Posted: 25/09/2013 at 07:23
Mmmm. The software just ate my reply. I'll try again.
Pears are a tricky one to get right in terms of maturity because the activity is taking place inside the fruit, out of sight. It might take some trial and error. Room temperature inside counts as ideal conditions and the time they take inside really depends on how mature they are.
As above, if there's a wee bit of "give" in the flesh around the stem, it's already happily edible. Another test is how easily it comes off the tree. If it slips off the tree very easily, it's also pretty ready. A couple of days inside at that stage of advancement would see them close to perfect.
I grow Coscia, a Sicilian variety that's much earlier than Conference. I've already harvested mine. As far as I know, September is about your harvest time. If you've got plenty on the tree, you might as well start experimenting.