Packages For Apples
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
As to packages for apples, W. A. Irvine of Greene county, Missouri, writes: I used both barrels and boxes last year with satisfaction from both for their special use, but would have used proportionately more boxes than barrels if I could have gotten them. I used both the sawed, smooth on one side, and the veneer boxes, but the latter gave poor satisfaction, as they were too frail and the cost was the same, 10 cents. The sawed box was made of gum wood, which is rather brittle and a cherry color. I would prefer white wood, which they use in the northwest and California.
" Box stuff can be easily handled, and unskilled labor can put it together. In marketing over 4,000 bushels of apples last year, more than half were packed in boxes. All the number ones of Jonathan, Grimes, Winesap, York, Ingram, and Gallo, also number two Jonathan, went in boxes. I could have sold number one Ben Davis for 25 per cent more had they been in bushel boxes, in-stead of barrels. Yellow Bell and Transparent should be packed like peaches, as they are too ten-der for ordinary packages. They should be picked with extreme care.
"I face both barrels and boxes with the same class and quality of apples they contain. The boxes bulge one-half inch top and bottom to prevent bruising when headed. I use the corrugated straw board mat, top and bottom, both in boxes and barrels. The boxes are stenciled on both ends with name of variety, grade and grower's name and locality. The boxes hold not quite one bushel and weigh from 45 to 52 pounds.
" The only just way to buy or sell fruit is by the pound. I find that the first and most important part is to grow good varieties and ,quality, and have but little trouble to sell the fruit, if properly picked and packed. I sold my Jonathans and Grimes for 50 cents for windfalls to $1.50 a bushel box, while I could not get an offer for Ben Davis at 25 cents a bushel. I find that Ingrams sold as readily after holidays as Jonathans did before. The Ingram apple is without doubt the best keeper that grows in the Ozarks, and, with extra care, can be grown to a fair size I would store all light-colored apples in a cool storage or big cellar, as they require a milder temperature than Jonathan, Ben Davis, or Ingram. One empty barrel cost me the same as three boxes.
I used a packing table for Jonathan and other fancy apples, mounted on sled runners and drawn behind the wagon with empty boxes. I used the California picking bag and another year will use one-bushel baskets on a double-decked wagon, and pack under- a shed adjoining my cool storage, or concrete apple cellar, 32 x 64 feet, roof and all concrete. In March I sold number one and fancy Jonathan and Ingrams for $2 a bushel box, and there is no reason why we should not get as good prices as others, with the same quality and care."