This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
C. C. Lang-don recently delivered an address before the Industrial Convention of Alabama. He referred especially to the apple, peach, pear and grape, and believed no State in the Union better adapted to fruit culture than Alabama. But there are few orchards in Alabama. Many trees have been planted, but they, die of starvation. The collar borer is the worst foe to the apple and peach; though soft soap put about the root will keep him out. Southern varieties of apples are the best. Ten thousand barrels of Western apples come annually to Mobile.
Of the peach, after referring to the curculio and borer, Mr. Langdon says :
"Notwithstanding these serious drawbacks, the peach crop seldom fails entirely in our State, and frequently a full crop is realized; and, taking in view the whole ground, I am confident that peach-growing is destined soon to become one of the most important of what are called our small industries. For supplying the Western and Northern markets, we enjoy peculiar advantages. The peach ripens here a month or six weeks earlier than there, and during that period we can find a ready market in the cities of the West and North for all we can grow. The very early varieties recently introduced, enable us to commence shipping the last week in May, and it can be continued, with other varieties in succession, to the middle of July. Some estimate of the probable extent and value of this trade in the future may be formed from what has already been done this season by one man. A fruit-grower in Mobile county (Capt. I. Donovan, now present in this convention) shipped to St. Louis alone, this season, between the last of May and the 20th of July, some six thousand boxes (containing one-third of a bushel), on which he realized, in cash, after deducting all transportation charges and commissions, a clear profit of five thousand dollars! Now, if one man. in one county of our State, shipping to only one city, can accomplish such results, who can estimate the value and extent of this trade when enough shall engage in peach-growing to supply all the thousand cities, great and small, of the West and North? Suppose ten men in every county of the State should do, on an average, what my Mobile friend and colleague has done this season, there would be realized, from this one product alone, over three and a half million dollars! And this from one of our"small industries!" But before these results can be reached, we must have, on all our principal railroad lines, better and additional facilities for transportation.
We must have special fruit cars, fast freight trains, and cheap freights. And these we shall doubtless have whenever the business will authorize it".