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.
Here, after all, is the failing point of this crop. In a dry, warm season, when grown in rather poor, sandy soil, they are often quite eatable, and are very they are quite watery and stringy - so much so as to be utterly uneatable to all who hare ever used a good article. For this reason I would not advise their culture as for north as Central New York; not at least until you strike the shores of the western lakes, where the summer is from two to four weeks longer, and allows the plant a proportionally longer period to mature its tubers.
I have written the preceding directions, not to encourage their culture, but to aid those who are determined to try that culture for themselves. Some of my directions will seem quite unnecessary to those familiar with their culture.
The original tree is healthy and vigorous, and retentive of its foliage. The trunk is twenty-nine inches in circumference at the surface of the earth, and twenty-four inches at four feet above the ground. Young shoots - yellowish. Buds - medium size, triangular, greyish. Foliage - large, lively green, flat, obtusely acuminate, slightly waved, with large, light-colored ribs. Petiole - rather long, pale green, firmly adhering to the support, which is of moderate size.
[We are happy in being able to present so complete an account and description of this new American Pear. We had an opportunity of seeing and tasting it at Boston, and regard it as an important acquisition. - Ed].
It was claimed to ripen four weeks before the Isabella. It is here only two weeks in advance of it It is yet a very early grape, and on that account desirable: but in many other respects it does not come up to the announcement.
The general appearance of the vine is somewhat foxy, the leaf, too, shows some alliance to that species, and worst of all, its taste is rather tart and foxy and even its smell is foxy; this latter feature is so prominent that it is quite characteristic, though only a unit under my large grapery. In short, then, it does not quite meet my expectations, for really we have fox grapes growing amongst our hills, just like it in every respect; color, taste, smell and time of ripening; which have, for some time, been planted in the gardens of this vicinity.
It should, however, not be despised, let it be what it may. It has yet much to recommend it The grape, certainly only a second rate one, is yet much better than none, and this, it is likely from present appearances, will furnish us when all others fail.
By all means I would not do without it, though it does not exactly meet, what was claimed for it, to make it sell perhaps; it is not to be blamed for that. It grows rapidly, is hardy, and yields us fruit when many others fail us.