This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
It will be seen by the following circular, which the committee requested us to publish, and which we noticed in our last number, that an attempt is being made by our friends in Pennsylvania, to have a law passed declaring the stealing of growing fruit, vegetables, etc., larceny. We hardly think the Legislature of Pennsylvania can refuse a law so evidently just - a law not only needed for the protection of the cultivators of fruit, but also needed to prevent the formation of pilfering habits in youth. We hope the agitation of this matter will tend to cure the thoughtless picking of fruit, so annoying to cultivators. How often has every horticulturist had cause to regret the thoughtless picking of a rare fruit by his friends - perhaps the only specimen, and one which he had been long and eagerly watching. His friends were welcome to any fruit in hits garden, save this. But it is gone, and he has to wait another long year.
"Gentlemen - At the last meeting of the Allegheny County Agricultural Society, the undersigned were appointed a committee to correspond with you and others, and ask your cooperation to procure at the coming session of the Legislature an act declaring the Healing of growing fruit, vegetables, grain, Ac, larceny.
"Believing the common law distinction between stealing from the ground or wagon and taking from the tree or vine, absurd, and productive both of injury to the agriculturist and evil to society, our farmers and fruit growers urged on the Legislature, at its last session, to pass such a law for this county, but were met by the objection that it would not do to have a criminal law for one county different from that of the rest of the State.
"Deeming such a law essentially necessary to protect the farmers and fruit growers of Pennsyl vania, who have so much wealth and industry embarked in their vocations; and deeming the present trespass remedy entirely inadequate and useless; we respectfully and earnestly ask your cordial cooperation, by the votes of your members at Harrisburgh, and by petitions, if you think it advisable, to secure the passage of a simple law declaring the wrongful taking of fruit, vegetables, grain, Ac, whether attached to the soil or not, larceny, and to be punished as such.
"Then may we hope to keep pace with the horticulturists of our sister States, who are encouraged and protected by wholesome laws.
Robt. McKnight, J. S. Negley, Jno. Young, Jr., Committee".
In your last volume, you gave us "Notes of a Conversation over a Dish of Pears on New year's Day." I have looked eagerly, with each succeeding number, for its continuation; for such information I consider of more value to the fruit grower, either the amateur or for the market, than a dozen years' subscription to your journal: and a continuation, covering your experience with winter Pears, and the best method of ripening them, with whatever is pecular to each or any one of them, requiring different treatment from the general mode, would be a most valuable and acceptable service And in their behalf as well as my own, I invite its continuation, varied with this addition: that you note uniformly such as are finer and larger on the quince than on their own stocks, or the reverse; for I am satisfied this is a point which has not yet received that attention it deserves, and that no greater service could be rendered to the fruit-growing community than its settlement.
It is true that our Pomological Conventions are engaged in this; but their action embraces distant sections of the country, within each of which there may be localities for which their recommendations are entirely unfitted. I will illustrate: With me, the Easter Beurré and Passe Golmar, on Quince stocks, are small and indifferent fruits. I have never had a well-ripened specimen; and this is not occasioned by the want of either suitable age or proper cultivation, for they have fruited the past five years, and been uniformly highly cultivated; while the fruit has been preserved, both in cellar and upper rooms, exposed to as well as excluded from the atmosphere, with nearly uniform results, and in no wise satisfactory. Those from their own stock, meanwhile, have ripened uniformly well; and by deferring the time of gathering as late as possible, and boxing or barreling close, placing them in a cool and dry cellar until wanted for ripening, and then removing them to a warm room, they have been truly delicious and desirable fruits.
With you, I suppose, it is the reverse of this; in Boston also, and how many other localities I do not know, but enough to make it the stock recommended for them.
Now, a more accurate knowledge of the effect of locality - for to no other cause can I attribute my want of success - would have saved me the years I so patiently and so uselessly awarded to the fruiting of these trees, as it will undoubtedly hundreds of others now undergoing the same probation with these, or other fruits. And as a corrective to this great evil, I suggest that every subscriber you have furnishes the results of his experience with all the sorts he may have fruited on both the stocks, embracing quality and vigor of growth. In this manner a mass of invaluable information would be obtained, because entirely reliable. Let me exemplify: Your recommendation from Rochester of the Quince stock for the Easter Beurré, or Passe Colmar, and no one yet can say how many others, would, to the Monroe county men, be full of value and instruction, while to me it would be worse than useless - a false guide, leading to years of "hope deferred only to end in disappointment" the reason is, the localities are too far apart. The space must be contracted - or, in other words, a more general information diffused, so that each may find, in the "chronicles of his own county," the experience which no other can so truly teach.
I do not mean to say there are no exceptions to this rule; they are numerous, of fruits valuable in all localities: still they are exceptions, and so long as these remain, will this "exact knowledge" be desired. If you think so, will you set the "ball in motion!" P. - Waterville, N.Y.
The Easter Beurre hero answers the highest expectations on the Quince, but proves indifferent on the Pear. Passe Colmar succeeds on both, but is usually larger and finer on the Quince. Experience from different localities is exceedingly desirable, and we are doing all in our power to collect it. Until recently not much has been done with winter Pears, and we can not expect for a few years any great amount of information based on actual experience.