Two and a half years ago I bought a 4-way grafted Asian pear. It is advised that after the first year of planting, not to let it go to fruit. Last year, as soon as the flowers were done blooming, I plucked them off. I didn't want to be tempted by the little fruits forming.
This year, I had a fair amount of blossoms. But there were several that didn't make it. I managed to get about 8 pears total. Mind you, it is a small tree!
Not knowing how to tell when the pears are ready for harvest, I asked my favorite fruit farmers at the Columbia City weekly market. Jim, from Little Wing Farm, told me to wait until the fruit start to "glow" with a golden yellow color. He also mentioned to start harvesting from the tips of the branches and work your way in. I told him it's such a small tree, I only have pears on the tips.
I found it interesting that Jim also harvests the same trees several times through the season. He told me at first it takes some trial and error to figure out how ripe the fruit is. This year, I don't have many chances with just a handful of fruit. Hopefully it's more trial than error.
Today, I took a closer look at it. There was a pair sitting on the end of the Shinseiki graft. The fruit had a yellow glow to it and decided to take a chance. The two pears lifted easily from the branch--a promising sign! I placed them on the dining table to snap a quick picture before we dug into them.
That blur is my son's hand trying to swipe one from the table.
I sliced one and saved the other for tomorrow. They were sweet with a hint of tartness, and juicy without being watery. Good crunch and structure, too. Can't wait to see how the other compares, and how the rest of the harvest will be this season.