Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 in Articles, Field Notes | 0 comments

 

One of our copywriters, Heather, went on a special trip to our Royal Riviera® Pear orchards to see the harvest in full swing. Here’s what she has to say about the famous pears that go into our gourmet gifts and fruit gifts.

Harry & David pear orchard in southern Oregon

I’m not one to show up at work before 8AM, much less 6AM. But today I was at the office before the sun was up for a rare field trip to the orchards. The Rainbow Orchard, to be exact. Which I was excited about because that’s the one I drive by every morning on my way to work.

I’ve been writing about our pears for almost a year now. How yummy they are. How difficult it is to grow them. How they require a specific harvesting technique of being gently rolled off the branch. And how awesome our pickers are at doing it. But this is my first harvest, and today was the first time I got to experience the story I’m so familiar with.

Walking through rows of trees full of big, beautiful, sun kissed pears is the perfect way to watch the sun come up in the Rogue Valley. But the pickers are there to work and no time can be wasted on the scenery.

Harry & David harvest where pears are among our favorite fruits delivered from our orchard to your home.

They work so quickly. Five minutes after they started picking, one team had filled their 420 pound bin halfway. And they don’t stick to one tree at a time, which surprised me. They work in teams of four and pick whatever they can reach, whether they’re up on a ladder or down on the ground picking from the lower branches. Each team must have a system. They never get in each other’s way. They don’t miss a single pear. And they pick at light speed.

The buckets they wear crisscross around their backs with padded fabric straps, like a baby carrier. The bucket isn’t really a bucket at all. It’s more of a sturdy canvas tube. The bottom portion folds up and hooks onto the lip of the bucket, creating a soft sack. Each one holds about 40 pounds of pears. I wanted to try one on and see if I could hold that much. But the guys seemed really focused. And the quality assurance lady was standing right there.

Pear picker for Harry & David helps with the harvest fruit delivery

I could have stayed and watched the pickers all day. But by 8AM, my lack of coffee was getting to me and it was time to get back to the office. So now I’m here to tell you that the Royal Riviera® Pear story is even cooler than I’ve imagined. Our pickers are beyond awesome. Our orchards are beautiful. And our pears are picky and high maintenance. But we love them. Even at 6AM.