The leaves are beginning to change colours and the air is starting to get cooler. It is officially autumn and that also means it’s apple season. A great way to spend a sweater weather day is to head down to your local orchid and pick some fresh apples. This is such a fun and rewarding activity to do with family and friends. I’ve created an ultimate guide for apple picking to ensure you make the most of your apple adventure!
Before you go
First things first are to find an orchid near you! It depends on where you live when you can pick apples, as well as what varieties are available. Generally, September to early October is the best time for picking apples. Another tip is to look for organic orchids, there are apple crops out there that have successfully been grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. With a little googling you can ensure you pick the best apple orchid for you! Orange Pippin is an easy-to-use directory to find an orchard near you.
Dress for the occasion
Even though apple picking can be very instagramable it can be a bit of a dirty job! Make sure to dress accordingly. Sturdy denim or dark clothing is a good option. Farm dogs drool and rotten fruit is inevitable. So avoid the whites and think easy to wash clothing. Also, you can wear items you don’t mind getting a little muddy. Hiking boots, rain boots, or old running shoes are all types of footwear I recommend putting on your feet before you go
What to bring
You want to bring a few things with you to the apple orchid to get the most out of the day. Below I’ve created a little list of my go-to items to bring along!
- Bug Spray
- Wagon ( This is great if you have little ones or even if you don’t want to carry all your apples)
- Wet wipes / Hand sanitizer
- Extra sweater
- Picnic Blanket
7 Tips to picking the perfect apple
- 1. Know what kind of apple you want :Prior to picking your apples, think about how you want to use them. This will help you determine the right kind of apples to pick! Will you eat them raw, bake with them, or perhaps make an apple jam with them? Consider this ahead of time, as each apple type has unique characteristics. Granny Smith apples are excellent for baking as oppose to macintosh apples that don’t do well with heat. They break down more than other apple types, making macintosh more ideal for things like applesauce. Planning ahead will avoid wasting apples if you are planning to pick a lot!
- 2. Pick from the outside in : If you want to pick apples that are ripe, pick from the outer branches of the tree first. Once you pick an apple it stops the ripening process. So, to pick the best tasting apples make sure the fruit you are picking is ready to be picked before picking it.
3. Inspect your apple: Just like if you were choosing apples from your local grocery store you want to take a look and make sure you’re picking apples that are firm with no nicks or bruises. Also, keep in mind the right colour depends on the variety. Ask an orchard employee if you are unsure.
- 4. Stick to picking and skip the shaking :When picking apples, roll them up from the branch and twist then give the apple a slight twist. A ripe apple will be easy to remove from its branch. Make sure you don’t shake the branches. Shaking the tree can lead to a bunch of apples to falling to the ground. This can bruise and damage the apples. Furthermore, it can cause an unnecessary waste of apples. So, just remember to try to be gentle with the apple tree’s!
5. Avoid Bruising : Not only should you be gentle with the apple trees but you should opt to treat the apples with lots care as well. Avoid throwing the apples into your bag or basket. Try to treat your apples as eggs and place them gently. This will help keep the apples fresh longer.
6. Separate apples from other fruit : If you happen to be at an orchid that grows other fruit try keeping your fruits separate. This also applies for when you get home. Apples release ethylene gas over time. This gas causes other fruit to ripen faster, meaning they won’t last as long. You want to wash and store apples in the crisper drawer of your fridge away from other fresh produce.
7. Create memories at the orchid: “Made with love” is a common theme for great tasting foods. The same can possibly be said with picking apples. There is something rewarding about picking your own fruit. If you have a great time and create memories with friends and family its most likely those apples will taste super good. So go ahead and enjoy your time!
Hope these tips helped and you conquer your next apple adventure! Ps. Remember to take lots of photos ! Enjoy
Check out these fire roasted cinnamon apples