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.
The cat has lately been introduced as a frightener of birds. Let me tell a story, by request, of a useful member of society who had quite a reputation for raising remarkably good butter pears. Mr. B. was a master carpenter of Philadelphia, and he had a barren pear tree in his small garden on Ninth street. One morning, as he was standing with axe in hand about to cut down the useless incumbrance, the baker appeared with the morning's bread. "What, Mr. B.," exclaimed the mixer of dough, " are you about to do! Cut down an old pear tree? Take my advice, and bury a black cat directly under it. My word for it, you will-have no cause to regret it." Mr. B. took the hint, and buried a very black cat under the centre, and ever afterwards he took the premium for the best butter pears, under the Presidency of the ever-to-be-remembered Caleb Cope. One day a good dinner brought Mr. B. to the horticultural dinner table. After a little champagne was "paraded," our butter-pear man told the above story. The philosophy of it no doubt was, that he cut the tap roots.
Insect Gall Nuts are held to be " excrescences," a diseased condition of vegetable tissue. The roots of Swedish turnips are frequently covered with hundreds of spherical warts, which are regarded as resulting from a fungus, creating nodules, which are the same as those within the bark of the hazel, beech, and other trees. Let dissection be made of one of the weevil galls on the bulb of the turnip, and the second or third slice will show the outer foliations to be exactly similar to those of the root buds. When the centre has been reached the maggot will be found. All insect galls are in reality leaf-buds, or fruit-buds, not mere excrescences. The vascular lines which would form leaves can easily be followed up in the structure of the oak-leaf galls; and in cases where the egg has been deposited in the tissue of a young branch, the cap of the gall is sometimes surmounted by a leaf two .or three inches long.