It’s that time of the year again when everyone you know heads to the nearest orchard to stock up on apples (and pose for those oh-so-adorable Instagram photos). But if it’s your first apple adventure, it helps to keep some of these tips in mind to make your experience the best it can be.
Pick the right ones
It’s critical to snag firm apples without bruises. But contrary to popular belief, just because an apple is green doesn’t mean it’s not ripe; it all depends on the variety. Check with the folks at the farmstand to find out more about the specific kind you’re picking. And as a rule of thumb, the apples on the outside of the tree will ripen first, so they’re your best bet.
Be careful not to throw the apples into your basket, as fun as it may be! They bruise easily, and just one bruised apple—as the saying goes—can spoil the whole bunch. Instead, place them softly into the container. Also, believe it or not, there’s an art to picking: rather than pulling the apple straight off of the tree, you’ll want to roll it upward, and slightly twist. And whatever you do, don’t shake the tree—even a little rustle can cause a ton of apples to fall!
Don’t wait too long
The window for apple picking is surprisingly short, so make your plans to go in the prime of the season: September to early October is the perfect time.
Store them correctly
Once you bring the apples home, you’ll want to optimize their shelf life. If you plan on enjoying them right away, you can keep them at room temperature in a bowl. After a few days, put them in their own drawer in the fridge.
Make a day of it
Usually, it’s not the actual apple picking that’s the fun part—it’s spending time with loved ones, enjoying the crisp fall weather, and maybe enjoying some hayrides, cider donuts, or a petting zoo. Happy picking!