This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In the last number of your journal some one bears down heavily on the Beurre Clairgeau Pear. For the past ten or fifteen years I have grown and ripened perfectly, as delicious pears from the Beurre Clairgeau trees, as we ever gathered. For one or two seasons I had much the same impression concerning the variety, as your correspondent, but I had made up my mind that so handsome a pear as that must have a better future. First of all, the tree should have no manure placed at its roots after it begins to bear fruit. A top dressing of bone meal (ground bones) mixed with some leaf mould, three or four pounds of bone meal to a tree twelve years old, and dug in in the Spring. In October when the fruit begins to fall, all of it must be carefully gathered and put in a basket for three or four days, and then picked over. Now have a box lined, or double-lined with blankets. Into this place the pears and cover them completely with the blankets: put on the cover just as close as possible. It is better to have a large box, say three feet long, two feet wide, and two feet deep, and this lined with blankets or old comforts, or anything that will keep the air out.
I make use of an old improvised ice chest, made for the purpose of transporting prairie chickens shot in August, on the prairies, in years past. Into this were packed the chickens with alternate layers of ice and birds. It has carried thousands, and not one spoiled, and now it is just as useful in ripening fruits. Pack the fruit in small boxes, 15x20 inches, as close as possible, and lined with something. Into the larger box place the smaller ones, there to remain ten days or two weeks. Then examine to see that all is right. The ripening can be hastened or retarded by placing the box in a warm or cool place. The best place is a cool dry room. When they are ripe, it is a sight that would make Mr. Field's eyes sparkle with pleasure, for every color is brought out to perfection, and the flavor can scarcely be surpassed. The Beurre Bosc ripened in this manner, is almost equal to the Seckel or Tyson. Let any one try this plan: there is nothing new about it, and if he be not fully compensated, I will agree to pay for all expense and trouble.