Healthy Asian Pears...

 Health Benefits of the Asian Pear

‘Pyrus pyrifolia’ is a rather complex name for something most of us instinctively know is good for us ‘at first bite’: the Asian pear. Originally found in China, Japan and Korea and now grown locally in California, this crisp, refreshing fruit boasts many varieties which differ in texture, color and sweetness, but which share a highly palatable flavor and a host of health benefits that may surprise you. In this post we name a few reasons why Asian pears should be part of your family’s staple diet:

Fresh, Organic Asian Pears are rich in phytonutrientsPhytonutrients are bright-coloured plant chemicals which are considered to be more powerful in fighting aging than the free radical scavenger Vitamins (A, C and E) and minerals (zinc and selenium) that were the buzzwords in health literature in the 1980s and 1990s. The new millennium is all about phytonutrients, present in different forms in different fruits and vegetables. Some fight inflammation; others have great anti-aging effects on the skin. Asian pears are rich in two types of phytonutrients: flavonols and flavan-3-ols, which decrease the risk of contracting Type II diabetes. For optimum effect, combine your Asian pear intake with apples, since a recent study indicates that this combination has been most consistently successful in keeping Type II diabetes at bay.

* They are biophoton-rich: Pears in their raw form contain what renowned German scientist, Fritz-Albert Popp describes as ‘biophoton’ energy – the light collected by plants during the process of photosynthesis. This energy can be measured in fruits and vegetables and is present in much higher amounts in quality, fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. They are also abundant in healthy, as opposed to diseased, tissue in our bodies. When we cook fruits and vegetables, these biophotons are destroyed, which is why experts like Swiss physician, Dr. Maximilian Bircher-Benner (the so-called ‘Father of Muesli’) and Dr. Max Gerson prescribe a diet which is rich in raw foods, to combat a host of serious illnesses (including cancer). Consuming fresh, raw Asian pears allow us to absorb their highly ordered biophoton energy, which helps balance our own energy. Research indicates that biophotons improve inter-cellular communication, stimulate the metabolism and immune system, eliminate toxins and prevent the development of serious diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

* Asian Pears Keep Heart Disease and Cancer at Bay: Recent studies indicate that pear fibers bind to bile acids in the intestine, lowering the level of bile acids and leading to a reduced rate of cholesterol synthesis. This same process also lowers the risk of contracting colon cancer.

* They are high in electrolytes: Electrolytes are essential minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, chlorine, sodium and phosphate. These electrically charge particles are crucial to proper nerve and muscle function and to the maintenance of the correct balance of fluids in the body. Our electrolyte balance can be thrown off after we exercise heavily, during illness or in hot weather. Ensuing dehydration can cause a number of symptoms, including low blood pressure, a feeling of faintness and even stomach upset. This is why, especially during challenging or stressful times, it is vital to stock up on fluids and fruits which are rich in electrolytes. Asian pears, along with bananas, melons, peaches and oranges, are high in potassium, a crucial mineral for those suffering from kidney disease or high blood pressure. A healthy intake of potassium has also been linked to bone health, especially in women, making the Asian pear a handy tool in keeping osteoporosis at bay.

* Asian Pears Keep You Slim: The high fibre content of Asian pears (just one pear contains 4 grams of fiber, which is 18% of the Recommended Daily Allowance) leads to a lasting feeling of satiety, decreasing hunger pangs and reducing cravings for fatty and sugary foods. There are less than 50 calories in an Asian pear, so you can certainly afford to eat more than one a day! Obesity is one of the greatest risks for cardiovascular disease and cancer, so foods that keep your weight down should definitely be part of a staple diet.

* They Promote Eye Health: Pears are rich in Vitamin C, which is crucial to eye health. Vitamin C lowers the risk of developing cataracts and, when taken in conjunction with other vital nutrients, is capable of slowing down the development of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.


Our Juice & Why???

