I use Azomite for my micros
I've seen that document before, and its very useful. I will make one little amendment from a cooks perspective who likes to can pears. Pineapple makes a great canned pear. The trick as with all canned pears is to not overcook. If you try to turn Pineapple into a soft pear by cooking it too much it will become mush during the 20 minute water bath process in the canner. My advice is work with its natural crunchy texture and use it to your advantage and go for a crunch. Here is the secret with canning pears in my humble opinion. Bring them to a boils and let them boil lightly for five and no more than for ten minutes. You want them just a bit flexible but not soft. When processed this way your soft pears will be soft and your hard pears will be pleasantly crunchy. Remember canned pears placed in big jars will sit in a boiling canner for another 20 minutes to make sure they are good and sterilized so go light on the cooking before you jar. And by all means, it's OK for a canned pear to be a bit crunchy when you are finished. In fact its highly desirable if they are spiced pears or pickles. God bless.
Yep, that's the stuff.
The Next Pear to talk about is LeConte'. The first thing that needs to be said about my LeCont' pears is that they are nothing like the rather negative description you often see on the internet which seems to originate with a book called "The Pears of New York" by Hendrick. That book describes a course fleshed pear that's lower quality than a Kieffer. The pears my tree produces matches the description of LeConte' pear found on a historical document on the Forest Home in Macon County where the LeConte' tree has a more clearly traced lineage to the tree brought to Georgia by Captain LeConte in 1856. Other historical documents refer to this pear and describe the high quality, fine textured sweet pear with blushed yellow skin that my LeConte' is.
The pears produced by my LeConte pear tree are nearly identical to that of Golden Boy except they are smaller, slightly firmer and have smaller seeds. I lenticels on the skin of the pears are larger when you look closely. But man they are similar! The biggest difference which could just be a micro environmental difference is that my LeConte' is a slow growing tree. It acts like it's on dwarfing root stock when its supposed to be on calary root stock. Some sources say that it's prone to fire blight; however, those are the sources that tend to use the description originating from The Pears of New York. I see no significant evidence to susceptibility to fire blight so far.
Would I recommend this pear? My answer based on my tree is that it's almost getting a second Golden Boy tree except my Golden Boy is more robust and produces bigger fruit. The origins of the LeConte' pear is well documented. A Captain LeConte bought what he thought was a sand pear seedling in 1856, and planted it at the LeConte' Plantation in Liberty County Georgia. The tree turned out to be a hybrid with a Bartlett pear and produced soft sweet fruit. LeConte' pears were being shipped to New York from Liberty County in the 1880s and were bringing $5 and $6 a bushel. I don't know why The Trees of New York bad mouthed the LeConte' pear so badly unless it was motivated by regional bigotry and completion, or maybe something other than the original LeConte' Pear was being sold as such in New York by the 1921 publication of the book.
In the picture above Golden Boy is on the left and LeConte' is on the right. The only clear difference between the two are the larger lenticels on the LeConte pear and the size and shape of the seeds. Everything else is identical except the LeConte pears have been smaller for me so far, but both trees are only three years in the ground in my orchard. God bless.
Please identify my pear tree
Above is a picture of my LeConte Per Tree. My Golden Boy if at least six times it size, and they were planted on the same day.
Moonglow isn't even worth picking, much less giving it space in
my refrigerator. The only thing that I feed my pears is 10-10-10,
but I do ripen them in the refrigerator. All fruit tastes much better
cold. I'm strictly a fresh fruit eater. I just ate a nice cold and very
delicious Pineapple pear. Why would you want to can such a
delicious pear. But hey, to each his own.
I love fresh pears as well, but a mature pear tree can produce 200 lbs of fruit a year, and most of the southern pears don't store very well. When of the questions I often ask when someone tells me of a wonderful new pear is "does it store well?" Pineapple might. I haven't tried it. That said, if you have one of each of the varieties that you have mentioned, my guess is that sooner or later you are going to find yourself overwhelmed with a lot more pears than you can eat or easily give away in the amount of time they keep. If you boils the peals and cores, you can make a pear juice that's a bit thin to drink but makes a fine jelly or better a light syrup for the pears you need to can. You can go as light as you want on the sugar in making the syrup. I use 2 1/2 cups for every 7 cups of juice. Pineapple if you process it right after you pick it. I imagine Moon Glow is too soft to make a great canned pear. But canning is a great way to deal with a bland pear that is at least somewhat firm.
First bring your juice and sugar to a boil. Add pears (about two layers of pear wedges in pot at time) and bring them to a boil. Let the boil for only five minutes or so. You want the pears to be just slightly flexible. Dipe those pears out with a slotted spoon into a giant bowl and add more pears to your syrup and keep going until you use up your pears. When don spoon the pears into sterilized jars and pack them as tight as you can. They will finish cooking and shrink a lot during the water bath. Fill to 1/4 in head space, put tops on finger tight and sterilize them in a water bath for 20 minutes. (Follow sterilizing process laid out in a good canning guide). Seriously, the trees you have will easily feed your family and probably most of your friends for a solid year once they get about ten years old if you learn to appreciate the art of canning. Home canned pears are nothing like what you get at the store. And few things are more enjoyable to me for breakfast than a bowl of pears with sharp cheddar shredded over them with a dab of mayo. Trust me you are going to have a lot of pears, way more than you will have room for in six refrigerators in a few years with the pears you have. Canning is just a very good way to not waste them. God bless.
