We pick apples by hand like most other apple growers in Australia but what happens after the apples are picked is totally different.
Our main criteria in deciding what to pick and pack is taste, not appearance. We want people to really enjoy the fruit and come back for more next week.
Our apples are nearly always packed the same day as they are picked.
The really good thing is that there is almost no wastage. . Each apple is picked up and if it's perfect it goes into the 2 kg carry pack (as in the picture). Those with superficial blemishes but of course just as fresh and tasty go into reusable and refillable plastic buckets that hold about 5kg. Those that are more badly disfigured (but still with good taste) are kept for juice and the remainder go to our pigs unless they are rotten and then they go into the compost!
By contrast most growers drop any apple on the ground that doesn't look perfect. You can't afford to pay freight and packing costs and only get paid for "juice fruit".
We guarantee the apples in those little boxes or buckets are less than 4 days off the tree when they are bought at the market or in the shop. If they are more than 4 days off the tree we take them back and juice them.
And that is why we like to sell locally. We can then guarantee the apples are truly fresh when people eat them.