Perhaps the most venerable of tree fruits, the pear is luscious, but can be difficult.
Maybe, say some, the Washington pear needs some new blood.
Ray Schmitten ’85 and I stand on a grassy bench above the Wenatchee River Valley, a forest of Anjou pears at our back, as he points and talks about the interplay between his family and the landscape of the valley.
In 1897, his great-grandfather had a sawmill up Brender Canyon. He started out taking the mill to the timber.
“He moved up to that ridge and logged it out. Finally in 1921, he moved the mill and everything down here … » More …
There are few things finer than a perfectly ripened pear. We Washingtonians are thus among the luckiest people on earth, because after wide geographical and temporal wandering, the pear seems to have found its true home in our state.
That being so, is it not strange that the pear is not more popular? The question is hardly new. In fact, U.P. Hedrick, in the monumental and beautiful Pears of New York, spends three large pages exploring why, even in 1920, the pear was not more widely eaten.
Given that Washington grows more than 24,000 acres of pears, it would seem that many people do enjoy … » More …