Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pear Despair

So, I'm griping because my garden isn't knocking me silly with abundance. Last year, by this time, the pear tree was dropping fruit at a rate of sometimes 30 pears a day.
This year (and only within the last week), we've had maybe two, four a day. Yesterday there were five on the ground.
But I kept noticing an odd bulge in the pear tree. An unsightly malformation in its foliage. Probably shoulda hired an arborist, I told myself, and hoo, was I right.
Today we discovered a serious limb was cracking off the main trunk. It had to come down. Hell, it WAS coming down, under its own weight.
So Cranky climbed a ladder with a saw, and I sat below him on the ground, holding the ladder, and got conked in the head by falling fruit and branches (we haven't decided who was more stupid, him or me).
Once the limb was removed from the tree, we could see evidence of previous disaster prunings. This is the sunny side of the tree, and apparently it gets very heavy, often. (It's only our second year of pear ownership; gimme a break.) I wandered around under the canopy of the tree, and discovered at least two more locations where limbs have ripped away, unable to support all the fruit.
We saved all the pears that came off (several of them jumped off the branches during the surgery; the rest were plucked). I think they might actually ripen.
But who wants this many pears at once? I think we got 100 pounds.
(And you don't even wanna know how many are left on the tree.)

28 comments:

Dagny said...

Time to start drying and canning I guess. Good luck!

Heather said...

Ooh! Pears! Yay! Make gallettes and roast them for ice cream! Gorgonzola ice cream. Ooh..

Michelle said...

Aw. Bummer. We had a similar problem with an apple tree in our yard in Eugene. I'd take some of them pears off your hands if I could (might even ripen on the way here!). Knowing you, you'll come up with something to do with ALL of them!

peter said...

I have exactly the same problem; the holy grail in my cupboard keeps barfing out immortality juice and ambrosia and I simply don't have enough Ball jars to keep all the gorgeous heavenly perfection in so I just pour it on the lawn and then blog about how hard it is to be me.

The lawn, incidentally, is just beautiful.

kudzu said...

Can you put up some supports (crossed planks) to keep the branches from tearing away from the trunk? That's a faiiiiiiint memory from farms of my childhood.

Wow. Had no idea it would be the second fecund year (try saying tha fast without sounding naughty).

I retrieved a squirrel-dropped pear today but it is hard as a baseball -- sort of red Bartlett.

Corragio!

Katie said...

I'll be right ov....zoom

Anita (Married... with dinner) said...

we had to prop up a plum branch with a piece of trellis. when we'd harvested enough fruit, the trellis fell away :)

guess it's time for pear brandy again when I get back from L.A., eh?

el said...

Many of the fruit trees by me are severely pollarded. Now we know why. I suppose hacking off a few limbs might even leave you with a harvest you could handle! But yes, I foresee you doing a fair bit of canning this summer! Poor you!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Oh, I wish I lived next door! :)

There is a special article about pears on the latest Donna Hay magazine - several interesting recipes. I would be more than glad to scan it and send you by email. Just let me know if you are interested.

cookiecrumb said...

Dagny: I found a recipe for pear chips! Yee. Fun.

Heather: Oh. Awesome. I have a recipe for pear and pecorino ice cream (David Lebovitz), but you just took it into hyperspace.

Michelle: It's probably not legal to mail pears to Hawaii. Although I'd gladly trade you for some papaya.
:)

Peter: You pour it on the lawn, for real?

Kudzu: We should have known we were in trouble, but we didn't, and the damage was done. We are watching the rest of the limbs. I will save you a sack of Bartletts.

Katie: I wish you were closer, because I'm the sharing type.

Anita: I'm so dumb. In a way, though, I'm glad to be free of this *fecund* branch, because next year it won't oppress us.
Yes, you can do whatever you like with the pears we're saving for you!

El: Pollarded! Please, please, tell me you are compiling a farm-terms glossary. You're the woman for the job.
Canning? Hell, I'm not even sure I like eating them fresh that much.... Food Bank!!!!!

Patricia: I will save you the trouble and go get the issue for myself. Thank you! Much appreciated.

Nikki Miller-Ka said...

SELL THEM!

Sweet Bird said...

Uhmmm....I've got a bitchin' recipe for Butter Dipped Pear Muffins if you're interested?

Anna Haight said...

Two words: Pear honey. Cranky will cry. Not to mention me if I hear you've made it. Pears, quince & sugar I believe (maybe lemon juice). Runs like honey but tastes unbelievable. I want to cry now for lack of it!

Sam said...

I'll buy some from you.

The Spiteful Chef said...

Why the hell am I not smart enough to take beautiful pictures like these??? Aside from the fact that I take them with my cell phone, I mean. I have certainly tried to do it with a regular camera, as well, and they also don't look like yours.

cookiecrumb said...

Nikki: Ha! I recently saw an article on small "farmers" selling their goods to restaurants... And I know a famous pastry chef... Hm!

Sweet Bird: Ooh. Problem is, we don't have much of a sweet tooth chez Crumb. I wish I could get some of these to you.

Anna: That, sweet tooth or no, definitely sounds like something I'd want. I'll try to snoogle out a recipe.

Sam: They're free. You know that. Here they come.

Spiteful Chef: This was a snapshot. Not posed, not lighted. You coulda done it; you just need three sack of pears being all photogenic for you! :)

dancingmorganmouse said...

I'd love to help you out only I suspect the postage would be a wee bit prohibitive.

Zoomie said...

OMG, here we go again! My peaches come later than your pears (thank heaven!) so I can take some off your hands if need be.

cookiecrumb said...

Morgan: I will put some in a bottle and float them to you!

Zoomie: Eeps, right? We'll work out an exchange schedule. Don't worry. (I keep telling myself.)

cook eat FRET said...

peeeeeeaaaaaars
how i love thee
you are so lucky
i wanna move...

cook eat FRET said...

i just read peter's comment and coffee shot through my nose

cookiecrumb said...

Cook Eat Fret: We began our serious pear consumage today; enough had ripened to go into something tasty.
Peter, he is a problem child. Bless his heart.

The P & A Food Chronicles said...

ahhhh!! i love pears...

cookiecrumb said...

P & A: I'm learning to love pears. I have no choice. But, I'm really loving them. Yay.

Alice Q. said...

Pear Cider??

http://www.michiganbeerguide.com/issue_content.asp?page=backissue&tid=4&id=188

cookiecrumb said...

Alice: I'll go ya one better (well, see, I have a "sour tooth") -- pear vinegar! Yeah.

jimmycrackedcorn said...

WOW...100 pounds and there are still more on the tree? Post a picture of this giant tree!

cookiecrumb said...

Jimmy: It's not giant! Which is probably why the limb cracked off. It's really a petite, backyard specimen. But LOADED with pears.