Stored apples observations

I stored several varieties of apple this year and stored them all tightly sealed in poly (bread) bags. I kept them all as near freezing as possible, with a few actually forming a little ice inside the bag; none of the apples themselves appear to have frozen.

My Yellow Delicious kept quite well, with very little change into late winter. By February they were all gone. Not my favorite apple, but nice to have a little variety late in the year.

Gala kept fairly well, but I didn’t have a lot of them and ate them up by Christmas just to get them out of the way. They did well enough but were starting to fade by the end.

Prairie Spy have kept well, still hard, firm, juicy, crunch, albeit with a toughish skin. The nice thing is that the taste improved considerably (I just had one a minute ago) and is quite good. Earlier they had an “edgy”, unpleasant quality, but that’s gone and now there is a nice, mildly spicy pear flavor.

I only had a few Jonagolds, but I saved a couple for the sake of comparison. They kept pretty well, but had lost a fair amount of their sprightly quality.

I’m not a big Cameo fan, but the ones I have did store quite well, and they’re a handsome, largish apple on my frankentree and generous bearer. The texture isn’t what it was, but still good enough.

My two big surprises were the Stayman’s Winesap and the Liberty, with the Liberty outlasting the SW for flavor, crunch, juice, texture … the Winesaps were getting bland and mealy compared to the Liberties, but I didn’t let them go to waste. They usually are better than this and I hope I get another chance to compare them this year. I still have a few bags of Liberties and hope to be eating them all month, maybe even into April.

Karmijn de’ Sonnaville also surprised me in that it did not keep particularly well, and was losing quality quickly by February. But I only had a few of these, and I think it’s too early to draw conclusions. Similarly, I only had a few Rubinettes and ate them up fairly early. Pixie Crunch got eaten right away too.


Thanks Mark! I’m very keen on storage apples as I get more production from my orchard. I ate my last apple last week but I am still eating kiwis from storage and am really appreciating the all-winter fruit.

Thats a big plus for Liberty, an apple I was not too interested in. Stayman is supposed to be a great keeper and if its beating Stayman it has to be really good.

I didn’t store enough to get a lot of data, but Black Limbertwig and Newtown Pippin were extremely durable and improved in flavor greatly – all around excellent. Keener Seedling is supposed to be a fantastic keeper. It was good but did not last to March. Rubinette is like Gala, its OK but not a real long-term keeper. Suncrisp did very well. I plan to do a lot more storage next winter so will have more data I hope. I should also have a couple dozen new varieties fruiting this year.

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Scott, I was really surprised by the Liberty/Stayman comparison, and I just wonder if I let the Stayman hang too long. Seems to me that there’s something of an art in timing picking for storage vs. for fresh eating.

Also worth noting that we had an unusually hot week in late June last year, and none of our ripening times were consistent either with past experience or with what you’d expect things to do in comparison to each other. And, Liberties are uneven and uncertain in their ripening: one day an apple will be firmly attached (when tested by lifting gently) and the next it’ll be lying on the ground, and the apples have a long ripening period, easily two-three weeks. In any event, it seems to me that apples for storage benefit from being picked a little earlier than those for immediate use, which makes sense.

Glad to hear the good news on Prairie Spy as I grafted it last year for. Its keeping quality. Thanks Mark.

Hauer Pippins that I picked around X-mas and stored with far less care than Mark have the same or better texture than Goldrush that I picked about the same time and good flavor. I baked a couple a while back and they still held their shape. I suspect that they will be good into May. Pink Lady is also still good, all around, for me.

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