Properly stored, apples remain crisp and flavorful, for months and months and months. Improperly stored, apples will keep from just a few weeks to several weeks. In other words, apples store well. You work hard all season long, growing and tending to your apple trees. So, the long-term storage of apples is an important topic. Sure, some apples store better than others. But in general, this is a fruit with a long shelf life.
As we all know, apples are harvested in the fall. The apples we find in the store in mid-winter, are kept in cold storage, until just before they are placed on local store shelves. They are kept fresh in ideal temperature and humidity conditions.
At home, chances are they won’t be around long enough to worry about storage. Place a basket of attractive apples (like the one pictured above) on the kitchen table or counter, and they disappear in short order.
If you have a small supply of apples, they can be stored in the vegetable tender of your refrigerator. Want to save money and buy a bushel at a time? No problem! Put the bushel into a cool or cold garage. If it’s still warm in your area, the basement might be cooler. In general, the cooler the temperature, the better. Many people can store apples in the garage right into winter. As long as it is above freezing in the garage, your apples can be stored there.
Sometimes, despite all of your best efforts, you just can’t use a bushel of apples fast enough and they begin to age. The first sign of aging is when the apple peel begins to soften and shrivel. At that time they are no longer appealing for eating fresh, but may still be good for applesauce and cooking.