Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

More than free pears August 20, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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I photographed this roadside sign in Northfield on Sunday.


PICK A PEAR. Or two. Or three.

The roadside invitation to pluck pears from two trees at 203 West Woodley Street, Northfield, proved a first for me.

First, I’ve never seen such an offer. And second, I’ve never seen a pear tree.

The pears I’ve eaten come from the grocery store. They are much larger, more golden and decidedly more perfect.



But there’s something about picking fruit directly from the tree that appeals to me. And I wasn’t about to pass on the opportunity.

So when Randy and I drove past the sign, we did a quick swing back around the block to check out the pears. Neither of us knows anything about home-grown pears. So the note about pushing on the top or picking hard ones and waiting a few days for them to ripen was particularly helpful.



Randy grabbed four pears—one yellow, the others green—while I grabbed my camera and took photos.

I ate the mini yellow pear for lunch the next day; it was too small to share. I found it dry, not at all juicy. Had there not been a browning blemish, I may have waited longer. The three remaining green pears are now inside a brown paper bag on the kitchen counter, hopefully ripening and not rotting.


This is the place, 203 West Woodley Street.


Whatever the outcome, I find the FREE PEARS offer such a fine example of kindness and generosity, something we all need right now. More than ever.


© Copyright 2020 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


11 Responses to “More than free pears”

  1. More than they can eat so sharing time – nice. My one co-worker has avocado galore going on and has offered me a handful over the past month or so. Then I have another co-worker with hens laying a good 4 to 6 dozen eggs and I gladly take those and give her monies. Her hens are “easter egg” layers from yellow to green to blue to all shades of brown. I love when someone asks her if the green eggs are green inside – nope – hehe. Happy Day – Enjoy 🙂

  2. Littlesundog Says:

    Oh how I wish I had pears to pick! We have all sorts of fruit trees here, but two late freezes ruined all the fruit crop in our area this year. So I have these three hungry fawns to raise, and I have to BUY the fruit we feed them!! Oh well, it’s nice to see someone in your neck of the woods has a good crop and is offering to share. And I’ll just point out that those store-bought pears are likely genetically modified if they are huge, and they are not organic. You are getting the real deal!

  3. valeriebollinger Says:

    I missed it. I’ll have to look to see if they are still picking here, on Woodley Street. 😉

  4. Well that was fun 🙂

  5. Susan Ready Says:

    When the lemon and grapefruit trees are bursting with fruits in AZ often find people wanting to share their stash

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