About Our Pears
Most modern day commercial pear orchards are planted using dwarf rootstock placed close together forming in a continuous wall of foliage and fruit with just enough room to drive the tractor between the solid rows of trees. While this does provide maximum fruit tonnage per acre, we believe the quality of the fruit does suffer.
Contrastingly, our 60 year old trees are full size (ya gotta climb the ladder) and the trees were planted 18 feet apart allowing for ample sunshine and air circulation between the trees in all directions. We believe strong, mature trees with adequate spacing provides the very highest quality of fruit.
Why when picked is important
A pear picked too soon tastes like cardboard, a pear picked too late tastes mealy and a pear picked just right but left to bake in the hot afternoon sun waiting for the semi truck turns to mush.
As the time for picking nears we carefully monitor the fruit's increasing ripeness by testing both the internal fruit pressure and sugar content until they are just right. At the ideal ripeness our pearfect® pears are picked into bins then immediately put to sleep by placing them in our on the farm cold storage. Because it is important picked fruit not remain in the orchard sunshine any longer than absolutely necessary, we transfer each bin into our cold storage as soon as the bin is filled to start the cooling process.
Unlike the large orchards which require weeks to pick, we are able to pick all our pears in only 3 days during the peak of the fruit's ideal ripeness.
Why storing and shipping are important
Our pears are stored from August through November by keeping our cold storage room at the ideal temperature of 30 degrees Fahrenheit and 95 percent humidity. Your pear order is filled by taking the fruit directly from the cold storage, hand sorting out the very best pears from the bin and placing them directly into excelsior packed boxes for delivery. There are no dump tanks, conveyors, air blast dryers or waxing machines here. At the time of shipment your pears are still asleep, green and very firm so a little jostling by the mailman doesn't bruise anybody. During the pears two day journey from our house to yours they will begin their 10 day transformation from being asleep, green and firm into the yellow, sweet, pear where the juice runs down your chin. It is truly a wonder of Nature to watch a pearfect® pear turn from green to a fragrant yellow.
Why not just rototill or disc the entire orchard floor. Then you wouldn't have any weeds to worry about?
Many reasons really. The first is our lovely fertile loam soil turns into slippery mud with enough rain. We need access year around for pruning, monitoring and spraying. Another reason is when we mow the grass this provides a good source of nitrogen for the pear trees.
But the most important reason is because the orchard grass is habitat for the good bugs (and some bad bugs). If you don't have any cover crop between the rows the only place the good and bad bugs have to fight it out is in the trees.