It's apple picking season in Maine! This year I've turned to the professionals at to get the low down on how to pick apples and store them. My family always gets carried away and buys more than we can eat!

There will be a big family meeting before we hit up Ricker Hill Orchards this year. It's time for me to have the Big Talk with my daughters about apples. As Mainers, it's our responsibility to handle these delicious blessings with the respect they deserve. Whether they end up in a lunch box, cobbler, fruit salad, lunch box, canning jar or pie, there are things we can do to improve our experience.

  • The ripest apples are on the outside of the tree, and once picked the stop ripening
  • Be gentle with them, if you bruise the apples by throwing them into the basket they will go bad faster
  • Wash them just before eating them, any sooner and they will spoil quicker
  • Freezing apples is not a terrific option, it ruptures all of the apple's cells. Apples need to be stored in a cool, dark place, like your crisper drawer with a damp paper towel, or your cellar.
  • Never store apples and potatoes together. Potatoes are gassy and apples are totally turned off by it.
  • When picking an apple give it a little twist off the branch, don't just tug it off.
  • Don't shake the trees or branches.
  • if your apples falls to the ground wash it before eating it.

I hope these tips will help you have the best Maine apple picking season ever!

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