Apple picking with babies : Autumn essentials.

Lonely Planet voted Scotland as one of the best places in the world to see the autumn leaves and we agree.  Before the dark, short winter days,  Autumn is Scotland's last glimpse of sunshine and the perfect time for our kids to soak up some vitamin D while fruit picking.

They love raiding our parents fruit trees and we feel very virtuous baking with our home grown bounty.  

Here's some of our apple picking tips, if like us you're not very green fingered! 

1.  First check what kind of apples you are picking.  While you can bake with crab apples, our children haven't really enjoyed picking something they could not wash and sample straightaway.

2. Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the trunk, ripe apples are crisp and firm to the touch.

3.  When picking apples, lift the apples upwards and give them a gentle twist to release it from the tree.  Don't pull the fruit down or shake the branch.  Try and hold the apples with the palm of your hand instead of your fingertips as this can bruise the apples. 

4. If the apple then falls to the ground it's ok to pick up and keep but it's best to leave apples that having already been sitting on the ground for a while.

5.  Gently add your apples to your basket as throwing them can bash and bruise them. 

6.  Don't shake the apple trees as you can damage them and it affects their ability to produce fruit the following year. 

Special note when apple picking with children, adequate clothing and footwear is recommended as is having enough baskets, as our children hate having to share their spoils!  For our more spirited ( read crazier) kids we recommend hard hats!!! 

Happy picking. x