My One BIG Pear
Once again, my 35-year old Stark Brother's Bartlett pear tree has given me a delicious token of what it is capable of growing.
Every other year, this semi-dwarf fruit tree gives me a pear. Just one. A beautiful, large fruit, enticing me to be patient and to dream of what I will get next year.
This tree was planted in 1983 close to my house deck. The idea was that one could walk up to the deck railing and pick one of my favorite fruits and eat it right there. Fast forward to 2010, when I frankly had forgotten about the tree because it didn't bloom for all of those years.
In 2010, wasps covered the white spring blooms in pollen, resulting in more than 250 fruit that fall. It was so exciting, I shipped fruit to family and friends and shared locally and still had fruit ripening in my garage well into winter.
The next year, the tree gave me only a handful of pears.
In 2012, the summer drought forced wildlife to eat the green pears as a food source.
The following year, once again the tree gave me one very large pear.
In 2014, I had to beat my resident squirrels to the bounty but there was enough to share. Last year, I got one pear again, which meant this year should have been a year of bounty.
In 2016, we had another summer drought period with record hot temperatures in July and August. The tree was well-pollinated this spring by my bees and wasps but wildlife, once again, turned to the green fruit for a food source during the drought.
How to Ripen a Pear
This one pear is now in a small brown bag with an apple so it can ripen for a special treat. I check it every day or so, giving some thought about how I will enjoy it. There are some old-fashioned recipes on preparing pears, but having only one seems a bit of overkill.
My brother David loves poached pears. I do as well but not sure I won't just enjoy this special one fresh once it ripens.
Now the big question is, what will I get next year - more pears or another promise of one?