Farming pears in kent

 

Hello, I'm James Simpson, I'm managing director for Adrian Scripps Limited. I'm here today at Moat Farm in our pear orchard in Kent.

Essentially my job is running the business but the core part of my job is fruit growing. I've been working for Adrian Scripps Limited for over 20 years. I think the best location and the best conditions for pear growing are here in the south of England on a nice, gentle south-facing slope. The perfect pear for me is one with an excellent skin finish that's attractive and then, when you bite into it, it's got a lovely balance of flavour and texture.

I'm here at the moment in the middle of summer and we're in the middle of harvest but our whole year starts in the winter with pruning. And then from then it's just a question of waiting until we're for harvest.

To maintain quality for Tesco we monitor the pears prior to harvest, checking sugar and texture so that we harvest at the optimum time so that the consumer has the best eating experience. When they're ready to pick they'll have the right level of sugar and the right flavour and we'll test by taking a bite or by sampling through the orchard.

When we know we're ready to pick the pears, we bring a group of people into the orchard and they handle every pear individually to pick it off the tree. The pears are placed into a large wooden crate and taken from the orchard to a cold store where they're chilled and held ready for packing for Tesco.

The freshness of the pears is maintained by reducing the heat in the pears as quickly as possible and then getting it to the consumer in as fresh a condition as we can. British pears are at their best from September through to March.

One of my favourite ways to enjoy pears is to take them and poach them in their own juice, creating a syrup, and then serve with a warm chocolate sauce. This is a favourite with my family.

 


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