Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The New Site is Done!

Please come on over and check it out. I will keep this site up as an archive, but all new posts and articles will be on the new site.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Permaculture Plants: Aronia or Chokeberry

Aronia, or Chokeberry, is a great shrub for the Forest Garden
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

Common Name: Aronia, Chokeberry
Scientific Name: Aronia species
Family: Rosaceae (the Rose family)

Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) - Large Shrub, Red Fruit
  • Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) - Small to Medium-sized Shrub, Dark Purple-Black Fruit
  • Purple Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia) - natural hybrid of Red and Black Chokeberry, but is now likely its own species

Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

The North American shrub known as Chokeberry had an extreme makeover once its nutritional profile was discovered. High in vitamin C and antioxidants, it is being touted as the healthiest fruit in the world. This new "superfood" was re-branded as Aronia (its scientific name), and it is now a common addition to juices and other health snacks. Typically a bit too astringent to eat raw, hence the original name, the fruit can easily be used in jams and jellies and even wines. It can also be made into syrup and tea. In the Forest Garden, it will attract beneficial insects, can withstand periods of drought, can be used as a windbreak and fruit-bearing hedge, and is strikingly beautiful most of the year.

Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) by Mary Walcott, 1925

The Aronia species are native to eastern North America. They have likely been used for thousands of years by natives for food and medicine. They have been used for some time as ornamentals, but it is only recently that they have become significantly more popular once they gained "health food" status.

  • The common name "Chokeberry" was given because, when raw, the fruit is typically too astringent (drying or mouth puckering). Many birds will avoid this berry until all other fruit sources are gone. This will often leave the fruit on the plants through mid-Winter.
  • The Aronia (aka ChokeBERRY) should not be confused with Prunus virginiana, the ChokeCHERRY, although fruits from both similar-looking plants are edible.
  • The fruit of Aronia is very high in vitamin C and antioxidants (specifically anthocyanins found in the Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa).
  • A mature plant can have up to 40 canes per shrub.

Apple and Chokeberry Wine

Chokeberry Jam

Primary Uses:
  • Edible fruit - usually cooked. Some improved varieties are mild enough to be eaten raw (see Trivia above).
  • Preserved Fruit - jams, jellies, preserves, etc. (naturally high in pectin). Can also be dried and used in teas and pemmican.
  • Fruit Juice - if mixed in a 1:1 ratio with another juice that is naturally sweet (like apple juice), then no other sweetener is needed
  • Juice can be reduced with heat to make syrup.
  • Primary or adjunct flavor in wines, but likely could be used in beers and liquors.
  • Tea Plant (dried fruits are used)
  • Fruit Leather

Secondary Uses:
  • General insect (especially bees) nectar plant
  • Wildlife food plant, especially birds, in Winter
  • Wildlife shelter plant for small mammals and birds
  • Groundcover plant - Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa), plant 3-4 feet (1 meter) apart
  • Ornamental Garden Plant
  • Drought-Resistant Plant - can withstand low water periods, but not extremely prolonged dry periods.
  • Windbreak species
  • Living Fence species

Yield: This varies dramatically on age, variety, and growing conditions, but a mature plant can average 22 lbs (10 kg) per year. Reports of almost 40 lbs (17 kg) per bush have been reported.
Harvesting: Autumn. Only harvest when fully ripe. Taste is better after a frost. A berry comb will greatly assist harvesting the small fruits.
Storage: Best when used fresh. Can be stored in a cool place (like a refrigerator) for up to two weeks.

Aronia can be used as a hedge or windbreak...
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

...and it is beautiful in the Autumn...
Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa)

...and Winter.
Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

USDA Hardiness Zone:
  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) - Zone 4-9
  • Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) - Zone 3-8
  • Purple Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia) - Zone 4-7

AHS Heat Zone:
  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) - Zone 8-4
  • Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) - Zone 8-1
  • Purple Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia) - Zone 8-1 

Chill Requirement: Likely, but no tested information is available; however, some studious amateurs suggest 800-1,000 chilling hours/units are needed for good flowering.

