Pear picture ‘looking good’ around valley


Pear bins have been filling fast at the Goe family pear orchards off Ehrck Hill Road, south of Hood River.


News intern

“The pears are looking really good,” said Ken Goe of M. Goe and Son Inc. “It looks like the crop is going to be well above average for the year.”

Each day, Goe’s orchard will be shipping out around 200 bins. The smaller pears heading to canneries and the larger pears to packing houses around the Northwest.

M. Goe and Son Inc. is one of the first orchards to begin picking for the year as the crops in the lower valley have just reached maturity.

Although a short window of time, seven to ten days, the picking process began for M. Goe and Son Inc. on Aug. 18 and concluded late the following week. “That’s just the Bartletts though,” said Goe. “We start picking the Anjous in about two weeks.”

The encouraging nature of a crop that is “above average” will be a shared experience this year, according to Steve Castagnoli of the Oregon State Extension Center.

“I believe that the feel of a generous crop is a fair assessment for this year,” Castagnoli said. “The harvest should be pretty good across the valley, especially among the Anjous.”

According to Castagnoli, the reason for this year’s jump in pear numbers is attributed to good pollination conditions.

Jean Godfrey of the Hood River Growers-Shippers Association confirmed the expectations of this year’s harvest.

“It’s looking pretty good throughout the valley,” Godfrey said. “All of the reports I have heard are slightly above average for the year.”

“You can never be certain on how you are going to do,” said Goe. “The estimates are usually really close, but with so many factors and the current economy, the outcome can’t be for sure until the end of harvest.”

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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