Apple Harvesting, Processing, and Preserving

On today’s podcast episode, Harold and Rachel talk about the apple harvest and all the ways they are processing and preserving the harvest.

The Modern Homesteading Podcast, Episode 224 – October 18, 2023

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Hello and welcome to the Modern Homesteading Podcast! In this episode, we delve into the world of apple harvesting, processing, and preserving, sharing insights and tips for making the most out of your apple harvest.

We discuss the best times for apple harvesting and the tools needed for efficient picking. From using a ladder and bucket to special fruit-picking tools, we explore various methods suitable for different tree sizes and apple varieties.

In processing apples, we talk about the various uses of apples, including making apple juice, cider, dried apple chips, applesauce, and apple butter. We also explore some unique ideas like apple sugar and apple molasses (cider syrup) and provide guidance on how to make these products.

When it comes to preserving apples, we cover canning methods for applesauce, apple pie filling, jams, and jellies, as well as freezing and dehydrating techniques. We also delve into the process of fermenting apple scrap vinegar and apple cider vinegar, highlighting the differences between the two.

Furthermore, we discuss the importance of utilizing apple scraps, like cores and peels, to make pectin and other useful products. We also emphasize the significance of proper thinning and fertilizing for better apple production and quality.

Throughout the episode, we emphasize the accessibility of apple processing and preservation, noting that even those without apple trees can purchase apples in bulk from farmers or orchards to make a variety of apple products. Our discussion aims to inspire listeners to engage in apple harvesting and processing activities, emphasizing that it’s not only healthier and fun but also cost-effective.

Join us on this fruity journey, and discover how you can turn your apple harvest into a plethora of delicious and nutritious products. Happy homesteading, and remember to grow where you’re planted!

The Apple Harvesting Process:

  • Best time to harvest- Different varieties have different harvest times (late summer to late October)
  • Signs of a ripe apple-When they easily come off tree
  • Tools Needed
  • Post-harvest care- Brush off the apples, no need to wash until you use, 35-40 F with humidity is best for storage, wrap in paper and store in single layer.  Check routinely for rotten apples.

Apple Processing

  • Cleaning and sorting
  • Juicing
    • Tools Needed- juicer, or chop and add a bit of water, blend and strain
  • Cider-making- great for drops and bruised apples
    • Tools Needed- 
  • Drying for apple chips
  • Making applesauce and apple butter
  • Using the scraps- see link

Apple Preservation Methods

  • Canning:
    • Applesauce
    • Apple pie fillings
    • Jams and Jellies
  • Freezing apples:
    • Pre-treatment methods to prevent browning
      • Saltwater – 1/4 teaspoon salt with 1 cup water
      • Lemon Water – 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice with 1 cup water
    • Best ways to package
  • Dehydrating
    • Apple chips
    • Apple Sugar 
    • Apple Molasses
  • Fermenting
  • Vinegar
  • Scrap Vinegar

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