Kieffer and Orient Pears
been waiting with baited breath for our fruit trees to mature enough to
bear, and it seems like every one has had a surprise in store for
me. This year it was the Kieffer Pear that set two fruits a year
earlier than expected.
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I watched those
beautiful green pears
swell all summer, and at last saw that their lenticels had turned
brown, meaning that the fruit was fully developed. As with all
storage pears, you have to pick the fruits and then let them ripen for
a few more weeks inside, so again I waited. Finally, the day of
the taste test came. I sliced the pear into quarters and Mark and
I each took a nibble...and just about spit it out. Unfortunately,
the pear I'd been waiting on for the last four years has gritty fruit
with very little taste --- a pear that's best canned, reports the
Looking up the pear's sister
tree --- Orient --- turned up the fact that
these two varieties are often planted for their extreme disease
but that their fruit is extremely unexceptional. I bought the duo
because they were cheap and I wanted a pear tree, but now I
wish I'd waited a year until I could save the cash for a tree that was
both disease resistant and flavorful. We put in an order for
Starking Delicious Pear (reported to be "Bartlett-quality" and
"virtually blight-free"), so hopefully in another four years, we'll be
tasting a more flavorful fruit.
Meanwhile, I plan to
graft some tastier varieties onto our existing pear trees. More
on that project in a later post.