 Gabriel Farm’s Certified Organic “Asian Pear & Apple Juice” is truly an Estate juice if there ever was one.  We collect all the fruit that we can from our 14 acre orchard and truck it down to Graton in bins to the cannery.  Our local cannery requires that we bring in 10 tons of fruit in order to get a date on the canning schedule.  In order for us to get this much fruit together, we must bring Asian Pears & Apples at the same time.  The amount of “juice fruit” that our orchard generates is just about 10 tons each season if we combine Asian Pears & Apples.  What we came to find out after the first few pressings is that this combination creates one of the most tasty and refreshing juices that we know of.  It has the traditional tones of Apple mixed with the smoothness and spiciness of Asian Pears.  Additionally, it also offers the “Apple a Day” phenomenon blended with the less-known healing and nutritional values of Asian Pears – used for centuries for the improvement of the respiratory system and for their quantity of dietary fiber.


Now in its 12th year of production, we can offer a few ideal uses of our juice, and hope to peak your interest in exploring other possibilities.  We primarily drink it cold – either over ice on a tremendously hot day or just from the refrigerator.  When we are lucky enough to have sparkling water in the house, we enjoy making what our son Henry named the “Grungy Gopher”.  This is a half & half blend of sparkling water and juice with a little bit of ice. 


Gabriel Farm’s Certified Organic “Asian Pear & Apple Juice” is a one-of-a-kind juice.  Our juice stands apart in that we can completely account for where each piece of fruit that was pressed into our juice comes from.  This may seem like a simple fact, but I am not aware of any other juice offering today that can say the same thing.  Not only can we account for the fruit that goes into our juice, but you, the drinker of our juice, may come to visit and see the place where it all comes from.  Through our Farm Visit CSA, you can visit the farm and pick apples in the fall, plant new apple trees in the spring and take photos of the blossoms at the height of bloom time.  This is quite unusual in the land of juice these days.  Even some of the more local producers of juice cannot make the same claim as they buy in fruit from other orchards and even other states to make their product.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t ever seem to mention that on the label.

McIntosh Apples

For us here at the farm, ripe McIntosh apples signify that harvest is going to start any day, and any thoughts of leisure-time will be futile until at least Thanksgiving.  This is actually a good thing, as just like clockwork, everything falls into place when the McIntosh are finally ripe - Asian Pears will be harvested starting Monday, and the other apple varieties will begin to turn up ripe in their centuries old progression toward the end of Fall.  The beautiful thing about the McIntosh is that it defines what I call "Apple Flavor".  Many consider McIntosh apples a tart apple, but to me they are truly just the flavor of Apple with a capital A.  Pretty much every other variety can be measured and compared to the flavor of the McIntosh, and the uses of every other variety can be measured against all the many uses of a McIntosh...

I know the the East-Coast crowd likes to think that the McIntosh from back there are superior to those we grow here at the farm, but I encourage you to come visit the farm and pick a few - they really can't be beat.  During a season, dominated by stone-fruit and last-ditch efforts to cling to Summer, McIntosh season often gets missed.  I hope that you won't let it pass this year without giving them a try...

Our first delivery of the year will be to Bi-Rite Market in the Mission in SF.  If you can't make it to the farm in the next few weeks, visit them and pick up a few Mcs for yourself...

Thanks for reading...


First Asian Pears of the Season and Boy Are They Good!!!

We are nearing the end of the first week of harvest on our Asian Pears, and I am again reminded of the amazing & remarkable flavor of the Asian Pear.  After the first few bites of a Shinseiki in the morning hours of the first day of picking, I am often left to ponder the reasons why they are not considered a first-tier fruit by most folks.  They are, all at the same time, crisp, juicy, tangy, sweet, crunchy & most-of-all refreshing beyond compare.  And on top of all of that, they will store, relatively unchanged, in the refrigerator for almost 2 full months in most cases - put one in and forget about it, only to return to its amazing flavor and texture.

So at the end of this first week, I am, once again, resolved to spread the word about Asian Pears.  You will find me at the farm, at Farmer's Markets, doing deliveries, and even in my rare spare time, talking about their amazing qualities.  We do really try to raise the best fruit that we can, and in this our 10th season, I am once again rewarded by the tremendous fruit that is the Asian Pear from Gabriel Farm...

Hope to see you all soon...

Torrey - The Farmer 

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