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.
While such documents as these are usually a long time a coming, it is a pleasure to note the appearance of one the most valuable appearing so soon after the event, thereby largely enhancing its value. This is in a great measure to be placed to the credit of Professor Beal, who has proved one of the most active and efficient secretaries the association has ever had. The volume itself compares very favorably with any of its predecessors, and contains a vast amount of information of great value to every cultivator. The venerable President Wilder should be very proud of it, for assuredly there is nothing like it issued by any similar society in the world.
Your notice of the new volume of proceedings at page 222 of your last number is very good as far as it goes, but it seems to me that the importance of the work to the great interests of American fruit culture would justify a more extended notice, provided your space will permit.
Those only who have gone through the work carefully can fully appreciate its magnitude and the amount of fresh, practical information it contains. The book makes a total of 218 large pages. The first 100 pages are occupied with the President's address, the discussions on fruits and essays by the following gentlemen: Dr. E. L. Sturtevant, Director of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station; Prof. C. V. Riley, Entomologist to the U. S. Agricultural Department at Washington; Prof. Budd, of the State Agricultural College of Iowa; Prof. Burrill, of the Illinois Industrial University; Dr. B. D. Halsted, of the American Agriculturist; Mr. C. A. Green, of New York, Nurseryman and Editor of "Green's Fruit Grower;" Josiah Hoopes, of Pennsylvania, Nurseryman and Author. All these essays are of special interest to the fruit grower.
The next 50 pages are devoted to the State reports, of which there are twenty-six, as follows: Nova Scotia, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Washington Territory, Pennsylvania, Ohio, New Jersey, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, Kansas, Colorado, California, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas. These twenty-six reports are carefully prepared treatises on the fruits and fruit culture of the several States and Territories named, and any one of them is worth the entire cost of the volume. They contain information to be obtained nowhere else.
The collection of the material for these reports and putting it in proper shape involved a great deal of labor, and the State Committees who have done the work are entitled to honorable mention and the thanks of all fruit growers. From these reports the catalogue is made up and to them we must look in the future to maintain the usefulness of the Society. As chairman of the General Fruit Committee for many years, I desire to avail myself of this opportunity to thank the State Committees for the important services they have rendered the Society without any other reward than the consciousness of having aided a good work.
The catalogue is an important feature of the work and covers 54 pages. Nearly one thousand varieties are enumerated, being the most popular and valuable fruits cultivated in forty-seven States and Territories besides Canada. In the tabular arrangement indications are given to show where each variety is grown and the degree of its popularity or merit.
The catalogue has always required much care and labor in the arrangement of its details; in the present instance the labor has been much greater than usual in consequence of the change of names. This involved the necessity of re-writing the whole, as the alphabetical order was changed. This work was performed by the present chairman of the General Fruit Committee, Wm. C. Barry.
A beginning has been made in the work of reforming names. This is a delicate and difficult duty, and the Committee on Nomenclature have acted wisely in proceeding with caution. The total number of changes made is 103, as follows: Apples, 25; cherries, 4; currants, 4; gooseberries,. 2; grapes, 1; foreign grapes, 5; peaches, 14; pears, 32; plums, 4; strawberries, 7.
It should be borne in mind, Mr. Editor, that all the labor periormed for and in behalf of this Society is given gratuitously, excepting that of the Secretary, and his compensation is far from being equal to the services rendered.
My object in this notice is simply to place the Society and its work more prominently before the public. It is a national Society representing a great national interest, and should be sustained liberally. At present the number of life members is 250, and biennial members 80. Of the biennial members there ought to be several hundred. The wise guidance and unfaltering devotion of President Wilder have been constant incentives to the efforts that have made the Society what it is. May he yet be spared many years to direct and encourage the good work!
It may be well to add that copies of the work may be had by addressing the Treasurer, Mr. Benjamin G. Smith, Cambridge, Mass. Biennial fee of membershipfour dollars; life membership twenty dollars. Rochester, N. Y., July 7, 1884.