Canning & Preserving / General / Homesteading / Kitchen / Living Frugally / Self-Reliant Living

Practical Pantry: How To Harvest Free Apples


Rows of Sarlabeth’s Apple Pie Jam, ready to add to our Practical Pantry!

You wish you had fall apples, but you don’t have an orchard. Visions of canned applesauce, apple butter, and apple pies dance through your head; but no, you have no apples. The solution can be found in your nearest neighborhood or subdivision. All the apples you can pick. For free. Yes, free.

People buy homes and plant apple trees with the best intentions but no clue to the amount of fruit they produce. Take a drive through established neighborhoods, and you eventually find a home with an apple tree laden with fruit that’s rotting on the ground. The homeowner might make applesauce or a pie or two, but most of the fruit will go to waste. The average homemaker can’t keep up, and that’s where a knock on the door and a polite request will have you filling your pantry.

Most homeowners want the apples out of the way; they’re simply a pain and a problem. They rot (smearing shoes and lawnmowers), attract every animal homeowners find repulsive, and ferment, smelling like a brewery. I’ve rarely been turned away when I ask to pick the fruit for our family. People are thrilled to know that the apples will go to someone for – imagine this – FOOD! Occasionally, I’ve found someone who will actually use them, but rarely is this the case.

The orchard on our homestead will give us apples this year, but our trees are young and won’t yield nearly enough for our family. But our pantry will be stocked this year with all the applesauce and apple butter we can eat.

So keep your eyes peeled as you drive. It’s just September, and remember…your apple fantasies can become reality, fulfilled because of a knock on the door and a polite request.

Coming soon: Sarah’s Apple Pie Jam recipe…


3 thoughts on “Practical Pantry: How To Harvest Free Apples

  1. I’ve been thinking about planting trees in our backyard (spring 2014 project), but our neighbor has a tree right across the street. Funny thing: they cut it down to almost nothing three years ago with the intention of removing it once it died; it didn’t, and has rebounded with a plethora of new shoots and apples, everywhere. 🙂 I’ll ask for some fruit and start making pies/pie fillings.

  2. Pingback: Grocery Store Freedom: Freezing Fruits and Vegetables for Year Round Bounty! | Life on a Homestead

  3. Pingback: September PAA News | PAA News

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