Harper's New Monthly Magazine, 11 (1885–86), 700–06.
The Home Acre. Part II [2/8]
E P Roe
Horticulture, Aesthetics, Utility, Expertise, Nationalism, Botany, Breeding, Skill, Disease, Quackery, Periodicals, Entomology
Prosper J A Berckmans , Elbert S Carman , Samuel B Parsons
Directs the 'reader's attention to a few practical suggestions in regard to several of the fruits which best supply the family need' (700), and advises that by 'stocking the acre with fruit' the reader 'can combine almost as much beauty as utility with his plan' (700–01). Gives advice on planting fruit trees based on the 'opinions of eminent horticulturists' such as the 'Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, the veteran president of the American Pomological Society', whose 'honored name, like that of the late Charles Downing, is inseparably linked with American fruits', as well as the 'well-known horticultural author [...] Mr. A. S. Fuller' (701). Reflects that the planter of fruit trees 'can gratify his taste and eye with some pretty innovations' by obtaining 'scions' of a particular tree from a 'neighbor' which can then be 'grafted upon the trees of the home acre' and 'will soon begin to yield the coveted variety'. Indeed, by this technique 'may be presented the interesting spectacle of one limb of a tree yielding four very distinct kinds of apple'. (702). Describes the 'fire-blight' which afflicts pear, apple and quince trees, and notes that 'there have been innumerable preventatives and cures recommended, just as we see a dozen certain remedies for consumption advertised in any popular journal; but the disease still remains a disheartening mystery'. The threat to fruit trees posed by insects, however, is more manageable, because we 'can study the characters of our enemies, and learn their vulnerable points'. (704) Suggests that the 'codling-moth, or apple-moth [...] probably constitutes one of nature's methods of preventing trees from overbearing, but, like some people we know, it so exaggerates its mission as to become an insufferable nuisance' (705).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
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