This product comes from The Netherlands

Hierden - orchard North

Growing pears is really a top sport, fortunately it is my hobby! In Hierden (town in the Netherlands), I grow different varieties of pears on 16 hectares: Conference, Beurré Alexandre Lucas, Sweet Sensation and the stewing pear Gieser Wildeman.

I started raising livestock in 1963, but switched to growing fruit in 1982: both pears and apples. Started with a 5-hectare orchard. We work hard to get the best possible product from the trees, with the right size and colour. As a fruit grower, you are very dependent on the weather for this. In times of frost, I have to work at night to switch on the sprinklers and keep an eye on the system. Not paying attention means frost damage. Even a hailstorm can destroy a nice crop in minutes.

Growing pears is really year-round work. Harvesting takes place from early September to mid-October, with the stewing pears being picked last. After this, pruning starts, from November to the beginning of April. This is also when all the sprinkling is prepared. In May we repot, and from the end of May to the beginning of August we remove small and misshapen fruits from the tree, which is called thinning. And then harvesting starts all over again! We use a lot of machine tools, but picking and thinning is done simply by hand. We use seasonal workers for this. For picking the heads, we use an aerial platform. So a ladder is no longer needed.