Here comes the 2021 Apple and pear harvest!

Goldrush seem to be my daughter’s favorite this year too. Good thing, because the quality on the Golden Russet isn’t looking good.

She’s eating them green for the past few weeks. I get some bites here and there. They’ve gone from russet potato starchiness, to now more like grocery store Granny Smith (with more sugar) in the past week or so. They’re now at the point where I consider them worth eating, but still not ripe.

But they’ve largely escaped the apple maggot and bitter pit or whatever that’s plaguing the other apples. And they set real heavy, so there are a good number of them.

I have 3 on a small espalier too. I’ll probably let those hang as long as I can get away with and see how much color and ripeness we can get before winter.


Here in Sebastopol, I usually pick GoldRush on Halloween, Pink Lady Thanksgiving, Sundowner (Cripp’s Red) Christmas and Lady Williams after New Years Day. That way I don’t need refrigerator space to store apples - all of my space has pears!


This is what I think is Keiffer from that half of my frankentree.

No spray whatsoever. There were around 60 pears with mostly OFM damage, a few of the damaged were stinkbug catfaced.


I used to spray my Kieffer pears for a few years. I ran out of spray one year and never sprayed them. They did not look any different with or without being sprayed. So I never sprayed them again. They always looked great.


I probably should have added these were the unblemished, plus about a dozen or more I have eaten already.

1 Like

If the Kieffer have a blemish I throw them on the ground. There is plenty of them we all eat good this time of year. If you have a few Kieffer your rich with fruit. You won’t run out of food and you have excess to give away. My friends, family, wild animals , everyone has plenty. Duchess D’ Angoulme and Douglas are the same way. I have several or more trees of each. Goodness I must have 12 or more heavy producing trees like that. We are thankful for them.


I have a Duchess d’ Angoulme growing now but too young to have fruit, yet. I am anxious to actually taste one. I have no idea what they taste like. I liked the story and description of it. You had photos of these pears on one of these threads and they looked really good.



Duchess is a very late season pear. They are still on the tree now beginning to get ripe. They taste good but lack the complexed flavors some pears are known for. Duchess x Kieffer are parents for Douglas. Any of these can have a fruity what some call sprightly taste. They are very popular with many people. You will taste them soon Duchess produces pears fast , 2-3 years tyically. They are better tasting in some places than others. @alan in New York considers them very good but @mamuang growing season is about 2 weeks behind mine in Kansas and likely would rate them OK or good only but not best. Kansas is variable between the two some years they are sweet and fruity making them good and other years just OK. Duchess is so late that in most cases when the sugar does get higher they get picked on by the insects because they are some of the last fruit on the trees. The pears can be extremely large. I’m never going to rate them the very highest quality pear but rather somewhere in the middle. At one time my taste were less refined but the more pears I grow the more I know. Sweet , fruity but not complexed nor are they sandy or have any off flavors. Middle of the road for such a large pear is impressive. They are a pear I enjoy but harrow sweet, seckle, potomac , and many others are better. Largest / Best tasting pear . Like I told @mamuang even though they are named after a Duchess you may find them only good but not great. The story of this pear is here Question the History of a pear or know some history? Post it here! . Keep in mind I’ve had them when they are really good and they really can be good. "

Question the History of a pear or know some history? Post it here!


This a great story about duchesse d angouleme pears [ ] the article has since been removed.

“The original tree was a wilding (a tree that grows by seed from a discarded core) grown in a garden near Angers, Maine-et-Loire, France. About 1808, M. Audusson, a nurseryman at Angers, got permission to propagate the pear, then calling it the Poire des Eparonnais. In 1820, he sent a basket of the fruit to the Duchesse d’Angouleme asking permission to name the pear in her honor. Permission was granted.”

1 Like

It’s funny how the term sprightly get’s thrown arround in nursery catalogs. From my own experiences thus far, sprightly has translated into the edible side of sour. I’m not talking lemons, more like blueberries when there is still a bit of green around the stem.
It would be interesting to see what that term has translated to for everyone else.

1 Like

Love love your apple “bowl”


Sprightly means “having a distinctively piquant taste : zesty a sprightly salsa.” . You know what sprite tastes like a bit like that!

" synonyms for piquant

  • peppery.
  • poignant.
  • pungent.
  • racy.
  • savory.
  • spicy.
  • tangy.
  • interesting. "

Great information. Thank you for the information.

1 Like

Nice looking apples. Sometimes that is as ripe looking as my GR will get. I like them at this stage but when they take on the golden color they are outstanding. The ones I stored in the refrigerator kept for a long time and sweetened up somewhat.


@Auburn . . . Is that one of your relatives, Bill? Nice little drawing! I can’t help but say . . . “Funny, you don’t look Neanderthal?!?”
I did a DNA test . . . and I am 2% Neanderthal. Did you know that is where the ‘red hair gene’ comes from? Very interesting.


I’m considering doing a DNA test. Which service did you use? According to most documentaries about Neanderthals, most people descended from Eropeans are 1-4% Neanderthal and I’m guessing that 2% is the typical amount. I have enjoyed watching all the youtube videos on this topic as well as our latest addition the Denisovans. I’m confident that I’m also part of this bloodline. My hair while younger was almost black but my mother had red hair. Looks like we are distant relatives.

1 Like

I used two. The first time I was really honing in on my ‘unknown’ ancestry in Eastern Europe - so I used ‘Family Finder’. It targets Jewish lineage, specifically . . . but also much broader searches.
Then I used 23&Me. Through this I found an entire branch of my mother’s family. A woman contacted me and we discovered that our grandmothers were sisters! We unearthed all kinds of surprises about our family. We worked together . . . and it was a lot of fun.
My husband used one that National Geographic touted. It was fairly useless. ! But that was quite awhile ago . . . and the services and data bases have come a long way.


Most DNA sequencing companies will allow you to download your data. You can then upload it to (some) other places either for free or for a fee less than getting them to separately sequence it. 23&me and I believe are the exceptions, you have to swab and mail and pay them… You can upload to gedmatch, myheritage, familytreedna, geneanet and others though. I had an auDNA “test” done by myheritage on one of their $39 sales a few years ago. Subsequently uploaded to gedmatch and familytreedna and made some discoveries. I’ve since then had mtDNA and yDNA sequencing done by familytreedna and have made more discoveries.

There’s great value in using DNA to determine if you are related to someone and how closely. From a genealogy perspective this is great… I would advise taking with a big grain of salt the “ethnicity estimate” aspect though. I treat that as “for entertainment purposes only”.

Oh and the “ginger gene” and neandrathals, there’s some counter arguments out there as well: Neanderthals didn't give us red hair but they certainly changed the way we sleep


‘The Mormons’ have been invaluable! I really liked working with their site. They are superb record-finders.

I’ll have to check out ‘why I sleep like a Neanderthal’! I find all this stuff absolutely fascinating!


First crop of SUIJ PEAR.

Large dense fruit looong storage to March



Just and FYI: Private equity firm Blackstone announced in August it was acquiring a majority stake in direct-to-consumer genetics company Ancestry from its former equity holders for $4.7 billion. (This was in 2020).