How do you ripen pears properly?

don555(3a)September 3, 2011

OK, I planted a "Ure" pear tree 20 years ago, then about 5 years later I grafted on a pollinator pear variety (very sour). The tree began producing around 8 years after planting, and has been a consistent and steadily heavier producer ever since (ie, each of the past 12 years). But the pears are more of a nuisance than anything else. The Ure's taste fantastic but ripen on the tree rather mealy, so I only eat a handfull fresh each year. 99% of them fall into the grass, attract hoardes of wasps, and end up being an annual chore to pick up and toss into the composter, bah!

I've read that there are special techniques needed to properly ripen eating pears -- pick early, store in the fridge for XX days, then spin around your head while chanting mystic chants, etc.

Seriously, what do I do with these? Just another year of adding to the composter? Or does someone have a method for making Ure pears tasty and soft but not mushy or mealy?

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Hi Don. I just find it so amazing that you grow such wonderful fruit in Zone 3.

For some strange reason, pears aren't nice if ripened on the tree. They should be picked green and will apparently be less grainy.

I'm sure you're aware you can speed up the ripening process by putting them in a paper bag, and even speedier if you add a couple apples.

Alternatively, invite a few people over for coffee, and invite them to pick a bag full of pears to take home. I'd be there in a flash =:)

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 9:08AM
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Don you are already my hero for getting that far. When do you think would be a good time to start picking? I will also pay close attention to ripening procedures.

My efforts are a little behind yours.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 2:04PM
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Pudge 2b

I have no answer to your query. I just wanted to say ... FANTASTIC!

    Bookmark   September 3, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I'm not familiar with Ure, usually when the first one's are falling off I pick them all and bring to the house. My golden Spice keeps about 2 month in the fridge. Some of the pears get mixed into the apples when juicing. One variety, [Westfort] I can ripen on the tree and taste very nice. The fridge method is a slow finishing off, at room temperature it will go faster.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2011 at 1:01PM
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Thanks folks, I guess I will try the paper-bag room temperature ripening method when the pears look a bit closer to ripening, which should be this week given the spell of warm weather we are having. I had previously tried a method I'd heard about that involved putting them in the fridge for a week, then taking them out and ripening at room temperature, but it was a bust in my opinion.

Konrad, I've never heard of Westfort, I did a Google Image search and only came up with one hit... it was from the 2010 fruit festival at the Devonian Botanic Garden... my guess is that it was someone who took a picture of your harvest!!!? Assuming that's the case, it looks so remarkably similar to Ure, do you think they could be the same? Ure can ripen well on the tree, and I usually eat a few this way each year, but generally I find the tree-ripened ones have a tough skin and sometimes a grainy flesh, which is why I'm looking for a better way to ripen them (because sometimes the flesh is perfect and not grainy, but I don't know how to make that happen consistently).

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 3:51AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

No, Westfort is not the same, this is a early Pear, usually ripe before anything else, best tasting pear I have, seldom I could bring this to the show, when I did, the Ure was still hard.
Unfortunately, when we got hit a couple of years back with a October two week long deep freeze, this one branch, [top worked on the tree below] suffered die back, among most other fruit tees,... still recovering, some trees are dead and dieing now.
Looks like a little trial and error on your finishing off, please let us know how you make out.

Here is my Golden Spice tree from a few years back.
Originality it was a useless John or David Pear, then I top worked it, mostly Golden Spice with some others.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 1:06PM
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That is one mouth-watering tub-full of pears!!!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2011 at 3:13PM
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Darn that looks good!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2011 at 2:38AM
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