Avoiding 'stones' in pears
One more question from this novice... we have a couple of mature pear trees in our back yard, we've been here for three years and this is the first year we've harvested any pears. The first year, we went on vacation for two weeks in October and when we came back the trees were empty, apparently the forest animals had a smorgasbord while we were away and didn't leave a single pear on the tree or on the ground. Last year, we had a early warm spring and a hard, late frost that killed most of the flower buds. There were only a handful of pears total and I didn't really put in any effort to notice when they ripened. This year, they must have ripened early because I noticed the trees by the woodline were looking really bare last week. The animals took a lot of them already, but I got quite a few and there are still many out there on the upper tree.
Anyway, the point of this post is that there were a few nice looking pears, but most had dimples/looked a little deformed/mangled. I don't really care about looks, but under each 'dimple' was a really hard 'stone' that makes eating the pears (or slicing them up for canning) really difficult and annoying. What causes them? Is it from being chewed on by bugs? What can I do to avoid them for next year? I would like to keep the trees organic, I don't want to deal with toxic pesticides around my kids.
Also, anyone know what kind of pears these are? They were firm and crunchy when I picked them, and then softened up to a soft pear texture after sitting on the counter for a week or so. They make great pear sauce and are good fresh, but the skin is a little thick and bitter.