Free fruit!

luvncanninJuly 29, 2014

I am so thrilled to have found several sources for fruit today. One stopped in at the bank talking to the president for a minute about um well gardening and the banks trees was brought up. He said more power to ya its crabapple you can have all of it nobody ever wants those they are too small!

So question one how do you tell when they are ready? They are hard red and sour and I guess they plan on staying that way. Are they ready because they are red?

Pears? many locals say pears don't come off till September. My experience mimics the paper I read from the ag office. Pull them when they are easy to pull and put them in the cooler. Then lay them out and they will ripen from the out in and not get mushy insides. My pear tree and the local free ones are pulling pretty easy but I don't want to jump the gun. Some are even falling off.

Also apples. When in zone 6b- 7a would those be ready? No Idea what variety except reddish as they are starting to turn now.
Last time I picked apples was 1979 so I really have no clue
I did do some searches but I am not very good at that, its really a miracle I ever found GW
thanks y'all
most people think I am whacked to get so excited about stuff I don't even eat. I like free and I hate waste

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Good for you! I like free too!
Found a couple of mulberry trees close to my house and discovered that mulberries are good! I picked a ton of them for the freezer. Picking (and preparing) them is a little tedious. I use fingernail clippers to clip the stem, wash, single layer them in the freezer and then seal them up in bags once frozen. Good stuff.
I've also found an apple tree behind an abandoned house. It hasn't been cared for so I'm uncertain if the fruit will be good. Keeping an eye on it though.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 12:45PM
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To me its better than finding money! I don't know why it excites me but it does. and I really enjoy when I get it lined up in the jars. The kids tease me that I take more pics of my garden and jars than I did them. Its just easier now that's all , right?
I still haven't found the info to know when to pick for sure. I hate to venture too far from this corner of GW,


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 7:37PM
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Kim, just try some fruit on a regular basis... and as soon as it tastes right, pick it all. ;)


    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 11:34PM
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Moni I don't even know what crab apples are supposed to taste like! I was hoping to see if they are supposed to stay sour. From what I read on the internet they do but there is a line between green sour and ripe sour right? I just don't want to can and find out they weren't ripe, my family might uh get upset tummy.
I love how you live and how I research everything to death ! lol I will try to be more adventurous. ok so my new routine drive by different trees every day and get samples for my son to try. I love it. Last night he accommodated me by driving me around and we found 8 wild plums yes 8.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:04AM
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gmatx zone 6

Kim - Moni is right on the "try some on a regular basis". You will definitely notice the difference in flavor as well as a change in the firmness of the texture. They will stay tart but the flavor will be different than when they are green. Also, watch for some of the crab apples to fall off the tree. That is a good indicator that they are reaching the ripe stage.

Yeah on the wild plum find. I just love plum jam on good hot buttered homemade biscuits. Mother made the absolutely best biscuits....


    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:09AM
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Thanks Mary. I was wondering if I should wait till some start falling. No one wants the crabapples but
On the pears if I wait too long then the midnight pickers come through and strip all the trees in town. I have permission to pick but only take what I can use up pretty fast. I also have my own pear trees this year, so I am good there.
the loaded apple tree I am picking and canning and sharing with tree owner and she said the midnight pickers usually get it too if we wait too long.
Survival of the fittest or fastest ? I need enough sauce for my grand boy for the year. 140 # last year so maybe 200# this year!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Kim, You can test the crabapples for ripeness in a couple of ways other than the taste test. First of all, they will soften up slightly as they mature---they won't be rock hard. Secondly, cut one in half around the middle and look at the seeds. If mature, the seeds will be brown and firm just like apple seeds should be. If they aren't, the crabapples aren't ripe enough yet. With each crabapple variety, the color the fruit turn when ripe can vary slightly, but with most it is a red that is almost going reddish-brown.

With the pears, I agree with you to pick them early and let them ripen up. The ones that stay on the trees until they fall get too mushy very quickly.

If the pears are European winter pears like Bosc or Comice, picking them early and then exposing them to pre-chilling after you pick then and before they ripen will help them ripen better and have a fuller flavor. I know I've read an explanation before about how exactly to do that. Let me dig it up and link it. So, in terms of how you handle the pears, it can depend on what kind of pear you have.

You're on your own with the regular apples. I don't grow them here because we have cedar trees on property all around us and I just do not want to fight cedar apple rust every year.


Here is a link that might be useful: Picking and Storing Pears

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 2:06PM
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Thanks for that Dawn.
I just made my rounds sampling and here is what I found.
my pears are green/red skin white flesh almost sweet, pull easy. town pears green green does not pull easy. Apples are not ready, green inside and the crab apples sour but softer than the other day, maybe another week.
Ground cherries, tricky either rotten or green. I guess I will stay at home and work on what I have in the freezer.
I may pick my pears and put in cooler at school for a few days. I will check first to see if it is spongy.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:36PM
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I picked an apple today and it was not quite ripe enough. It was beginning to get sweet near the center, so it won't be long. I ate it anyway.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:14PM
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