with Lesley Tamura & Adam McCarthy
Date & Time: Feb. 21st, 2024 at 7 pm
Location: Columbia Center for the Arts, 215 Cascade Ave, Hood River, OR
Washington and Oregon produce more pears than any other states in the U.S. (#1 & #2). And Hood River County grows more Anjou Pears than anywhere else in the world! Here in the Gorge, pears have darn near celebrity status – instead of Madonna or Taylor, it’s Anjou and Bosc. But while pears certainly have their followers, how well do we really know these local superstars and the people that grow them? Like, why are pears harvested before they ripen? And what are pear shoulders and why should we care? And how’d we end up with so many pear trees here anyways? The Gorge is home to a unique community of orchardists, many of whom run small, family farms that have been around for multiple generations. Join two of those growers, Lesley Tamura and Adam McCarthy, as they give us an insider’s view of this important local crop and help us all learn what it takes to actually grow a pear.
Lesley Tamura was born and raised in Hood River. She grew up on her family’s orchard, watching different pear varieties grow from buds to blossoms to pears year after year. Lesley studied elementary education at Western Oregon University and spent the next decade teaching, first as a substitute in Hood River County School District and then as a sixth grade teacher in the Hillsboro School District. After leaving teaching, she returned home to learn the family business from her father and she is now the 4th generation of the Tamura family to grow fruit in the Hood River Valley. Lesley currently serves as vice-chair of Columbia Gorge Fruit Growers, a non-profit organization of 440 growers and 20 shippers of tree fruit in the Mid-Columbia area.
Adam McCarthy returned to the Hood River Valley in 2013 to run the family farm. As the full-time manager of McCarthy Family Farm, Adam oversees all operations and personnel. A graduate of Hood River High School, Adam attended the University of California, Davis, where he earned a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in agricultural and resource economics. After graduating, he went on to work as an Orchard Manager at Harry & David, where he worked for six years. Adam is currently serving as President of the Hood River Grower Shipper Association. He’s also on the board of the Hood River Supply Association and the board of the Washington-Oregon Canned Pear Association. Adam lives in Hood River with his wife Staci, who runs her own law practice McCarthy Law, LLC. They have two children, Elli and Graham.