Pick and Pack Fruit!

Z helping me pick the low-hanging fruit.

We have a lot of competition for our fruit: deer, bears, worms, insects, and birds. I tried an experiment this year wrapping the low-hanging fruit with stockings, the kind you get at the shoe store when trying new shoes. I would say the juice on this method isn't worth the squeeze as by my unscientific calculations it worked about 10% of the time. Still, we managed to get a large number of unblemished pears and a few apples, meaning no holes or evidence of worm infiltration near the bloom. By my calculation, the secret to harvesting and packing fruit is in having a large number of trees if you are unwilling to spray.


Pears and apples wrapped in shoe store stockings. This seemed to work about 10% of the time, so I am not sure I'd do it again.

My daughters and their friends helped with harvesting and even some unwrapping of the fruit. While there was some initial grumbling all I heard was laughter while they were doing it. They turned it into a competition with the younger girls "against" the older girls, which really meant the older girls manipulated their younger sisters to do all the picking, aka "winning." Sisters!

I sorted the picked fruit into three piles for processing:


Fruit for Sauce

Overripe fruits with many blemishes, bruises, and wormholes were turned into pear and apple sauce.

Fruit for Drying and Freezing

Fruits that had fewer blemishes and wormholes to cut around were sliced for drying or diced for freezing.

Fruit to Save and Eat Throughout the Fall

Unripe, unblemished pears and apples packed in shredded paper can last a while in a cool dark place. They should not be touching as they are in this photo.


The one part of my system that is still missing is a refrigerator to store the apples and pears in for the longer term. The fruit can last for several months if stored in the fridge, so I was searching Craig's list for a free fridge. I found one and it was a neighbor's but he had already promised it to someone else. I will continue my search this winter. I was able to free up space in one crisper drawer of our kitchen fridge for pears. The apples are in a box packed in paper, however, they will not last long now that we have just turned the heat on for the first time this week. 

Once my garage refrigerator system is set up next year, I will update this post.

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