How to ripen/store apples?

Discussion in 'Fruit and Nut Trees' started by Bob Dunn, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Bob Dunn

    Bob Dunn Member

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    I live in Calgary and have a farm in Saskatchewan. My apples and crabapples are not quite ripe yet here at the farm, but it is time to go back to Calgary for the winter. Can I pick my unripe apples now and somehow ripen or store them when I get home?
     
  2. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    It depends on what apples you grow. Some sorts are pretty good for harvesting in semi ripe state.

    In fact, many apple sorts, that are meant for long time storage, are supposed to be harvested quite early, not after fully ripen.
     
  3. Bob Dunn

    Bob Dunn Member

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    They are Goodland which I have been told are good keepers.
     
  4. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Bob Dunn Good morning Bob, just one comment from your question. Apples stop ripening the moment they are picked. They will not ripen in storage. So the time to harvest is at their peak.
    The old rule of thumb is 'not too early or too late'.
    They will store now, but will be as you picked them when it is time to eat.
     
  5. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    @Acerholic, I disagree! Apples definitely ripen after harvesting. Many late-season apple sorts are almost unedible (rock hard, tart) when harvested, but will be delicious, sweet and soft after few months of storage.
    Summer apples ripen (after harvesting) even faster and that can cause fast deterioration as these apples won't store well.
    Industrial scale apple growers (especially for international markets) usually grow sorts, that ripen slow after harvesting. They harvest when apples are semi ripe, to avoid transport and storage damages.
    I don't know about Goodland, this sort is not so well known here.
    Apple Ripening and Storage
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  6. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Sulev good morning Sulev, that is interesting, I was going on my friends at their allotments and their storage. They obviously don't have refrigerated containers, just their dark garages. So I bow to your better knowledge on this.
    @Bob Dunn, sorry if I have led you in the wrong direction. I did ask my friend before I posted it.
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    There are even some early apples, the Sunrise that are out now, that are only nice and crisp for around four days - I can't even buy a week's worth at the farmer's market, and it doesn't matter if I refrigerate them or not. And by early spring, some of last year's apples are still good to buy and others not nearly like what they were in season.

    Bylands Nursery in Kelowna, BC says they are from Manitoba, ripen in mid-September and store well. That doesn't really say what happens when they are picked unripe, but maybe it indicates that they are like the ones Acerholic mentioned that do not ripen after picking. In that case, they might be good for cooking, like crab apples, but they would not develop their sweetness, which I see that Goodland are known for.
     
  8. Sulev

    Sulev Active Member

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    I believe, that in the conditions of the global free market less winter apples are produced, because it can be cheaper and easier to transport apples from other regions than keep local apples over winter. Especially for juicy large fruit types, that seem to be favourites for most of consumers.
    But all these apple sorts, that are marketed here (most of them are coming from Southern Europe or Poland) still continue ripening after picking. If you happen to buy unripe apples (here you can get semi ripe fruits from groceries quite often), then after storing them week or two in a warm well ventilated room, they are sweeter and tastier.
    Most of these imported apples are not comparable with good old varieties of local winter apples. And the best local apples dont't store well - they must be consumed right away after picking. Unfortunately good local apples are not so easy to find in grocerys and markets any more. The only way is to grow by yourself.
     
  9. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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    @Sulev I think that is where my confusion arose, local old varities compared to more mass produced types. I double checked with my friends who confirmed what you said, that the old local apples do not store well. They did say they went bad in storage and did not ripen after picking. They only harvest when already ripe on the tree btw.
    But as you say, perhaps it depends on the variety.
    An interesting discusion that I didn't think I would be part of when I replied, but am glad I did.
    All a learning process!!! Thankyou.
     
  10. Bob Dunn

    Bob Dunn Member

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    We picked the apples and made applesauce from most of them. They were quite tart, but the applesauce was very good. I’ve saved a couple to see how the flavour changes over the next week.
     
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  11. Acerholic

    Acerholic Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator Maple Society

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