Organic Pear Harvest

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With a growing style that is close to organic by neglect, I’ve got pears. These produced without a single spray application, not even a dormant spray. I prune my two pear trees each winter and apply some compost and lime and that’s the extent of the care they receive. These are Kieffer pears, my Seckel were ready a bit earlier. The minimal care approach will only work if a variety is well suited for the area.

The brown seeds in the cut pear indicated ripeness. Some falling from the tree as I picked also showed readiness. When a Kieffer pear falls from the tree, no fruit damage occurs. They are extremely firm and not great for fresh eating. Firmness and a sometimes grainy texture makes these a cooking variety. While little effort went into growing them, some time and effort will go into making them more palatable.

These will stay inside at room temperature for a week or two of softening before I use or refrigerate them. If left to soften on the tree, this variety develops more of the gritty texture. More pear pie, as well as poached pears are in my future. But the sure way to eliminate the gritty texture and enjoy the nice pear flavor of this variety is make pear wine.

If I bottled and labeled some of the pear wine I’ve made in the past from this tree as chardonnay, it could fool a lot of people. Much of the wine I make from backyard fruit is of sangria quality; improved with an addition of fruit juice, soda water, and brandy. But the Kieffer pear wine I’ve made is nice on its own. The recipe I’ve used is from the Jack Keller website and is called cooking pear wine. I have a three gallon carboy that contains much of last years pear harvest that I soon need to bottle. The task ahead:

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