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.
George W. Wilson, of Ohio, writes to The Rural New Yorker: " Last spring I received a package of the Trophy Tomato seed, which were planted in a hot-bed, and the plants grew vigorously. The fruit ripened very early. One tomato, not the largest on the vines, measured sixteen inches in circumference. Most of the tomatoes are smooth as an apple and very solid, containing few seeds, and cutting like a round of beefsteak. To sum up - the vines are vigorous growers and enormous bearers, while the fruit is large and smooth, ripening unusually early and being very solid, so that little goes to waste in cooking; and in flavor it is all that can be desired".
Much enthusiasm was elicited in the former part of the fruiting season by the growers of the "Trophy," and some ecstatic remarks have been freely quoted by the press. We found recently, on a trip to Delaware and Maryland, and in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, that, after trial, the New York Early Improved Smooth Red is preferred to the Trophy for a market crop. The Trophy, in the southern portion of the Middle States, does not seem to bear as large a crop as on the heavy soils farther North. Likewise, it has been found to grow rough and more rugged in outline each year, comparatively few specimens being entirely smooth. Gardeners say that they can get more baskets to the acre of the Smooth Bed than the Trophy, although all admit the latter is equal to all representations as to flavor and solidity.
We believe grape growers this season have made money. The quantity raised was not so overwhelmingly large as last year, and the varieties have been more gradually brought into the market. The Early grapes from the South have averaged 10 cents er pound to 12 cents, while other grapes from Central New York have brought cents to 8 cents steadily. We may mention, as an evidence of the increase of the grape trade, and the enormous quantities sold in this city, that one dealer (Mr. C. W. Idell, the Grape King of dealers) sold in one day over 4½ tons, or 9,000 lbs., and his daily average is from one to three tons. There are probably 30 to 50 other dealers in the city selling grapes also.
The demand for grapes strengthens as cool weather approaches. Peaches are all gone, early pears are gradually disappearing, and grapes reign alone as the prime fruit of the market. The three greatest fruits of our city markets now are strawberries, peaches and grapes.
W. F. Massey, of Chestertown, Md., says:
We have grown this every year since we paid a quarter of a dollar for each seed of twenty in a packet, and every year wo grow more and more convinced that it is the tomato for our market. One mistake is usually made with the Trophy - that is, too heavy manuring. Our lands here are naturally much better than the soil about New York and Newport, and if manured as the northern writers recommend for all garden crops, the Trophy tomato, in our soil, will grow rough and burst, and never ripen thoroughly about the stem. Last season we grew about seven acres of Trophy tomatoes, and the contrast between a portion well manured in the hill and those in land that had not been manured for years was very marked. On the manured land one-third of the crop was unmarketable from bursting of the skin, decay and knots; while on the unmanured part we grew smooth and beautiful fruit that would average nearly a pound apiece. For the Trophy we would select good land that would bring 40 to 50 bushels corn per acre, and apply no manure.
Future cultivation may make the Trophy more uniformly perfect in shape, but we do not see that we need any better variety for main and late crop.