A good year for apples
Originally published in the Journal de Montréal on October 15, 2011.
While thousands of Quebecois are taking advantage of the pleasant October weather to enjoy their apples directly in the orchards, apple growers are taking stock of 2011.
Notwithstanding the hot weather in July, the heavy rains in August and the cool night-time temperatures in September and October gave the producers a good boost. We are headed towards a harvest of 5.8 million bushels (1 bushel equals 19 kilos of apples), which is comparable with the average of the last five years.
Less than 40% of the total production is sold fresh. The remainder will be transformed in various ways, mostly for making juices. McIntosh is still the most popular apple, but newer, sweeter varieties like Gala and Honeycrisp are gaining ground.
If you have ended up with too many apples after your last apple picking, you can place them in a cold room between 0 and 4°C and cover them with perforated plastic sheets as these will preserve moisture. Apples can also be frozen in quarters or in slices, but never whole.
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