Apple Picking Tips

The calls for large eating and baking apples continue to come in to Fruit Share.  It’s great to know we’re rescuing so many apples and putting smiles on so many faces with those lovely Manitoba apples.

For all of you out there picking apples, here are a few apple picking tips to help you out.

  • Start by removing any fallen apples that may be on the ground to keep them separate from the fresh ones you pick.  Apples that have been on the ground for a while are at risk of contamination and should be composted.  Once the area has been cleaned, any fruit that falls while you’re picking can be used.   If you’re uncertain about the ground underneath the tree, lay down a tarp for apples to drop on.  No matter how careful you are, some apples will drop to the ground while picking.

How soon will volunteers pick my fruit tree?

This type of question is one which we get asked a lot at Fruit Share.

It’s important to remember that Fruit Share is an organization created to rescue as much unwanted fruit as possible. This year we have already rescued over 3,000 lbs of fruit, which is amazing! But unfortunately we also don’t have enough volunteers to get to every single one of the fruit trees (of which we have over 130!).

winnipeg logoSome fruit trees are far away from where our volunteers live. Sometimes our volunteers do not own a ladder or a car, so it is difficult for them to get out to all of the trees that they would like to reach.

Chocolate applesauce cookies

healthy cookie

This was the first batch, in which the oats were the base and the chocolatey applesauce went on top. They look cute with an oaty base, but they hold together much better when the oats are mixed into the applesauce!


– ½ cup applesauce

– ½ cup oats

– 2 tbsp cocoa powder

– 2 tbsp honey

– ½ tsp cinnamon


Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Drop by spoonfuls onto the dehydrator tray and dehydrate for about 10 hours, flipping partway through. Makes 6 – 8 cookies.

Dried apples and fruit leather recipes

Dried Apples

apples with peel

Plain dried apples, with peel.


– Apples

– Cinnamon and sugar (optional)


Remove the core and slice the apples into any shape you like (rings are popular, but with smaller apples it is easier to simply slice them). Arrange on the dehydrator tray and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar if desired. Dehydrate for 7 – 10 hours.

Fruit Leather

nutty fruit

Fruit leather with applesauce base, topped with walnut and sunflower seed crumbles.


– 12 Goodland apples (about 15 crab apples or 8 eating apples), cored and quartered

– Any combination of the following:

  • 2 tbsp applesauce or apple cider
  • ½ tsp almond extract

The 2011 Great Apple Peel Off

The South Osborne Biz Street Festival was home to Fruit Share’s Great Apple Peel Off this weekend.  Visitors got a chance to taste delicious Manitoba Goodland apples.  But first they had to demonstrate their skill at peeling, slicing and coring their apple.  Our handy dandy apple peelers (from Lee Valley) allowed even the youngest apple lovers to peel their own apples.  Check out some of our photos.

all set up and ready to go

dressing up is so much fun

2 year old Veronica show's how it's done

clowning around

Michelle and Cassidy loved their "slinky apples"

MacLean, Connor, Laura and Graham head to head in a race between brothers and sister

Are My Apples Ready to Harvest?

How do I know if my apples are ready to harvest?

creamy ground colour all around - ready to pick

We hear this question a lot at Fruit Share and so we thought we’d share some insight on how to tell when apples are ready to harvest.

There are four factors to consider when determining if your apples are ready for picking:

1. Colour – More important than the formation and colouration of the red blush found on many apples is the base colour or “ground colour” of your apples.  Watch your apples as their main background colour changes (e.g. from green to creamy yellow).  Once their ground colour has changed over most of their surface they are ready to harvest.  Remember the apples toward the centre of your tree and the side of the apples facing the inside of the tree will be the last to change colour.

Recap of dehydrator workshop

We were excited to have our first free workshop of the year earlier this week!

dried fruit

Since our original facilitator had some things come up and couldn't be there, I was the facilitator for the event. I used local Goodland apples for all of the fruit recipes.

On Monday, ten Fruit Share volunteers gathered together at the Robert A. Steen Community Centre to learn about how to preserve fruit through drying it.

Robert A. Steen Community Centre

After picking dozens of apples, it's nice to know all of the different things one can do with that fruit!

