Apple Picking And Bushel Finishing Tips

Fall is here in North Carolina and the early apples like Gala are coming into season. Exciting! There are so many wonderful things about to happen if you’re looking for a bushel of fun. You can make new Fall traditions, seek out adventures with your family, pick your own, and serve up some tasty meals and treats with apples fresh from the farm.


Check out our guide to some Durham, NC area orchards and apple markets as well as some delicious apple recipes and other ideas for using up a huge load of apples. Even if it can take 6-8 weeks for some apples to start to look a little rough, that’s a lot of time and we have a lot of solutions to ponder.


Some Local Orchards And Produce Markets

Check their websites or call to find out what they have and when before going.


Millstone Creek Orchards

Ramseur, NC

(336) 824-5263


Perkins Orchard

Durham, NC

(919) 491-9559


Waller Family Farm

Durham, NC

(919) 225-4305


Ganyard Hill Farm

Cary, NC

(919) 596-8728


Carrigan Farms

Mooresville, NC

(704) 664-1450


Blueberry Thrill Farm

Gibsonville, NC

(336) 449-7246


Levering Orchard

Ararat, VA

(276) 755-3593



Sweet Retreat Orchard

Hillsborough, NC

(919) 450-5055



Page Farms

Raleigh, NC

(919) 596-3227


Find a pick-your-own farm near you

“Looking for a local, pick-your-own farm in North Carolina?  Scroll down this page and select your region of the state for a list of U-Pick farms in North Carolina, sorted by county. Farms offering organic or sustainably grown produce are identified by the words “organic” and/or “sustainable” in green, next to their name.”


And just one more thing…

For 2018, before Labor Day, be sure to connect with the premier family festival, the North Carolina Apple Festival, online at and to see the upcoming dates and events planned in Hendersonville. It’s been held for over 70 years and it’s a whole lotta apple fun every Labor Day Weekend!


Wondering what you can do with all the apples you score from the market or orchard?

No worries! We’ve got some ideas.

54 Surprising Ways to Use Leftover Apples


What can I do with apples that are going bad?

“As the apples break down during cooking, the remaining liquid is released and the natural sugars concentrate, transforming them into something remarkably delicious.”

  1. Make applesauce.
  2. Cook apple butter.
  3. Blend into smoothies.
  4. Stir into oatmeal.
  5. Bake an apple pie.
  6. Dry apple chips in the oven.
  7. Blend with soup.
  8. Bake apples.


20 Unexpected Ways to Use Apples

“The next time life hands you a bushel, don’t just make another pie. Get creative and make the most of your bounty in unexpected ways the entire family can enjoy! With their various health benefits and sweet flavor, it can be all too easy to go overboard at the market or orchard. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be such a bad thing, except the fact that you end up with more apples than you could possibly ever eat. From the craft table to the dinner table, these 20 surprising (and ridiculously easy) ideas will help you use up those leftover apples.”


Make an easy peasy apple crisp with apples that have seen better days.

“Most of the ingredients used in this apple crisp are items you probably already have on hand. If not, improvise. If you don’t have brown sugar, use white sugar! If you don’t have oats, then just bake sliced apples with cinnamon and sugar. You will still have an amazing dish!”

Don’t Throw Away Your Old Apples! Make This Easy Apple Crisp!


How to Use Bruised and Shriveled Apples

Another creative use for apples that might otherwise be tossed. This one’s thinking long-term.


10 Healthy Uses for Old and Bruised Apples

“There’s nothing more disappointing than an old or bruised apple. But before you chuck out the whole bushel, try to cut down on waste by using them in the following ten healthy and innovative ways…”


15 Uses for Overripe Apples

Now here are some creative uses for apples, and not just for ingesting. Potpourri anyone? Christmas is coming, let’s do ornaments! Check it out.


Dried Apple Rings

“Core + peel the apples if desired. Since we don’t have a dehydrator, I did it the old-fashioned way. Place the apples on a cooling rack or cookie sheet and set that on top of a baking pan. Bake in the oven on warm for about 8 hours. I didn’t even bother to turn them – they dried out just fine the way they were.”

5 Uses for Going Bad Apples


Refresh Your Face

“Said to reduce inflammation and the appearance of fine wrinkles, apple’s pectin is a natural boon to the beauty routine. For a quick way to brighten up your face, grate a peeled and cored apple and apply to skin; let sit for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water.”


18 Of The BEST EVER Homemade Apple Recipes

“If I could make gasoline out of apples, I could retire, but since that is not an option and my frugal mind will not allow me to waste one apple, I have had to come up with some homemade recipes for yummier “apple disposal” methods. If you find that you have a few dozen more apples than you know what to do with, these homemade apple recipes from Dining On A Dime will help settle your frugal dilemma.”

18 Of The BEST EVER Homemade Apple Recipes


50 Things To Make With Apples

“Turn fall’s best fruit into Halloween snacks, party bites and more from Food Network Magazine.”

Apple Popcorn Balls

Apple Fritters

Apple-Pork Burgers

Big Apple Cocktail

Potato-Apple Pancakes

Cider Doughnuts

Apple Turnovers

Sesame-Apple Slaw

Waldorf Salad

Baked Apples

And much more!



How To Store Apples – Tips For Storing Apples

The following excerpt was adapted from which has loads of other information on choosing apples and which apples store the longest.


— Once you’ve picked out your excellent collection of apples, keeping them fresh is the next step.

— Apples let off an enzyme that forces everything around them to ripen faster.

— Keep your apples separate from other produce to prevent force ripening them.

— If you actually use the “crisper” drawers in your refrigerator and adjust the settings, put your apples in a tightly sealed bag under high humidity.  You can even add a damp towel in the drawer to make sure there is enough humidity.

— You want your apples to be stored cold enough to prohibit the production of the ripening enzyme, but not so cold that it freezes.  Somewhere between 35°F-40°F is ideal.

— Each variety ripens at it’s own rate.  If you are storing many different varieties, keep them organized by type, don’t mix them all together.

— Every now and then (based on how long your are storing your apples) check on your apples and promptly remove any that are going bad.  Pull out for eating the ones that are bruised or have soft spots.  Only keep perfect apples for long term storage.

— If you are storing a lot of apples long term, consider wrapping each individual apple in paper before storing.  This will help delay one bad apple ruining the entire lot.  It will however, make it harder to see when the apple as gone bad.  Choose a paper that is easy to notice if it has become damp.



Enjoy your Fall and enjoy your apples!


For more household and house cleaning tips visit our blog.