Fruit picking volunteers

Harvesting and storing apples

The length of time an apple will store depends on variety and conditions of storage.

If storing at home just remember that fruit of all types hate central heating. A cellar, garage or garden shed will be a more suitable site provided they are mouse free. They need a cool, dry, dark place. The apples should be kept dry. Check them from time to time and discard any that are damaged or soft.

Early varieties only have a storage capacity of a few days. Early varieties such as Discovery, Katy, Beauty of Bath and Worcester Pearmain are best eaten straight from the tree.

Mid season varieties will probably have storage up to about two months. The later ripening varieties are the ones with longer storage capacity. Cooking apples such as Bramley, Newton Wonder, Annie Elizabeth will store well into April if you are lucky. Coxes used to keep until Christmas but are tending to ripen earlier now so could be overripe by the end of the year. Varieties such as Braeburn, Winter Gem, Granny Smith, Tydemans late Orange, Red Winston and Kent will keep well into the new year and some as late as the end of April but by May go a bit soft but perfectly edible.

Without the aid of a cold store that is about your limit. Store in trays so the apples don’t touch each other or on slated shelves apart from each other where the air can circulate are ideal. You can wrap them In paper and remove all the rotting ones straight away.

Also, when harvesting, only keep good quality apples with no bruises or insect holes that will breakdown in storage. Those that are not up to storing can be lightly stewed and frozen for lots of puddings in the winter or as an addition to breakfast porridge, yum 😋

Mary, a Brogdale Tour Guide, says “I  individually wrap my apples in newspaper, lay them in plastic trays, not touching, and store them in my summer house. I had the last ones in March this year, still good for apple sauce!”

Brogdale Collections is the Kent charity that provides public access to the National Fruit Collection at Brogdale Farm, near Faversham.  Orchard tours are available daily from the beginning of April – end October and weekend events for tasting cherries, plums and apples take place in the season. Very special PYO days of the heritage fruit harvest is available on set days – pre booking advisable. The National Fruit Collection is one of the largest collections of temperate fruits in the world. Brogdale Collections is a Charity supporting the long term sustainable future for the living collections at Brogdale Farm and providing education on the collections to the public.

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The National Fruit Collection is one of the largest fruit collections in the world and is located at Brogdale Farm, near Faversham, Kent.

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