Organic gardener growing food and flowers, lovin' pollinators and birds.

The Stem is Key to Ripened Fruit

Kieffer pears can be tricky - take them off the tree too early and they won't ripen correctly. Take them off too late, and the skin will be mealy with the fruit ripening from the inside out.

The trick, then, is to remember "Goldilocks and the Three Bears:" You want to pick them when they are just right. And the tree itself shows you how that is done.

Kieffer pears that are ready to be picked will snap off the branch easily. If you are lifting the fruit from the branch and the tree isn't letting go, then come back in a few days.

My trees are ready beginning in late September and will be all done by Columbus Day. (Last year I waited until Columbus Day weekend to pick them all and they were overripe.)

Here's a quick video I made to show the difference in picking ripe and unripened pears.

This is the most bountiful year for Kieffer pears, with 44.5 pounds harvested so far (there are still a few left on the tree). For longtime storage, I keep the pears in my fruit drawer of my fridge. When I'm ready to use them, I take them out and let them sit on the counter for 5-7 days. 

Kieffer pears are great for canning, too. But if you need some instant recipes, try this delicious pear and cranberry crisp that I blogged about in the past, this pie recipe or try adding them to your scone recipe.

For more information on growing Kieffer pears, visit this link.


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