Nick and I visited a “you pick” orchard a few days ago and we each picked 1/2 bushel of our favorite apples for dehydrating and canning. Of course we paid quite a bit, but we need them to be as fresh as possible as well as knowing the specific variety I wanted.
On our way back to our car we saw a stand filled with half bushel containers filled with “dropsies” with a sign calling them “animal apples” for only $5.
After a quick inspection it was obvious these apples were mostly in very good condition and would be a great buy for making apple juice or applesauce.
Needless to say, we bought two of these getting a full bushel for only $10.
I completed a closer inspection the next day and found fewer than a dozen apples needed to tossed into the compost bin.
I processed the first half bushel in my steam juicer which produced 2 gallons of apple juice for drinking and/or jelly, leaving the mash for the chickens. No need to peel or core the apples, just wash them first, so there is very little work involved. In the end, from all the dropsies I had four beautiful gallons of the freshest, best tasting apple juice.
Other good bargains are buying corn on the cob which is labeled “deer corn” or tomatoes labeled “canning tomatoes”. Canning tomatoes are generally very ripe and should be processed as soon as possible.