The Pear King
November 11, 1765
Today is the birthday of the Belgian physicist, chemist, botanist, horticulturist, and pomologist, Jean-Baptiste Van Mons.
The name of the game for Jean-Baptiste 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 Jean-Baptiste Van 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 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 legacies.