Plant Type: Shrub
Leaf Type: Deciduous
Forest Garden Use: Shrub Layer, Groundcover Layer
Cultivars/Varieties: Multiple varieties available

Pollination: Self-Pollinating. Pollinated by insects.
Flowering: Spring-Summer (May-June)

Life Span:
Years to Begin Bearing: 2-3 years
Years of Useful Life: No good information available, but this plant freely suckers. As one plant is starting to decline, a suckering plant can be established to take the original plant's place in the garden and in production.

Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia)

  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) - 6-13 feet (1.8-4 meters) tall and 3-9 feet (0.9-3 meters) wide
  • Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) - 1.5-6 feet (0.4-1.8 meters) tall and 6-10 feet (1.8-3 meters) wide
  • Purple Chokeberry (Aronia prunifolia) - 6-9 feet (1.8-3 meters) tall and 3-8 feet (0.9-2.5 meters) wide

Roots: Fibrous with the ability to sucker (send up shoots from underground roots)

Growth Rate: 
  • Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) - Slow
  • Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) - Slow to Fast (depending on environmental factors)

These shrubs can be quite prolific!

Light: Full to partial sun
Shade: Tolerates moderate shade, but fruit production is lower
Moisture: Can grow in wet to dry soils
pH: prefers acidic to neutral soil (5.1 - 6.5), but can grow in a wide range (5.0-8.5)

Special Considerations for Growing: 
  • Consider growing an improved variety for more or larger fruits.
  • Aronia does not tolerate juglone (a natural growth inhibitor produced by Black Walnut and its relatives). Consider using another plant as a buffer between your walnuts and Aronias.

Usually from seed. Needs 12-13 weeks cold stratification for germination. Can be propagated from cuttings of half-ripe wood in Summer (cut one half inch below a node). Can divide suckers in late Autumn and Winter when the plant is dormant.

Minimal, but will need to cut back suckers if not wanted. Also, thinning older canes once every few years will keep the plants more productive.

Red Chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia) can sucker a bit more aggressively than the Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa); however, these are rarely invasive.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Free Plant Guilds E-Book from Midwest Permaculture

The team over at Midwest Permaculture has been doing some great work lately, and this free eBook on Plant Guilds is great! If you are unfamiliar with the concept of guilds, you can read my article on Permaculture Guilds.

This eBook is a great resource for Permaculture in a Temperate Climate... so, of course, I had to share it!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Mob Grazing on the Farm and on the Homestead: Greg Judy and Jack Spirko

Cattle are the most well known Mob Grazers.

I recently shared a TED Talk by Allan Savory (you can see that article here) on how to reverse desertification by using intensive rotational grazing, a.k.a. "mob grazing" with cattle. As is with most TED Talks, the discussion was big on ideas but not on details. That is the point with TED Talks though. They want to spread ideas just to get them out there.

However, the following lecture by Greg Judy, which was given at the Virginia Biological Farming Conference in 2011, really explains the why and how of this amazing idea. If you have any interest in keeping livestock, in healing the land, or in the care of animals in a humane way, I would recommend watching this keynote address:

Geese are a smaller-scale alternative to Mob Grazing.

Now, what if you love the idea of Mob Grazing, but you either don't want to keep cattle or don't live on a 100+ acre farm? What if you have a little "land"... like a large suburban yard? Well, if you live in an area where you can keep geese or chickens or even a few goats, then I would really recommend listening to the following podcast by Jack Spirko from The Survival Podcast. Jack spends a lot of time discussing homesteading and Permaculture, and this podcast focuses on using animals other than cattle for homestead-level Mob Grazing: Taking "Mob Grazing" to the Small Piece of Land.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Portugal, please say "No!" to the McBifana.

I recently spent a few days in Lisbon, Portugal. I was walking one morning, and I came across this advertisement at a bus stop. I was very disappointed.

