What Are Asian Pears?
Crunchy Like an Apple. Juicy Like a Pear.
Unlike European pears, Asian pears don't get mushy. They reach peak sweetness when left to ripen on the tree, and can be stored from months in the refrigerator.
We grow several varieties at Depot Street Orchard which ripen at different times throughout the late summer and fall. You will find them at Boone Street Market and the Farmers Market in Jonesborough, TN.
The Varieties We Grow (This list is updated as our new trees begin to produce)
20th Century - Smooth skin. Incredibly juicy. Great for canning and cooking. The 20th Century variety ripens in late August and September. (photo to come when ripe)
The Hand Grown Difference
You haven't really tasted an Asian pear until you taste a variety that has been lovingly hand grown with minimal chemical treatment. Most grocery store varieties are imported from somewhere else, which means that there's no way to tell what was sprayed on them that could harm you. And while they may taste pretty good, they were probably not picked at the peak of their ripeness. They must remain on the tree in order to become fully ripe.
We personally inspect each pear in our orchard several times during the growing season. The trees are hand thinned to insure maximum growth and quality of the fruit. We hand pick each pear when it is ready to come off the branch... and not a moment sooner (if it can be helped).
We employ the practices of companion planting, manual fruit bagging and permaculture principles to minimize pest infestation. We only spray chemicals when absolutely necessary. So far we have only had to use a minimal amount of streptomycin to eliminate fireblight.
We continue to explore natural, organic and balanced methods to enhance the health of our trees and our community.
Hosui - One of the best tasting and most popular varieties. It has a mild yellow speckled skin that can be easily eaten. They ripen in early to mid August. They are tricky to grow. Their delicate skin and juicy sweetness make them easy targets for insects and 4 legged creatures alike.... and some of us 2 legged creatures as well!
Shinko - Warm brown skin and crunchy texture. Their flavor is a little more full-bodied than the Hosui, and the skin is a little thicker. The Shinko ripens in mid to late August.