By Mark Parlee, Parlee Farms

BOSTON (CBS) – The Apple Crop in New England came through Tropical Storm Irene with minimal damage. The apples were very tight on the trees and Parlee Farms experienced less than a 1% loss. The heavy rains in late August and early September helped size up the crop and make the apples very juicy – so there was a benefit!

Watch Gardening With Gutner

Below are some picking tips for people visiting a pick-your-own apple farm this season:

  •   Pick in the designated picking area as there are many early coloring strains of apples. A red apple may not necessarily be ripe. At Parlee Farms, we have over twenty varieties of apples that ripen from mid-August until late October.
  • The farmer uses several techniques to determine if an apple is ripe. These include:
    • Starch Iodine Test
    • Color of Seeds at the Core
    • Taste
  • Remember to turn or twist the apple when picking your own. If you pull the apple, the spur of the apple may come off. This could affect next year’s crop as the spur is the location where we hope to get another apple next year.

There are great health benefits associated with apples. Recent stories in the news about how good apples are for you just reinforces that ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’. And you cannot get a fresher, crisper, healthier apple than if you visit your local apple farmer this season and pick your own!


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