This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
In a town not far from Boston, it was announced, that, at a meeting of the local scientific society, one of the townspeople would deliver a lecture upon " The Fertilization of Flowers by Wind and by Insects." The editor of the local paper called upon the prospective lecturer, and asked if the title quoted above was correct. On being informed that it was, the editor, in all honesty, remarked: " Well, this is the first time I ever knew that insects brought manure to plants".
So the Popular Science News tells us. The "prospective lecturer" might have retorted that the subject referred to the fertilization of flowers, and not to the plants that bore them - and again, some other one might have retorted on the " prospective lecturer " that neither wind or insects fertilized flowers, but that pollen was the fertilizer, and wind or insect the agent simply in the act. It seems to be a mixed joke all round, and it is not easy to see who has to pay for it.