The votes are in and the winner is Harovin Sundown, the new name for the newest pear developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) scientists in the Niagara region and southwestern Ontario.
Niagara area MP Dean Allison officially announced the new name Wednesday at the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Conference.
The government, he said, is “proud that our scientists have developed a new pear which is uniquely Canadian, delicious, disease resistant, and a profitable product for our farmers.
“The new Harovin Sundown is unique as it ripens in late fall and stores very well for up to three months, extending the availability of fresh Canadian pears until Christmas.”
Last November AAFC launched an online campaign inviting Canadians to vote for the name of their newest pear, HW614. Visitors to the 2007 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair also had the opportunity to vote as well as to sample the pear.
From the total of 11,000 votes received, 6,000 were cast for the name Harovin Sundown. This new pear variety has had two homes within AAFC: the Harrow and Vineland research stations, hence the first part of the name, Harovin.
With later ripening and excellent storage quality, this pear allows farmers to extend their marketing season and offer Canadians fresh, locally grown pears as late as December.
One of the goals of pear breeding research is to create pears with improved tolerance to fire blight, a major pear disease worldwide. Currently, most popular pear varieties consumed worldwide are susceptible to fire blight, a disease that can kill tree limbs or entire pear trees. Harovin Sundown is tolerant to fire blight.
Harovin Sundown has been grown in second generation orchards in Ontario, British Columbia and Nova Scotia to assess its suitability for the three main pear-growing regions in Canada. Look for it at roadside stands and farmers’ markets next year.