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.
As our readers know, the trade in Nursery stock with continental Europe, which was growing to be quite an item in our American exports, has been wholly suspended through the phylloxera laws.
It has always seemed to us a piece of legislative stupidity, to prohibit plants for fear of introducing an insect which already abounds in their country. But according to a hint in the London Gardeners' Magazine, they were not so stupid as they seemed to be. They shout free trade in the old country so long as they believe America cannot compete with them, but the moment American shipments threaten to supplant their own, they desire protection. In short, this was simply intended to keep out the plants themselves, and not so much the insects that feed on them.
Some cultivators instead of worrying over the phylloxera laws, went to work to conquer the insects themselves. 164,000 acres of vineyards grafted on American stocks, gave an enormous amount of fruit this year. 1879 was the best vintage year they had since the advent of the dreaded insect; but this year they have over 225 millions of gallons more wine than that year, and they are happy. In the meantime, it is pleasant to know that while they prohibit the entrance of our trees, their laws do not always conduce to their own satisfaction. The magazine says, that "General Von Moltke, on leaving Ragatz after the recent military manoeuvres, took with him a bouquet of flowers. In passing through he was 'arrested,' that his flowers might be searched for phylloxera, and his conveyance of them prohibited. But he held the officials in such contempt for pouncing on his nosegay that he changed his route, went home another way, and carried away in triumph the supposed depository of an insect that has never been seen on any kind of flowers, but is known to live exclusively on the roots of exhausted grape vines".