When do you harvest pears

Harvesting and preserving your fruit & veg

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PLUMPUDDING
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When do you harvest pears

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:19 am

When is the best time to harvest pears if you want to store some?

If you wait until they come away easily when you lift them they need eating straight away, but if you pick them unripe they sometimes stay like bullets and never ripen properly. If you wait until the skin colour starts to yellow slightly sometimes they are just right, but usually a bit too ripe to keep.

Has anyone managed to solve this?
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Pa Snip
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Re: When do you harvest pears

Postby Pa Snip » Wed Sep 28, 2016 8:29 am

It's an art :D

Our pear tree is still recovering from the extreme pruning it got earlier this year so none for us this year
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Geoff
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Re: When do you harvest pears

Postby Geoff » Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:25 pm

Difficult problem, pears are the cats of the fruit world, they do their own thing.

I have an old book “Apples and Pears – Ministry of Agriculture Bulletin No. 133” published 1958. Under Pears it says:

Harvesting

Mistakes may be made in estimating the maturity of pears; they should not be judged by the same standards as apples because their behaviour is different. Pears should not be ripened to the soft condition on the tree but should be picked as soon as they are mature but still in the “hard” condition; the flavour and aroma will then develop to a maximum extent and the most is made of any such qualities each variety may possess. Experience is necessary for acquiring good judgement as to maturity. Probably, the most important sign is the fruit parting easily from the tree when its weight is taken in the hand and it is slightly raised. Although any change in skin colour may be very slight at this stage, a colour change, however slight, should normally be regarded as a signal of the correct time for harvesting pears.

It goes on a bit more using more words than I feel like typing! Then there is another section:

Storage and Marketing

Cold storage and refrigerated gas storage, particularly the latter, lengthen the time pears can be marketed after picking. The storage life varies with the variety (I’ve missed off the gas figures, they go up to 6 months), storage at 34°F (I guess that is the salad draw):

Conference 3 months
Doyenne du Comice 3 months
Williams’s Bon Chrétien 6 weeks

Again there are more words – I hope this helps.
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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: When do you harvest pears

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Wed Sep 28, 2016 3:12 pm

Thanks Geoff, but I find that when the fruit parts easily from the tree they are too ripe for keeping. Pity they are so sneaky ripening from the inside first. It's a shame the cellar isn't colder. Perhaps I should buy another fridge especially for fruit and veg storage. I'm not into bottling and preserving apart from the usual.
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Westi
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Re: When do you harvest pears

Postby Westi » Wed Sep 28, 2016 7:13 pm

I agree PP, if they come off easily they are inevitably too ready. I now go by size & actually find I have to snip them off or I take 1/2 the branch as well if I tug sometimes.

Another sure sign is the activity of the wasps increases, also a good sign the fruit is getting close to ripening.

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PLUMPUDDING
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Re: When do you harvest pears

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:13 pm

Thinking about wasps, Westi, there haven't been anywhere as many wasps here this year and they have been much smaller than usual. (Males?) This has meant I've had a wonderful undamaged crop of plums and other fruit. Last year the plums were ruined by them eating the side that ripened first.
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Westi
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Re: When do you harvest pears

Postby Westi » Fri Sep 30, 2016 8:29 am

Ha PP!

They all migrated down here!

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