All growing seasons are unique, and 2013 was no exception. But it turned out to be one of the best years for our orchards.
The spring was cooler than normal this year, which initially delayed the blooms on our Oregold® Peaches and Royal Riviera® Pears. However, in May there were two weeks of record-breaking heat that, coupled with high temperatures throughout the summer, brought our Oregold® Peaches and Royal Riviera® Pears to maturity earlier than normal. Because of all the warm weather fruit grew and matured quickly needing less time on the tree to reach perfect maturity. According to Matt Borman, our Director of Orchards, that first peach harvest in late July produced some of the biggest and sweetest fruit he’s seen and tasted in years.
2013 also saw one of our best pear harvests to date, delivering close to 17,000 tons of Royal Riviera® Pears. We did the math, and that comes out to around 11 tons per acre, which is loads of pears. The harvest began in late August. Our trees produced gorgeous, picture-perfect pears of all sizes. That red blush that’s characteristic to our Royal Riviera® Pears only appears in pears that experience wide temperature ranges. That’s why the 30-degree temperature swings common to the Rogue Valley are perfect for growing these tasty, tasty pears.
And we’re already planning ahead for 2014. Now that the season’s over, we’re pruning trees. We’ll also be planting new acres of Royal Riviera® Pears in three different orchards, as well as new acres of Oregold® Peaches too.
All in all, it’s been a great year here at Harry & David, and we’re excited for all that 2014 has in store.