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Harrows Delight- astringent?

Posted by bob_z6 6b/7a SW CT (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 12, 13 at 22:19

Has anyone else had an astringent Harrows Delight? I had one fall on 8/3. I assumed that one of the kids brushed it off, as the tree is quite small. But, I ripened it indoors for about a week, at which point it was juicy and a bit soft/yielding when I cut into it. It even had a nice smell and measured 17 brix. But, when I tried it, it was quite astringent. Enough to pucker the mouth a bit and leave it slightly numbed. It wasn't completely inedible, as I ate most of it (wife and daughter tried a tiny piece and said- "no more").

A few days ago (8/9), the tree went from 5 left to 1 on the ground and 1 in the tree (maybe racoons or squirrels). So I brought both in to ripen on the counter again. As I was passing the larger one (non-bagged in the below photo), I saw a small bad spot, so I cut it up. It has even higher brix 18-19, but is still astringent. It was quite juicy and a bit soft. The seeds were mostly, but not completely black.

Has anyone had astringent Harrows Delight? Was it just a matter of it not being ripe enough? I've read that it is picked around August 10th at Harrow, in Canada, so I shouldn't be too far off. Another possibility is that it is a very young tree (2nd leaf).

The below apple is a Williams Pride which I picked at the same time.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

Just curious if you can compare other fruits bagged vs. unbagged. I decided I'm going to use tule bags instead of Ziploc. (If I get a crop next year)


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

  • Posted by bob_z6 6b/7a SW CT (My Page) on
    Mon, Aug 12, 13 at 23:33

I haven't eaten the bagged pear yet, as I think it was a bit more unripe when I picked it (the un-bagged one fell). With apples I haven't seen any differences with the bagged ones, but I've only had about a dozen of the earliest type (Williams Pride) so far this year. I'll pay better attention with some of the other (later) ones.

Tule may result in less coloring- I'm not sure what impact that would have on flavor.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 9:06

Bob,

Just picked Harrow Delight here too. I haven't noticed any astringency, but will say the fruit's nothing to write home about.

I've noticed the tree doesn't seem to be very productive. I think my tree is 6-7 years old and every year it produces just a few fruit.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

I just ate one of mine- it was almost soft when picked and is luscious now 3 days of room temps later. No graininess, just a really pleasant tasting Bartlett type pear with good sugar and juice. It is part of a pear fence surrounding my vegetable garden and is extremely productive. I can't remember how precocious they are but I'm sure not unusually slow to come in bearing here.

I waited to harvest this year until fruit was falling on the ground which would be too late for some pears, but not HD. Even fruit on the ground was still good and not excessively soft unless you want a crisp pear.

I stopped growing them in my nursery years ago just because I'm not excited about eating pears in Aug. and my customers are usually content to be harvesting only peaches and plums then, but the one I just ate is so good I may reconsider.

Location, location.

This tree is pruned very open as a semi-espalier. It was summer pruned over a month ago. One I manage at another site pruned more conventionally (less aggressively and as a well branched central leader) gets bigger fruit but of almost equal quality and huge crops most every year. Most of the fruit goes to waste because the owners are concentrating on plums, peaches and nectarines at the time it bears.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

  • Posted by eboone 6a - SW PA (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 13:59

harvestman - what are the differences between Harrow Sweet and Harrow Delight besides Delight ripening sooner? I have seen you recommend the HS pear in another thread and am thinking about getting it - and a fall ripening pear would be better for me also as there are too many things ripening in August already


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

HD is more pear-light while Harrow Sweet is sweeter and richer as befitting a fruit with all that extra time to store brix. Both are similarly productive for me but HS fruits exceptionally early.

That's as good as I can do as I've never compared them side by side and my taste memory has never been good enough to be a professional taster of anything.

Olpea, I think you should probably try to grow Dutchess which is an extremely appealing late pear that is said to do well in the mid-west.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

  • Posted by eboone 6a - SW PA (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 16:16

I had a Dutchess pear tree once, only tree I ever had die of fireblight...


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

  • Posted by bob_z6 6b/7a SW CT (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 17:22

My astringent pears actually had pretty high brix levels, 18-19 for the one yesterday. In fact, that may be the highest I've ever seen on a pear. I'd need to check my records, but the highest I remember getting was a 18 on some Bosc last year (PYO, then aged a few days on the counter).

I'm actually wondering if it was mislabeled and is really a peary pear.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 19:52

Hman,

Every time I let Harrow Delight on the tree even close to falling on the ground, they rot in the center. This is a tricky pear to pick for me. I agree it has plenty of Bartlett flavor (which I like) but it's not as good as my Bartlett or Red Bartlett.

I have Harrow Sweet right next to Harrow Delight and the productivity isn't even close for me. Harrow Sweet is a newer tree and always gives more fruit. Maybe the difference is in rootstock.

I keep waiting for Harrow Delight to kick in and give a lot of fruit and my guess is some year it will.

I'll keep Dutchess in mind. So far we seem to have enough pears for ourselves. Euro pears are kind of tough to sell because you have to pick most varieties green and let them ripen off the tree. Most people at a farm market want their fruit ready to eat and Euro pears picked fresh don't fit the bill.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

Duchess is late like HS and late pears are usually easier to manage as far as picking at the right time. When I think about it, I've had Harrow Delight get soft in the center before falling off the tree before. This year it seems everything is working out. So Far.

Olpea, once you get used to a given pear variety, I'm sure you'd learn to pick it at the appropriate time and you could control its ripening so it was ready to eat when you took it to sell, but I can see how it wouldn't be worth the effort. You can buy very sweet pears from the west coast. Much harder to get a really good peach.

Still, if you want some Duchess wood to graft onto your HD, let me know. It's a very large pear of high quality and here it has been a consistent cropper for me.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Tue, Aug 13, 13 at 20:36

"Still, if you want some Duchess wood to graft onto your HD, let me know."

I will probably keep HD for the time being, but will definitely keep Dutchess in mind if I decide to add any more pears. One nice thing about pears is that they are so easy to raise.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

My Harrow Delight , grafted to a Bartlett, is loaded this year. It does not have frost rings as does the Bartlett. In my experience, it ripens after Bartlett not before.

Last year in the disaster of 2012 spring heat-then-freeze I had perhaps 6 pears. So harvestman's statement about location seems to apply here in western Michigan (in a low spot).

This graft is about six years old and did not produce well in the early years. It has outdone itself this year. It is, of course, not ripe yet here.


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RE: Harrows Delight- astringent?

My Harrow Delight , grafted to a Bartlett, is loaded this year. It does not have frost rings as does the Bartlett. In my experience, it ripens after Bartlett not before.

Last year in the disaster of 2012 spring heat-then-freeze I had perhaps 6 pears. So harvestman's statement about location seems to apply here in western Michigan (in a low spot).

This graft is about six years old and did not produce well in the early years. It has outdone itself this year. In the past I found the taste to be excellent--it kept well under refrigeration until placed at room temp for readiness to eat.


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