For those of you in Maryland, Northern Virginia, and the bordering West Virginia areas, what is the ripening window for varieties like Rome, Granny Smith, and the Delicious (red and golden) apples?
I’m asking because I have permission to glean windfalls and/or remaining fruit after the pickers go through in an orchard of a few hundred acres. These are varieties that the person giving permission was aware of being grown, but there are others.
Since it’s a 10 hour trip each way for me, I’m trying to figure out if there is an appropriate window when I can travel up there. I’ll turn most of them into apple butter and applesauce.
Adams County Nursery in southern PA grows sports of many of those varieties. Their “Maturity Chart” is a good starting point-- accessible via Google search.
Thanks a bunch, Matt. I knew several of you live or grow in somewhat nearby areas and might have some info that would help. My dates here are so different from up there. I have a brother living right in the orchards, but he doesn’t know much about apples, except that he likes to eat them fresh.
Also keep in mind:
The area you describe is about a week ahead of ACN, which is located near Gettysburg. So in a typical year: If ACN says an apple ripens on Aug 8, then for your purposes it ripens on Aug 1.
However, I am seeing everything ripening a week ahead of schedule here (I live in central Maryland). So… If ACN says an apple typically ripens near Gettysburg on Aug 8, then it is actually ripening around July 25th in the area you’ll be visiting this year.
Thanks again, Matt. This is up in the hills, rather near Winchester. I found it interesting that I was told the pickers can’t crate anything that lands on the ground. I don’t know if it’s a rule, or just the way they do things there, or a way to reduce the number of apples that rot quickly from hidden bruises.
I’ve only been up there once before, just after harvest. I got all my pent up tree climbing urges satisfied in one afternoon while filling bags. Since that wasn’t a planned opportunity, we only had room to bring home a limited amount. Too bad I don’t have a cider making setup. It would be an even better opportunity.
My wife is from that area. The northern part of the Shenandoah valley is huge apple country. In fact, two of the largest apple growers in the entire US are located in that area, each with around 3000 acres. A lot of these apples are grown for processing and apples on the ground are not harvested.
Thanks, blueberry. Yes, these are sold for processing.