I appreciate the recipes, but both Pineapple and Maxine hang well
on the tree, which prolongs the harvest. I only have to pick a few every
several days. Ayers is the only one that needs to be picked fairly often,
but all three store for weeks in the refrigerator, if picked pre ripe. Furthermore, they don't all ripen at the same time. I eat fresh pears August through September.
That's cool. I'm just suggesting that there are some different options out there if as your trees become more mature and ramp up productivity you find yourself overwhelmed. Another option for the firmer varieties such as pineapple is to dry them dry. That's a better option if you have a garage where you can keep a fruit dryer without having a heat source competing with your air conditioner. That's the only reason I don't dry fruit. It's a great option as is fermentation if you have the right kind of space. The final option is the most obvious one which is cutting them up and freezing them for pies, cobblers and the like.
As far as leaving pears on the tree. My guess is eventually the varmints are going to find you, and that once they do they will remember from year to year and any pear left on a tree after they start ripening can and will be eaten. You can ward that off a little bit by hanging socks full of garlic powder in the trees and changing them out every two week while you have ripening fruit in the trees, but may only work for squirrels and maybe Opossums.
If Acres Home pear scions are on your wish list, I have some here to share. Using cuttings from mature trees may give you fruit to eat in 1 or 2 years time.
Over several years of growing in hot, humid Houston, the one tree and several grafted, fruiting branches on another tree have not had any FB at all. I don't have any detailed analysis of their eating quality, but they do "eat better" than any store-bought pears that I have ever purchased. Pleasant flavor, good sugar content, no grit cells. Rather than cooking them , they are peeled, cored, cut into chunks, and frozen for future smoothie making. Frozen pear cubes and blueberries make a great smoothie.
There is a fruit growers association of sorts that meets in Texas and conducts a taste test on pears every year. I've seen their evaluations for several years. Each year a pear named Florida (with some numbers behind it), Acker's Home, Tennosui, Southern King and Southern Queen compete for the top positions. For about the last three years Acker's Home has either been number one or number two in their evaluation for flavor. That tells me its likely a very good pear. Last year they offered them for sale at Just Fruits and Exotics. I have one spot. If I don't get an Acker's Home tree from them, I would definitely be looking for some scion wood to graft into another tree and will be happy to take you up on that offer.
If I Just Fruits caries Acker's Home again and I don't get it, it will be because I found a fire blight resistant tree with excellent quality fruit that are known to store better. That storage quality is a key for me now since I already have enough pear trees planted to absolutely overwhelm me with fruit starting in late July through part of September once everybody is old enough to produce. To find a southern pear with qualities like Winter Nellis or D'Angue that can be stored in the frig for a few months before they are brought out would be wonderful. Such a pear would constitute a huge contribution to the orchard even if its eating qualities are not quite par with Acker's Home. Purdue, which I have as a young tree, is reported to have good storage qualities and so is Tennosui. However, Tennesee, Tennosui's seed parent, is also reported to have good storage qualities, but that proved to not be so with the fruit from my Tennesee tree. God bless.
I guess my time is coming but I have not tasted a properly ripened pear that I didn't like. I'm not saying that they are equally good. Even the Kieffer which is often used as a wildlife pear is pretty good. If we all had the same taste preferences life would be boring.
I agree with CoolManToole. Finding good-keeping pears will be key for me. Lots easier up here in Maryland appalachia. I am trialing Worden, Harrow Sweet, and Winter Nelis.
I have not gone down the canning road, but it really is a bummer when you run out of good pears. I'd like to find one or two that can last in the fridge at least until January.
Hidden Springs Nursery offers Olton Broussard. That's the only place I've seen it.
I bought one from them last winter. The root was half chopped off when they dug it, and it never broke dormancy. Let's just say that I was underwhelmed with the product they sent me. God bless.
@coolmantoole Next time that happens cut the tree back hard and they will usually shoot out. There has to be enough root mass to support the top growth or the tree will either struggle or never leaf out. When buying bareroot it's always better to buy smaller trees if there is an option to do so.
I did. The little whip they sent me was only a foot tall and about half of that was made up of the root stock and interstem. I cut it back to about 3 nodes above the second graft and left it until the end of April when the other Asian pears were fully leafed out and then gave up ans pulled it out. I should have contacted the company right then with a photo of the dead plant in the ground and with the plant with most of the root chopped off. For some reason I didn't, so I have no proof of what happened. God bless.
That sucks, hopefully you'll find one in good shape someday.