This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Mr. Churchman, Burlington, N. J., writes: "I don't mean to growl, nor wish to be considered as growling, but I cannot help feeling a little annoyed at the tenor of a couple of editorial briefs in the Gardener's Monthly for September, which appear to be penned under an evident misapprehension of facts ; and as they are in such close juxtaposition as to lead to, and to seem to be intended as, a comparison between two raspberries (the Hansell and Superb), convey a wrong impression and one which does me some injustice. You state that the Superb commenced picking on 30th of June, and the Hansell 'this season,' June 4th, and for market June 11th. Now the proprietor of the latter only claims this as the fact in 1880, in which year the ' Superb' picked June 16th. This season, which is fully three weeks later than that of 1880, as any one who has seen the Hansell can tell you, it did not pick until June 26th. Is it at all likely that if they had picked for market June 11th, they would have waited until the 27th before inviting those ' eminent fruit growers' to see the show? I don't care a straw about that post prandial resolution in regard to the Hansell. I don't look upon it as in competition with my child, and never should have noticed it had they left my name out.
For me to say that I' don't consider the Hansell any way superior to the Superb,' would be 'damning' the latter 'with very faint praise.' But this thing of earli-ness is a matter that everybody is looking after, and it is important that no misapprehension should be propagated in regard to it. The Superb picked this year June 29th, within three days of the other, and I am quite confident that if I had cultivated for fruit instead of for canes, it would have been, and will be always, under like cultivation, quite as early. The only point of superiority I yield to the Hansell is in carrying quality, which, being in consequence of its small lobes and great number of seeds, is at the expense of flavor, etc. As to all other points my opinion, which is altogether ex parte, cannot interest you; but time - perhaps too late for much profit to myself - will vindicate my claims for the Superb, all of which are stated in my circulars.
" It is perhaps needless for me to say that I don't write this for publication, but as I know you would not knowingly misstate anything, and as I equally well know that you are in error as to this one matter of the Hansell's claim to earliness 'this season,' I owe it to myself, as well as to you, and to all fruit growers, to set you right. Pardon me a few words more. In my circular are testimonials from three of the gentlemen who were at that meeting, and who will bear testimony to what I say above, and another one of them expressed to me the opinion that my one and one half acres of Superb would turn off more fruit this season than the whole ten acres on the Hansell farm.
"Mr. Child, of the Farm and Garden, who reported the proceedings of that meeting, will also testify that on the 27th of June, the day of said meeting, there was no appearance or claim of any having been previously picked for market".
[The notes above criticized were made up from matter sent, and evidently "intended for publication." As the Gardener's Monthly has no interest in these matters, beyond furnishing news of any important matters to the reader, it may be best, for variety's sake, to offer this letter "not" so "intended". - Ed. G. M].
Mr. Churchman states the published reports give his name as among those present at the examination of the Hansell Raspberry, and. by implication endorsing the resolutions that that variety was " best of all." Mr. Churchman does not believe that it is anyway superior to the Superb.
This is represented as an accidental seedling, found on the farm of Hansell Brothers, near Beverly, N. J. It was brought into notice by Mr. J. T. Lovett. This season the first berries were gathered on the 4th of June; the picking for market was made on the 11th of June. A company of several dozen of the most eminent fruit growers of New Jersey met on the farm and examined the fruit on the 27th of June, and unanimously agreed that in addition to many good points as a market fruit, it was the earliest red raspberry known.