The apples on the trees in our forest garden are ripening nicely. We have several different varieties that were already established by the time we arrived here five years ago. Since we moved in here, I’ve worked to create understory planting.
We’ve also adapted strategies to manage and make full use of all the apples we have. So today, I thought I’d take a moment to share some ideas that could help you to prepare for your apple harvest.
First of all, we quickly learned that there are certain tools that can really come in handy when you are processing somewhat larger numbers of apples. (We have 6 different large, mature apple trees and one crab apple tree on our property.)
I would highly recommend two tools that I would now not be without. The first is a steel fruit crusher.
The second is our fruit press. The first year we were here, we did not quite anticipate just how much work was involved in harvesting and processing the apples. When we got those two items, it became a lot easier to manage.
Though we are actually not entirely sure which apple varieties we have, we do know that we have some dessert apples, some typical cooking apples, and some that we believe are cider varieties.
Of course, there are many ways to use your apple harvest. But here are some of the ways I use ours (other than just eating dessert apples from the tree):
- Apple desserts – pies, crumbles, cakes etc..
- Savoury apple recipes – apple and root vegetable stew, apple sauce, apple nut roast etc..
- Apple butter/ apple jams.
- Apple chutney.
- Dried apple rings. (Good in breakfast cereal or as a snack).
- Apple juice. (We drink some fresh, and I also pasteurise it and bottle it for longer term storage.)
- Apple cider (and apple cider vinegar).
Our apple harvest begins in a few week’s time, with the earliest dessert apples, and goes on through to mid October. We like to make sure we’re prepared for the apple harvest. It’s a busy time. But it is also an extremely satisfying time of the year.