Why Cheap Local Apples Make Everybody Happy- And Where To Find Them


“There is something wrong with this apple,” my daughter complained from the back seat of the car. My family was visiting family in Chicago, staying at a chain hotel for the week. Prepared late at night by hotel staff, our breakfast-to-go waited for us at the front desk.  My 10-year-old drank the orange juice and ate the granola bar, but the perfectly appearing apple tasted “bad”. Our family is used to consuming locally-grown and freshly picked fruits and vegetables. To my daughter, this apple was inedible, lacking all flavor.

Local Fresh Varieties Taste Better

It is typical kids would complain about the taste of Brussel Sprouts, spinach and carrots. Often they are purchased underripe, canned or frozen and when prepared, taste different than fresh counterparts. But when freshly picked and locally grown, most children (and adults) enjoy these vegetables. The map of our state’s consumption tells us more. South Dakota is the lowest ranking state in vegetable consumption among adults. How can we improve this, especially in mid-November?


Let’s start here:

“Closed” Apple Orchards Still Want Your Business

Although regular business hours are no longer, Silver Creek Orchard in Baltic, SD is extending their season this weekend to those willing to glean apples.

Utilizing a high density system,  their trees are planted close together and are each fixed to the trellis. This allows their trees to focus on dense fruit production. But owners Joel and Laura Clark have a annual problem. They have an incredible variety and quantity of apples that often exceeds apples purchased during the regular season. If apples are not removed from the trees and ground, disease can invade and cause problems for next year’s crop.

Their solution?

They sell apples at a fraction of their usual price to feed people willing to pick their own. For $0.60/pound for the first 5 pounds and $0.50/pound thereafter, you can pick as many apples as you’re willing to haul away. This is a wonderful deal for anyone wanting fresh fruit. Furthermore, the wall of fruit is reachable for picking by children and adults.


Storage Couldn’t Be Easier

So what are you going to do with ten, twenty or thirty pounds of apples?!? According to thekitchn.com: If storing apples in the fridge, place them inside a crisper drawer and lay a slightly dampened paper towel on top of the apples. Apples like a moist environment with a temperature between 30 and 35 degrees.  “Apples are one of the few fruits that really do benefit from being stored in the fridge as quickly as possible. Keep them in the crisper drawer with aforementioned damp paper towel, or else keep them in perforated plastic bags in a cold shed or cellar”.

I will pull a dozen or so apples at at time from the fridge and leave them in a basket on the table and are consumed during after-school snack time. Slicing apples is a sure way that kids will consume these as well.

Recipes Using Raw Apples Are Easy To Find

I used Living Well Spending Less’s idea for caramel. Take unopened cans of sweetened condensed milk, place them in crock pot and immerse in water. Set crock pot to low for 8-10 hours and you have caramel made from sugar and milk. This is the easiest recipe ever!

For all the peels and cores you might otherwise discard, check out Pioneering Today with Melissa K. Norris. She has a wonderful podcast to use the “waste” for apple cider vinegar. She also includes great ideas for the vinegar itself. If you have extra peelings from the cider (or choose not to do this) consider  feeding this to your chickens (or mine!). They go absolutely bonkers for them!

This year I used by wheelbarrow full of apples to make apple cider. We joined one of my favorite families to collect, clean and load apples into their cider press, making sufficient cider to survive the winter. The work itself was simple and we chatted about all sorts of things, pressed and collected cider into gallon jugs, then sprayed down ourselves and equipment for a relaxing Saturday afternoon chore.



Your efforts to pick, store and process apples will pay off. This weekend, please stop by Joel and Laura Clark’s Silver Creek Orchard Saturday November 12th and Sunday November 13th, 2016 from 1-5pm.

Address is 25052 474th Ave., Baltic, SD; 605-529-4007; 1/2 mile south ofBaltic High School

You-pick and pre-picked in cooler. Prices- $3 for 5# bag and $5 for 10# bag. Advertisement is also in today’s Shopping News. Please help The Clarks and help yourself!

As always, share your experience, recipes and testimonies on Gleanforgood.net!


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