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fallen apples -- safe?

14 years ago

I have lots of fallen apples under my tree that I'd like to make into applesauce. They are quite buggy/wormy and we do have dogs. Can I safely use them? What could I do to disinfect them before I peel/core/de-yuck them?


Comments (7)

  • nancyofnc
    14 years ago

    As an organic gardener, buggy wormy apples are common at my place, but then again there aren't any pesticide residues on them either. I dunk them in cold water with some salt added. The buggy worms come out to die. I rinse the apples then put them in water with some vinegar added. That seems to nullify any molds, releases any dirty grit, and other remaining yuck that will then fall to the bottom of the container. I scoop the apples out of the water, not pour the water off to prevent any yuck to be redeposited on them, and rinse again in cold water. It takes some time peeling and digging out the wormholes but I think it is all well worth it since the flavor is wonderful, totally home grown, and pesticide free.

    I don't know about doggy doo-doo possibly being on them. I would think picking the apples off the tree would be safer by far. And, the apples are free so why mess with doo-doo? It is better to rake up fallen apples anyway to keep the bugs from having a home and raising babies that will crawl back up your tree to make next year's buggy wormy apple crop.


  • wildlifeman
    14 years ago


    if your dogs have anything to do with them.... i wouldn't touch them.

    as far as buggy/wormy,wash them and cut them out.

    enjoy your sauce ! after sprinkling a little sugar and cinnamon , refrain from eating until it cools down so you don't burn your lips.


  • digdirt2
    14 years ago

    Washed well - no problems. Don't forget the new acidification requirement for applesauce made with windfall apples.

    To 12 pounds of apples prepped and cooked down add sugar (if using) and 4 tablespoons lemon juice. Cook to dissolve sugar and incorporate. Maintain a gentle boil while filling jars.

    This works out to 1 tablespoon per quart or 1 1/2 teaspoons per pint.


  • kcannard
    Original Author
    14 years ago

    Thanks, everyone. I think I have sufficient apples on the tree to just toss the ones that were fallen. That's always just so hard for me to do, but there were some dog doo piles in the vicinity and I guess it's not worth getting sick for...

    I'm very well versed in cutting around the worms and bugs, since our tree is unsprayed and the coddling moths like to do their thing. I'm planning on reading up on the options for next year. Maybe baggies on some. I could do the traps, but really it doesn't seem worth the $15 bucks I've seen them for at the garden center. I could be buying the same amount of apples for about that price. Picking up all the old apples since we've been living here has helped a bit.

  • melva02
    14 years ago

    For anyone who decides to use fallen apples, remember that you should cook the products well before eating them (of course canned products have this covered). The E. coli poisoning outbreak from juice a while back was from unpasteurized juice where the fruit had come into contact with cow dung. Well-cared-for dogs should have fewer pathogens that can infect humans but no sense taking risks.


  • Linda_Lou
    14 years ago

    I would not eat them at all. Not under those conditions. I would compost them. Not worth taking a risk over them.

  • busylizzy
    14 years ago

    We took down my last apple tree that was hollow and about to fall into a building.
    First time in my life the property has not had a apple tree.
    Anyway, I never sprayed, Pa is on a 7 day spray schedule for tree fruits. For the wormy apples I would soak em in the salt water then slice them up and put them in the dehydrator to make apple decorative wreaths, some of those mis shapen apples took neat when sliced and dried for arrangements.
    Now the Keifer pear tree, that I have loads of fallen fruits I shovel those up and feed to the deer or neighbors pigs.

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