What would you do with about a half ton of bad apples?

albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)November 26, 2012

We bought a repo for an investment. It had been deserted for at least one year and is located in the desert, there may have been a significant snow last winter but perhaps less than half inch of rain since.

It is a silly place to have fruit trees but someone planted several apple trees. They are mature, decades old, and spread widely and produced many small apples. Peach and cherry did not survive.

Anyway, we've perhaps a half ton -ok, ok, 500 pounds - of rather sad apples, golf ball size, some rotting on one side. No recycling or any such in the area. Open range beyond the fence but wild horses never come close.

Suggestions?

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Cider? (Meaning what you would call hard cider and I would just call cider.) None the worse for bashed up apples.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 1:26PM
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jolj(7b/8a)

This is the soil & compost forum, so I say cut/dig a trench 12 inches wide & 12-18 inches deep & full it with apples, then cover it with 2-4 inches of soil.
A year later plant tomato in front of the trench.
The trench will sink as the apple compost, so add leaves, grass clipping to keep the trench full, until there is no more sinking.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:39PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

We assume that you prefer not to leave them where they are. That would be a perfectly fine option, as they will decompose and return their nutrients to the soil beneath the trees.

Alternatively, they could be piled up in one spot, perhaps mixed with other yard waste and kitchen scraps, to make a compost pile.

If it is that far out in the desert, it sounds like there is no one else around who might want them for *their* compost. If their were neighbors who garden, they might be glad to get the free compostables.

You could bring in some nice looking mulch and cover them up right where they lie.

I would never advocate dumping stuff on someone else's property, but there is always the 'fling them on the open range' option...

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 6:41PM
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david52 Zone 6

If its anywhere like here, and its open range beyond the fence, one of these mornings you'll find a few deer, and then next day, a buncha deer, and your problem is solved.

Assuming they can jump the fence.

I saw an unpicked orchard yesterday, maybe 20 acres, and there were at least 200 deer in there. With dozens more on the way.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 8:29PM
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luckygal(3b)

If you leave them in place under the trees the leaves will soon fall and cover them.

Around here the bears would soon devour them.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2012 at 9:35PM
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    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:02AM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

We've decided to pile them up as toxcrusadr suggested.

testing edit - [what is ''apple pomace''? Cornell says C:N of apple pomace is 48.]

This post was edited by albert_135 on Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 11:10

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 11:05AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

A bit disappointed you aren't going do a bit of brewing ;-) You can make jelly too with small scruffy apples. Or pectin for other preserves. Then compost the left overs after making the food or drink. Best of both worlds.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cider making

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 12:11PM
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david52 Zone 6

"Apple pomace" is whats left over after commercial extraction of apple juice.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:23PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

From the Latin, "pome" = apple. So it's 'apple apple'. :-p

I think we had a thread not long ago about composting tons of olive pomace.

    Bookmark   November 28, 2012 at 10:52AM
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woohooman

I'm with floraUK and luckygal---

Let them ferment and make applejack.

OR

Let them ferment more and let the bears get drunk like I saw on that show on TruTV called "World's Dumbest..."

That bear looked like a very happy frat boy -- hilarious!

Kevin

    Bookmark   November 30, 2012 at 10:05PM
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Oil_Robb(3)

spread them in the garden and roto-till them theyll be gone in no time

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 11:58AM
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japus

I have a pear tree that provides so many pears we cant do them all.
I'ts been this way since we moved in 45 years ago.
Once they fall on the ground they are headed for the compost pile, we only eat what we can pick off the tree.
I bet I have placed at least 15---- 5 gal buckets full of pears
in my compost pile.
The pile is open, (not contained) many leaves added, with garden cuttings also.
About 6 weeks ago I placed the last batch in, yesterday I tossed the pile around and found nor one pear anywhere.
The deer did not get them for I had wire fencing covering the pile.
The smell coming off that pile was one of the sweetest earthy fragrances I have had yet.
Lots of good material being made, will be ready probably in June.
If I had that many apples I would do the same, apples, leaves, garden cuttings, etc...

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 1:09PM
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mirendajean(Donegal, Ireland)

Apple Fight!