Along with a demo, volunteers sampled a variety of different dehydrator treats.

Perfect Prairie Plums

Look closely, that’s not  another apple tree you’re seeing.  It’s a plum tree.

Yes, a plum tree, right here in Winnipeg.

In fact, there are quite a few of them all across the prairie and this year and they seem to be producing well.

We haven’t had any signed up for Fruit Share, but my friends sent me these photos and even brought by a lovely bundle for me to experiment with.

Another friend brought me a jar of her homemade plum chutney.  The chutney reminded me of a preserve my mom used to make when we lived back in Germany and had our own backyard orchard with plums, apricots, cherries, apples and pears.  Mmm, delicious with a hint of memories.

Communal ladder now available for Fruit Share volunteers

We are delighted to announce that we now have two fruit pickers and an easy-to-transport collapsible extension ladder available for all Fruit Share volunteers to use on their picks.


Winnipeg ladder

Be careful when climbing up high!

While most of our homeowners have equipment at their houses already, there are a few who do not. There are also other issues that arise, such as the tree being too tall for the homeowner’s ladder to reach up to the top, or that there are several volunteers at a pick and they have to share just one ladder.

Picking apples

We’ve had some great photos coming in of the apple harvests over the past couple weeks – keep them coming! Send all your photos to

apples in bag

Photo from the Globe and Mail last month.

Winnipeg apples

Picking apples in St. Vital on August 4.


Manitoba apples

Big tree full of Parkland apples.

St Vital Winnipeg

These Parkland apples are a really nice size for making all kinds of tasty apple dishes.

tall ladder

Some of the trees are really high. It's best NOT to look down when you're climbing that ladder!

apple tree

There's nothing much better than picking apples on a beautiful summer day and taking those apples home to turn into applesauce, apple crisp or any other dish you can think of.

Harvesting Options: What to do if Fruit Share Can’t Help

It happens.  As hard as we try and as much as we want to, there are times when Fruit Share just can’t help.  Location, timing, or limited volunteer resources are the key reasons why sometimes we aren’t able to help out generous fruit owners.

What’s a fruit owner to do?

I’m glad you asked!  Fruit owners do have other options for managing their backyard fruit.  Here’s a list of creative harvesting ideas to consider:

It’s worth a trip to Apple Junction

This morning,  my travelling buddy (Hector) and I, buckled up and drove over 800 lbs of apples to Apple Junction near Landmark, Manitoba.  It was pressing day and we were scheduled to have some fresh, Manitoba Apple Cider made.

The van was packed with apples harvested by volunteers from backyards throughout the city.  Thanks to the homeowners who offered up their apple trees and to the phenomenal volunteers who climbed, picked, raked and schlepped all those apples.

Here`s a play-by-play slideshow of my trip to Apple Junction.  Enjoy!

Click here: Apple Cider Making Slideshow

to see how we went from this…

…to this .

Fruit preserving workshops

We are excited to have a whole bunch of fruit preserving workshops lined up! Our workshops are free of charge and they are a great way to meet other volunteers and learn what you can do with all the lovely fruit you pick.

fresh apples

Apple crumble, hot out of the oven.

Spaces are limited, so please let us know if you would like to sign up for workshops. They will mostly take place on weekday evenings or on weekends.

We already have two scheduled:

1) Monday, August 22 in Wolseley: dehydrating fruit.

2) Thursday, August 25 in South Osborne: applesauce.

Harvesting Options

Fruit Share volunteers are fantastic!  A big THANK YOU to all of our hard working volunteer fruit pickers.  They have done a remarkable job of picking apples all throughout the city.  While many Manitobans were lounging on the beach this hot, sunny weekend, our volunteers climbed ladders, raked compostables, picked and schlepped over 500 pounds of apples.  Very impressive!

And still, the requests for Fruit Share volunteers to pick fruit are coming in fast and furious.  In fact, the amount of fruit available for picking is beginning to exceed our volunteer pickers’ capacity.  As we suspected, even with over 160 volunteers, we can’t accommodate all the requests for fruit picking that we’re getting.

What’s a fruit owner to do?