Growing pears at a high elevation can be tricky, but our industry has this category in hand with legacy growers at the helm. Fourth-generation farmer Erica Bland knows a thing or two about growing the best pears. She comes from a family that’s been growing pears in Washington State’s Cashmere Valley for Rainier Fruit since the 1950s. When it comes to expertise, Erica has it in spades…
Outside of growing pears, Erica likes to grow her community. She enjoys spending her time giving back, being active, and providing support for the next generation. A “pear” of opportunities she’s had the pleasure of performing was coaching the high school tennis and basketball teams. Giving back to the community her family has been a part of since the 1950s feels good to her core.
Rainier’s pears grow at high elevations to provide the best quality on the shelf. Elk and bears are a constant presence, but this is where pears love to grow. Erica and the Bland family nurture the trees to create high-quality fruit, all while protecting them from the wildlife eager to get a nibble. In doing so, the trees produce some of the best and most flavorful fruit in Washington State.
As the protectors of the pear trees, Erica and the Blands also have a hand in preparing the fruit to be retail-ready. Rainier’s state-of-the-art ripening rooms are like its growing area. The ripening rooms serve as a critical component of the supply chain. That way, when product hits the shelf, shoppers have flavorful, ready-to-eat pears.