A bifana is a traditional Portuguese snack or light meal. It consists of a thinly sliced beef or pork steak placed between a sliced roll. By contrast, a McBifana is the exact opposite of a traditional food. It is a large, international, billion-dollar, food corporation that is coming in and trying to replace a food that is best made locally... by locals with local ingredients.

In reality, I support the free market, so I am not suggesting Portugal ban McDonalds. However, what I would love to see is the Portuguese avoid this food so McDonalds has to take it off their menu. Some things should not be in the realm of fast-food. Okay, pretty much nothing should be in the realm of fast-food if you actually care about quality food and health, but bastardizing a bifana is going a bit too far.

For a bit more information on a similar concept, I wrote a brief article on the Slow Food Movement that you can read here.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Allan Savory's TED Talk: How to green the desert and reverse climate change

Allan Savory

This presentation has been going around the "Permaculture World" for the last month. It is amazing. This is a must watch video if you have any interest in repairing our broken ecosystems.

From the TED website:
“Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And it's happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes -- and his work so far shows -- that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert. 

Allan Savory works to promote holistic management in the grasslands of the world

Monday, March 25, 2013

Great, Quick Video on Asian Pears

I recently wrote an article about Growing Asian Pears and an article outlining 25 Varieties of Asian Pears. As I was researching information about pollination charts (see tomorrow's post), I came across this video.

Tom Spellman from Dave Wilson Nursery talks about some of the more popular Asian Pear varieties. Great video, only 3 minutes long. Fun stuff!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Update - What I am Brewing: Azorean Blackberry Fig Honey Wine

My Blackberry Fig Mead... after almost 7 months of aging, it is still not ready!

Update: 22 March 2013
I finally had some time to rack (transfer) the mead into another carboy (glass jug). As you can see in the photo above, the red color has remained, though it has softened a bit. I stole a small glass to sample it. The mead was a very beautiful light pink in color, not the deeper red of the whole five gallon (19 L) batch. There was a very harsh, acidic first taste to it, but after that passes there was a very good flavor that lingered around for quite a while. I couldn't quite identify what the flavor was, probably because I had such a small sample, but I really like it. I am hoping that with some additional aging, the harsh flavor will mellow.

Today, I racked the mead to a new carboy leaving the lees (sediment) on the bottom of the original carboy. The new volume was lower than desired, so I added some additional honey water. I mixed 6 ounces honey with 18 ounces filtered water. This got it closer to the top of the carboy. I could have added more, but to be honest, I wasn't exactly sure how much additional volume I needed, and I didn't have a whole lot of time to mix and add even more.

Finally, I added a pack of yeast (Saccharomyces cervisiae (ex-bayanus) for sparkling wines from Lalvin). My original plan was to make this mead entirely a wild fermentation experiment. However, after waiting seven months, I think I lost my nerve! The flavor is developing well, and I really just didn't want to mess things up, especially after such a long wait. My future plan will be to run some side by side experiments (which I will document here) comparing completely wild fermentation, partially wild fermentation (like this one), and as non-wild as I can make it. Then I will be able to do some side-by-side taste tests and see which one turns out best. However, with just one batch, I really wanted success more than scientific results. The raw material was more difficult to come by since I was not raising the blackberries or honey myself. Once I get these things producing on my land, then I will be doing quite a lot of experimentation.

This batch of mead likely needs another 3-6 months before it is truly drinkable. I will let this fermentation cycle run its course, and then I will bottle it. Once in the bottles, I will be able to sample some every few months and taste how it matures. I expect it will only get better with time.

Name: Blackberry Fig Mead
Brew Date: 28 August 2012

Okay, to be technically correct, a mead is a honey wine. When fruit is added to mead, it is then called a melomel. So this concoction should be called a Blackberry Fig Melomel, but few people know what a mead is, let alone a melomel. With all that said, here is what I did...

