“There’s no problem with the cooler weather we’ve had; the pears like it now, and in the 80’s for a while would be perfect. Too hot, reaching to 100 degrees, and they’re likely to slow down growth,” said Darren Lubich, our consultant from Grow West Agricultural Services.
These pears, both the Bartletts and Boscs, were launched over a month ago into an adolescent to adult time period, when they are on their own— no more special treatment to fend off the harmful insects, including the coddling moth that could eat them alive or harm the branches; in other words, they will stay naked, clean and unafraid (hopefully) for the remainder of their growing period. It is not hard to humanize these little pears; watching them daily grow amidst dynamic forces makes you appreciate how much risk farmers take in growing our food.
“Coddling moth” is the nemesis of our pears, mainly of the Bartletts, and each year we often use preemptive measures, including organic methods such as pheromones throughout the orchard which confuse the males, preventing fertilization among the females.
When we treat against “Codling moth” in the Spring, we are actually trying to stop the larvae, the whitish caterpillar form of the moth from tunneling into the pears. Most of the “organic” methods often used by back-yard organic gardeners are not effective in the large orchard blocks in farming.
Also, now until late summer, both varieties can take in all the sunlight, water and warmth needed to get to a the optimum sugar level, measured to a numerical number called Brix, and with both a pressure level measured in psi and measured sizes suitable for harvesting in mid-August, they’ll make it to market, hopefully without a hitch! Darren, along with other industry representatives, will be by our orchard, often, to weigh those factors and determine the best morning to begin harvesting.
These Bronze Beauty Bosc pears start off with this tannish-light brown color, getting bronzer by the week. Their bronze-rosey glow appears late in their growing, and mature best in September. We call them our culinary pear, as they bake, poach, roast and barbecue best.
This clump of Bartletts show the reddish color at their base which slowly goes away as they grow larger. This will be harvested first, in mid-July, and it is the Bartletts that are associated with eating out of hand, juice running down your arm as you chew away.
Sources: My main source is Darren Lubich, credited above. Over the years, I have read from the UC Davis Dept. of Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center and from various Pest Management Handbooks, from various California and Pacific Northwest sources.