Selective Beeding for Pears
Today is the anniversary of the death of the botanist Jean-Baptiste Van Mons who died on this day in 1842.
The name of the game for Mons was selective breeding for pears. Selective breeding happens when humans breed plants to develop particular characteristics by choosing the parent plants to make the offspring.
Check out the patience and endurance that was required as Mon's described his work:
“I have found this art to consist in regenerating in a direct line of descent, and as rapidly as possible an improving variety, taking care that there be no interval between the generations. To sow, to re-sow, to sow again, to sow perpetually, in short to do nothing but sow, is the practice to be pursued, and which cannot be departed from; and in short this is the whole secret of the art I have employed.”
Jean-Baptiste Van Mons produced a tremendous amount of new pear cultivars in his breeding program - something north of forty incredible species throughout his lifetime. The Bosc and D'Anjou pears, we know today, are his legacy.