Yesterday we hit another milestone. Our first dozen or so Asian pears went on sale at the Boone St. Market in Jonesborough, TN. Like a proud new parent, I took my small bundle of delight to them to be weighed and checked in. And here they sit in the cooler ready for someone to come along and fall in love with them just like we did.
It wasn't easy getting here. This is the first year of production for the first acre of trees that we planted 3 years ago. The trees are still relatively small and vulnerable. And our pest control, companion planting plan is not up to full speed yet. Consequently we had an issue with beetles just as some of the first fruits were ripening. They, along with ants and wasps, destroyed a lot of our early crop. Not wanting to spray, we decided to try something different. We decided to seal the remaining fruit in ventilated plastic bags while they're still growing on the tree.
The practice of bagging Asian pears is a common in Asian countries. It's part of the reason why the gift varieties... the perfect, unblemished ones which come from Japan, each housed in their own styrofoam sock, are so expensive. It's a very labor-intensive practice... which is really ideally done much earlier in the season.
So 1000 bagged pears later, we're starting to see the "fruits" of our labor literally in the refrigerator section of the Boone St. Market. We managed to save a few of the Hosui's, more of the Shinko's. And there will be many more to come later in the season when the 20th Century variety ripens.
Want to know more about our Asian pears? Go HERE to read more.