This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Some remark has been made as to the " unqualified" praise we gave this fruit recently. But nothing was further from our intention than that our praise should be regarded as "unqualified." On the contrary, we have endeavored to say that there is no evidence that the pear is "blight-proof," as it is termed, because in the vicinity where the original tree grows and has borne for a number of years, there is very little, if any, fire-blight existing. That it will sometimes have the leaf-blight as well as any other pear, has been frankly stated by Mr. K. himself. We do not regard the fact that it has never had "fire-blight" on Mr. Kieffer's grounds as conclusive evidence that it will not blight anywhere else. It may or may not be universally free from this disease, - but whatsoever the fact may be, it has not yet been proved.
We may say that we have had on three different occasions fruit from the original tree, and on each of these occasions the fruit was delicious. We must speak of things as we find them. So far as these three opportunities are concerned, we must truly say we never saw a more beautiful or tasted a better variety. But before us is a letter from one quite as capable of judging what a good pear is as we are, and this letter says: - "I have fruited it three years, and it is not fit to eat either fresh or cooked." This sort of experience we find in almost all varieties of pear. We have had Flemish Beauty, Vicar of Winkfield, Des Nonnes, Rutter, Howell, Belle Lucrative, and many others, that were not fit to eat either fresh or cooked. These cases do not invalidate the fact, that sometimes, perhaps generally, all these are luscious fruits.
But still the facts are valuable as regards the Kieffer. It shows that it is as liable to contingencies as the ordinary kinds of pears; and those who plant it must expect to find that the millennial of fruit culture has not arrived with its introduction any more than with other things.