This is a picture of a Comice pear tree growing in our yard. This year, it is full of fruit. The pears are nearly ready to be picked. In our area, late September is an ideal time to harvest Comice pears.
Comice pears should be picked when they are still green and hard. When I first harvested pears from this tree a few years ago, I let the pears ripen at room temperature for several days. That turned out to be a mistake. Even after a few weeks, the pears were still very hard, and they tasted terrible.
Years after that, I read that many pears, such as Comice and Bosc, need to be stored in refrigeration for about 3-4 weeks after harvest, and then brought back to room temperature to ripen. Unlike Bartletts, Comice pears do not ripen properly at room temperature without prior refrigeration.
Last year, I picked a few Comice pears from our tree and refrigerated them for a month after harvest. Then, I took them out of the refrigerator and let them ripen in a fruit bowl for about a week. They were delicious. Properly ripened Comice pears are very sweet. They almost taste as good as Bartletts.
Back in June, I put bird netting around most of the tree. The netting keeps the local squirrels from eating the fruit. Some years, I lost the entire crop to squirrels. They typically remove the pears months before they are ready to pick. This year, I haven’t seen any half-eaten fruit lying around the base of the tree.
September 22 2008 12:10 pm | Pears