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.
From A. C. Hammond, Secretary. This is a volume of 398 pages, beautifully printed and elegantly bound, with a very large number of essays of great value to western horticulturists. Most of these were given at the winter meeting, at Bloomington; but the more local societies through the State have also a place for their transactions in the report. From what we know of troubles everywhere in fruit growing, we fancy Illinois has as few serpents in its pomological Eden as any place, though of course it has difficulties enough. Pears seem to be uncertain there as elsewhere. Some complain of enormous losses, while others are proud of their wonderful success. So far as we can judge, by putting these contradictory experiences together, one great cause of trouble is, over-heated soil. Where the trees are partially shaded by evergreens, or as some say on northern slopes; or as others say, grass kept mown, so that we get shade without exhausting or drying the soil, they have pears. Plums still have to be "well shaken " before the plums are taken, and no other more royal road has been found.
It is a pleasure to note that a large number of ladies take part in these meetings. In the East, we rarely see one in the meeting, much less hear them talk. One lady, Miss Helen N. Peck, made a capital point that, while some men were continually throwing up the complaint that women did not know how to cook vegetables, hundreds of these same complaining men did not know how to grow a vegetable fit for a woman to cook. It is truly so. It must take a pretty smart cook to soften the tough and stringy stuff too often sent to the kitchen.