  • 1 Gallon Azorean Raw Honey
  • 1 Gallon Figs, mostly skinned, from my garden
  • 1 Pint Azorean Blackberries, from my garden wall
  • 4 Gallons Water

  • In a 6.5 gallon bucket, slowly added 1 gallon honey to 4 gallons water, stirring constantly
  • Added figs and stirred
  • Stirred 3-4 times a day - a cap of fruit and seeds formed each time the water settled and needed to be broken up a few times each day
  • Let ferment for a total of 3 days
  • Racked (transferred the liquid) to a 5 gallon carboy, leaving behind the fruit and lees
  • Immediately added fresh blackberries, added air lock
  • Let ferment for 7 days
  • Racked to another 5 gallon carboy
  • Topped off with fresh honey water (with same 1:4 ratio as initial)
  • Let slowly ferment and mature... this is currently where things are at

  • This is a completely wild fermentation. I didn't boil or sterilize any of the honey or fruit. No packaged or extra yeast was added. The yeast that is fermenting this mead is only from the raw honey, the figs, and the blackberries.
  • I still maintained a very clean environment, as much as I would if I were brewing a beer with selected yeast strains.
  • I left a few skins on the figs as this is where I figured the highest concentration of natural yeasts would reside. However, I had read that the fig skins can give a bit of an off flavor, so the vast majority of the figs were skinned.
  • My goal is to let this ferment/age for a few months, maybe rack once or twice more, then bottle and age for 6-12 months before sampling... if I can wait that long.

Figs from my garden.

Day 2 of the fig and honey fermentation... smelled like Fig Newtons!

The melomel after the first racking.

The pint of blackberries from my garden wall.
I only fell off the wall once during harvesting!

Just after I added the blackberries.
Next to this is a small reserve of honey water that wouldn't fit.
I am letting this ferment without any fruit as well.

After about 5 days of fermenting with the blackberries, the liquid took on a beautiful pink hue.

Racked off the blackberries, topped off, and ready for aging.

Just racked into a clean carboy after 7 months of aging.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

A Pollard Lot Next to Home.

A Pollard lot. 
These trees reach 20-30 feet (6-9 meters) above the stool (tree trunk).

I drove by this lot today and had to take some photos. I have not seen such a perfect example of Pollarding before; all the components were there to see all at once. I got a few odd glances from the Azorean locals as they drove past. I am sure they were wondering what this American was doing taking photos, but I didn't mind at all.

Pollarding is a type of coppicing. I have written about coppicing in one of my previous articles, and I would recommend reading that article for a more in depth explanation. 

A recently harvested Pollard.

In brief, Pollarding is a pruning technique where one cuts off most of the branches from a tree at, or above, head level. The branches can be used for any number of purposes: posts, poles, fencing, tools, crafts, building, firewood, charcoal, etc. Within a number of years, the branches will grow back out of the pollard, and the process can be repeated. Only certain species of tree can be Pollarded (or Coppiced, for that matter), and each species varies in how often it can be harvested. 

I do not know the purpose of this Pollard lot. It could be for firewood, but these branches are long and beautifully straight. I also do not know the species of tree. I asked a few people walking by, but my Portuguese is not so good. The best I could get was, "Oh, yeah, we all just call it a shade tree." 

I will try to drive by this lot from time to time and hopefully catch someone on the property. I will try to find out the answers to my questions, and if I get them, I will share them on this page. Nevertheless, these were some great photos I had to share.

These poles, after being trimmed, are about 20 feet (6 meters) long 
and 6-8 inches (15-20 cm) in diameter.
Great wood with a lot of potential!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Asian Pear Varieties... just a sampling

I recently wrote an article about Asian Pears. Being that I am just barely familiar with this tree, other than an occasional taste of unknown varieties, I thought I would find some information about a few of the varieties that are out there. Included in this list of 25 are the most common, popular, flavorful varieties as well as a few traditional ones and brand new ones. I tried to list them in roughly the order that they ripen. 

As always, this website is about me gathering information so that I can go back and reference it as I need. There are some areas of missing information that I just couldn't find in a reasonable amount of time. If you have a link to a site that provides any of the missing information in my listings, please feel free to post a comment. So without further ado...

1. Ichiban Nashi ("First Pear")
  • Season: Early. Ripening ahead of 'Shinseiki', 'Shinsui', and 'Kosui.'
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Light gold to brown. Russet.
  • Taste: Sweet
  • Storage: keeps poorly
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: 

2. Shinsui ("New Juice")
  • Season: Early (after 'Ichiban Nashi' and before 'Shinseiki')
  • Size: Medium
  • Shape: Round with a little flattening
  • Color: Orange-yellow-brown, russet. Mild grit. Off-white flesh.
  • Taste: Outstanding flavor, very sweet, crisp, very juicy.
  • Storage: Delicate. Bruises easily. Stores for up to a month.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: Moderately susceptible to fire blight.
  • Notes: Precocious and very productive

3. Kosui ("Juice of Good Fortune")
Cross of Kikusui ("floating chrysanthemum") x Wase-Kozo. Japanese selection introduced in 1959.
  • Season: Early
  • Size: Medium to Small
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Light green to yellow-golden-bronze. Russet. White flesh.
  • Taste: Very sweet, slightly tart, juicy, tender, crisp. 
  • Storage: Excellent. Up to 5 months.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: Resistant to Alternaria black-spot and moderately resistant to pear scab. Leaves sensitive to 2-spot spider mites. Very susceptible to fire blight.
  • Notes: A strong-growing tree with leaves sensitive many sprays.

4. Shinseiki ("New Century")
Cross of Nijisseki ("20th Century") x Chojuro ("Plentiful"). Japanese selection introduced in 1945.
  • Season: Early
  • Size: Medium
  • Shape: Globular, lop-sided
  • Color: Green to yellow-green to bright yellow, smooth. White flesh.
  • Taste: Sweet, slightly tart, firm to rock hard, crunchy, course, juicy
  • Storage: Excellent, 3-5 months
  • Fertility: Self-Fertile, but more productive with another pollenizer
  • Pests/Disease: Fire blight susceptible, but some have moderate resistance
  • Notes: Fruit hangs on the tree well.

5. Hosui ("Abundant Juice")
Cross of (Kikusui x Yakumo) x Yakumo. Japanese selection introduced in 1972. Touted as the best flavored Asian Pear.
  • Season: Early-Mid
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: Round-globular
  • Color: Yellow-gold-brown, heavily russeted
  • Taste: Tender, sweet, brandy aroma, low-acid, juicy. Overripe specimens develop a rummy taste. 
  • Storage: Good. 4-8 weeks.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: Good resistance to pear scab disease. Susceptible to fire blight and bacterial canker.
  • Notes: The tree is vigorous, willowy and spreading. Loose growth habit.

6. Chojuro ("Plentiful")
Chance seedling of Pyrus pyrifolia. Japanese selection introduced in 1895.
  • Season: Early-Mid
  • Size: Medium-Large
  • Shape: Round-flattish
  • Color: Brown-orange. Russet. White flesh.
  • Taste: Slightly aromatic, butterscotch flavor. Flavor improves with storage. Not as juicy as newer varieties. Moderately gritty in some seasons.
  • Storage: Excellent. Stores for up to 5 months, but bruises easily.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: Moderately susceptible to
    fire blight; apparently resistant to pear scab and Alternaria black spot.
  • Notes: Tree is precocious and productive. It must be picked when first yellow-brown in color or fruit is subject to severe bruising and skin discoloration.

7. Seigyoku ("Sapphire")
Hybrid of Nijisseki ("20th Century") x Chojuro ("Plentiful")
  • Season: Early-Mid
  • Size: 
  • Shape: Round
  • Color:  Light green to yellow, smooth.
  • Taste: Average quality
  • Storage: 
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: 

8. Nijisseki ("20th Century"), aka Nijusseiki
Japanese selection introduced in 1898. Considered the standard for flavor.
  • Season: Mid
  • Size: Small
  • Shape: Uniform, round-globular, lop-sided
  • Color: Pale yellow-green. White flesh.
  • Taste: Sweet, slightly tart, firm, very juicy, crisp, very little grittiness. Mildly aromatic.
  • Storage: Excellent, 3-6 months, but bruises easily
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: Quite susceptible to pear scab and fire blight.
  • Notes: Semi-spur habit, vigorous. It should not be grown on P. communis rootstock because it is severely dwarfed. The fruit ripens in mid-August. It grows well on P. betulaefolia, P. calleryana, and P. serotina. Old trees need spur removal and rejuvenating pruning to maintain fruit size. The tree is naturally well shaped and easy to handle.

9. Yoinashi
  • Season: Mid. Ripens with Nijiesiki ("20th Century")
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: Brown
  • Color: 
  • Taste: Considered excellent
  • Storage: 
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: 

10. Tse Li (aka Tsu Li)
Complex hybrid of Pyrus ussuriensis x (P. x bretschneideri).
  • Season: Mid
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: Football-shaped or Pear-shaped
  • Color: Green
  • Taste: Not edible right off the tree. Taste is better with more storage time. Very sweet, aromatic, almost no acid
  • Storage: Amazing. 6-10 months. 
  • Fertility: Ya Li is appropriate pollenizer. 
  • Pests/Disease: Some fire blight tolerance. Seems to be damaged less by insects than Japanese varieties.
  • Notes: Blooms very early, so is especially susceptible to late spring frosts. 'Tsu Li' in California and 'Tsu Li' in China are not the same cultivar.

11. Yoinashi ("Good Pear")
New variety.
  • Season: Mid
  • Size: Large to medium
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Golden-brown-buff. Off-white flesh.
  • Taste:  Good flavor. Tender, crisp, juicy. 
  • Storage: Good. Up to 3 months.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: Trees appear to resist bacterial canker but are very susceptible to fire blight.
  • Notes: 

12. Shinko ("New Success")
Seedling of Nijisseki ("20th Century"). Japanese selection introduced in 1941.
  • Season: Mid-Late
  • Size: Medium to Large
  • Shape: Round to slightly flat
  • Color: Gold-bronze. Russet.
  • Taste: Distinctive rich, sweet, nutty flavor, juicy, crisp, firm.
  • Storage: Good. Up to 2 months, but may make it to 4 months
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: Nearly to completely resistant to fire blight
  • Notes: Fine winter keeper. Very productive.

13. Daisui Li
New University of California hybrid
  • Season: Mid-Late
  • Size: Very large
  • Shape: Round and slightly flattened
  • Color: Greenish to yellow. Very white flesh.
  • Taste: Sweet with a bit of tartness, crisp, slightly coarse. 
  • Storage: Excellent. 3-6 months.
  • Fertility: Pollinated by 'Shin Li'
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: Trees are extremely vigorous

14. Shin Li
New University of California hybrid. Hybrid between Japanese variety Kikusui and Tse Li. Introduced in 1988.
  • Season: Mid to Late
  • Size: Very large
  • Shape: Round and slightly flattened
  • Color: Yellowish to light green. Russet
  • Taste: Sweet and spicy, cinnamon aroma.
  • Storage: Excellent. 3-4 months.
  • Fertility: Pollinated by 'Dasui Li'
  • Pests/Disease: Conflicting reports about susceptibility/resistance to fire blight.
  • Notes: Trees are extremely vigorous

15. Olympic (aka Korean Giant, Large Korean, Dan Beh)
  • Season: Mid-Late?
  • Size: Very large
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Orange-bronze. Russet. White flesh.
  • Taste: Sweet with earthy flavor, crisp, juicy. 
  • Storage: Excellent. Up to 5 months.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: Excellent tolerance to fire blight. 
  • Notes: One of the more cold-hardy Pyrus pyrifolia.

