Long before Hurricane Irene took shape in the Atlantic, I had planned to go foraging on public property looking for crabapples so I could make some crabapple jelly. I was going to be particular about selecting the fruits. Almost ripe, but not overripe and not bruised so I could get the best juice out of them. The more ripe they are, the lower the pectin, and we all know what happens when making jelly with too little pectin.
A couple of days after Irene left, I went to the median strip on a local street where I had found an abundant source for crabapples. The median is about 16 to 20 feet wide, and runs for about half a mile. All the way down the center of the median strip are crabapple trees. I think this was the first time they had been picked.
The end result was that I came home with 12 pounds of fresh "just ripe" and "not quite ripe" crabapples. That should ensure that the jelly will set just fine as the pectin level should be high. It appeared that all the crabapples that were just past ripe had been blown off the trees during Hurricane Irene, so mother nature had already done the "sorting" for me. After the high winds, all that was left on the trees was healthy young fruit just waiting to be picked. And pick I did!
Here is a pic of the 12 pound harvest from this foraging effort:
The next step will be to make crabapple jelly!
I hope everyone made it safely through Irene's path of destruction.
Have a great vegetable gardening day!