Kids are back in school, and the days are getting shorter, which means that Autumn is coming.
It is a very busy time for our BC Ambrosia apple growers, who are preparing their orchards for harvest, and determining when their delicious Ambrosia apples are ready to pick.
Apples ripen at different times, depending on the variety. Most varieties, including Ambrosia apples, are generally harvested in mid- to late-September.
However, harvest time does vary from year to year, depending on the Spring weather, and how early the trees formed blossoms and were pollinated. Our Ambrosia apple farmers are noticing their harvest will be delayed by a week or so this year, the result of a damp Spring and late blossom pollination. The fruit yield may also be slightly less, but the apples’ size and quality will be above average as a result.
In general, an apple is ready to pick when it comes away easily with a slight twist, and the pips turn from white to brown.
Rest assured, our Ambrosia apple farmers do their utmost – combining good old-fashioned know-how with scientific expertise – to ensure only the sweetest and tastiest apples arrive at your local produce section this Fall.
If Ambrosia apples are picked before they are ripe, they will not be the sweet and crunchy fruit that you have become accustomed to, so our apple growers determine the optimal time to pick their fruit by testing for firmness, sweetness and starch. The starch test looks a little like a grade 5 science experiment in the middle of an apple orchard, as experts test for the patterns of starch converting to sugar, which indicates ripeness. Watch the When Are Ambrosia Apples Ready to Pick video on Life of An Ambrosia Apple – Video Series to see how they did just that with a selection of Ambrosia apples in Coldstream, BC.