Crab apple harvest

This afternoon, I headed out to see what I could get from the one crab apple tree that has tasty apples. Most of the apples were well out of reach, but after trying a couple of things, I found I could use the hook at the end of the extended pole pruning saw, at its longest, to grab branches and give them a shake.

Then ducking, so I wouldn’t get beaned in the head. Those things are hard!

Then it was just a matter of gathering them off the ground. The damaged ones got tossed towards the spruce grove, so I wouldn’t have to pick through them again when I had to shake the tree again. With so many apples, I could afford to be picky.

The deer and any other apple eating critters will be in for a treat, tonight!

I got somewhere between 15-20 gallons of apples, and I only shook the tree twice. There are still lots on the tree, but I was out of buckets.

With so many apples, I scrubbed out the wheelbarrow, then used it to give the apples a cursory wash with the hose. The amount in the photo is from the two smaller buckets.

I had to prep a third bin to hold them all.

I love these bins! They interlock to hold together, and even when stacked one on top of the other. They are still just corrugated plastic, though, and can only hold so much before they start bending under the weight while being carried.

For now, the bins are sitting in the dark and relatively cool of the old kitchen. I’ll set aside a bucket for my mother. When she was last here, she insisted in picking apples into her walker, but they were nowhere near ready for picking. They are in their prime right now, and taste so much better. We do have crab apples on some of the other remaining trees, and I do try them every now and then (except the one tree with apples so small, it’s basically an ornamental tree). They don’t taste very good when ripe. When not quite ripe yet, they’re pretty awful. There was one tree that tasted pretty bad right up until the ripened, when they suddenly became tasty and sweet, but that part of the tree died over the winter, leaving only the suckers that had been allowed to grow, so only the not-tasty parts of that tree are still alive. 😕

Tomorrow, I will start de-stemming the apples and cutting them up, and will be using the fermentation bucket from our wine making kit to make a large batch of apple cider vinegar. There will be apples left over, even after taking some out for my mother. We haven’t decided what to do with them. In the past, we’ve made apple jelly, but our Bernardin canning book with the recipes we used is still missing.

I wonder if I lent it out to someone? I can’t remember. I do remember offering to lend it to my SIL, but she just took photos of the recipe she wanted and left the book. I do have other cookbooks with canning recipes, but I’m less sure of their safety.

I suppose I could just go look at their website, but having the book is really handy.

Anyhow, we’ll figure out what to do with the surplus. Then also decide if we want to harvest more, or leave the rest for the birds.

The Re-Farmer

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