Being able to pick pears fresh is a luxury to say the least. Pears are usually ready last summer or early fall for picking. Of course, always be sure to check with your local fruit orchard to make sure. If you let pear ripen on the vine, then they will break down at the core and become soft and mushy on the inside. To determine the readiness of the fruit, be aware of the ease of removal. If there are already pears on the ground that have fallen from the tree, more than likely, you may be too late. However, you should surely pick all of them.
To measure if the fruit it ready to be harvested, you can gently pull on the stem of the fruit. If the fruit snaps off cleany from the twig, then the pears are ready to be picked. Logically, on larger trees the fruit on the top ripens more quickly than the fruit near the bottom of the tree. Once the fruit is picked, then you can allow it to ripen naturally. However, there are other varieties of pears that don’t allow for natural ripening once removed from the twig. Late ripening varities such as Anjou, Bosc and Comice. These particular varieties are a little more high maintanence. The need about 3-4 weeks of storage in 32-45 degrees temperature–you can store them in a refrigerator or a cellar if it is cool enough. Furthermore, wrapping these varieties while they are ripening is a good idea, to prevent shriveling. Below is a listing of places where you can pick your own pears.
In the last couple of years, the pomegranate has been all the rage…with this new juice appearing on the shelves. This seasonly available fruit is renowned for its nutritional properties. Studies show that the juice from this fruit is one of the most powerful antioxidants, which contains a very high level of polyphenols and other free radical-fighting agents.
In 2006 the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry published a study which showed that “the polyphenolics in the fruit can play an important role in the modulation of inflammatory cell signaling in colon cancer cells.”
Have you ever wanted to know how to peel a pomengranate? I found this video on You Tube and tried it out myself. This a very good technique, although I still have difficulty with the pomengranate. I think it is a difficult fruit to easily enjoy, like the simple banana.
The “common” or European pear is packed full with a variety of nutrients, including dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C and several polyphenols. Research has concluded that fruit may be able to help normalize blood sugar levels, boost metabolism and provide a variety of other health benefits.
The nutritional benefits are:
The fruit can help with:
Thinking about cooking with them? You can always check out my Fruit Recipe Page to find unique recipes of specific fruits found on this site.
Prunes are the dried result of a plum. Surely, we all know the biggest benefit of them is regularity! Hallelujah for that! Plums have impressive antioxidant properties, but when converted into their dried counterpart their antioxidant powers can increase by as much as 600 percent! They have a wrinkly texture on the outside and a chewy texture on the inside.
A recent study done at Oklahoma State University found that the dried fruit can help reverse bone loss due to menopause. It suggested that dried plums can reverse a particular process of osteoporosis previously thought to be irreversible.
They are used in many cooking dishes and are also used in making juice. The constipation elixir. They are a rich dietary fiber as a result.
Growing the goji berry is no an easy task. Learn how to grow goji berries and about growing goji plants below.
Being able to grow your own food is always an extra advantage financially and nutritionally. Goji berry plants, Lycium Barbarum or Chinese Wolfberry, are woody perennials and known to be very adaptable.
They prefer a lot of sun, liking places that are hot and dry in the summer. The plant originated in the Himalayas. However they will grow in areas that are humid as well. The plants can tolerate very cold winters as well. But, truly, the only way to find out whether or not a wolf berry will grow in your area is to buy one, bring it home, plant it and see if it grows!
Growing Goji Berry from Seed
If you are going to grow the berry plant from a seed, then you will want to freeze the berries for a month (replicating a hard winter). If you are not growing them from seeds, you can obviously skip this step.
Once they have been frozen for a month, soak them in water in a germinating tray. If you wait a week to 10 days, they will germinate in due time, as the water soaking will make the berries think that it is a wet spring – an important part in growing goji berry.
Once they have germinated, be sure to put them in planter starter pots. You’ll want your soil to be a mixture of worm castings and biological compost, as well as sand to make sure any excess water can drain out of the pots. Let it be known that wolfberries grow in soil of ph of 8.2 to 8.6 in their native environment.
The germinated goji berries should be planted about half an inch down in the pots, of course, plant large berries down deeper. A goji berry seed is smaller than a tomato seed.
In another 10 days to 2 weeks you will notice that the plants start coming up. Once the wolfberry sprouts it is adaptable. The plants grow very slowly in the first couple of months and once their roots get to the bottom of the pot, they will stop growing.
Growing Goji Berry from Cuttings (and continuation of growing them from seed)
If you are taking cuttings from a well-established plant, then you will want to transfer them to 5 gallon buckets as soon as possible (this goes for the germinated berries from the starter pots as well). These 5 gallon buckets should be equipped with drain holes (you can punch them in the bottom if you would like).
The wolf berry plant at its full size is about 8 feet tall and is usually a bit wider than 8 feet. If you keep them in the 5 gallon bucket, they will not reach their full 8 feet, because like the starter pots, the 5 gallon bucket will stop their growth once the roots reach the sides of the bucket.
The shrubs do not yield berries until their third year of growth, but many people also use the leaves of the shrub as salad greens.
In its third year of growth, the shrub will yield purple and white trumpet-like flowers from summer until the first freeze; those flowers will eventually turn into berries.
To keep the shrub growing to its maximum potential, be sure to clip the buds of the plant to get more branches to grow.
DANGERS TO THE GOJI BERRY PLANT:
You can propagate the plants by taking cuttings, once they are well-established.
Goji berries are very tender and bruise easily. As a result there is no quick way to pick them. So take your time and be patient to get the best yield.
As the shrub gets older in age, it will produce larger and more nutritious berries.