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.
Before the establishment of railroads in France, the culture and commerce of table fruits had only importance in the immediate neighborhood of the large centres of population. Everywhere else, these products, difficult to transport, wanted the means of rapid communication. Another difficulty arose from the production of the fruits being limited by want of local consumption, even where the soil and climate were the most favorable for their production; and in years of the greatest abundance, the larger part of them were lost for want of means of exportation, while other countries, less favored, were entirely deprived of them.
Happily this sad state of things is to end. Now that railroads farrow the whole country, fruits are easily conveyed to where they are needed, even to great distances. Peaches and figs from Provence and Ronssillon come to Paris and Lille, and the apples of Auvergne and Normandy are eaten in Marseilles.
To show the rapid progress of commerce in fruits, the Orleans railroad carried to Paris more than twice the amount in 1858 than it did in 1852; more than double the quantity, in the space of five years.
Besides this interior commerce, it is an object to export largely. England, the north of Germany and Russia, buy every year a large proportion of our orchard products.
The adoption of the following measures will help the development of this industry:
First. To make known all improvements by which the highest prices may be produced from a fruit garden or an orchard, by the help of the best theoretical and practical instruction. We have tried to do this everywhere within our reach, both in Paris and elsewhere. In 1858, we gave 360 theoretical and practical lectures of an hour and a half each, to an audience of 3000. We must continue this, and organize in every department some mode of teaching arboriculture.
Second. When fruits are to go some distance, only those of the first quality must be raised. These products having an intrinsic value, can be sold at a sufficiently remunerative price to pay for packing and freight.
Third. To cultivate in each locality only those fruits which grow without especial care.
For instance, choose a climate analogous to that of Anjou for raising Pears. A moist climate like Normandy or Auvergne for Apples, etc.
Fourth. To use a suitable means of packing for fruits sent distances.
This greatly neglected subject we will examine now.