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.
We extract by permission, from a private letter of January fast, from Hon. M. P. Wildes, the following notes regarding the construction of a fruit-room, which will interest many of our fruit growers. Ed.
My fruits are keeping admirably in the new fruit-room. This room happens to have been situated and constructed so much like Mr. Morrison's, (of which you have seen the drawings and description in the Gardener's Chronicle,) as to be almost a fac-simile of his.
The walls of mine, however, are filled-in with charcoal and sawdust.
The Beurre Diel, Vicar of Winkfield, Excellentissima, and other autumn pears, are now in as perfect condition as when gathered from the trees, and so they will remain till the warm weather of spring approaches. I shall then try some of them in the non-conducting boxes, where I think they may be kept till summer. I have by a similar process, preserved some varieties till July. Mr. Morrison has no new principle. All that is necessary, is to obtain a low temperature during the warm weather of autumn, and to preserve this equilibrium. This being attained, there is no difficulty whatever. When the severe weather of last month occurred, my fruits were removed from the shelves and packed in boxes, with a thin layer of clean rye straw between each tier, the tubes of the straw containing air enough to correct mildew and damp. The boxes are now piled on one side of the room, and covered with hay about three feet in depth.
My experiment was suggested by the bad effects of moisture and warmth in my old fruit cellars, under my dwelling house, and the same difficulty exists with rooms on the ground-floor of buildings. I therefore resorted to the other extreme - a cool and dry chamber on the north end of my barn, the location of which you know, (and like Mr. Morrison's,) over the carriage room. I am now quite satisfied that we have at last ascertained the proper location for a fruit-room; namely, a cool upper apartment, with lined non-con-ducting walls. With great regard, yours, M. P. W.