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“There are only ten minutes in the life of a pear when they are perfect to eat.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Nearly 100 people gathered at Perry-O and David Sliwa’s farm outside Decorah to learn about managing the soil in an orchard and the extensive varieties the Sliwa’s have tried over the years. The Sliwa’s adventure began as a homestead orchard, and as they expanded their market garden, they expanded their fruit trees, too. A lot of people had apples, so they decided to focus on pears. The started experimenting, and they continue to experiment.
Mimicking the ecology of the forest edge, their orchard is a polyculture with cultivars from around the region, and from friends (some of the cultivar names you won’t find other places). Their personal favorites include: Luscious (Sept.), Gourmet (Sept.), Winter Nelis (Oct. Nov.), Beurre Giffard (Aug.), Chapin (Aug.), Collette (Sept.), and maybe Ubileen (July).
Scroll through the photos below to see more about the Sliwa Meadow Farm, the pears, and the potluck!