We know you are all anxiously waiting for the fruit trees in your backyard to be ready for harvest. It is very important to pick the fruit at its optimal ripeness so here are some helpful tips from our Harvest Manager Luke:
Apples: The two best ways to tell if an apple is ripe is by 1.) the trusty taste test! and 2.) you can cut them open and if the seeds are starting to turn brown. Immature apples will have small, white seeds while mature apples will have slightly larger, brown seeds.
European Pears: European pear will still be rock solid when harvested. However, the stems should snap easily when you grab the fruit, don’t pull, but rather bend wrist down like you would to have your fingers touch the palm of your hand.
Asian Pears: The best way to tell is by the taste test! They should be soft enough to bite into the fruit easily.
Figs: On sight: the stem of the fruit should have bent down so the fruit is hanging from the branch as opposed to sticking directly out from the branch. By feel: the fruit should feel soft and full. If it still feels hollow (or sounds hollow if you flick it with your finger) it is not ready to pick.
Plums: Plums can ripen off the tree at room temperature and thus ideally they should be picked when still a little solid and a bit tart. A completely ripe plum will be soft and taste sweet!
For all fruit: Simply, eat it when it tastes yummy to you! For picking to donate, we like to pick them early enough to have time for distribution and to give the consumer time to enjoy their fruit. Ideally we pick fruit at least 5 days before it is fully ripe.
An important note to lots of fruit but especially apples: For a variety of reasons (lack of water/extremely hot weather, pest damage, reduce energy going towards fruiting, etc.) fruit trees will self thin during the season. Thus, fallen fruit is not an accurate indication of mature fruit!