Just kidding.

Id create a beautiful compost pile and obsess over it for 6-12 months. However I'm a singer on sick leave and have nothing better to do.

Your lucky to have so many options :-)

M

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 3:46PM
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mirendajean(Donegal, Ireland)

Apple Fight!

Just kidding.

Id create a beautiful compost pile and obsess over it for 6-12 months. However I'm a singer on sick leave and have nothing better to do.

Your lucky to have so many options :-)

M

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:18PM
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robertz6

The term 'apple pomace' was brought up from the Cornell site.

Under that listing, find Apple Processing Sludge with a C:N ratio of 7. That is very far from the 48:1 listing for Apple Pomace. Fresh or recently fallen apples might be closer to the Apple Processing Sludge value.

Might not matter much if the apples were dug into the ground in a trench. But may stink if one assumes no 'brown' ingredients like leaves are needed in a above-ground compost pile.

I noticed when first starting to use the Cornell On-Farm list of C:N numbers, that I and others focused too much on just one value. Many times the material I used did not match up with just one Cornell number, but was between several widely varying materials.

Even tree leaves can be misleading. Hardly ever does a listing for a particular tree leaf say when it was measured. So when I let the fallen sweet gum leaves turn brown on the ground before using them, they do not make for a very quick heating mix. When I gather recent fallen leaves of just oak, maple and sweet gum, I can get a pile with a core temp of 135F in a few days.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 5:10PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

We made the pile and got about 7 in of snow and temperatures stayed below freezing. The snow on the pile quickly melted and now the pile has attracted many birds. We've seen tint greyish-brown birds, some with yellow feathers; flocks of starlings infiltrated with robins; and quail.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 3:06PM
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toffee-el(Z8b Sunset Z13 Elev 4650ft)

Off topic here, but couldn't help being curious.

albert_135, why buy an investment property in the middle of nowhere?

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 11:45PM
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albert_135(Sunset 2 or 3)

Toffee, in Nevada many suburbs bump up against "nowhere". At this property there are 55 thousand people, a fence and free range for many miles.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 12:36PM
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toffee-el(Z8b Sunset Z13 Elev 4650ft)

must be close to a city then, there aren't too many places in Nevada with 55,000+ population.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2013 at 4:52PM
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Kranberriz6(7a)

Please cover them with something. Autumns when I was young were full of drunk aggressive Yellowjackets from the pile of fallen apples it was our never-ending chore to pick up before Dad mowed the lawn...We had 12 large trees. Mom discovered composting early, but never used the apples. IDK why.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 10:25PM
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rou1

Fruit like apples do attract Wasps like yellow jackets. Burying them is a good option. And to go along with burying them,you should try and introduce some worms to the mix! Worms love fruit and make an excellent soil amendment. They aerate the soil through burrowing. They make lots of castings/poop. And they secrete a mucus into the soil that helps retain water and microbes. And don't forget to add a bunch of cleaned,dried and ground up egg shells to add calcium and control the pH. Worm will also eat the egg shells and cover every piece of casting/poop with a covering of calcium (like the candy coating on M&M's,but for plants).

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 1:00PM
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paleogardener(9)

With all those apples, a cubic @$$ ton of leaves & kitchen scraps...wow I can only imagine the finish matl.
All that mixing & turning would just trash my back I'm afraid.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2014 at 3:51PM
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toxcrusadr Clay Soil(Zone 6a - MO)

I'm jealous of Japus who has the overabundance of pears. Send me 25 lb and I'll make two cases of wine!

Actually that brings up a point: if one has extra fruit, offer it to friends and neighbors. Let them come pick a bushel basket full, have a nice visit on a beautiful fall day, and they might even shoot you a bottle of wine or a jar of jelly later. :-D

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 11:55AM
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HeidelbergFarms

Make Great Compost! I would mix them with high carbon ingredients like leaves and wood chips. 40% apples(nitrogen or green) to 60%+ carbon (brown). A 4' high wire fence about 17' long is enough to make a good bin. Turn the pile 5 times and use a compost thermometer to keep the temp. between 130- 160 degrees. Use the compost as a mulch for the apple trees!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:35AM
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