Year after year, some of the fruits produced by our fruit trees end up scattered on the ground at the end of the season. Depending on the condition they're in, there could be something to do with them. Here are a few ideas.
If the fruits you find on the ground seem to be free from pests and diseases and only have a few bruises and imperfections, they can be used to make preserves or juice (especially apples). No one will know they were made with fallen fruits. Otherwise, they can safely be added to your compost pile or given to farmers in your area (their pigs and chickens will be happy to make them disappear).
If fallen fruits seem to be infested or diseased, they should simply be discarded as you don't want anything undesirable to spread within your compost pile. You can also ask your municipality to see if those can be added to your brown bin and composted safely.
One thing is for sure, you shouldn't leave fallen fruits to decay on the ground. One, they will become mouldy and ferment, which can definitely pose a threat to your dog or cat; two, a wide variety of insects such as earwigs and apple maggots would gladly use them as a home to breed and spend the winter; and three, the diseases fallen fruits may harbour could spread to next year's crops.
So if you haven't done it already, there is still time before winter sets in.
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