Thursday, August 30, 2012

Many European pears & some Asian pears ripe now

   Many 'Luscious' European pears are now ripe.  This variety really lives up to its name.  I give taste samples; they're MUCH better than grocery store pears.  I've already got over 700 lbs. harvested in the cooler, and we've sold a lot already and I'm still picking more.
We have many 'Luscious' European pears (foreground) and some 'Shinko' Asian pears (background) harvested and ready for sale, now till late Sept. or early Oct.
   European pears are delicious for fresh eating, and I especially like them in various cooked recipes.  Bill makes a wonderful spiced pear compote that's great on waffles, and he's made some for sale also.  The recipe was posted on the Facebook page for Brenda's Berries on Aug. 26, and other pear recipes are posted as Notes.  Bill's also made a pear sauce that he likes on pork chops.
Bill's spiced pear compote tastes great on waffles, with a little maple syrup.
   We have some Asian pears harvested also.  Asian pears are juicy and crunchy, shaped like apples, great for fresh eating and salads but not for use in most baked or cooked dishes. I like to peel an Asian pear and eat it whole with my sandwich for lunch.
'Shinko' Asian pears (foreground) are great for fresh eating and salads, while 'Luscious' European pears (background) are wonderful for cooking & baking as well as fresh eating.

   Both types of pears keep well for 5 to 6 weeks in a refrigerator.  Take European pears out a couple days before you want to eat them, or a day before you want to cook with them, and set them on the counter to soften and turn light yellow.  Asian pears can be eaten right out of the fridge.
   We're still open our summer hours through tomorrow, Aug. 31.  From Sept. 1 to Nov. 31, we're open our fall hours: Mon. to Sat. 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sun. 1-6 p.m.  I'm out harvesting pears most of the day, so phone ahead 620-597-2450 to let me know when you're coming, or ring the bell on the sales building to let me know when you're here.

Friday, August 17, 2012

'Luscious' European Pears Ripe Now

   I started harvesting 'Luscious' European pears today.  We'll have a good amount of these for the next couple weeks, then we'll have other European pear varieties until early Oct.
'Luscious' European pears are ripening now till early Sept.
   European pears are harvested when the skin turns light green and the stem separates easily from the branch.  Then you let them sit out on the counter for a day or two until they soften and the skin turns light yellow, when they're ready to eat.  If left too long on the tree, European pears can develop internal breakdown or drop, so they're best softened after harvest.
   European pears are wonderful for cooking as well as fresh eating.  Yesterday I made a pear crumble with some of them.  I've posted this recipe as a Note on the Brenda's Berries Facebook page.
This pear crumble, made with European pears, tastes delicious.
   Some Asian pears are ripening now also, but we only have 5 bearing trees of these (we've grafted more, but it will be a couple years before they bear much), so these are limited.  Asian pears are juicy and crunchy, great for fresh eating and salads but not for use in most baked or cooked dishes.
Asian pears are ripening and are limited, so call ahead if you want these.
   We still have some 'Gala' apples and a few 'Jonafree' apples in our cooler, for sale for the next week or so (until they run out).  The main apple season and pick-your-own apple season should run from about Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 this year.
   We're still open our summer hours (Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7-9 p.m.) until Aug. 31.  I give taste samples of all the apple and pear varieties as they ripen. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Peach Harvest Over, Early Apples Ripe

   We finished harvesting and sold the last white peaches yesterday, so have no more peaches for sale.  We do have one last yellow peach variety, 'Autumn Prince', but only have two trees of this variety, so these peaches will be very limited when they're ripe about Aug. 14 to 20.
   We have lots of 'Gala' apples for sale now, and a few 'Jonafree' apples.  'Gala' is a sweet apple, and 'Jonafree' is sweet-tart with a taste similar to 'Jonathan'.  Both are excellent for fresh eating as well as baking and cooking.  We've harvested all these early apples and have them in our cooler, kept in great condition and ready for sale.  Those who want to pick their own apples can come during our pick-your-own apple season, about Sept. 15 to Nov. 15 this year.
We have lots of harvested 'Gala' apples (yellow apples), and a few 'Jonafree' apples (yellow with red blush), for sale.
   We'll start harvesting Asian pears next week.  Asian pears are shaped like apples and are crunchy like apples, but are pears native to Japan and China.  They are very sweet and juicy with a wonderful flavor, great in salads and for fresh eating.  They should keep ripening until mid-Sept.  European pears should start in mid-late Aug. and continue until late Sept. or early Oct.
Asian pears, shaped like apples, are ripening and we'll start harvesting them next week.
   We're still open our summer hours (Mon. to Sat. 7:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 7-9 p.m.) until Aug. 31.  I give taste samples of all the apple and pear varieties as they ripen.