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To rediscover real food, regain the habit
of cooking from scratch with locally sourced
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Pear Harvest

September 20, 2019

This is the latest harvest from the pear tree in my garden.

I already have a dozen pears in the fridge, to facilitate ripening (they will be coming out in a day or two, and going into a paper bag).

This batch is the pick of the large un-fallen fruit, plus a couple of dropped fruit that appeared undamaged (an achievement, as the landing is on gravel or stone). It also meant lopping a couple of branches to get to them – they needed to be lopped anyway, as this tree is *supposed* to grow along my garage, not over it.

The tree has been in my garden since before I came here. I’m normally pretty good about keeping it well cut back to the garage wall, but this year, it got neglected, along with the garden.

I also normally thin out the fruit – they grow anything from 3-6 fruit per cluster, and I think out to 2, which means you get bigger, better quality fruit. It is easy to see which to thin, as they have thinner, weaker stems. Again, I missed out this year, with the result I have some good-sized fruit, but also some tiny ones.

I have hadmixed success with this tree. I had a couple of good years, which I now realise were largely luck; and other years with pears that either rot from the inside, or are gritty and nasty.

I now know you need to let the pears grow until they are of a decent size, but pick them early enough to avoid the grit forming (which are the same kind of cells that form an apple core). Unlike apples, you don’t want pears to ripen on the tree!

As for ripening them – I have some years where the pears simply refuse to ripen. I’ve taken to putting them in the fridge for a few days, before putting them in a paper bag to complete the process. This seems to trigger the ripening process.

Note that the plastic box was just for picking them. Don’t stack pears on each other – it invites rot. Single layer, and preferably separated.

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