I’ve been in the throes of processing apples for the last couple of days and through all of this effort I have determined that I have a tiered system for sorting my apples.
Tier 1: Compost. This is the group of apples that have been damaged, bird pecked, fallen and been badly bruised (or used by a gorgeous Belgian Shepherd as a ball, and therefore generally chewed, slobbered on, chased and barked at) or otherwise not suitable for any other type of processing I may want to look at.
Tier 2: Juicing. Weirdly shaped or just generally far too small to bother with. I have a small box of these which I will take to my brother’s house in a couple of weeks when we have their “family juicing day” and just add them to the gleanings from their tree.
Tier 3: Keepers. These are the ones I have been processing - generally of good size, relatively blemish and bruise free (unless I dropped while picking) and suitable for eating, making into applesauce, slicing up and freezing for winter pie and crisp baking and giving away.
As I come to the end of the tree (well, the end of picking all of the fruit off of it) I look at what I have processed so far, what I have readied for autumn, winter and spring consumption (if I have any left by summer I would be very surprised) and I am thrilled with what I have managed to glean from it this year. There has been very little in the way of compostable (or juicable) apples from the tree – which I partially credit to having thinned out the fruiting spurs this past spring.
For such a small tree, it’s sure given me a big supply of nourishment for the next few months!
All right – I should get back outside, get the ladder and get the last of the apples off the tree. Frost has been making an appearance in the mornings this week and I think I would be best served by finishing this project. You know, before I start making the jam!
With love across the waters,