This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This morn Prof. Wheat asked me if I had seen the Gardener's Monthly for July, stating that Mr. Meehan pays to you a very high tribute." I read it, and said, "I would rather have it than the praise of officers and courts of our country." My business for forty years has been farm life. I love it. I love trees and flowers, stock of all kinds; even prefer the "caw!" "caw!" to all your "harps with a thousand strings," although I am devotedly fond of music, the voice or instrument; yes sir, the praise of such a man is incomparably sweet to me. But, please, only give me due praise; I would not pluck a leaf from any man's laurel. I have been a learner since I was sent on earth, 1806, January. When I know of a good thing, or if even it can be, and trial can only prove, to this extent only have I done duty.
Settle the vexed question - the blue hen laid the eggs, the black hen had the hatching, which has the credit?
J. J. Wheat, D. D., Prof, of Greek, painted his trees with linseed oil, trees 1, 2 to 5 or 6 years old, limbs of any size, and stem to the earth.
I saw the fact one or two years after the first, and three to six months after the last painting. Dr. W. opened the bark where the blight was, and the wood was healthy. My opinion was, and is to this extent confirmed, that the insect, or something depositing eggs (insect or vegetable), the latter as yeast or " beer seed," is destroyed. I know the blight, have fought it; seen as splendid trees in orchard ruined by blight; seedlings, in a yard where no culture, earth only removed for trees; old trees in a garden where manure, green and rotted, was applied liberally, yet all died in one year, destroyed, I say, by the fungi, whether spores deposited by atmosphere, stung by an insect, or what, I know not. The rot in cotton bolls, I believe, I first suggested to Mr. Townsend Glover at my house was caused by an insect, and I sent to Patent Office the little bug, as scary as the curculio. Why not poison from an insect on the bark of the pear? At all events, mine offence was telling what I saw, believing, hoping if would prove worth millions to my fellow citizens in America. Thanks to you, my friend.
Let me say, Dr. J. J. Wheat is an expert in the garden, small fruit, and the orchard. I heard a Bishop of the Episcopal Church for two hours or more. I remarked to one of his brethren, a Gen'l, "Why did you spoil such a speaker in making a Bishop? " I say now as to Dr. W., one of the rare men for farm, or garden, or fruit, was spoiled in making of him a Greek Professor. Upon my word I would prefer his talent for the practical to all Greek lore from Thucidides, Xenephon, Euripides down to - well, all the ancient lore. I have been a student, of books and the practical, for near fifty years. I ought to know what is success, whether in a cabbage or in pear culture.