This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The small economies of the European peasants are illustrated by the trade in mulberry leaves. They are purchased by people who have silk worms and have not the means at their homes for feeding them. The leaves are sold by weight in the market, and to select what will nourish the worm best is known to experienced folk, who know that as the trees grow older, the leaf gets smaller, and that it is the small leaf that contains the most food. Some hire a few trees at about a dollar and a half a year and peddle the leaves. The scouting to obtain small leaves reminds one of the old crone in our own markets hunting for the most profitable scrap of meat.