Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Pear Storm

Now that we are mostly unpacked, we are really starting to make progress on the homestead front. We have at least 4 pear trees that we have found so far. They are pretty big and have produced a lot of fruit. From what I have learned through Googling, you are supposed to pick them before they are ripe, when they pull easily from the tree. Then you let them sit a week in a cool place. Then they are ready for eating.

I was pretty sure we were wasting our time picking them and bringing them into the house because they were so hard, the tree had not been watered, thinned, or cared for in any way, and I seriously doubt my abilities to preserve such a large amount of food. Despite my timidness, we had a fun time harvesting them. It was great to work together as a family. Here are the kids just before heading out:

We figured out that with only one tall person, it is better to have the tall person shake the branches while the two short people pick them up off the ground. We also learned that spinning in circles under the tree and shouting, "It's raining pears! It's raining pears!" while the pears fell all around us, though a wonderful experience initially, is a really bad idea. A better idea would have been to watch from the shed and shout, "Wow! We are so glad to watch this pear storm from a safe 20 feet away and under the protection of a metal roof!" I somehow did not think to question why Richard put on a hard hat while we were dancing beneath him in straw hats. Instead I thought, "Why does Richard have his hard hat on? It is so hot out here." I guess everyone but me knows that fruit falling from trees is painful. Now I know.
These are what they look like in my laundry basket right now.

They were very hard when we picked them. I don't know exactly how much we got, but it was about a laundry basket full. There were lots more, but it was really hot, and we just didn't feel like picking any more. And I only have 2 laundry baskets. Now it has been almost a week, and I am quite surprised that they are indeed getting softer, though they are still very firm. They may be a canning pear variety in which case they won't ever really be good for eating. I tried a sliver of one today. I couldn't swallow it. It was just too dry and grainy. I am going to give them another week. Then I will try to make pear sauce (like apple sauce) and try to can it.

If it doesn't come out right, I will make wine out of it. If the wine doesn't come out right, well... we can still find a use for it.

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