This month's notes: March 2017: Stored US apples are still available. See your state's crop availability calendar for more specific dates of upcoming crops.
Easter will be April 16, 2017 - if you want to take your children to a free Easter egg hunt - see our companion website to find a local Easter Egg hunt!
And we have home canning, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! Also make your own ice cream; see How to make ice cream and ice cream making equipment and manuals. Have fun, eat healthier and better tasting, and save money by picking your own locally grown fruit and vegetables, and then using our easy directions
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Apples are eaten fresh, cooked, canned, frozen and made into many tasty and healthy dishes. Apples are fat-free, low sodium, and cholesterol-free. A bushel weighs between 42 and 48 lbs. A medium apple has about 80 calories. Apples originated in the Middle East (in an area between the Caspin and the Black Sea) more than 4000 years ago! They were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans. Apples arrived in England at around the time of the Norman conquest (in 1066) and English settlers brought them to America in the 1600 and 1700's. Only the crabapple is native to North America. Johnny Appleseed did really exist; his name was John Chapman, and he was born on September 26,1774 near Leominster, Massachusetts. (For more about Johnny Appleseed, see this page!)
More Apple Facts and Fun!
- A bushel of apples typically weighs between 42 and 48 lbs.
- Apples are grown commercially in 36 states.
- Apples are grown in all 50 states.
- Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually.
- United States consumers ate an average of 45.2 pounds of fresh apples and processed apple products. That's a lot of applesauce!
- 61 percent of United States apples are eaten as fresh fruit.
- 39 percent of apples are processed into apple products; 21 percent of this is for juice and cider.
- The top apple producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania and Virginia, which produced over 83 percent of the nation's 2001-crop apple supply.
- Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
- In 2001 there were 8,000 apple growers with orchards covering 430,200 acres. (don't know how many of those are PYO).
- The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit, but you normally buy 2 or 3 year plants at the nursery, so it's only 2 years till they produce!
- Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.
- Did you know you can carve an apple to make a doll? Weird, but true and they look neat! See this website for how to make one yourself!
- Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit.
- In Europe, France, Italy and Germany are the leading apple producing countries.
- Apples are a member of the rose family.
- Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 bushel boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
- 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
- It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
- Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first.
- In colonial time apples were called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth.
- China is the leading producer of apples with over 1.2 billion bushels grown in 2001. The U.S. is number 2 and then Turkey, Poland and Italy.
- Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London.
- One of George Washington's hobbies was pruning his apple trees.
- America's longest-lived apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard and was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.
- A bushel of apples weights about 42 pounds (up to 48 lbs) and will yield 12 to 15 quarts of applesauce.
- It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
It's all about the variety!
Of the apple, that is. There are
- 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
- 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
- About 100 different varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.
You really need to choose the type of apple that is best suited for your purpose. Apples can be suited for eating fresh, cooking, baking, applesauce, storing, etc. I have a fairly extensive guide to apple varieties here!
The top ten apple varieties currently grown in the United States are:
- Red Delicious
- Golden Delicious
- Granny Smith
- Cripps Pink
Apple nutrition facts
- Nutrition and miscellaneous facts: One-half cup of apples is only 42 calories. Apples contain no cholesterol or fat and are also low in calories. T Apples are high in dietary fiber, Vitamin A and niacin. They contain iron and other trace minerals and are a fair source of Vitamin C.
- Apples are ranked No. 1 in antioxidant activity compared with 40 other commercially available fruits and vegetables. That means a serving of apples has more of the antioxidant power you need to fight aging, cancer and heart disease.
- Put this in your pipe! Indians in the Northwest Territory smoked wild apples to preserve them for the winter. (Bet you didn't know that!)
Canning apples - fully illustrated, with step-by-step instructions
- How to make applesauce
- How to make apple butter
- NEW: How to make apple jelly
- How to make apple pie filling (canned)
- How to can apples
Recipes, illustrated with step by step instructions
- Apple pie recipe and directions and illustrated! I can say, with, ahem, no bias at all, that this is the best apple pie recipe in the world! (Alright, I did have an apple strudel in Vienna once at that place listed in Fodors that was REALLY good, but that wasn't a pie, was it? And since this was the recipe my grandmother used, it must be great!)
- How to make applesauce for a single meal (not canning it) with NO special equipment
- Apple crunch - best of all! Moist, low sugar and using oats!
- Apple crisp - ever-popular, low sugar and using oats!
- Apple, blackberry, cherry, and/or peach cobbler
- Apple-blackberry, crumble - a English favorite (or favourite)
- And the many apple associations listed on this page have more facts and resources
Current Season (2017) Apple News
The U.S. Apple Association's estimate of the size of the 2014 United States apple crop is 263.8 million bushels. The USDA's August 12th estimate was for 259.2 million bushels.
Apple FestivalsHere is a list of major apple festivals in the U.S., Britain, Australia and other countries. If you know of any more, please write me! Feedback
[General picking tips and a guide to each fruit and vegetable] [How much do I need to pick? (Yields - how much raw makes how much cooked or frozen)] [Selecting the right varieties to pick] [All about apple varieties - which to pick and why!] [Picking tips for Vegetables] [ Strawberry picking tips] [ Blueberries picking tips]
Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes
[ All About Home Canning, Freezing and Making Jams, Pickles, Sauces, etc. ] [FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems] [Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!] [Free canning publications to download and print]