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.
Let us see what Mr. Eaton says himself on this point, after giving us the plan in question. It must be remembered that we said, that "in curvilinear houses we invariably find the fruit better on one side than the other." Mr. Eaton says, this is true of houses placed on an "east and west line." Now it so happens that just half the plan in question stands on this line; consequently one half the fruit on this line must be inferior to the other. What is this man we have been speaking of to do with this inferior fruit? Will it fetch as much money as the other? Common sense says, No.
But there is one point in Mr. Eaton's remarks that I had almost forgotten to give him credit for, and had I omitted it, it certainly would have been very wrong. It is in reference to the vines planted on the north sides of the east and west line: he says, "for if it is an object to force grapes at all, the difference of fifteen to twenty days in time of ripening between the Chasselas, etc., and the Hamburghs, is essentially worth something, even to a 'commercial man.'" Ho ! Mr. Eaton ! When a man speaks before the pub-' lic, faith it is printed. What is printed for you on this point already, in the April number of this journal? It reads thus: " If it be desirable that the time of ripening should be nearly equalized through the whole house, it is not difficult to select earlier sorts for the northerly sides, which will naturally be retarded until their maturity nearly corresponds with those in fruit".
Now, friend Eaton, which of these two stories will you have us believe - the first, or the second? Will these self-same vines be naturally retarded on the north sides of the house, as you would have us believe in the first statement? or, will they be ahead of the Hamburghs fifteen or twenty days, as you would have us believe in your second statement? Which ever of these two statements will suit you best just now under present circumstances, we will accept.
My dear sir, this discrepancy is too glaring. When you tell us these vines will be naturally retarded on the north sides, we certainly believe you; but admitting, for the sake of reasoning, that these Chasselas varieties are ripe some fifteen to twenty days before Hamburghs, and admitting all that we can in your favor, will they weigh as much in the scales? What amount is it in dollars and cents in a man's pocket, to have a bunch of "Early Sweetwaters, Frontignan, or Muscat Blanc Hative," some few days before Hamburghs and Muscats? Will the former named varieties (early forced) weigh half a pound a bunch, when the Hamburghs, under the same conditions, will weigh a pound? If they will not, where is the pay? Every man that has ever grown and weighed grapes, knows they will not. Now if these early sorts do not come in fifteen or twenty days before the Hamburghs, but come in the same time, why of course they are not worth near as much; so, with deficient weight, and deficient in intrinsic value, compared with the latter varieties, we say they pay no man to grow them. This may be considered "self sufficient" "captious" practical gardener" like, but we give our experience on this matter, and wish it taken for just what it is worth, and nothing more.
I do not deny that the "Chasselas" varieties may be sold in Buffalo at prices to suit the grower there. We will take Mr. Eaton's word for it. But suppose some " wide awake" should run up there and put Muscats in that market at the same price the "Buffalo-nians " were selling the Chasselas for, what would the Chasselas be worth per pound then?
Mr. Eaton can instance a very good forcing-house that was not only "glazed all round," but with the exposed end facing nearly the north. They did not grow grapes, but plants infinitely more tender were forced successfully. What plants were they, Air. Eaton, that require more heat than a Muscat of Cannon Hall? Do pray tell us, and let these " fountains of all horticultural knowledge" know.
This house, too, "being a part of a range of sufficient extent to require some three thousand feet of pipe, worked from one boiler." This sentence seems to me to bo written in a very ambiguous style: " to require some three thousand feet of pipe, worked from one boiler." Does this mean that three thousand feet of pipe are actually worked by one boiler? or does it mean that it is only wanted, and that it is still now wanted? A very good boiler this, if it is in actual operation; but if it dwells only in the regions of ideality, it amounts to nothing. Who is the maker, Mr. Eaton, and where can it be seen? Tell the readers of this journal where this wonderful piece of machinery really is, so that some one of us can come up to Buffalo and lay our hands on its iron sides, and cry aloud to the world, Verily, Thou art the Boiler!
[Mr. Ellis having omitted to state what kinds of houses he grows his grapes in, we supply the information, as it may be of use to Mr. Eaton in his reply. His forcing houses are all lean-tos, but by no means sheds, being plain, but neat, substantial, well-built working houses. One range, some three hundred feet in lengthy starts about one foot from the ground, with a low pitch, and is the first forcing house. Another range, about five hundred feet in length, starts some two feet from the ground, has a steeper roof, and is the second forcing house. There is still another range, similar to this. The roofs of all these houses are straight. There is but one cold house, and this has a double pitch curvilinear roof, and works well; the wood, foliage, fruit, color, and bloom, all being excellent. This curvilinear house is placed between two of the forcing houses. This discussion naturally involves the most important points in grape culture, such as the best position for a house, the best form to give it, the best mode of constructing it, the best mode of heating it, the best varieties of grapes to grow in it, etc, and may be conducted so as to bring out a vast amount of information useful to all grape growers.
We suggest that Mr. Eaton and Mr. Ellis both forget themselves on the merits of their subject. - Ed].