Harvested fruit can be consumed immediately or stored for a later time. Certain fruits, such as certain varieties of pears and apples can be stored for a longer period if you take care of suitable conditions. Other fruit can be frozen, dried or processed.
For long term storage gather fruits a few days before they fully ripe. This allow fruit to ripen slowly through weeks.
Storing in a cool place is particularly suitable for apples, pears and quinces. Fruits can be stored in this way at a suitable temperature and humidity for a few weeks or even a few months. Suitable temperature and humidity varies between different types of fruit. The most suitable conditions for apples are as close to the temperature of 3 degrees Celsius and 90 % humidity as possible. Since such conditions can not be achieved at home, it makes sense that you store larger amounts of home grown fruits in nearby commercial cold storage.
Home cellars are not suitable for long-term storage of fresh fruit as temperature is not low enough. Fruits can be stored for only a few weeks except in rare cases. Before storing fruits, try to cool cellar as much as possible and prevent any light to enter. The cellar should be thoroughly cleaned and treated with sulfur. This prevents development of mold and rot.
Store only intact and healthy fruits. Fruits can be stored in wooden open boxes, but it is more appropriate to place them on shelves or in low boxes individually. Individual apples and pears can be wrapped in old newspaper. This prolongs their durability while preventing the spread of mold and rot. Fruits that are prone to shell wrinkling can be placed in perforated plastic bags.
Cellar should be regularly ventilated.
For berry fruits is freezing an ideal way of storing, as well as for certain other fruits. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and other berries do not survive long at room temperature. Freezing is suitable for strawberries, blueberries, currants, gooseberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, sour cherries, peaches, nectarines, plums, apricots and grapes. Before freezing clean berries and remove petioles. Larger fruit should be cut into smaller pieces. Spread fruits on the tray to prevent contact between them. Store tray for two to four hours in the freezer. Then take it out and put fruits in plastic bags or containers and return them into the freezer.
Freezing in the home freezer, which can achieve temperature as low as -20 degrees Celsius, causes disintegration of cell walls and secretion of fruit liquid. This liquid contains the bulk of useful substances, so you should use it. At industrial freezing, where fruits are fast frozen at a temperature of -45 degrees Celsius, this phenomenon does not occur.
Fruits that contain lots of sugar and acids can be dried. The most suitable are apples, pears, plums, figs and apricots. They can be dried in an oven at a temperature of 50 to 60 degrees Celsius or in simple fruit dryers that can be purchased in stores with kitchenware.
Fruits can also be processed and stored. You can make compote, jams, juices, liqueurs and more. In this way, the fruit can be stored for several years.