From the Orchard

Royal Riviera® Pears are the pinnacle of our harvest assortment. These luscious, juicy pears have been the staple of our business since 1914, when brothers Harry and David Holmes acquired the orchards and began cultivating this legendary fruit.

It takes great skill and dedication to grow and harvest the Royal Riviera® Pear, due to its fragile nature and unique climate requirements. Fortunately, Harry and David graduated from Cornell University, where both earned degrees in agriculture. Their knowledge and skill as orchardists ensured that their expanding groves of pear trees produced exquisite fruit year after year, and they passed that knowledge on to new orchardists as time went by.

Matt Borman
Head Orchardist

Today’s orchardists, who learned the skills of our founders and have developed new skills along the way, are responsible for the continued excellence of our pears. Their hard work tending our orchards and caring for each pear tree has allowed us to bring delight to hundreds of thousands of people across the country. With that in mind, as an honorary orchardist, we hope that you enjoy every bite of these famous pears.

Harvest Information

APPLES

We are now shipping Gala and Braeburn apples from Washington and Empire apples from New York.

HONEYBELLS

The tropical storms, which brought heavy rain and wind to our Florida growing region, did not seriously hurt the crop or any of our pickers. The temperatures have actually been ideal for growing these sweet citrus fruits, and we hope to begin harvest on time the first week of January.

HONEY TANGERINES

We will ship honey tangerines from Chile during October.

Now Happening In The Orchards

With the harvest complete, our surveyors are hard at work in the field checking over the crops, noting any damage done during the harvest, and preparing our irrigation systems for the cold winter ahead.

About The Orchard

We grow about 400 tons of Oregold® Peaches, 15,500 tons of Royal Riviera® Pears, and 800 tons of Bosc pears. The total harvest varies based on weather conditions throughout the year.

Because pears require cold weather to become sweet, our orchardists pick each pear the moment it ripens, after which we place them in cold storage for up to 30 days. This ensures that every pear in your box will arrive within a day or two of being ready to eat.

Pear Harvest Video

Royal Riviera® Pears Arrive In Time For Fall

Our famous Royal Riviera Pears have been harvested and will begin shipping the third week of September. This year’s harvest began one day earlier than last year’s, making it our earliest in the history of Harry & David. Luckily, July brought unseasonably cool weather, which pear trees love, yielding an exceptional crop, with our classic pears bigger and juicier than usual. Our pear harvest is currently chilling, ripening to the perfect quality that our customers expect before they’re delivered.

Want to be an Honorary Orchardist?

For more than 80 years, we’ve been cultivating exceptional Royal Riviera® Pears in the rolling hills of Southern Oregon. These legendary pears are the crown jewel of our harvest assortment, and they would not exist without a dedicated group of people. Join this elite group by purchasing Honorary Orchardist Royal Riviera® Pears for yourself or as a gift for someone special. JOIN NOW ▸

Orchard Facts

  • How do your orchardists ensure your pears are all ripe when they arrive, even when the weather is different from year to year?
    Because pears require cold weather to become sweet, our orchardists pick each pear the moment it ripens, after which we place them in cold storage for up to 30 days. This ensures that every pear in your box will arrive within a day or two of being ready to eat.
  • How do you get great pears all year round?
    We work with growers in multiple parts of the world to ensure that we have access to the right climate to grow top-quality Comice pears all year. Our orchardists fly out to Chile and New Zealand to inspect the pears we select, and we fly orchardists from those countries here to train them so they can provide pears that meet our standards.
  • When does your pear crop ripen?
    Depending on the year, our pears can ripen anywhere from the second week of August to mid-September. The cooler the growing season is, the faster our pears ripen.
  • When does your peach crop ripen?
    Our peaches ripen from the beginning of July into August. Unlike pears, peaches ripen faster in cooler weather. This means that during especially cool years in Southern Oregon, our peach and pear harvests sometimes run together.
  • How do you make sure the best fruit gets into your gifts?
    Every peach and pear (the two fruits we grow in our own orchards) is picked by hand sorted in the field. We then use a machine to take 17 pictures and sort them again to weed out imperfections, and finally, before packing, each piece of fruit is looked at one more time, by hand, to ensure only the highest-quality fruit is shipped.
  • How much fruit do you grow each year?
    We grow about 400 tons of Oregold® Peaches, 15,500 tons of Royal Riviera® Pears, and 800 tons of Bosc pears. The total harvest varies based on weather conditions throughout the year.
  • Where do you grow your apples?
    The majority of the apples we sell come from quality growers in Washington, since Washington apples are high quality and can be shipped everywhere in the U.S. From March to July, when apples aren’t in season there, we send our orchardists and merchants to New Zealand, which shares similar climate characteristics to the U.S. Pacific Northwest in many areas.
  • Where do your Cherry-Oh!® Cherries come from?
    We select growers in specific areas for our cherries—near lakes and cool river valleys—so the cherries are plump and extremely sweet. Those areas are Hood River in Oregon, Lake Wenatchee and Lake Chelan in Washington, and Okanagan Lake in British Columbia.
  • What’s a fun fact about a fruit that most people don’t know?
    In order to turn orange, citrus fruit needs the cold. When temperatures are too warm at night, oranges, HoneyBells, and other fruit will stay green—even though they’re perfectly sweet and delicious. They just don’t take on that beautiful orange hue.