Pear orchards full of varied flavours
How many pear varieties have you tasted so far? Did they all have the same taste? Do you know that there are hundreds, if not thousands of different varieties, and each pear variety tastes differently? Would you like to taste them all in one place? Help us plant a pear orchard before many varieties disappear.
In forgotten regions of Europe, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of yet undescribed pear varieties. The leading Czech fruit pomologists knew and cultivated about 600 pear tree varieties. Many of them have slowly disappeared from our gardens and orchards, and thus not only our fruit heritage but also unique tastes that our ancestors were familiar with have been irretrievably disappearing. Our descendants will no longer know them unless we start fast.
- √ The most delicious fruit that can be grown outside
- √ Although small children are familiar with them, only a few people try more than 5-6 varieties in their lives
- √ Overlooked old pear trees with their unique taste of the whole variety have been slowly dying
What is our goal?
We want to create the largest and most comprehensive collection of pear varieties from all over the world in one place.
Nowadays, when few people do something unselfishly, such idea and its implementation is especially important. For some people, it may be difficult to understand that there are people who create something without having an immediate profit. Old (historic) pear varieties begin to bear fruit later and some varieties give small fruit. It is not possible to expect a quick return on investment, as in the case of profits from commercial orchards. That is why the old varieties cease to grow and have been gradually disappearing. Money is not important to us. We want to preserve the unique tastes inherited from our ancestors for future generations.
Our goal is infinite and is still moving away. The more we deal with forgotten pear varieties, the more unique varieties cross our path. These days we have a graft source of about 300 pear tree varieties. The original plan included 600 varieties, but this figure will surely be overcome.
What is our strategy?
We use old pear varieties to plant extensive landscaping orchards. These varieties are grafted on seedlings, making them grow long-living beautiful, mighty, majestic trees. Each tree has enough space (10x10 m) in order not to ruin its neighbours even in 100-200 years. Thanks to ecological farming, these orchards become a place full of life.
What have we done?
We are well on the way to achieving a success. 160 pear varieties have been growing around Blatnička as of October 2020.
How can you support the project?
We have been preparing other landscaping orchard consisting of rare pear varieties. Many of them do not even have names because no one has ever written their pomological description. They cannot be found in old pomology books (books on fruit varieties) and even the all-knowing Google provides no information about them. They are worth growing for their great taste. Be with us and support new unique orchard containing many rare old pear varieties. It's something that people will marvel at for the next 100-200 years.
I go for it! I want to support this great idea!
We have launched a crowdfunding campaign to build new gene pool orchards. You can send any financial contribution.
Contribution starting at 1 €
You shall be the first in the world to see a new orchard. You shall be sent a photo of the planting and of the finished orchard.
A contribution of 40 €
You become an adoptive parent of 1 tree. Your name shall be placed on a tree. You shall receive its photo and GPS coordinates to come and see it at any time.
Become a patron of the orchard
We found more orchards of various sizes (containing 8, 20, or 40 trees). If you financially support one whole orchard, you can choose a name of it. The orchard may also bear your name (for example the Smiths Orchard). The first harvest of pears will be yours. If you live in a faraway place, we will be glad to collect the pear for you and send them anywhere in the world (outside the EU as dried pears).
What happens when more money is raised?
Multiple orchards will be planted. You can never get enough pears :-)
Commented walks in our pear orchardsCommented walks in our pear orchards will be available in June each year on the occasion of the Open Gardens Weekend. There will be 160 pear varieties to be seen (as of 2020). Sign up here and you will be sent you an invitation in order not to miss this opportunity.
Next Commented walks:
12th June 2021
February: We have collected grafts from memorial trees in the White Carpathian Mts.We have collected grafts from memorial trees in the White Carpathian Montains. There are many wonderful and very old pear trees. Most of them are overlooked and dying out. Fortunately, a young "backup copy" of most of them is already grown in our pear orchards around Blatnička village.
When the owner of this pear tree told us recently how great this pear variety is, we have decided to try to save it. At first it seemed hopeless. Even the tallest branches that we have cut with telescopic scissors were completely dry. Finally, we were lucky. We managed to find a few live branched for grafting and produce new trees. One young tree we give to the owner as a "thank you" for the tip and we the rest we plant in our pear orchards.
This pear tree from the Old Hill has the most delicious fruit we have ever tasted and is still vital despite it is elderly. The perfect habit, perfect health and every year it brings plenty of pears. Altough we still don't know this variety, it will certainly be the jewel of the new pear orchard.
We do not like to do things at the last minute, so today we have taken the grafts to keep this genius loci for future generations. One offspring will be planted nearby.
November 2017: A landscaping orchard full of fruit treasuresFinally! The work concerning a long-planned orchard has been accomplished. There has been planted a unique pear orchard on the banks of the Blatnička water reservoir. This landscaping orchard is full of fruit treasures. Grafts taken from majestic solitaires growing in the Slovakian part of the White Carpathian Mountains were grafted onto the planted trees. Many of the pear varieties are supposed to grow for the first time outside their habitat. For more information, click here.
Nowadays, when so little is done unselfishly, this idea and its implementation are especially important. For some people, it may be difficult to understand that there are people who create something without having an immediate profit. Old varieties begin to bear fruit late and some varieties give small fruit. It is not possible to expect a quick return on investment, as in the case of profits from commercial orchards. Money is not important to us. We want to preserve the unique tastes inherited from our ancestors for future generations.
Setting up an orchard does not involve only one person. It is teamwork. We are glad to have the graft donors' support from and a careful nursery man who has grown trees from them.
