Pears

pears

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Pears go back a long way in people's preferences. Hundreds of years ago they were already being grafted, cultivated and improved both in China and Europe. Throughout history pears have been praised, painted and proclaimed as food fit for gods. Pears were a valuable commodity in the ancient trading routes and were well established in Europe before they made an appearance in America.

Pears are very cold hardy and also one of the easiest (comparably speaking) of fruits to grow organically as far as soil requirements, fertilizers and pest control are concerned. And here let me stress the point that growing tree fruits organically is never easy; organic small scale farmers are among the most dedicated people on earth.

But back to pears. There are dozens of varieties to choose from. A tree ripened pear is difficult to come by because of the shipping difficulties, but biting into one of those is an unforgettable experience. Pears are good per se, but do splendidly poached in wine, in compotes, covered in chocolate or best of all with a chunk of Roquefort and a glass of port.

To speed up the ripening process: place the unripe pears in a paper bag together with a ripe apple, tie the bag loosely.


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