November Harvest of the Month: Asian Pears

Posted by on Nov 12, 2015 | Comments Off on November Harvest of the Month: Asian Pears

November Harvest of the Month: Asian Pears

With its crisp fresh taste, sweet aromatic scent, and multicolored skin of orange, brown, and green, the Asian pear is truly emblematic of a beautiful fall day in Virginia. It is no wonder, then, that this fitting fruit was chosen to be the featured crop for November’s Harvest of the Month snack.

This morning, on the kind of fresh fall day that makes you want to bottle up the air and save it all year long, students across Charlottesville smelled the sweet aroma of Asian pears being delivered to their classrooms, their eyes widening and their mouths starting to water with each passing moment. Thanks to the hard work of Saunders Brothers Orchard, the Local Food Hub, Charlottesville City Schools Kitchen Staff, and City Schoolyard Garden staff, board members, and volunteers, students got to taste and learn about this delicious fruit and discover bit more about what makes Virginia’s local agricultural scene so special.

Look at all of those wonderful golden pears!

Look at those beautiful pears!

As I walked through the hallway at Venable Elementary School this morning while helping to distribute the Asian pears, I was stopped by numerous students and teachers saying lively, “I LOVE Asian pears!” Truth be told, I myself did not know what an Asian pear was up until a few months ago so I feel that these students are already leagues ahead in knowing about good food. I also passed a few disagreements: “It’s an apple!”… “No, it’s a pear!” Which, luckily, I was able to mediate…”Ok, guys, it’s a pear that, yes, really looks quite like an apple.” Never a dull moment in the hallways of an elementary school.

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Asian pears for the November Harvest of the Month snack were grown by Saunders Brothers Orchard.

In all seriousness, though, the Harvest of the Month Program has proven to be a wonderful way to introduce students to fruits and vegetables that some of them may have never even heard of, let alone tried, and to teach them not only about what the crop tastes like but also how it’s grown, it’s nutritional value, and how to eat it and cook with it. As I mentioned, this month’s Asian pears were sourced through the Local Food Hub from Saunders Brothers Orchard in Nelson County, VA. We are so grateful to Saunders Brothers and all of the other farmers out there who are providing fresh fruits and vegetables to schools here in Charlottesville and elsewhere.

Here are a few photos from today’s Harvest of the Month snack…

CLASS After School Site Director Maurice Simmons (on left) and student enjoying the pears this morning.

CLASS After School Site Director Maurice Simmons (on left) and student enjoying the pears this morning.

Volunteers Jodie Plaisance and Elizabeth Willingham helping out with the delivery this morning at Burnley-Moran.

Volunteers Jodie Plaisance and Elizabeth Willingham helping out with Harvest of the Month this morning at Burnley-Moran.

Venable Garden Coordinator, Ashley Crank  (on left) and volunteer Heather Phillips (on right) slicing Asian pears for students to snack on.

Venable Garden Coordinator, Ashley Crank (on left) and volunteer Heather Phillips (on right) slicing Asian pears for students to snack on.

Even cooler looking when sliced!

Even cooler looking when sliced!

Asian pears also went to Lugo McGuiness Academy. Here is Lugo McGuiness Secretary, Constance Romanac, displaying this month's Harvest of the Month poster.

Asian pears also went to Lugo McGuiness Academy. Here is Lugo McGuiness Secretary, Constance Romanac, displaying this month’s Harvest of the Month poster.