Apple picking
Photo by Thomas Kirchen
Picking apples is almost as much fun as putting them in a cider press.

ID THE KEEPERS: Store apple varieties, such as many heirlooms, that are good keepers. Good candidates are Baldwin, Winesap, McIntosh, Jonathan, Rome, Fuji, Pink Lady and Honeycrisp. The ideal apple for storage has reached maturity but is not fully ripe. It should be firm and crisp. If it comes off the tree easily, is soft and has a yellow undercolor, it is too ripe and will not keep.

WHERE TO HIDE ’EM: Store in a dark area at a temperature between 30 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, with a relative humidity of 90 percent and some air circulation.

GOOD NEWS: Wrapping fruit in paper (newspaper with only black and white ink works well) will help to prevent the fruit from absorbing odd flavors.

LET THEM BREATHE: Store small quantities in plastic bags with a few holes punched in them to avoid moisture and gas buildup.

BOX BIG HAULS: Store larger quantities in crates or boxes that are clean and have smooth surfaces so they don’t bruise the fruit, which will speed up decay.

AWAY FROM TATERS: Don’t store apples  next to potatoes. Apples give off ethylene gas that promotes sprouting.

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Winter 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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