September 30, 2015.
One of the best parts of building this business is trying out new ideas for products. A number of weeks ago I was biking home and noticed someone had put a foldable card table on their front lawn. In front of the table was a hurriedly made sign with one large word in bold red marker – PEARS. And you will never believe what was on the table-that’s right. But not a few pears. A LOT of pears. The table groaned under the weight of what clearly was the result of a couple very fertile pear trees. The owner had thrown the fruit into different sized boxes and even a few old 3L peach baskets from the grocery store. In an attempt to spread their bounty (and get rid of the damn things) they had marked each box with a $1 or $2.
Now, I like pears. Actually I like any fruit especially when it’s in season and when it comes from literally down the street I had to buy some! I threw a loonie into the pay pot sitting on the table and rode home with an armful. It was quite a lot of pears for us three to eat, but it didn’t take long! They were so full of flavour and perfectly ripe we were all happy to have pears for breakfast, lunch and dinner (and before bed.)
The next week, Dana left for some work in the States and I found myself back in front of that little card table down the street. The trees were clearly still dropping more fruit and the table legs looked like they were ready to buckle! So I came prepared with several large shopping bags and emptied the entire table. I added up the price, threw in a few extra bucks to say thank you and slowly plodded home.
I wanted to try a few things with them and after several attempts at Pear sauce I decided to use them for a jam. A Pear and Ginger Jam to be exact. With autumn arriving and the cooler nights here, this makes for a sweet addition to the morning toast. The taste is lovely with the ginger adding just a hint of bite to offset the sweetness of the ripe pears. The attempt looks like it was a success and we will pass it on to others to see what they think. Maybe a new product to the list? Not all my experiments work out (hence the several batches of pear sauce…) so it’s really rewarding when you try something new and it works!
Now I’m eyeing an apple tree near our house that is bursting! I’m going to chat with the home owner and maybe there will be some apple butter in the future….Stay tuned.
P.S. Back in Toronto there is an organization called “Not Far From the Tree” a wonderful charity that will pick your fruit tree for you and then divide it into thirds. 1/3 back to the homeowner, 1/3 to the volunteers, and 1/3 to local food banks. It’s great idea and one that I haven’t seen around here yet. Check out what they do at their website:http://notfarfromthetree.org.