IT IS EASY to pick apples, right? Yeah, but there is one way you can really mess up—you can waste perfectly good apples. Remember that every apple is precious. It’s not like they grow on trees or anything! Read this “Farm School” brief to learn apple-picking etiquette.
Before you hit the orchards, START AT THE STAND. Ask us which varieties are ready, and we’ll circle them on your map.
You can even DOWNLOAD OUR BROCHURE in PDF format for viewing on your mobile phone. The maps are right inside.
When you find the trees, USE TWO HANDS to pick an apple—one to steady the branch and one to twist the apple. This keeps other apples from falling. You don’t want to start a chain reaction.
When you are picking one apple from a pair, HOLD THEM BOTH. This will prevent one apple from falling to the ground when you pick the other one. Imagine 500 pickers knocking a few apples off each time. It adds up to heartbreaking waste and unworkable farm finances.
Did you know? The shoulder of the apple, where the stem attaches, has tougher skin. Grab the apple like you are throwing a fast ball, with pressure on either side of the stem, and not too much pressure on the bruisable bottom. DON’T SQUEEZE THE FARMIN’!
Once you get a grip, ROCK THE APPLE with a twisting motion. A ripe apple won’t give you much resistance. You want to remove the apple, but not tear the foliage or rip the bark off the branch. Place the apple gently in your bag, thank the tree, and find your next apple.
If you pick an apple that is not perfectly ripe, DON’T PANIC. DO NOT TAKE A BITE AND THROW IT ON THE GROUND! BAD PERSON! That apple took a long time to grow. Imagine 500 pickers all throwing apples on the ground. It adds up to heartbreaking waste. Remember: an apple will continue to sweeten off the tree. Take it home and enjoy it. If you start your visit at the stand and ask us which varieties are ready, you’ll improve your odds.
If you find apples that are a little out of reach, you can use an orchard stepstool or 4-rung ladder. BE CAREFUL. DO NOT STAND ON THE TOP RUNG. DO NOT USE TALLER LADDERS. Those are for professional pickers! Apples are precious, but no apple is worth your health and happiness. Don’t be reckless—there are thousands of lower apples to pick, no ladder required.
THAT’S THE BASICS. Nothing too fancy. You can enrich your apple adventure by reading one of the classics: Apples by Yepsen, Apples by Browning, Apples by Burford, or Apples by Jacobsen.
Be sure to come back to The ‘Creek each week during apple season, because we grow 70 varieties that ripen at different times. Improve your apple-tude: TRY NEW KINDS.