I know they don't have to be fully ripe, I am more confident we won't lose them to the wildlife.  Thank you.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

pharnorth

  • Joined Nov 2013
  • Cambridgeshire
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2018, 07:26:44 pm »
I wonder if apples were the muse that led to invention of fridges freezers and secure storage because I have failed to find any conventional method that actually works. So our approach now is to turn it all into apple juice and put it in the freezer. We reckons we save about £200 a year by not buying shop sold juice.

Terry T

  • Joined Sep 2014
  • Norfolk
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2018, 09:10:59 pm »
Pressing them into juice is another good way to store them. If you can pasteurise, you can drink a lot of apples...

Mad Goatwoman of Madeley

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Telford
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2018, 12:53:36 am »
I pick mine when they are ripe and wrap all the perfect ones in newspaper and store in a cardboard box. This goes in with the hay. When I've eaten the marked ones (with a bit of help from the goats) I start bringing a few at a time from the barn into the house. So far they have still been edible in January. I grow Braeburns, Discovery and Egremont Russets.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2018, 08:57:22 am »
Thank you all for the suggestions everyone.


We like to be able to crunch our apples, so we don't drink much juice.  Some get added to bramble and apple jam, and some more in chutneys, some are frozen sliced and as apple sauce, but we have a wooden apple storage rack in the scullery, which works well to store them whole.  The problem this year is that we can see they will not last on the trees until they are fully ripe (wasps and birds), so we have the choice of loosing a lot of the amazing crop we have this year, or picking them a bit early.  We'll try that and see what happens over the winter  :apple: :apple: :apple:
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 08:59:27 am by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2018, 10:46:30 am »
And you'll report back...  :eyelashes:  please ?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2018, 10:58:53 am »
My reality is that there is no way I could conceivably process or store all the apples here. In my usual OTT way there's barrel-fulls of the things and locally everyone else has enough so can't give it away. Most will rot on the ground (well get mulched with the mower anyway). I'll process a few bucketfulls for the freezer and a couple of bucketfuls of pears and keep eating the rest while they are on the trees while I mow or walk round the garden. I have the full mix of early/mid and late season varieties so can munch fresh to november.Thinsg will only get worse/better dependng on viewpoint) when the next gen of pear/cherry and plum trees I put in 2 years ago start to bear.
I've decide on vicious pruning this autumn in the old orchard and give it way more ventilation and sun and reduce the crop. The espaliers get pruned just to horizontals anyway.
What does suprise me every year is the variety of apple flavours. One of the original orchard trees has tiny apples that taste strawberry-like and one of my espaliered russets tastes like nutty toffee.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2018, 11:46:43 am »
And you'll report back...  :eyelashes:  please ?


Ah - you'll need to remind me in about February, as my memory doesn't stretch that far  :dunce: .  I claim it's too full of interesting facts, but actually it's full of fluff.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2018, 11:54:06 am »
My reality is that there is no way I could conceivably process or store all the apples here. In my usual OTT way there's barrel-fulls of the things and locally everyone else has enough so can't give it away. Most will rot on the ground (well get mulched with the mower anyway). I'll process a few bucketfulls for the freezer and a couple of bucketfuls of pears and keep eating the rest while they are on the trees while I mow or walk round the garden. I have the full mix of early/mid and late season varieties so can munch fresh to november.Thinsg will only get worse/better dependng on viewpoint) when the next gen of pear/cherry and plum trees I put in 2 years ago start to bear.
I've decide on vicious pruning this autumn in the old orchard and give it way more ventilation and sun and reduce the crop. The espaliers get pruned just to horizontals anyway.
What does suprise me every year is the variety of apple flavours. One of the original orchard trees has tiny apples that taste strawberry-like and one of my espaliered russets tastes like nutty toffee.


Because we live where we do high in Scotland, at the altitude above which apples don't grow well, every apple is precious.  I grew up in East Anglia where we had the type of orchard glut you describe.  Some trees were never even cropped.  There was one tree though which we loved as children.  At harvest time it grew a massive crop of small, fresh green apples, crispy and sweet but not storable.  We would pick 6 at a time and spend the day eating them.  We would pick a box full to take to the men doing the combining, so they could enjoy them during their lunch break.  The tree is still there, but for some reason the fruit is not the same.  I've no idea what variety it is  :apple:
« Last Edit: September 03, 2018, 11:56:08 am by Fleecewife »
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2018, 12:29:25 pm »
I keep wondering/planning on storage, but we're eating them as fast as they ripen.

Discovery, a cooker,  something yellow big and mealy.

Plus the odd half doz for various friends. Got some cookers/dual purpose from a friend's trees, pressed them for juice and apple vinegar. Next batch of these will become cider. But as of yet, none set aside for the winter/next year.

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: A question about storing apples
« Reply #12 on: September 03, 2018, 08:36:32 pm »
As we don't have cool enough and mouse-proof storage, we have invested in a crusher and borrow next door neighbours press and process as much as we can into apple juice, which I then pasteurise. Lasts well into next summer usually. We process apple by the wheel-barrow load… and this year have a really good crop. A few buckets get frozen as cooked apple sauce or apple butter (in jars), but with the quantities we have juice is the only option.

 

Storing Cooking Apples

Started by Carse Goodlifers

Replies: 9
Views: 2129
Last post October 28, 2015, 05:01:50 pm
by Carse Goodlifers
storing rhubarb

Started by sellickbhoy

Replies: 16
Views: 6299
Last post June 06, 2009, 04:18:08 pm
by Pigtails
What do you do with your apples.

Started by Bodger

Replies: 3
Views: 2056
Last post August 09, 2009, 02:26:39 pm
by Tullywood Farm
best apples?

Started by langdon

Replies: 3
Views: 1951
Last post June 13, 2010, 09:23:26 am
by Wizard
Apples.

Started by NormandyMary

Replies: 6
Views: 2355
Last post August 23, 2012, 08:03:12 am
by RonMinch

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Little Peckers

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2019. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS