By Courtney Brein, Linda Golodner Food Safety and Nutrition Fellow The pools have closed, the school year has begun, and the weather has started to change: apple season is here! In some parts of the country, orchards have already opened for “pick your own” apples, and in the coming weeks, the season will swing into full force, lasting through October. Apples taste best when freshly picked from the tree, and when you’ve picked them yourself. For a fun fall outing with family or friends, find a local orchard and head over to wander through the trees and pick a few bushels. To prevent your apples from bruising, place them gently in the basket, rather than tossing them in. Low in calories, high in fiber, and full of antioxidants, apples make the perfect snack. To extend their shelf life post-picking, store your apples in a cool place and refrain from washing them until you want to use them. Happy picking!