Pear - Pyrus spp.

Pear - Pyrus spp.

Food Deserts

The frustration of growing fruit used to frustrate me to no end. It went like this: “It’s no use trying to grow fruit on this property, there are just too many birds, insects and other animals that come in and eat it all. By the time we go out to pick them, there is nothing left worth eating.”

"When one comes to the essence of being, The shining wisdom of reality Illumines all like the cloudless sky."

If you’re bored sometime, look up some pictures of the Tibetan poet named Milarepa. This poet is usually pictured with his hand behind his ear, as if to show that he is always listening. It seems that for Milarepa, everything appeared to him as a teaching, and where most would see an enemy, he saw a friend, because this friend was trying to teach him a new lesson. For this reason, he would put his hand behind his ear to remind himself to listen.

"When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you."

Lessons can be discovered everywhere and have often been called golden threads because when noticed, they can lead the noticer unexpected places. To follow golden threads is to ask why and then to follow this question wherever it leads. My 'problem' of birds eating 'my' fruit was one of these threads, and it has led me to the realization of food deserts.

"What would it be like to live in a world where I did not need to want anything, where I could let myself drift, a world where food was found, not bought, prepared, preserved, planned? What if I lived in a world where, if an interesting stranger came along I could spend my time with him, because being with a visitor was what I had to do in the moment? What if I too could live in the now?"

Imagine yourself as a bird living in a city like Columbus. Fly around the city and what would you find; mostly roads, houses, sidewalks, monocultural lawns, ornamental landscapes, and few trees. Ok, now fly out beyond the city and what do you find; fields after fields of monocultured, genetically modified, chemically laden food. Ok, now imagine you fly over the one place in that decided to have a garden, or to grow a fruit tree. Imagine how those fruits and vegetables would glisten in your eyes, how they would taste upon your palate. Of course you’re going to ravish that bush or tree or garden. And when your friends see what you’re doing, they will obviously join in on the feast.

"Cancer is not aware its activity is self destructive because it is trapped in a little picture with no vision into the larger reality."

This golden threads then leads to the question of what am I going to do about it. Unfortunately our thoughts most often go directly to thinking about what Technique we could use to keep birds, insects and other animals far away from ‘our’ food – never realizing that what we do to the community of life, we do to ourselves. But there are other ways that work and our beautiful. Which is why the golden thread lead me to create a Perma Farm. Birds still eat the fruit, but there is so much fruit to go around, that it no longer and neve was a problem, just a teacher in disguise.

"Every day we encounter new situations that psychologically stretch and mold us. Every physical problem is a new opportunity to grow; each hardship helps us to develop our inner qualities of courage, love, and compassion; each new challenge is an opportunity to learn. In a sense, each of us uses matter as a tool of transformation. Our biological bodies are temporary vehicles for expression and experience in this dense realm of matter."


Pears are such an amazing unsung hero of the plant world, they are strong, fast growing trees that produce an incredible amount of fruit without any chemicals. In fact there can be so much fruit on one tree that the limbs can bend and touch the ground under the weight of so much fruit. What is even more amazing is that Pears seem to have very few blemishes. You can literally eat most Pears right off the tree without having to cut anything out.

Pears as most everyone knows taste amazing - sweet and juicy. And while we sometimes, peel them, there is some evidence to show that the skin has a lot of good fiber and nutrients too.


We have found the best way to eat a Pear is right off the tree. We have both Asian and Common Pears growing, and both taste amazing. Common Pears are rather hard right off the tree, but if they sit for a week, they soften nicely.

The problem though with just eating Pears off the tree is that you will never be able to eat them all, and so many will go to waste. So the second best way that we have found to eat and preserve Pears is to can them.

Simply slice up the Pear (or put through an Apple peeler), and place in a large pan with some water, sugar and lemon. Once you’ve finished cutting all the Pears, fill up your canning jars with Pears and liquid. Give the cans a water bath for 30 minutes and you’re done.