Saturday, July 16, 2011

I Could Pearly Believe it: Gleaning from a neighbors fruit tree

Last year while biking with my son, we passed by a house I had passed a thousand times before. This time, however, I noticed a hundred little green and red orbs attached to the limbs of a tree on the side of this house. Pears! I love this fruit like a squirrel loves nuts. I found one that had fallen from the tree already and took it home to identify the variety. Turns out, it's a Seckel. From what I read, these small fruits pack a lot of flavor and are said to be one of the sweeter pears.

I approached the home owner and obtained his permission to pick the tree. He didn't want them and as a matter of fact, they were creating a mess for him. Alas, it was not meant to be last year, as we waited too long to harvest and only took home seven, which had a poor texture. This year I was on my game and we got to the harvest on July 13th. Seckels have an early harvest compared to other pears, and I was pleased to find all pears passing the pick test: Lift and turn slightly, if it comes off, keep it. Twelve pounds was the final total... FREE! Into the fridge they went, save one or two for testing.

The question kept looming in our heads though, how are they going to taste? Will they be as good as everyone says? They come off the tree hard as rocks, will they ripen like we want them to? The taste may develop, but how will the texture be? Did we pick too early or too late? I swear, we were like expecting parents. I know,you're right.... I was like an expecting parent.

One week later Carrie handed me one of the test pears, and the firmness had declined. It was a bit softer. But how would it taste? AWESOME! Perfect texture and truly amazing flavor. My only regret is that we had just a small one to share between Carrie, myself, and our youngest son. Since we can't share with you the taste, I'll leave you with a picture of testament to the flavor. You can see Carrie above attacking the carcass of the pear like a Cajun on a turkey leg at the state fair. It doesn't get much better than that! -Jason


  1. Addendum: There are two other trees that we've obtained permission to pick simply by asking. One yielded just over 30 lbs and the other is yet to be picked, but will probably be about the same. I see lots of pear jellies and other goodies in the near future!

  2. Where are y'all riding bikes to find these trees? Just kiddin, like reading about your stories! -Brian

  3. What Pigs Don't KnowJuly 27, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Haha Brian! Good question! We're in North Oak Cliff (Dallas). I actually walk around the neighborhoods alot for exercise. And this time of year it sometimes seems like I only look at the ground! Fruit trees/shrubs seem to get no love around here - seemingly no one wants their bounty. So as things begin to fall we figure the homeowner has no interest in the fruit. A simple knock on the door and a smile, and most people are happy to have someone - anyone! - be able to enjoy the fruit. They just don't want to do the (minimal) work to be able to enjoy it themselves! -Carrie