Apple orchards receive many visitors each year looking for a fun outdoor activity with tasty food included. 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 might wonder what you need to know to get started. So here is your guide to apple picking 101: what are bushels and pecks?
Know the Difference Between Bushels and Pecks
If you are worried about not knowing the terminology of apple picking, fret not. The difference between a bushel and a peck 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.
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.
Follow Proper Techniques When Picking an Apple
When you pick a date and arrive at the orchard, it’s time to start picking! 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!