I love pears, so for the past couple of years during pear season I’ve been buying local pears in bulk. I’ve found that pears can be surprisingly difficult to come by, though. While they certainly grow around here, they’re just not as plentiful as I would expect. Some orchards do sell pears, but I’ve not yet found a pick-your-own place, and most of the pears that I’ve come across at local orchards are “first quality” and so are a bit on the expensive side. It’s not that I think they’re over-priced–I feel that local, in season, high-quality is worth it, and worth supporting, generally speaking. It’s just that it doesn’t really work for me when I’m looking to buy in bulk and to can it all, where less pricey “utility grade” fruits–still good but perhaps funny shaped or with skin imperfections–would work just fine for me. So, last year I was thrilled learn that Hope Orchards had lots of pears available, including utility grade pears at very reasonable prices.
Yesterday, the boys and I headed up to Hope orchards to get our pears for this year. We found some beautiful utility grade Spartlets, which we purchased. And though we came for pears, we were pleasantly surprised with many more, unexpected things to see and do–especially for 2 and 4 year old boys! There were apples to eat, tractors to look at, fields to run in, places to wave sticks around, and a the best thing of all–time with Grandma! My mom was able join us at the orchard, which was an unexpected treat.