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 Ed. W. Lincoln, Secretary, Worcester, Mass.
It is always a pleasure to receive this annual volume. The secretary's report especially being replete with valuable suggestions. Noting the meeting of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society last fall, mention is made of the gorgeous designs by the Philadelphia florists. The secretary was much struck by the floral pulpit, floral desk, and Bible of cut flowers which laid open before the preacher, if he had been present; and he is filled with amazement that the florist forgot to make a floral minister reading from the holy book. Some capital hits are given at the extravagant laudations of new things by the introducers, especial note being taken of a statement that a variety of pear "sold readily in Massachusetts, as well as in Philadelphia, for $6 per bushel." Mr. Lincoln evidently believes that those who may have been so" readily " induced to part with $6 for a bushel of pears, will not readily do that same next time. It is a surprise to learn that the hall of the Worcester Society is taxed $877.20 a year, while that of the Agricultural Society is free from taxation, the assessors deciding that such a society is not a literary, benevolent, charitable, scientific or agricultural society, nor is it a house of worship; all these being exempt by law.
It has always been a mystery to us why any property which has to have fire, police, and general municipal protection, should be exempt from taxation; except, of course, such as belong to the municipal corporation. Voluntary charity is very commendable, but to force others to help you in your voluntary work, is an absurdity unworthy of an intelligent people. The people who advocate the public support of devotional and charitable institutions by relief from taxation, make nothing by it. The tax rate of Philadelphia and New York would be perhaps one-fourth lower, only for the enormous amount of exempt property. Therefore, even those who want to give, and to force those who do not give, pay one-fourth more taxes than they would do only for this exemption idea.