Saturday, March 14, 2015

Keeping Apples

We have been collecting apples for a couple of months. The first were fallers from our orchard at Opportunity Farm. A branch snapped off under the weight of burgeoning fruit so they were collected. Many have been fed to the pigs - they prefer them ripe and soft so anything with a bit of rot has headed down the pig pen.
Then there were the fallers knocked off by the parrots as they took swipes at the fruit - again long before they were ripe. Those chewed or damaged were eaten and those unscathed were kept. The two Gravenstein trees yielded a good crop. They are not keepers but they taste good dried. The two Golden Delicious and the Granny Smith's are laden. Some of the ripest we have been eating and some are stored in the pantry. The rest will be picked on our next visit to the orchard.

This week we will juice apples. A friend has a pedal-powered crusher and a press so we will take the apples to her house and make a day of it. We are planning to make cider and pasteurized juice. The remaining unblemished apples will stay on shelves in the dark, stalks on and up, not touching. They will be checked regularly and any change or rot will send them to the pigs. The term 'one bad apple' refers to the fact that if one apple rots it will cause the others to rot. It will be an experiment to see how long we can store these apples and still have them edible by fussy small children.

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