Keeping the Harvest
Apples, apples – everywhere! This time of year, we are fortunate to have an abundant supply of Ambrosia apples from the Fall harvest – but for how long?
Typically you can find local BC apples in stores until late Spring. What if there was a way to ensure your pantry is stocked with Ambrosia apples all year round? This year, we will discover the many ways of apple preservation through a special blog series – Keeping the Harvest.
This series is inspired and directed by information found in the “Keeping The Harvest” reference guide written by Nancy Chioffi & Gretchen Mead.
Each month we will discuss different ways to preserve Ambrosia apples, and you will have this series available to you at all times on our website for future reference!
This month we are closely examining one storage method: a Fruit Cellar.
Storing apples can be tricky, but when achieved, you can have that freshly picked taste for about 3-5 months. Here is a summary of what to do and expect; sources and further details will be available at the end of this article for further investigation!
Temperature is key!
For best results, source local Ambrosia apples and get them into storage immediately after harvesting. Apples ripen the warmer they are; the ideal temperature for storage is 0-2°C to slow ripening and softening. At 4°C, apples ripen twice as fast as 0°C, and at 10°C, they ripen almost double the rate compared to 4°C! Apples will freeze at approx -2°C. As you can see, the room for error is slim!
Additionally, it is important to maintain a humidity level of 90-95%.
Apples can bruise easily, so take extra special care of your apples when preparing for storage. Over time, remove any apples when bruising does appear. Even the slightest imperfection can promote spoilage, so only store your best apples.
They want to be alone!
Apples are best stored in a single layer, not touching each other. To achieve this, you can use a shallow box and wrap each apple individually with newspaper. It is imperative to store apples away from your other fruits and vegetables as apples produce high amounts of ethylene which will make your harvest ripen faster.
Do you think you are up to the challenge? The work is worth the reward, in our humble opinion. Memories of warm autumn days in the orchards may fill your mind as you take a bite of your sweet and crisp Ambrosia apple; if this method doesn’t suit you – do not worry! We have many more methods and tricks to share with you this year!
- Practical Self Reliance: https://practicalselfreliance.com/apples-long-term-storage/
- The Spruce Eats: https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-store-apples-for-winter-1389143
- Homesteading where you are: https://www.homesteadingwhereyouare.com/2021/12/15/root-cellar-fruits-vegetables/
- Backwoods Home Magazine: https://www.backwoodshome.com/here-are-some-simple-tips-on-how-to-store-apples-for-a-long-long-time/
- Keeping the Harvest, Storey Publishing: https://www.storey.com/books/keeping-the-harvest/