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.
There is much to be done yet to make silk culture a practical success. Thanks to the efforts of the Women's Silk Culture Association of Philadelphia, we now know that the silk worm can be raised, and that the silk can be produced profitably enough to compete with the silk production of other countries. Now it is for the practical man to step in and help them to mulberry leaves cheaply. In a memorial to the State Board of Agriculture of Pennsylvania, these ladies say: "Will farmers, agriculturists and horticulturists plant the money-bearing mulberry for the people's use - will our men use then-representative strength and intelligence to aid the efforts of the Women's Silk Culture Association of Pennsylvania? To this end let your honorable Association and the Agricultural department plant trees round school houses, and near fences on the road side. The rapid growth of the Morus alba makes it valuable for shade and being compact and susceptible of polish it is valuable for many purposes, rivaling oak for boat building and useful for charcoal, etc.
One acre of the mulberry will furnish food for 80,000 worms, and at a minimum price and estimate of cocoons should yield $80 net, and every year the trees would yield more." It is well for the ladies to suggest something of course, but we fancy not much will come from the union of shade or timber ideas with that of silk worm culture. In the first place, it is very costly to gather leaves from tall shade trees, and then trees continually denuded of their green leaves would probably make worthless timber. But the suggestion of the ladies has this merit, that it leads to the inquiry: What is the most profitable method of growing the mulberry for silk worm feeding? Our idea would be that for our country it would be best to give up a piece of ground wholly to the mulberries, and cultivate them as low bushes, so that the leaves could be readily handled. But what does experience teach?