Some of the 1,000-plus pear cultivars preserved at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon. Courtesy of the National Clonal Germplasm Repository
Pear growers and others interested in the fruit will have an opportunity to sample hundreds of the more than 1,000 pear cultivars in the national pear gene bank in Corvallis, Oregon, on August 29. Curator Joseph Postman will lead a tour from 1 to 5 p.m. to look at midseason pears and perry pears during their peak maturity. Many Asian pears will be ripe.
Postman said there has been much interest in pear varieties for making perry (the equivalent of cider) in recent years, and this will be a good time to experience the diversity of aroma, shape, size, and tree habit. Visitors probably will not want to taste them, as they can be astringent and are not meant to be eaten fresh.
The National Clonal Germplasm Repository is one of 30 U.S. Department of Agriculture gene banks nationwide. It safeguards thousands of varieties of fruits, nuts, hops, and mints from around the world.
The repository is located at 33447 Peoria Road, Corvallis, Oregon. From Corvallis, go one mile east on Highway 34, turn south on Peoria Road, and go one mile until you see the Pear Open House sign.
For more information, visit the gene bank’s Website.