WHAT ARE PEARS?
A pear is a fruit that varies from apple shaped to teardrop
shaped. Its skin colour ranges from light yellow through red and
brown. The flesh of pears is juicy and in some varieties, such as
Asian pears, almost translucent.
WHERE ARE PEARS PRODUCED IN BC?
Pears are grown in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Kootenay
valleys. Pears grow best on heavy soils. This limits the areas where
they can be grown.
HOW MANY PEARS DO WE PRODUCE?
BC produces 7 million kilograms of pears. This includes 50% of
the Canadian crop of Bartlett pears and all of the commercial
production of Anjou pears. These are the main pear varieties grown.
Other varieties grown include Bosc, Red and Asian pears.
HOW ARE PEARS PRODUCED?
It takes 6 to 8 years from the time a rootstock is planted until
pears can be picked. Two varieties must be planted in an orchard for
cross pollination. Pears need to be thinned soon after the fruit
forms as pear trees often try to support too many pears. If excess
fruit is not thinned, pears will be undersized.
Pears are picked by hand before they are fully ripe. If pears are
left to ripen on the tree, the flesh will turn brown and soft.
Bartlett pears come on the market near the end of August. They are a
clear yellow when ripe. Anjou pears are harvested in mid to late
WHAT DOES A PEAR LOOK LIKE WHEN I USE IT?
Pears can be eaten fresh, plain or in salads. They can be baked,
pickled, canned, frozen, used in baby food, or processed into jams,
jellies and pies. A pear is 83% water, a good source of B vitamins,
and contains some vitamin C, phosphorus and iodine.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE PEAR LEAVES THE FARM?
Once harvested, pears are packed and stored in cold storage in
the packinghouse. In order for Anjou pears to mature properly before
being eaten. they require 1 to 2 months in cold storage. Anjou pears
are one variety of pear that is able to be stored through the
winter. When pears are brought home from the supermarket they can be
ripened by placing them in a bag and checked for ripeness after 7 to
10 days. The pear is ripe and ready when it yields to gentle thumb
pressure at the stem end. When ripe, the pear is sweet, buttery,
tender and filled with juice. Put only ripe pears in the
refrigerator as cold storage is what keeps them from ripening. Pears
are one of the few fruits that do no ripen well on the tree.
WHAT CHALLENGES DOES THE PEAR PRODUCER FACE?
The main challenge pear producers face is trying to increase
consumer demand. This can be done through increased advertising and
promotion and through the introduction of new varieties.
WHO'S INVOLVED IN PRODUCING PEARS?
- Pear orchard owner
- Orchard labourers to prune, thin and harvest
- Fruit processors
- Packinghouse employees
- Fruit inspector
1 medium pear (166g)
||Calories from Fat 10
||% Daily Value*
|Total Fat 1g
|Saturated Fat 0g
|Total Carbohydrate 25g
|Dietary Fibre 4g
|Vitamin A 0%
||Vitamin C 10%
|*Percent Daily Values are based
on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Interesting Fact About Pears:
In the last three years, pear growers have learned how to
control a pear insect pest called psylla through a soft chemical
program combined with the introduction of predators that prey on
the psylla and other insects such as mites.
Contacts and other resources: