[NAFEX] Researching Agricultural History

Kieran &/or Donna holycow at frontiernet.net
Thu Jun 11 23:06:30 EDT 2009

Oops.  I wrote: 

>There are older books from the big horticultural fad in the 1980's that have been scanned online

What I meant was the 1800's, particularly 1850's to 1900.  It's pretty sad to read about all the terrific pears that they were growing in the South and the growers talking about the pear blight and what varieties they were losing.  They didn't know where it came from or what the future was going to be like.  Today I looked up the phrase "Growing pears for profit"  and found a book from the 1800's by that title on Google books.  The author said that Kieffer was producing 4X the bushels per acre that Duchess was, (and Duchess was known as a reliable producer.)  No wonder he says to get rid of the minor pears and concentrate on heavy production.  He also has detailed info on pruning pears for production and to keep them down.  I think sometimes that I should be planting new pear trees and plan on chopping down the grafted volunteers that are cropping now.   I can always graft the sprouts that come up.  I had 3 trees from a tree that a local woman raved about, turned out to be Kieffer.  Supposedly Kieffer doesn't take topgrafting all that well, forms poor unions.  So I'm going below the graft with side grafts with plans to harvest some Kieffers for a couple years while the better variety is growing.  
    Anyone have Douglas pears?  Are they really better than Kieffer and almost as productive like Corvallis's website says?       Donna 
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