Our series “Branch to Basket” highlights how we bring our orchards’ finest fruit from Southern Oregon direct to your doorstep.
Here at Harry & David, pears are our business. We’re committed to providing the best, freshest, and tastiest fruit. We believe that a degree of attention to quality makes all the difference, which is why we still pick all of our pears by hand.
We use only the most pristine and perfect pears in our gifts and fruit deliveries. Even the smallest blemish can reduce a pear’s value. If a stem pierces another pear, or if there’s a fingernail mark, the pear is unsuitable for use in our fresh fruit gifts. We donate pears with imperfections to local food pantries.
Our high standards can make transporting pears something of a challenge. Decades ago, we used machines like the one pictured above to move pears from crates to the conveyor belts where they were sorted.
Today, we actually use a water flume to float the pears out of the bins. That way, fewer pears are damaged during transportation.
Our pears are picked when they’re mature but not yet ripe and are then placed in cold storage for 28 days. The refrigeration simulates the cooling temperatures of autumn, which causes the sugars in the pears to become concentrated, resulting in sweeter, more delicious fruit. It’s a necessary process in cultivating these much sought after delicacies.
The exact combination of conditions, timing, and temperature are what make our pears so much sweeter, juicier, and more flavorful than any other variety of pear — that and the thorough effort our experts put into cultivating and picking this remarkable gift from nature.