Bartlett pear packing in Odell, Oregon. (TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower)

Bartlett pear packing in Odell, Oregon. TJ Mullinax/Good Fruit Grower

Being in a packing house at the height of harvest always amazes me. I am fascinated at all the interconnected pieces that take the fruit from bin to box, each step a delicate dance of gears and conveyers and people moving in unison to the constant hum of the mighty machinery that makes it all possible. And it all happens so quickly and so efficiently.

I think that’s why this issue’s cover of Bartletts on an Oregon packing line is especially intriguing. The image, captured by my Good Fruit Grower colleague  TJ Mullinax, brings to mind something like a still life painting. But we all know nothing is ever still for long on a packing line. These pears are on the move.

And really, that’s how it is for this entire industry. There is always motion when it comes to fruit. Machines aren’t limited to just the packing houses. There are so many more pieces that connect growers to packers to consumers, including big movements in research and technology. We’re seeing fundamental changes to the way fruit is planted, packed, processed and prepared for market. There is a lot going on.

It’s fascinating, of course, and we’re bringing these changes to you with each issue. But in the midst of all of this motion, it’s sometimes very calming to just take a few moments, be still, and enjoy a good cover.

Mullinax is Digital Producer at Good Fruit Grower. You can see much more of his work in the pages of each issue and online right here at