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.
Important in reference to their value in rural economy are the Acacia Farnesiana, which produce the fragrant flowers so much used in perfumery, and the A. homalophylla, the wood of which is highly prized and dearly paid for by manufacturers of fans, etc.
In every Moorish garden in North Africa, there can be seen a few trees of the A. Farnesiana, of which the flowers are gathered by women and children for family use; whilst in France and Italy it furnishes a not unimportant article of commerce. In the district of Cannes alone about 36,000 lbs. of flowers are yearly produced, for which the perfumers pay from fifty to seventy-five cents per pound, which would amount to about $45,000. One tree furnishes, according to age, from one to five or more pounds; and one acre, planted with about 800 trees, would produce in a few years a notable increase of income to many of our farmers, some pin money to their wives, besides making farm work and farm life both pleasant and profitable to their children. But this pleasant prospect cannot be realized as long as the extraction of perfumes is not undertaken, because the acacia flowers, like most of those flowers whose perfume is extracted, must be treated while fresh and on the spot.
Is it not to be regretted that such a profitable and important branch of horticulture is neglected, and that the ambition of our landholders and rich men goes rather in the direction to produce fast horses than to introduce, encourage and foster such industries, which would give employment to thousands of women and children, and in this wise be more conducive to the welfare of the community in which they live, than if they raised a horse that could make a mile in one minute? And what will and can this society do in this desirable direction beyond discussing the question and perhaps recommending a remedy; or will not that part of the press which is usually wide awake when the political or commercial interests of the commonwealth are under discussion, agitate in this direction and help to produce a good crop from a kernel of suggestion ? It thrives any where inside the frost line. - Pacific Rural Press.