It’s that time again. The sun has become increasingly reluctant to grace us with its warm glow in the mornings, jackets are now fair game, and we are full swing into harvest. Yes, fall has officially arrived.
It’s hard to believe that it’s only the end of September and we are already more than halfway through apple and pear harvest. The mild spring and uncharacteristically hot summer set us up for an early and condensed harvest, meaning new crop apples and pears are making their way to you even sooner!
As any of us can attest, there’s nothing quite like the fresh crunch of an apple straight off the tree. We strive to maintain that just-picked quality so that you can enjoy it for yourself, wherever you may be, but if you ever have the chance to pick your own, it’s an experience not to be missed!
We visited with Matt Haak, one of our growers in the lower Yakima Valley, for some tips on how to pick an apple like a pro:
Whether you purchase apples at the store or pick them yourself, make sure you store them properly. Apples can be left on the counter, but they will stay freshest in a cool place. The produce drawer of your refrigerator is ideal.
Pears are a little different because they are harvested before they are completely ripe. Some stores offer ripened pears so you don’t have to wait, but if you choose unripe pears, it is recommended to store in a paper bag until they reach your desired level of ripeness before storing in the refrigerator.
Not quite sure how to know if your pear is ripe? Just remember to “Check the Neck!” Ripe pears will yield slightly to pressure on their neck. With a little practice, you will learn what level of ripeness you prefer. For more pear ripening and handling tips, visit USA Pears.