Fruit for the cold months
If handled carefully and placed in the right environment, apples from the garden may be stored for several weeks, or even months. Mid-season apples, such as ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’, should keep for four to eight weeks. Late season apples, such as ‘Egremont Russet’, are not ready until they have been stored for four or five weeks. They can last several months. Before storing, the fruit is checked for bruises, cuts, bug damage and soft spots. Only perfect fruit is suitable for storage. The apples are then sorted into small, medium and large. Large apples do not store as well as small ones and should be eaten first. To maximise their storage life, each apple is wrapped in newspaper before being placed in a box. If one apple goes bad, the paper prevents the other apples from coming into contact with it. The boxes of apples are stored in a cool basement, garage, shed, fruit cellar or refrigerator. The ideal storage temperature is 0°C with 90 per cent humidity. Apples are likely to suffer freeze damage if the temperature dips below this and will ripen quickly if the temperature rises above 4°C. Regular checks are made for signs of spoilage, with any rotten apples being removed.