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.
I have often spoken of the salutary influence of our association. The more I reflect upon its operations the more am I impressed with its usefulness, and with the importance of perpetuating it through coming time. " The idea of voluntary combinations and associations," said Mr. Webster, "is the great modern engine of improvement." This power of association, bringing in contact man with man, and mind with mind, and the information acquired thereby, is of more value than the same information derived from books. It is this centralization of experience which has produced by our Society and similar associations the great improvement which we have witnessed in our American fruits. Who can predict what the future influences of our own Society may be when our vast unoccupied territory, suited to the cultivation of fruits, shall be occupied for that purpose ? Let us therefore discharge the duties of our day and generation, so that our children may have cause to bless our memories, as we now cherish the names of those who laid the foundations of our Society, and have brought it forward to its present flourishing condition.
Our work is of great magnitude, embracing an entire continent, opening up to us new resources and demands, and calling for constant and untiring energy and enterprise. The importance and usefulness of our association is seen in a review of its work for twenty-seven years, which I gave in my last biennial address.
We have made great advances during the thirty-one years of our history, and experience from the best sources is flowing in to us every day. The spirit of investigation is now thoroughly alive, and we have opportunities for improvement such as have never been afforded to any other Pomological Association on the globe. Our resources are abundant, and so kindly does nature cooperate with us under the benign influence of man, that he can mould her almost to his will, and make of the rough and acrid wilding a most beautiful and delicious fruit, and thus we can go on producing indefinitely as fine varieties as we have ever seen.
When we review what has already been accomplished, in a country so varied in soil and climate, who can set bounds to our progress during the remainder of this century, where, by the exchange of personal experience the representatives from the different parts of our continent become kindly affiliated and united in the bonds of friendship and reciprocal regard, and by promoting the cause in which we are engaged we have learned to respect each other.
All this has been accomplished without financial aid, except that received from membership, and occasional sums from individuals to meet deficiencies. In this connection I desire to state that I have paid over to the treasurer three hundred and twenty-seven dollars and twenty-nine cents, being the balance in my hands of the Downing Monument Fund, with interest to this date. This has been done in accordance with the consent of the heirs of Mr. Downing and his administrator, and the committee who had in charge the erection of the monument.
But the time has now come when means are wanting to constitute a fund to insure the publication of proceedings in future. I take the liberty of suggesting the propriety of soliciting from all life members who have paid but ten dollars, to forward to the treasurer ten dollars more each, and make their contributions the same as are required now for life membership. And permit me to add that no better appropriation of money can be made, and I trust that when our friends are making donations and bequests for benevolent objects, they will remember the American Pomological Society. (To be continued).