From Tree to Basket: A Guide to Pick Your Own Pears

Pears, those luscious, sweet treasures of nature, offer more than just a delightful eating experience. They’re a symbol of the changing seasons, a healthy snack, and a versatile ingredient in many recipes. But the true joy lies in picking your own pears, a simple yet profound pleasure that connects us with the earth and its cycles. 

Let’s embark on a journey to discover how to master the art of picking the perfect pear. Are you ready?

The Joy of Picking Your Own Pears

There’s something inherently joyful and grounding about picking your own pears. Imagine walking through rows of pear trees, their branches laden with fruit, the air filled with the sweet aroma of ripe pears. It’s an opportunity to connect with nature, to slow down, and appreciate the simple things in life. 

This experience isn’t just about collecting fruit; it’s a chance to create memories, be it a family outing, a romantic date, or a solitary escape to find peace among the trees.

Picking your own pears also means you’re getting the freshest possible fruit. There’s a noticeable difference in taste between a pear that’s been sitting on a store shelf and one that you’ve just plucked from a tree. This freshness not only enhances the flavor but also means the fruit is at its nutritional peak, packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.

Moreover, when you pick your own pears, you become part of the sustainable cycle of food. You’re supporting local farmers and orchards, reducing food miles, and choosing a more environmentally friendly way to enjoy fruit. It’s a small but meaningful step towards a more sustainable lifestyle.

Pear Varieties: A World to Explore

Embarking on a pear-picking adventure, you’ll quickly realize the astonishing variety of pears available. Each variety has its own unique characteristics, flavors, and textures, making pear-picking an exploration of diversity. From the well-known Bartlett, with its classic pear shape and sweet, juicy flavor, to the Bosc, known for its firm texture and spicy-sweet taste, there’s a pear for every palate.

But it doesn’t end there. Have you ever tried an Anjou pear? They’re great for snacking and cooking, with their subtly sweet flavor and moist, creamy texture. Or the Comice pear, often called the “sweetest pear,” which is perfect for eating fresh due to its incredibly juicy and buttery flesh. And let’s not forget the Asian pear, a variety that stands out with its apple-like crispness and a refreshing, mildly sweet flavor.

Exploring these varieties is not only a taste adventure but also an educational journey. You learn about different pear varieties’ growing seasons, their best uses (be it eating fresh, baking, or making preserves), and how to identify them. It’s an engaging and delicious way to expand your fruit knowledge.

When to Pick: Timing is Everything

Knowing when to pick pears is crucial for ensuring you get the best quality fruit. Unlike some fruits, pears don’t ripen fully on the tree. They’re picked when mature but before they ripen, which can make timing a bit tricky. 

Generally, pears are ready to pick when they show a slight change in color and yield to gentle pressure at the stem end. The subtle shift from green to a lighter shade, depending on the variety, is a good indicator.

Another way to check is the gentle twist test. Hold the pear in your hand and give it a gentle twist; if it comes off the branch easily, it’s ready. This technique helps ensure you’re not pulling unripe pears off the tree, which is crucial for both the fruit and the health of the tree. For more details visit us at

Picking at the right time also means you’ll have pears that ripen perfectly off the tree. Once picked, store them at room temperature for a few days to allow them to reach their peak ripeness and flavor. Some varieties might take longer to ripen, so patience is key. Remember, a perfectly ripe pear is a true delight, so your timing and patience will be well rewarded.

How to Pick Your Own Pears: A Gentle Touch

Picking a pear is simple, but doing it right requires a bit of know-how and a gentle touch. When you’re in the orchard, amidst the rustling leaves and sun-dappled trees, take a moment to observe the pears. Look for those that are free of bruises and blemishes, as these will be the freshest and most flavorful.

Approach the tree and gently cradle the pear in your hand. Don’t tug or pull harshly; instead, use a light twist-and-lift motion. If the pear is ready, it will come off the branch with ease. This method not only prevents damage to the pear but also protects the tree and the remaining fruit. It’s a respectful way to harvest, acknowledging the tree’s role in this beautiful process.

As you fill your basket, arrange the pears carefully. Think of each pear as a delicate treasure, deserving of gentle handling. This care extends the life of the fruit and ensures you’ll have beautiful, unbruised pears to enjoy at home.

Storing Your Pears: Keeping Them Fresh

Once you’ve picked your pears, proper storage is key to maintaining their quality and extending their shelf life. Remember, pears ripen off the tree, so how you store them will influence their texture and flavor development.

If you’re eager to eat your pears soon, store them at room temperature. This encourages the pears to ripen naturally and evenly. Typically, it takes a few days for pears to reach optimal ripeness. You can check their readiness by gently pressing near the stem; if it yields slightly, the pear is ripe and ready to eat.

For those who prefer to savor their harvest over time, refrigeration is the best option. Place your pears in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. This cooler environment slows down the ripening process, allowing you to enjoy your pears over a couple of weeks. Just remember to take out a few at a time to ripen at room temperature before eating.

And here’s a tip: to speed up ripening, you can store pears in a paper bag with a ripe apple or banana. These fruits release ethylene gas, a natural ripening agent, which can help your pears ripen more quickly.

Champlain Orchards: A Pear Lover’s Paradise

Finally, let’s talk about Champlain Orchards, where the art of pear picking comes alive in the heart of Vermont. 

As a family-owned and ecologically managed orchard, we take immense pride in growing a diverse range of eco-certified fruits, including over 23 varieties of pears. Our commitment to sustainability is evident in every aspect of our orchard, from the solar-powered operations to the meticulous care we take in nurturing each fruit tree.

At Champlain Orchards, we invite you to experience the joy of picking your own pears. Imagine wandering through our expansive orchards, where the air is crisp and the views are stunning. You’ll have the opportunity to pick from a variety of pears, each with its own unique flavor profile and texture. And while you’re here, don’t miss the chance to explore our other offerings, from crisp ciders to handcrafted provisions, all made with fruits from our orchards.


Picking your own pears is a delightful experience that combines the joys of nature, the satisfaction of harvesting your own food, and the pleasure of eating fresh, delicious fruit. At Champlain Orchards, we’re honored to share this experience with you. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pear picker or trying it for the first time, our orchard is the perfect place to enjoy this wonderful activity. We look forward to welcoming you and sharing the beauty and bounty of our orchard. Come pick your own pears and discover the unique taste of Vermont.

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Pick Your Own Apples and Pears

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As one of the oldest continuously operating orchards in Vermont, we take pride in growing over 175 varieties of apples, peaches, pears, plums, cherries, nectarines, and berries.

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