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.
By John Allen. New York, J. P. Putnam's Sons; through Claxton, Remsen & Haffelfinger, Philadelphia.
As we said recently of another work, we do not admire these odd titles to books. They smack of the sensational, and we always take them up with a prejudice against their contents. Bees are no doubt a blessing, and in their way bless and are blest; but there is no more reason for singling them out for special blessing than other things. We might, with as much reason, write of Blessed Lollypops, Blessed Potatoes, Blessed Sunlight, or Blessed Kisses, as of Blessed Bees. But this is a matter of taste, and ought not to interfere with a just estimate of the contents of the work.
It seems to be a fancy sketch in the form of a story book, and intended to lead the young to love farming, fruit growing, bee-keeping and so on, all very good objects. But the trouble with most of these story books is that the fancy figures with the fancy results, are not sufficiently accurate to satisfy the one who reads pencil in hand. For instance here is the account of the Apple orchard which brought in the first lucky wind-fall after the threatened financial ruin following "father's death." The net sum, after all expenses of gathering and marketing was deducted, was $1, 196.47. There were 700 trees, and the average yield per tree was seven and a half bushels. Now this should give us 5, 250 bushels, but in another place we are told the product was 3, 169 bushels. However, whichever way the figures are intended to be, the result is certainly not exaggerated; for surely the trees would not be wider than twenty-five feet apart, so that we have at least sixty acres in Apple trees. By the product per tree, we see that the trees had arrived at full bearing age, at least twelve years old, and yet the product under $30 per acre, which is no very remarkable revenue after waiting so many years.
If an orchard would really not do better than this, it is a question whether the Western farmer had not better stick to Wheat and Corn. However, the main object of the book is to speak of the blessing of bees. We fancy beekeepers will be glad to read it, and compare the fanciful results with their actual experience. It is only $1.00, and they will no doubt get their full money's worth.