We all love apples, but what do you really know about apples and the orchards where they grow? We got an insider look at the Chelan Fresh orchards plus we have apple storage tips and more.
This fall our team had the opportunity to travel to Washington state to celebrate the launch of the Joyfully Grown brand with Chelan Fresh. After two packed days of visiting orchards, touring packing facilities, and meeting the incredible people who help make it all happen, I can say I walked away having learned a ton about all the steps that happen from the time an apple is harvested to when it makes it to our produce departments.
Chelan Fresh is grower-owned and represents grower families that have been farming fruit in central Washington since 1894. Five generations of apple growers and all their combined knowledge and hard work over decades served as the inspiration behind the Joyfully Grown Brand. The new brand is meant to share the joy the farmers and growers get from their families, the land, and the harvest.
As a consumer, it’s so easy to walk into a produce department, pick up all the fruit my heart desires and not consider all the work it took to get that fruit to my store. I’m so grateful for the intimate look I got into the world of apple growers and packers and how they’re making the world a better place.
Here are 4 things you might not know about apple growing:
- Washington state is the top producer of apples in the United States producing over 100 million bushels of apples annually. That’s over 12 billion apples a year! This means that 60% of apples consumed in the US were grown in Washington.
- After apples leave the orchard, they’re delivered to packing facilities to be stored, sorted, and undergo all of the steps necessary to get them ready to be shipped to retailers all around the US and internationally. The packing facilities use incredible technology like grading machines to delicately sort apples and determine their grade. In less than a second, this sophisticated machine snaps 16 pictures of each apple that will determine size, grade, and point out any imperfections like bruising or discoloration.
- Apple trees are produced through a process called grafting. This involves attaching a piece of an existing tree to a root stock to form a new tree.
- Orchardists are experts at their craft and use tons of old and new practices when caring for the fruit to ensure high quality and yield. They employ tactics like using leaf strippers and reflective material on the ground to ensure the apples get the right amount of sunlight. Each Honeycrisp apple stem must be clipped correctly to prevent it from bruising another piece of fruit when its picked and stored in a bin.
How Long Does it Take For Apples to Grow?
Apples are a popular fruit, enjoyed by people all over the world. But how long does it take for apples to grow?
It takes around 4-6 months for apples to grow from blossom to ripened fruit. However, this can vary depending on the type of apple tree and the climate. For example, in warm climates, apple trees produce one crop per year! Lucky for us since we love apples all year round 🙂
So next time you enjoy a delicious apple, remember that it took a few months to grow – and appreciate the hard working farmers that made it possible.
Did you know – A bushel of apples is about 40 pounds, or around 4-5 gallons?
That’s a lot of apples! If you happen to grab a bushel of apples the next time you are at an apple orchard, here are some of our favorite apple recipes
- Apple Pie Snack Bars
- Instant Hot Apple Cider
- Fall Harvest Apple Salad
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad with Apples
- Upside Down Apple Pancake
- Apple and Pear Nachos
- Apple Zucchini Muffins
Once an Apple is Picked, How Long is it Good?
When it comes to apples, the old adage is true: one bad apple can spoil the bunch. But how long does it take for an apple to go bad after it’s picked?
According to experts, an apple can last anywhere from a few days to a few months after it’s been picked. The key is to store them properly.
Apples should be stored in a cool, dark place like the fridge. And they should be kept away from other fruits and vegetables, which can cause them to ripen faster.
What Can I Do To Make My Apples Last Longer?
Whether you like to keep them in a fruit bowl or necessity have them for pie, apples are a fall staple. Here are a few tips to store your apples so that they stay fresh:
1. Store them in the fridge. This will help keep them from getting too ripe and prevent them from being eaten too quickly.
2. Don’t wash your apples until you’re good and ready to eat them. Washing them beforehand will make them spoil faster.
3. Keep your apples away from other fruits and vegetables. Apples release ethylene gas, which can speed up the ripening process for other produce. So make sure they have their own space in the fridge!