ARS grin offers Harrow delight scions. Harrow delight is a pear of interest to me because it grafts 100% on most every rootstock every time. That seemed like to big of a coincidence so I researched it’s genetics and it’s (Old Home x Early Sweet) x Bartlett. Since it has the famous old home genetics it grafted to every callery I tried it on. Old home x farmingdale is easily the most popular rootstock. I’m really impresed with the Canadian pear breeding program. That makes way more sense now but it gets even better since it’s a Candian pear it’s very cold hardy. Its fireblight resistant and resistant to many other diseases. As the description below shows it ripens 2 weeks prior to Bartlett so for sales and for picking that’s very important. More importantly is it’s potential as an interstem.
This is the ARS desription " Harrow Delight (PI 541431). -Introduced for early fresh market and home garden use. Originated at Research Station., Harrow, Ontario, Canada by H.A. Quamme, Agr. Canada. Introduced in 1982. Purdue 80-15 (Old Home x Early Sweet) x Bartlett. Cross made by R.E.C. Layne, Research Station., Harrow; selected in 1973; tested as HW-603. Fruit: 5% smaller than that of Bartlett; ovate-pyriform, shallow, broad basin; flesh quality high, juicy, grit equal to that of Bartlett, flavor as good as that of Bartlett but distinctly different; skin light-green to yellow-green color with 20% to 30% covered with a light blush, no russeting; processed fruit inferior to that of Bartlett and only a little better than that of Kieffer; ripens 2 weeks before Bartlett. Tree: spreading; vigor moderate; productive; leaves ovate with rounded base, leaf serrations indistinct; flowers white; resistance to fire blight slightly less than Old Home. Cross fertile with Bartlett, Bosc, Anjou, and Harvest Queen. - Brooks and Olmo Register of Fruit and Nut Varieties
Cold hardy; successfully fruited in Anchorage, Alaska. – Paul Lariviere, 2006" - https://npgsweb.ars-grin.gov/gringlobal/accessiondetail.aspx?accid=%20PI+541431
Harrow Delight was not very resistant to fire blight in our epically bad FB year of 2015. We lost 2 of our 3 young trees. The Magness, Warren, Seckel, Blake’s Pride and Comice all did better. The only plant worse was Aromatanaya quince.
Our one remaining tree had its first crop this year: 5 pears. They were small but tasty.
It was brought up on another post that their harrow delight is not the largest pear which seems true for me also. It’s not an issue for me for a pear to have a slightly smaller size. After a long drought it rained which is causing many of my pears to crack now. This year we had late freezes that killed many flowers, drought, and now rain following a drought. They might crack but a pear is about the only fruit that can handle those conditions. Harrow delight set fruit and kept it although it’s cracking now. Great pear that I highly recommend! Did I mention the fruit set was on very young trees? Harrow sweet and harrow delight are fast to produce.
Starting to love harrow delight! Quick to produce, easy to graft, taste is good for an early pear, disease resistant, productive as well! Why isnt every home orchardist growing this tree? Its unlikely i would be growing this pear now if not for the good advice and support of other long term forum members. This picture is of a 3 year old harrow delight grown without special care in a wet spot on callery rootstock in poor clay soil. These are grown spray free. Thank you!
This is what they look like when they are ripe. I believe you do have a harrow delight but i did not find them fantastic the first year. Next year should be better for you. Mine were better this year. I think high sugar comes from growing in hot weather much of the time. Some things are location related. Hosui does not taste great here in my opinion but i have heard from others they love it at their location. Harrow delight should be more yellow when ripe.
My Harrow Sweet was also very good the first year but some of my other varieties have improved each year. I think the improvements in my case is from more mature trees and better timing as to when to pick for the best taste. I’m following the Harrow Delight post and I’m hoping that it does well in my area. A little off topic but my Korean Giant was underwhelming the first year but has developed into a family favorite.