An Apple a Day: Varieties, Uses & Peak Apple Picking Times
As we find ourselves in the middle of August, some are hanging on to every last day of summer, while others would gladly welcome some cooler weather and a change of scenery. Regardless of your stance, there’s one thing we can definitely get excited about: apple season is here.
You know the old saying: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While I can’t vouch for any scientific validity to that, I can provide apple picking tips to best fit your needs – whether baking, snacking or something in between!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved plants. Same goes for my husband, whose family bought land in the 1800s and started growing fruit trees. So it’s very fitting that together we continue the Eckert legacy, growing apples, peaches, strawberries, blackberries and other fresh fruits and vegetables in southwest Illinois. With apple picking season upon us, I’m sharing best uses for popular varieties you’ll see in store. Or, come visit our farm and pick some yourself!
Pinkish-orange stripes over a yellow background are the gala signature. Crisp and sweet, galas are excellent for just about any occasion – snacking, salads and pies. These ripen in mid-August to early September.
Bright red and pale green outer skin with a cream-colored inner flesh. Similar to the Gala, it’s great for snacking, salads, baking and cooking. Fun fact: This variety was developed in Minnesota to grow well in cooler, northern climates! Peak apple picking for these is from mid-August to early September, too.
This is one of our most popular varieties, and for good reason. A medium-sized sweet apple with a tough but smooth skin, they are great for eating, salads, pies and sauce. Ready to pick in September, use Jonathans to make one of our family favorite pie recipes!
Meet the all-purpose apple: Mellow, sweet and with a flesh that stays white longer than other apples, Goldens are excellent for eating out of hand, baking and salads. These ripen in mid-to-late September.
This is a classic snacking apple. Bright red skin with a crunchy, sweet interior – these beauties typically ripen in September, so add a few to your grocery haul this fall!
With a hard, light green skin and crispy, juicy flesh, Granny Smiths are perfect for salads, pies and baking, and typically ripen in October.