The trees in blossom will surely attract the visitors for romantic walks in an orchard with a nice view of Blatnička; at the time of ripening the trees will surprise you with a variety of flavours.
One of our treasures is a “Pink Pear” variety. This is the one that won the 3rd place in the European Tree of the Year 2016 competition. (see the photo here) This rare typical local pear variety grows only in the region of the Bošáca Valley on the Slovak side of the White Carpathian Mountains, where less than 30 trees can be found. It is an early autumn variety with large fruits, a long thin stem, and an unmistakable distinctive sweet taste. It grows into majestic trees that are healthy and vital even when they are centuries old. The fruits are mainly used for the production of local pear brandy and for drying. Its appearance had not been found elsewhere and only the inhabitants of the Bošáca Valley could have enjoyed its fruit. It is for the first time when this pear tree has looked over the ridge and has “visited” other country. In our orchard, the tree was given an honorary position in the company of other White-Carpathian fruit treasures such as Hajcarka Pear, Dlhohnátka Pear (in the local dialect of Dúhonatka Pear) and Jahodnatky (Strawberry Pear).
February 2017: Regional pear varieties from CroatiaWe received grafts of 21 regional pear tree varieties from Croatia. Over the summer, we plan to grow small trees to enrich our pear orchards in the autumn.
Maintenance of aged solitary treesDuring the winter period this at least 80-year-old tree couple is going be rejuvenated. Thanks to the gentle pruning comprising removal of dry branches and competing shrubs in the undergrowth the European wild pear tree and its hawk mate shall be the dominant feature of the site for at least another 80 years.
November 2016: New pear alley around BlatničkaWhile the tree avenues have been disappearing all over the Czech Republic, more than 2 kilometres of new tree avenues have been planted around Blatnička.
At our farm, we have planted 3 pear avenues and 1 apple avenue. We inspire the others and we really appreciate that the village of Blatnička has planted one cherry-apple avenue as well.
Thanks to these 3 pear alleys extending beyond the horizon, about 50 pear varieties grow at our farm and the total number of trees planted this year may probably exceed 1000 pieces.
20.10.2016 Arbor DayIt is an Arbor Day today. In Czechia it has been celebrated for 110 years. On this occasion, we will plant 110 trees of old pear tree varieties containing 24 varieties.
August 2015: A trip to find forgotten varieties in the Chřiby Mountains
In the winter we plan to cut the grafts and a year later we would like to plant these excellent varieties in a new orchard in Blatnička. You'll have to wait a few more years for the first fruits, but you definitely have something to look forward to.
October 2014: A rare treasure found in the White Carpathians will soon be in BlatničkaDozens of people have searched more than 500 km2 on the Slovakian side of the White Carpathian Mountains in recent years to find a rare treasure. Every garden, baulk, and the former fruit orchards, which have long been overgrown with forests, were searched. And it paid off! These fans have described more than 1,500 old fruit trees, identified over 275 varieties, and discovered 59 local apple and pear varieties growing only in that region. The oldest found varieties have been grown for over 500 years; the age of the oldest living tree is estimated to be at least 350 years.
Old regional pear varieties such as Pink Pear of Bošáca, Dlhohnátka (Dúhonatka), Dobrienka, Drisľavka, Hajcarka, Madovka, Madžie hlavy, Oriešanka, Prasietka or Šemendzia pear trees shall also be planted in our new fruit orchard.
September 2014: Looking for the old varieties on 'Old Hill'Northward of the town of Hluk, there are old fruit orchards where aged apple and pear trees can be found. Unfortunately, some of them have been abandoned and the trees have no longer received the necessary care that could prolong their life.
We visited the local hill called Stará hora (in English ‘Old Hill’) literally at the eleventh hour to describe all of the present old trees. Experienced pomologists discovered among the twenty oldest trees 7 pear varieties and 5 apple varieties.
|An example of found apple and pear varieties|
to take the grafts and engraft the
twigs onto a new root stock
Over the winter we are going to return and take the grafts from the remaining old trees. These will become the basis of new trees, which will be planted in the new fruit orchard in autumn 2015. The old varieties will be provided immortality. We hope that our descendants will take proper care of them until the trees are at the end of their forces and that in 100-200 years they will be re-grafted into new root stock so they could serve the next generations as well.
2013: A new orchard from old and regional varietiesIn autumn 2013, we finished the planting of a new extensive fruit orchard on an area of 1.5 hectares, in which only the old varieties of apple and pear trees were used. The average age of varieties used is over 200 years! The oldest variety is even 400 years old! We again bet on proven old varieties of fruit that have been successfully grown in Blatnička for decades, if not centuries. In addition to this, we have also planted regional varieties found in the White Carpathian Mountains, such as the pear varieties known under names Krehula, Repovica, Majdalenka, Žitňačka or Oharhule (yellow-green-striped pear from the neighbouring village Velká nad Veličkou). In total, 20 varieties were planted - 11 pear tree and 9 apple tree varieties.
The orchard is located in the picturesque countryside on the foothills of the White Carpathian Mountains. In our organic orchard, there was also a place for original woody species, such as a wild pear, elderberry, hawthorns or blackthorns. They shall provide food and habitat for lots of useful animals thanks to which we will be able to grow fruit trees ecologically without using any chemical protection. After the trees grow a little bit, we plan to hang the bird houses on them. Bio apples and pears from our new organic orchard will also be available for all of us in a few years.
In autumn 2014 and 2015, we are going to continue to plant new orchards. More than 10 hectares of land are prepared to be planted with new trees. And there will be some new ones, or rather "oldies". As for example excellent old autumn pears from the neighbouring village of Hluk that always disappear in no time at our place.