Sunday, November 29, 2015

Apples & Pecans Great for Holiday Baking

   We've now harvested all apples, and have many 'Enterprise' and 'GoldRush' for sale, plus small amounts of  about 16 other apple varieties and selections.  We also still have some 'Shinko' Asian pears for sale, until they sell out.  I give taste samples of all our apple varieties and Asian pears, to those interested in buying them.
   Harvested apples and Asian pears are kept in top condition in our cooler, set at 34 F, ideal for apples and pears.  So you can come buy harvested apples and Asian pears even when it's raining.
We have many boxes of  'Enterprise' (right box), 'GoldRush' (left box), and 'Enterprise' + 'GoldRush' (middle box) apples for sale.
   'Enterprise' apples keep well in our cooler or a fridge for 6 to 7 months, and 'GoldRush' apples keep well in our cooler or a fridge for 8 to 10 months.  All winter I sort apples from the large storage bins into trays holding 20 pounds each.  We currently have about 1200 pounds of sorted and cleaned apples in these trays, ready to sell.
All winter I clean and sort apples from the large storage bins into trays holding 20 pounds each.  It's 45 to 52 F inside the sales building, so I need to dress warmly.
  Small amounts of harvested apples and Asian pears cost $1.20 per pound + tax.  A 20-lb. box of apples or Asian pears costs $23.15 + tax, which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.  I harvest apples and Asian pears into two plastic bags per box, so you can get a mixed box of two apple varieties, or one bag of Asian pears and one bag of apples, and still get the 20-lb. discount.
   We also have some harvested 2nds apples, with small bird pecks, cracks or other surface damage.  These are great for making apple butter, pies, breads, or other holiday baking.  Usually 90% to 95% of the fruit is still usable, but they're 60% the cost at $0.83 per pound + tax.  A 20-lb. box of 2nds apples costs $15.74 + tax (that's $0.79 per pound + tax), which saves $1.00 off the per-pound price.
2nds apples are great for economical  holiday baking.  I made this apple crostata with caramelized pecan topping for dessert for Thanksgiving dinner.  The recipe is posted as a Note on our Facebook page, Brendas Berries.
   If you buy 40 lbs. of 2nds apples, you save another $1.00 per box, for a total of $4.00 off the per-pound price.  Each 20-lb. box of 2nds apples costs just $14.82 + tax, so that's $29.64 + tax ($0.74 per pound + tax) for 40 lbs. of 2nds apples.
   My husband Bill is now very busy cleaning and cracking pecans for sale.  Further pecan harvest will be delayed for a week due to all the rain.  We now have cracked 'Kanza' pecans for sale, for $15.05 per 5-pound bag + tax.  Bill cracks the pecans, blows off the loose shells, and then weighs the bags to 5 pounds.  So you get the equivalent of 6 pounds of in-shell pecans in each bag, and when you pick out the pecans, you get at least 3 pounds of nutmeats.  Pecan harvest will continue until late January or February, and we should have cracked pecans for sale until late May to June.
   For payment, we accept cash or checks, but NO credit cards or debit cards.  Please bring your checkbook or enough cash to cover the amount of fruit and pecans you'll buy.
   Tomorrow, Nov. 30, is the last day of our fall hours: Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., & Sundays 1 to 6 p.m.  From Dec. 1 to May 31, we're open by appointment.  That means to phone 620-597-2450 a day ahead, and leave a message on the answering machine saying the day and about what time you're coming.  I will get the message and meet you in the sales building when you come.