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.
By S. Van Dorrien. New York : B. Westerman & Co. This is a pamphlet of thirty-one pages, which goes over and over again the same old story: trees, clouds; clouds make rain ; rain makes springs ; springs make rivers ; rivers make seas ; seas make universal prosperity. Well, everybody knows the story. What is really needed is not sermons of this sort; but to know what is the best method of encouraging timber culture? It is a pity some good, practical mind does not turn its attention more to this matter, and to ease the minds of the poets and philosophers, who are forever urging that "something must be done," but leave to others the work of doing and paying for it. We read carefully through this pamphlet to get some good idea as to what ought to be done. To our amazement, the only comfort after reading thirty-one pages is the assurance that "what is to be done, must be done at once".
There is one satisfaction, however, in reading it; we may learn what not to do. If there is any special object in the author's min4 as he wrote, besides the furnishing of a pen-portrait of an arboreal Jeremiah, it is that our Government should do something, - something because foreign governments have done something; but a careful reading of what he tells us about the action of foreign governments, shows their action to have utterly failed to be of the slightest benefit. No one would for an instant want to have repeated here what has been attempted there. Strange to say the writer seems to sympathize with the tremendous tyranny and oppression which has often been attempted under the name of forestry laws. He takes occasion to reflect on the " demoralizing penuriousness of the agricultural classes," who seemed to think they had the same right to try and make all they could from their land as the mill-owner would from his mill; he thinks it scandalous that the farmer should "loudly demand indemnity " for being compelled to keep his land in forest when it would pay him so much better to make grazing ground of it; and he can scarcely find language strong enough to characterize his detestation of the "narrow-mindedness which was reluctant to make a personal sacrifice for the interest of all." He looks back lovingly to the time in France when the "Church and religious institutions," and great land-holders in their interest, had possession of most of the lands of France. Then they had forests indeed ! and the happy owners would hunt and sport to their heart's content.
Fortunately, these views do not suit our American atmosphere. We want timber be-cause we have use for it; we want planting encouraged where it can be done with some show of being within no remote time useful. We do not want to tax ourselves too heavily for the benefit of posterity; but it is the duty of governments to look after that which private enterprise will not do, when it bears on national prosperity; but no American wishes that all the cost of this national work should fall on the " penurious farmer." They are all willing to lend a hand, and would rather raise a "penny subscription from every American," than be charged with injustice.