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.
Mr. P. Barry has kindly furnished a report of this Society's meeting, which was designed for the February number, but was not received in time. The Rural New Yorker contains the very ahle and interesting speech of the President, J. J. Thomas; it will be read with improvement by all who cultivate fruits. He said: -
"The question is perhaps more easily asked than answered, why it is that while no farmer would think of planting a field of corn to grow among the grass of a meadow, there are so many who will place valuable young trees, which have cost them more than a hundred times as much as the corn they have planted, in the midst of a dense grass sod? Or who, having once planted them in good soil, wholly abandoned them to weeds? However, dear-bought experience is enforcing its lessons, and good cultivation is becoming more frequent, and better understood. * * *
"I have taken the pains, the present season, to measure the products of a few apple trees, set out about six years ago, then two years from the graft. The soil had but one light manuring for many years, and was naturally more sterile than most of our common farm soils. But it had been kept under good clean cultivation. Two of the Dyer apple bore each a bushel and two-thirds; a Baldwin yielded three bushels and a half; a tree of the Minister, three bushels; a Belmont, two years older, bore five bushels; and a Northern Spy, eight years transplanted into a large hole containing a portion of compost, bore nine bushels.
"By keeping the ground clear of all vegetable growth in an orchard or fruit garden, whether it be a planted crop, or a self-sown crop of weeds, which is the best and most profitable course (unless it be sometimes that a green crop for manure may be advisable); by adopting this course, five or six dollars an acre are all that need be required, where one or two ploughings and five or six harrowings are given annually - affording an almost incredible supply of the necessaries, comforts, and luxuries of life combined; while without such cultivation, perhaps not a fifth part of the same real value would be afforded. How strange that any one should attempt to save the few by wasting the hundreds! Squandering the dollars to save the cents, most emphatically! * * *
"I hold the inherently wise as well as time-honored rule, that every tree is to be judged by its fruits - by its intrinsic worth, whether Europe or America is the place of its origin. By this rule we all pronounce the older foreigners, the Bartlett, Virgalieu, Louise Bonne of Jersey, and Flemish Beauty, and such, newer arrivals as the Rostiezer, Giffard, and Beurre d'Anjou, as worthy companions of the Seckel, the Tyson, the Brandywine, the Washington, Sheldon, and Lawrence, and other native Americans; while among the apples, the Astrachan, Dyer, and Gravestein will compare well with our Melon, Hawley, Spitzenburgh and Svoaar.
"The truth is, we have a long road to travel before we reach a perfect list of fruits; and we need all the assistance we may be able to procure from all sources. * * *
"I have taken a little pains to estimate the time required for all our present nurseries in the whole Union to furnish a ten acre orchard to every farm of a hundred acres, in all the States east of and contiguous to the Mississippi River. On the supposition that all the ground occupied by nurseries in densely planted fruit trees amounts to ten thousand acres, their entire and continued products' would be required for three hundred years to fill out all these ten acre orchards. But many estimate that only one-fifth of ail the trees set out ever reach a successful bearing condition - in which case .fifteen hundred years would be needed by our present nurseries to plant one-tenth of our entire territory with orchards." * *
Mr. Stone said: "I knew one tree of the Baldwin apple that two years ago produced twenty-eight bushels, that sold for $40. Our Agricultural Committees estimated one acre in orchard as equal in value to twelve in other orops,but he thought the figures large enough at five to one".
Mr. Barry said: "Of pear orchards we have but very few in our country. One is that of Mr. Thaddeus Chapin, of Canandaigua, which has now been set nine years. Six years after being set out, he sent some fruit to New York, and obtained $8 a barrel for it. The next year he bad thirty barrels of fine pears from his three acres. For those he obtained $15 a barrel, making $450. This was his own price, and after paying him for them, the market-woman remarked that if he had asked $18 she should have paid it quite as willingly. The year before last he had fifty barrels, which he sold in New York for from $18 to $20 a barrel - making nearly a thousand dollars. This last year his crop was partly a failure, which he thinks was owing to planting corn in his orchard, and close up to the trees. When his pears were nearly grown they dropped off without ripening, and he lost nearly all".
The Chester County Horticultural Society's schedule of premiums for 1856 has been sent us, embracing much that is of interest and value. This spirited society deserves high commendation for what it has accomplished, and the taste it has infused in its neighborhood. There must be much in West Chester worthy of being communicated to the public through our columns.
The facility with which a large supply can be obtained may make it worthy of notice. Those skilled in the manufacture may much improve the quality. The juice had sugar added to it. That which was pure became spoiled. Perhaps a fermenting substance added would prevent that. [This appears to be a very good and well flavored article. - Ed].
Respectfully, Jacob T. Williams, Philad.
A Park in New York seems now a probable thing, and, if properly carried out, will prove a blessing to the people, and an example which we trust other cities will not be slow to follow. It has our best wishes.