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.
CHERRIEs are one of the most perishable fruits that grow in our country, so much so, that many persons have relinquished the growing of them for marketing purposes. While others, thinking they can succeed with new varieties, have undertaken the growing of them for the purpose of making money by so doing.
One of the greatest difficulties in the way of these persons, is how, or in what way, or what package can they make use of in order to get the fruit to market in good order.
Before speaking on this point, permit me to draw their attention to one very essential point, and that is, to handle it with the greatest of care before placing it in the package for shipping. They should always be picked with the stems on, and in clusters, if the fruit will permit, and never be packed in a damp condition.
If they are much spotted, showing a disposition to rot, sort them carefully, and not ship any of the damaged ones, as they will affect the others.
When they are picked off the stems, the juice runs from the fruit, and dampens it, which also causes it to spoil on the route, particularly if the weather is extremely hot*.
In regard to the package to be made use of in shipping. I am not prepared to say which is the best; for the distance the fruit is to be sent, and the mode of transportation, must be taken in consideration. Where the distance to market is short, and the expense of returning the package is not heavy, they might make use of small oblong baskets, containing from 10 to 15 pounds. By having these baskets twice the length of the width, they can be packed in square skeleton cases, two in a layer, reversing the top ones, so the bottom of these may rest on the top of the lower ones.
Handles steady them, so they will not move; but to economise space, the handles of the top layer might be removed, to permit the lid of the case to close down on the baskets.
Where the grower has large-siied berry crates, they might procure baskets to fit them, even if they did contain a trifle more or less in bulk. When baskets cannot be procured, the better way is to have boxes made to fit these cases, containing about the same quantity; but, in order to ventilate the fruit, have the ends or sides of the boxes made a trifle higher than the other, to suit the package they may be placed in.
The above style of packages are also convenient for Currants, and even Grapes, when the owner has only a small quantity to market. Some growers of the very finest and choicest of fruit, make use of a case containing a chest of drawers; but, these are very expensive to purchase, and also to return empty.
For growers living at a distance too great to make use of these packages, on account of the expense of returning them, they will find that a small crate, containing from 15 to 25 pounds, will be as convenient as anything they can procure. Let them be made very light, and slightly ventilated. This style of package is generally used by the cherry growers living in the central part of the State, who send to this city.
Always weigh the packages, and mark their weight on them. With a stencil plate, have your initial letters, and the address of the consignee, placed on each, and if the package is to be returned, the name of the depot to which it is to be returned.
C. W. Idell.