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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Apples, apples, and more apples!

I think I've mentioned that our early apples are ripening right now. It's just one dwarf tree. I think this is the most apples this tree has ever produced for us. I estimate our harvest from this one tree at about 30 lbs. 

I've been picking and using apples from this tree over the last 2 weeks. The squirrels and raccoons have also been "picking" apples for me. In the mornings, one of the first things I do each day is go out to the apple tree and pick up any apples that have been knocked off. After giving them a good wash, I cut away bruises, remove cores, and chop these apples, skin on, for the freezer (to use in crisps and cobblers later). I'm not about to let the fallen apples go to waste. I have 2 gallon ziploc bags of chopped apples so far. I've used fallen apples to bake 2 apple crisps so far this season. And it looks like we'll have a few more using the frozen apples.

I've also been picking a bucket or so of apples every day as I see them looking ready, adding them to the large drawer in our fridge. I did a major picking on Wednesday, as the heat was ripening them quickly. The above photo is of the large drawer in our fridge that spans the width of our top fridge/bottom freezer appliance. It's now full of near-perfect apples for fresh eating.

We weren't so fortunate with the plums or pears this year, no pears at all and just a handful of plums. And the late apples didn't do well, either. With less variety to choose from, I expect the early apples will last us about 1 month. Still, a month of free fruit is a real blessing. And we also have 1 & 1/2 bed pillow size bags of blackberries in the freezer so far, and there are more to come!

As I was putting the apples away in the fridge, I thought of another aspect of our apple bounty for which to be grateful. These particular early apples very rarely have disease or insect/worm issues. Whereas our later apples are susceptible to apple scab and worms. So, if I'm going to have an abundance of one type of apple, I'd rather have the "better" apples, even if they don't keep as well as the later ones.

Apple picking time always makes me feel like summer is coming to its end for the year. I know we still have a month of good weather to look forward to. Despite that knowledge, I find my mind wandering to autumnal topics, like pumpkins and chili and the return of rainy days. My efforts to live in the moment are seriously becoming derailed this week.

Just rambling . . .


  1. We have two mature apple trees in our yard and it looks like one of them has an abundance of apples this year. However, they are small with many bad spots, but we will use what we can. It's a big tree, and unfortunately we can't reach most of them. I haven't seen any apples on the other tree.

    However, our pear trees are full, but they have the same problems as the apples do being hard to reach with spots. But we will process what we can. If nothing else, they provided a beautiful show in the spring.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I hope you can salvage some of the fruit. Do you have any sort of tool for harvesting the fruit that is high up? Several years ago we bought a claw and basket tool that attaches to an extension pole that we already owned. I'm very satisfied with how well it works. Best of luck with the tree fruit!

  2. Apples are just starting here in my area of Michigan. Peaches and blueberries are hot right now so that's my go-to fruit. When apples are in abundance I would like to pick if possible but if not I want to get a bunch to store in the basement. I'm craving a good snappy apple right about now.


    1. Hi Alice,
      I love a good, crisp apple! I hope you find a good source of apples for fall and winter use.
      I wish we had peaches at a good price in my area. But I do have an abundance of other fruit, so I can't complain.

  3. Your apples look great! We were driving back from dropping my son off at college today and drove through an area with lots of apple orchards. The trees are loaded and I'm looking forward to them! We get a few early varieties (ripe in August) in our area and can typically get them into November. We also have lots (lots!!) of peaches in our fridge and freezer right now. This is a tasty time of year.

    1. Hi Kris,
      I was wondering if it was that time of year when your son would return to campus. I hope he has a very good year.
      I totally agree -- very tasty time of year! I also really enjoy the flavors of fall, with pumpkin everything, spiced cider, and the aroma of meat roasting in the oven.


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