Ready for winter yet? It’s beginning to get a bit chilly outside, and the apple season is winding down. However, that does not mean you have to stop eating delicious, locally grown apples!
Last year, we had an excellent harvest and we were eating and delivering apples to local schools well into the New Year. In fact, we enjoyed tasty, crunchy Honey Crisp all the way through April!
So, let’s get started. Here are some tips on how to store apples until Christmas and beyond, and which apples store best.
Select the right apples.
In general, early season apples like Paula Red and Zestar don’t tend to store well. Late season apples tend to store very well. So, you’ll want to carefully select the apples that are best for storage.
The best of our varieties for storage include:
- Snow Sweet (1 – 3 months)
- Gala (1-3 months)
- McIntosh (2-4 months)
- Honey Crisp (2–4 months)
- Cortland (3-4 months)
- Spartan (3-4 months)
- Fuji (4-5 months)
Be careful what apples you choose to store. They should have no bruises, scratches, or cuts in them. These apples should be eaten right away because they can indeed spoil the whole bunch.
How many can I store?
Check how much room you have in your refrigerator. For every cubic foot of available space you have in your refrigerator, you will be able to fill 3/4 of it with apples, leaving the rest of the room for air space. Apples are still living after they are plucked off the tree, so they constantly absorb oxygen and give off carbon dioxide and other gasses. Approximately two and a half pecks of apples will fit in every cubic foot of space.
Store them correctly.
Apples should be stored loose or in plastic bags with holes in them so the air and gas can exchange freely. Ideally, your refrigerator should be set around 32-34 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity should be at about 90 percent. Under these conditions, the apples will stay fresh for quite a long time—up to four or five months, depending on the variety.
Alternative storage ideas.
Apples can also be stored in a cool, humid cellar that stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or below. Apples freeze at around 27-29 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure your apples will not freeze, as once they get frozen, the quality deteriorates rapidly. You may also keep them in an outbuilding if they are insulated with hay or straw so they do not freeze. This situation works best when it’s above 32 degrees during the day, but slightly below at night.
Let us know if you have any questions, we’d be happy to answer them for you! And make sure to get your apples soon. We are only open through Sunday, November 1, 2015. Hope to see you!