Bushels and Pecks

Apple Picking 101: What Are Bushels and Pecks?
Apple orchards receive many visitors each year looking for a fun outdoor activity with the entire family. Apple picking season usually comes every September, and as the leaves start to change color and summer turns into fall, flannel-clad families descend upon the orchards in droves. It is a national pastime that brings a festive mood for autumn. However, if you’ve never gone apple picking before, you may have a few questions about the vocabulary. You may wonder what are bushels and pecks? How many apples are in a bushel? And what’s the proper technique for picking an apple? In this blog, we explain the measurements and techniques involved with apple picking. So here is your guide to apple picking 101: what are bushels and pecks?

Know the Difference Between Bushels and Pecks

What are bushels and pecks? If you are worried about not knowing the terminology of apple picking, fret not. The difference between a bushels and pecks is pretty straightforward. Both words are units to measure the number of apples you have. Thirty-two quarts equals a bushel, and a peck equals one-quarter of a bushel (eight quarts). That means that one bushel is equal to four pecks. You measure with a basket or container, and since you measure volume instead of weight, the weight of bushels and pecks will vary depending on the type of food.

To break it down further, a bushel of apples is 48 pounds, and one peck is equal to about 10 pounds. It’s wise to understand the difference between the two measurement to decide how many apples your family will realistically eat or bake. Understanding bushels and pecks also provides insight into the sizes of the containers you’ll need to buy if you decide to bring yours when apple picking.

Plan Your Trip Ahead of Time

One of the most common mistakes to avoid as a first-time apple picker is not planning your trip ahead of time. If you bring children, pack water bottles, so they don’t get dehydrated from walking around the orchard. Research the nearest orchards and choose one that suits your preferences. Finding out that the orchard you drove to doesn’t allow guests to pick their own apples is upsetting, but you can avoid that problem with research. The best time to go picking is in September or early October, so keep that in mind when you choose a date.

What supplies will you need? Usually, the orchard will provide apple picking bags for your family when you’re picking. You might only need water and snacks if you plan on a long afternoon with the little ones. Consider how many pecks of apples you’ll pick during your visit and how many everyone in the group will eat. While apple orchards are typically plentiful, it’s best not to waste the produce you pick.

Follow Proper Techniques When Picking an Apple

When you pick a date and arrive at the orchard, it’s time to start picking your bushels and pecks! A helpful tip for picking is to start from the outside of the apple tree and work your way inward. The ones on the outermost branches will ripen first, making them the best choices. However, apples stop ripening when you pick them, so make sure it looks ready before you choose it. Also, push the apple off the branch and twist it to pick it off the tree. If the stem is easily removable from the branch, you will know the apple is ripe for picking. However, avoid shaking the branches because the slightest shake causes an abundance of apples to fall off. These apples will bruise when they hit the ground, and if you don’t pick them up, you create unnecessary waste. The best way to avoid bruising your apples is to store them safely with one of the orchard’s paper apple bags. Hopefully, these tips will assist you on your next apple-picking adventure. Thanks to this apple picking 101 guide, you will never ask what bushels and pecks are ever again!

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