Asian Pears are November's Harvest of the Month 
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The Asian pear is known for its sweet, juicy taste and crisp, grainy texture. They are native to Japan and China, where they have been grown for over 3,000 years. There are thousands of varieties of Asian pears, but the variety chosen for this month's Harvest of the Month is Olympic, which is reddish-brown in color and more winter hardy than most varieties. Asian pears maintain their crunchy texture and refreshing flavor long after being picked and can last for several weeks or more in a cold, dry place. 
Asian pears are a good source of:
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin K
• Potassium

• Copper
• Fiber

Asian pears provide a high level of dietary fiber, which helps to promote healthy blood pressure levels and is essential to intestinal health. In addition to its high fiber content, the Asian pear provides the body with vitamin K and copper, each of which plays a significant role in both blood and bone health. 
Asian pears are most delicious when eaten raw. They are also great on salads and their sweet flavor makes them a lovely addition to muffins, breads, and soups. 
1 cup arugula (or any green)
1 Asian pear, sliced
2 Tbsp. nuts, chopped
Goat Cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice

On top of the greens, add sliced pears, crumbled goat cheese, and chopped nuts. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice. Enjoy! 

This month's Asian pears were sourced through the Local Food Hub and lovingly grown on the Saunders Brothers Orchard in Nelson County, VA, where they also grow a host of local apple varieties as well as nectarines and peaches. Asian pear trees love company and are best grown alongside of one or more other Asian pear trees in order to produce fruit. We are lucky that Virginia's late annual fall frost date makes it an excellent place to grow Asian pears. 

From top down: CLASS After School Site Director Maurice Simmons (left) and student enjoying the pears this morning at Venable; volunteers Jodie Plaisance and Elizabeth Willingham helping out with Harvest of the Month this morning at Burnley-Moran; Venable Garden Coordinator, Ashley Crank (left) and volunteer Heather Phillips (right) slicing Asian pears for students to snack on.

Asian Pears - Trivia and Facts

Fresh Asian pears were sourced through the Local Food Hub! Yum!
TRIVIA OF THE MONTH: “This fruit is the shape of an apple and full of water but the skin is not shiny or bright. It grows on a tree, and can be grown here is Charlottesville and across the world in Asia, where it is originally from.

  • China grows over 3,000 varieties of Asian pears, and has been cultivating them for 2,000 years, while Japan has cultivated them for 1,300 years. Most Asian pears in the US are Japanese varieties. 
  • As opposed to European pears, which are eaten when they are soft, Asian pears are crisp, like an apple, when they are mature.   
Read more about this month's Harvest of the Month snack delivery on our blog!
Harvest of the Month is a program that highlights a locally available crop each month by providing a fresh, healthy snack in all six Charlottesville Elementary Schools. Students also learn about the crop in their schoolyard garden and classroom. Information on growing, nutrition, and preparation of the crop is shared with teachers and families. The goal of Harvest of the Month is to support healthy living skills that strengthen our youth and community. 

It takes a community to make Harvest of the Month happen! City Schoolyard Garden is grateful to work in collaboration with Charlottesville City SchoolsLocal Food Hub, and Charlottesville Move2Health. Supported with funds through the Thomas Jefferson Health District of the Virginia Department of Health and other generous donors. Thanks to rock paper scissors for their design work & Whitney McDermott for her beautiful illustrations. 

    Donate to keep Harvest of the Month growing!

City Schoolyard Garden is an independent, non-profit organization and your tax deductible donation makes a difference. Join us investing in our children's future, and providing them with a foundation for learning about health, nutrition, sustainability, and community. Click on the apple to donate or send a donation to our address below. Thank you!
P.O. Box 5285, Charlottesville, VA 22905
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