Last weekend, Nate and I harvested apricots for Village Harvest.
The group was harvesting at an 80 acre orchard in Saratago.
Apricots have a very short harvest window – 1 or 2 weeks. The fruit gets ripe all at once and you have to pick it or it will drop and rot quickly. If you pick the fruit before it is ripe, the flavor won’t be as good. This makes it difficult to grow apricots commercially. Fresh-picked, ripened on the tree apricots are soooo good. Apricots grow in zones 5-9….I think we need to plant an apricot tree in Portland.
This was the first harvest of this orchard for the season. It’s hard to predict when the fruit will ripen and when to schedule a group harvest, so unfortunately for us, much of the fruit was still underripe. If there is any green on the apricots, leave it on the tree! Nate is partially color-blind and had difficulty distinguishing the green apricots from the orange apricots, so we ended up with a lot of green “seconds” (apricots that aren’t good for the food bank).
But we still took home a good amount of ripe fruit.
We made an apricot-cherry crisp (recipe from Moosewood, of course).
It was very tasty!