This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In regard to insects and diseases which are making such devastating progress in our own and other lands, it is not necessary for me to enlarge, as cultivators are fully aware of the importance of the subject. Thanks to Harms, Riley, Fitch, Glover, Le Baron, Thomas, Packard, and other entomologists, who have devoted their lives to the investigation of this subject, and from whom we have already derived so much benefit in the past, and to whom we look for aid in the future in teaching us how we may arrest the depredations of insects, and the remedy for diseases, we have discovered means for the destruction of many insects and diseases of trees, and we have faith in the ultimate triumph of man in discovering remedies for, or the means of preventing, most of these that vegetation is subject to from the ravages of insects. Everlasting vigilance is the price of reward, and this is especially true in contending with the host of vile creations that we have to meet with in the culture of fruit trees.
I desire, however, to call especial attent on to the ravages of that terrible insect the phylloxera, which is now become of such vast importance to the grape growers of Europe, and has brought them to a condition little short of desperate.
From the interesting paper by our Mr. G. W. Campbell, Commissioner from the State of Ohio to the Paris Exhibition of 1878, in the Twelfth Report of the Ohio State Horticultural Society, it appears that the only reliance of the French vinyardists for overcoming this scourge is the grafting their varieties on stocks of the American species, among which the Jacques, supposed to be identical with Longworth's Cigar Box Grape, is pre-eminent for health and vigor. Mr. Campbell says : "The enthusiasm in favor of the American vines reminds me of the flush times in America when the ' grape fever' was at its height, and when grape growing was the all-absorbing question in many parts of this country." Although we deplore the loss to the French vinyardists, the recognition of the health and vigor of the American species cannot but be gratifying to those who have labored so diligently to originate and introduce new and improved varieties. It is also gratifying to know that, though as a rule the French do not like the flavor of our wines, they admit some of them to be good, and we believe that with the lapse of time they will be more and more appreciated.
It is matter for great thankfulness that on this continent we have thus far experienced but little injury from this scourge, and the health of American vines in France affords strong hopes that we may continue to be exempt.
Since writing the above we are informed that the phylloxera continues its deadly march over the vine-clad hills of France, having, it is estimated, already destroyed some 900,000 acres of vines, and great fears are entertained for the safety of the remaining vineyards of that country.