This time of year, with the fresh fruit on the apple, pear and plum trees, we are not able to simple load the dogs on the Gator to begin work for the day. Both Butler and Jackson will forego the immediate loading procedure for a quick run into the garden to see what tree has dropped some fresh fruit during the night.
Jackson prefers plums and will head for that tree first, but Butler will eat a pear over plums or apples but will be content with whatever he finds.
Jackson will grab a piece of fruit and run head-long and jump onto the Gator before he begins to eat. Butler will stay with his fruit until he has every last nibble cleaned up before he heads for the ride. He has figured out that we are willing to wait as long as needed before heading off to work for the day.
The blossoms of the Asian Pear are so close to opening up. The red tips of the new leaves pop out at about the same time and then will turn vibrant green.
This dwarf tree is about 5 years old now and has produced fruit each year. The tree is loaded with buds that will open in the next week or so. Continue reading
The dogs Jackson and Butler are well aware that there are pears hanging on the tree and getting sweeter each day. It is a habit for them to swing by the tree after the morning ‘potty walk’ to grab a fallen pear on the way by.
They are still pretty green but the dogs simply love the taste and consider them a treat.
We humans will need to wait a couple more weeks to enjoy the taste because if they were to be picked now they would never ripen.
Finally, the last of the fruit trees in the garden have been pruned, and not a moment too soon. Some of the trees have buds that are starting to swell.
A few weeks of warm weather will force the buds to spring out of hibernation (dormancy) and begin flowering.
It is common to see a few blooms around Easter time, but this year may be delayed a week or more since the ground has not warmed up yet.
It is a waiting game for us to see when the first blooms will appear. In the meantime, I will be snacking on dried apples, prunes and pears while I dream about the abundance of fresh tree fruit that is only a few months away.
Fall is the winding down season. Cooler weather means anything left in the garden and orchard slow and decay. The copious amounts of rain have helped with the melting process.
Picking an apple or pear off the tree before heading out to do chores has become a habit.
Today I picked the last Asian pear off the young tree. This is only the second year of producing for this newly acquired variety and I was very pleased with the crisp, sweet taste of this planting as well as the quantity.
The Golden Delicious apple tree is not far behind and I will be picking the last of those sometime later this week.
It has been a good year for tree fruits this year as well as the filberts. I have a freezer full of dried nuts, apple and pear bread, along with apple and pear chunks (for making pies).
The dehydrator had been busy most of the summer.
My miracle pear tree is still causing questions. As you may recall, this is the tree that was planted more than 20 years ago, had bloomed several different years but had not produced a single bit a fruit during its’ lifespan. I gave up on it more than 10 years ago and have ignored it since.
Well, this year, it bloomed and actually set on pears and I was so surprised.
I had to go and harvest the whole tree since it is planted by one of the pastures and the cows are known to wait for fruit to fall so they can get a treat.
Once in the house, I sliced open one of them and was surprised by the skin, the texture and the flesh. It does not fit the description of any pear I know of and will throw the question out to readers if they happen to know the variety.
The pears look like Bartletts when they are growing, although the skin has a slightly waxy feeling. They tend to bruise easily and are not a good ‘keeper’ variety.
They have the sweetness of the Bosc but are quite a bit smaller, with the texture of an Asian Pear but not quite as grainy
The outstanding pear crop has translated into an amazing volume of dried pears.
This is a picture of the last few batches.
The dehydrator has been running non-stop for the last two weeks. As one batch would be ready to package, the next group of pears that were ripening on the table in the garage would be peeled, sliced and trayed.
Each tray of pears took between 24 to 34 hours to dry depending on the size of the slices and the amount of moisture in the fruit. It feels good to have this harvest completed. Now I have to figure out how I’m going to disperse the pile of fruit.
On another note, I wonder what I’ll do for Christmas gifts this year?