16. Kikusui ("Floating Chrysanthemum")
The floating chrysanthemum is the crest of the Japanese royal family.
  • Season: Mid to Late
  • Size: Medium
  • Shape: Roundish-flat
  • Color: Yellow-green, dull
  • Taste: Similar to Nijiesiki ("20th Century"), sweet, slightly tart, firm, very juicy, crisp, gritty/coarse. Mildly aromatic.
  • Storage: Tender skin
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: Mother of many new varieties. Fruit has preharvest drop problems. Tree has average vigor.

17. Ya Li ("Duck Pear")
A variety of Pyrus ussuriensis. An old Chinese variety of very good quality, it is the most important pear cultivar in China.
  • Season: Late. Ripening a month after Nijiesiki ("20th Century")
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: Pear-shaped with long stem
  • Color: Green to yellow-green, smooth, slightly waxy. White flesh.
  • Taste: Sweet-tart, mild, crisp. 
  • Storage: Excellent. Tender. Up to 5 months.
  • Fertility: Requires cross-pollination by other early flowering cultivars such as 'Tsu Li' and 'Seuri'.
  • Pests/Disease: Somewhat tolerant of fire blight (probably because of early bloom time). 
  • Notes: Vigorous grower. Hardy. Trees are very productive and vigorous on all pear rootstocks. Blooms very early, so frost susceptible; 4 or 5 days earlier than Japanese varieties. This cultivar is slower to come into production than most Japanese cultivars.

18. Niitaka ("New Quantity")
  • Season: Late
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: Round, oblong
  • Color: Yellow-orange-brown, Russet.
  • Taste: Bland, average flavor, firm, coarse.
  • Storage: Good. Up to 2 months.
  • Fertility: The flowers are pollen-sterile but it sets well when cross-pollinated with most varieties.
  • Pests/Disease: Fire blight susceptible.
  • Notes: High production.

19. Arirang ("Sweet Pear")
Korean variety.
  • Season: Late
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Orange-brown
  • Taste: Very sweet and juicy, crisp, firm
  • Storage: Excellent. Up to 6 months.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: 

20. Atago
  • Season: Late
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Brown-orange. Russet.
  • Taste: Sweet, slightly tart, crisp
  • Storage: Good. Up to 4 months.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: Trees are upright, spreading and
    medium in vigor. 

21. Seuri (in Chinese, it may be Se Li "Red Pear")
  • Season: Late
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: Round
  • Color: Dark orange to yellow. Russet. Yellow to white flesh. 
  • Taste: Sweet, rich, crisp, hints of apricot. Fruit flavor is excellent, especially in hot climates.
  • Storage: Good. 1-3 months.
  • Fertility: Should be pollinated by 'Ya Li', another early bloomer.
  • Pests/Disease: Conflicting reports about susceptibility/resistance to fire blight
  • Notes: Delicious but unattractive. Trees used as pollinizers. It is a low-chill, early blooming variety.

22. Okusankichi ("Madame Luck")
Traditional Japanese variety from mid-19th century.
  • Season: Very Late
  • Size: 
  • Shape: Oval or turban-shaped.
  • Color: Brown. Russet.
  • Taste: Sweet-tart, very firm, crisp, slightly coarse. Flavor improves with storage.
  • Storage: Good.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: 

23. Sweet 'N' Sour
Developed by Virginia Gold Orchard
  • Season:
  • Size: 
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Green to yellow. Smooth. White flesh.
  • Taste: Sweet, very juicy, firm, crisp.
  • Storage: Good. Up to 4 months.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: 

24. Sunburst
Developed by Virginia Gold Orchard
  • Season:
  • Size: Large
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Yellow skin with "splash of russet" around the stem. White flesh.
  • Taste: Unique with a hint of ginger, very sweet, very juicy, tender, crisp.
  • Storage: Excellent. Up to 6 months.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: 

25. Autumn Sweet
Developed by Virginia Gold Orchard
  • Season:
  • Size: Medium to large
  • Shape: 
  • Color: Golden-orange. Russet. Slightly roughened skin.
  • Taste: Very sweet and juicy.
  • Storage: Fair. Up to 1 month.
  • Fertility: 
  • Pests/Disease: 
  • Notes: