Sunday, March 23, 2008

A Pear Year

In our back pasture, we have a very old pear tree. It would take two people to reach around its trunk, and it's much taller than our two-story house. Middle-aged neighbors who grew up in the area remember having pears from it when they were small children.

As far as we have seen since we've lived here, it only produces fruit every other year. On the no-pear years, it doesn't even produce a blossom.

Last year would have been a pear year, but between the horses damaging the tree by chewing on its bark, and a late frost killing all the blossoms, not a single fruit survived. So we settled in to wait another two years before having pears again.

But the tree had other ideas. This is what it looks like this morning:

So, if we don't have any more hard frosts, it looks like we'll have pears again this year. They're not the best pears ever---the taste is okay, but the texture is mealy and very hard. Which is probably a good thing, since all the fruit-bearing branches are so high out of reach that we don't even bother to try to pick them, we just wait for the wind to blow them down.

Still, they are free, and will probably be quite abundant. Our previous pear year, we could have filled the back of our pickup truck to the brim with pears, if we'd wanted to.

Last time, we just fed all of the hard, mealy fruit to the livestock. But it would be nice to find a way to use some for ourselves.

So, if anybody has any ideas or recipes for using rock-hard pears, let me know!

1 comment:

Rhea said...

Rock hard pears, lol. The tree is beautiful right now, how exciting that you're going to have a pear year! Sneaky tree. What a wonderful history you have with your farm. I'm so jealous!