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.
The following is a short abstract of a discussion before the Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Horticultural Society :
Mr. J. Brainard said, that as the subject had been adopted at his request, he would state that his reason for it was, his having ascertained that several parties in and around the city, who, some three years ago, went into the cultivation of raspberries as a market crop, were plowing them up, and if they were not acting thus because of their unprofitableness, he wanted to know it before he proceeds to plant out more extensively. Would like to hear from our president as to his experience with this fruit.
Judge Washburn replied, that so far as his experience went, he thought they more than paid for their cultivation.
Mr. J. Brainard. - The average wholesale price, last season, was less by six cents per quart than the year preceding, and when we reckon the extra expense of cultivation and picking, I do not think they will pay like strawberries.
Mr. T. Payne. - If raspberries do not fetch more than 12c. at wholesale price next year, I shall plow mine up, if I have to raise potatoes in their place. I would rather raise strawberries at 10c. per quart than raspberries at 20c.
G-. W. Washburn. - Is it really so much more expensive to raise raspberries than strawberries ?
J. H. Osborn. - Yes.
T. Payne. - That is my experience, and then they are very much harder to pick.
J. Brainard. - And we have to pay our pickers just twice as much per quart for picking.
J. H. Osborn. - Is the red raspberry any more profitable than the black cap ?
G. W. Washburn. - I should think so, judging from what I have heard to-night.
W. L. Stroud. - The great objection to the red raspberry, is that it suckers so badly.
J. H. Osborn. - This objection applies especially to the Antwerp. I think that the Philadelphia will prove to be the most profitable. It is a prolific bearer; does not sucker badly, is not as soft as the Purple Cane; and is a splendid berry for jelly or jam.
J. Brainard. - They are not so easy to pick as the Antwerp, and I would like to know whether the red would sell as well as the black, provided the supply was equal.
I. J. Hoile. - The demand for red raspberries has always been greater than the supply in this market, hence they have commanded a higher price ; but if the supply should at any time be as large as that of the black caps, the price would, in all probability, be largely reduced, and it is doubtful whether they would then sell as readily for table use as the black cap.
W. L. Stroud. - What has been the experience of gentlemen present, with the Mammoth Cluster.
T. Payne. - I regard it as a first-class variety.
J. H. Osborn. - If the Doolittle black cap is properly cultivated, there is, in my opinion, very little difference between them.
J. Brainard. - I think the Mammoth Cluster is very far superior to the black cap, but I give the preference to the Davidson's Thornless. Myself and brothers propose to plant half an acre of them next spring, and if they should bear only half as well as did the few plants we had last season, we shall certainly plow up all our Doolittle's and substitute Davidson's Thornless.
W. L. Stroud. - I think the Red Antwerp would pay well to cultivate by the acre if properly cared for.
J. H. Osborn. - I would like to enquire of Mr. Brainard, how many quarts of Doolittle's he could raise to the acre ?
J. Brainard. - From five-eighths of an acre I raised 1,500 quarts last year; it is my impression, that with proper cultivation, they will yield 3,000 quarts to the acre.
W. L. Stroud. - In order to do this the plants must be heavily manured, I. J. Hoile. - Yes; and thoroughly mulched.
J. Brainard. - I regard mulching as indispensable.
G. W. Washburn. - I have never cultivated the black raspberries, and do not propose to do so ; but I have an acre of the Red Antwerp, and I think they will pay for cultivating. I also think a great deal of the Brinkle's Orange, especially for family use.
J. H. Osborn. - For richness of flavor the Brinkle's Orange most decidedly surpasses all other raspbarries.
W. L. Stroud. - But they do not yield well, and hence are not profitable as a market berry.
G. W. Washburn. - The most tasteless and worthless of all raspberries is the Belle de Fontenay.
J. Brainard. - I endorse that opinion. I would like to know whether there is any more risk in fall than in spring trimming.
I. J. Hoile. - Not any more; and the advantage of fall pruning is, that time is saved by so doing, for their spring work.
T. Payne. - Any time after fruiting will do, and I would rather trim when opportunity serves in the fall, than defer it until spring.