The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

How to tell when an apple is ripe

King David apple

"Signs of [apple ripeness] include dropped apples, seeds turning brown or black, the green on the apple turning yellowish, and (most importantly) the apples tasting ripe." --- me, in this post

When I wrote that guidelines three years ago during our last apple-friendly season, I missed one very important point --- time of year. I picked the above King David apple this weekend in part Zinnia with butterflybecause the limb was bending down to the ground under its weight, but also because this particular fruit just looked ripe. Cutting the fruit open,  though, I discovered that the seeds were still white and the flesh was dense and tart. (Which isn't to say I didn't eat it anyway!)

I could have saved myself the imperfect apple, though, had I done a quick google search. Turns out King Davids are very late-season apples and aren't supposed to ripen until October. Oops. Hopefully I'll be able to hold off on plucking the other fruits until the fall.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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You probably already know about this, but here is a link to the Cornell starch/ripeness test. It uses a simple iodine solution to help know how the sugar/starch process is going.

Taste works, too.;jsessionid=FF4C1B039B0070A45B041938AA5A3D40?sequence=2

Comment by Tim Inman Wed Jul 6 10:23:53 2016

Hi Anna and Mark,

It would be interesting to measure the Brix of that apple.

I tested a drop recently here. It had over 10 Brix. But not up to 12 where they begin to taste OK and much too early for viable seeds.

From what I see, it looks like the apple tree drops apples that either take too many nutrients [from bug infection mostly], or too little.

When I pick some of the early apples, the later apples seem MUCH better tasting and sweeter?

 I am still eating apples picked last year and stored in shopping bags then plastic bags, unsealed in a regular refrigerator.

 I have yet to figure out how to grow high Brix lettuce? More manure?

 Lots of fun :).

Comment by John Wed Jul 6 10:47:19 2016

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