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February 17, 1863. Mr. Edward Doughty, of New Jersey, in the chair.
WINTER PEARS. Mr. Leffingwell exhibited the Columbia Virgalieu in good preservation. These pears were from the original tree on the Fox farm, West Farms, N. Y.
Mr. Bergen exhibited the Easter Beurre and the Crassane; the latter is not conceded a good pear, but as it is a good keeper, excellent for cooking, and sells well in market, he considers it a very profitable one to grow. The best winter pear that he knows of, is one with that long, unpronounceable French name, the Doyenné d'Hiver Nouveau, the synonym of which is Doyenné d'Alençon.
APPLES. Mr. Carpenter exhibited a variety of apples; among them were the Baldwin and Roxbury Russet. The latter apple, he thinks, cannot be advantageously grown with us.
Mr. A. L. Smith. In my section this variety does well upon strongly manured lands. I apply two loads to a tree. The well-manured fruit will keep as well as potatoes, if put up in air-tight barrels. The Rhode Island Greening is very uncertain. The fruit fails to ripen perfectly, and keeps badly. The Baldwin apple does well upon dry, rich soil. I have five-year old trees that yielded five barrels, by forcing the growth by plowing and manure upon the hoed crops. We consider the Baldwin one of the best apples in our section of country, and it is very profitable. I have an orchard of seven acres. The last season I picked five barrels off some of the trees, which are now eleven years old. Joseph Wellington, West Cambridge, Mass., has an orchard of thirty acres of Baldwin apples, which he values at $30,000. This orchard had produced an income of $3,000 a year, In Connecticut there is an orchard, where the owner keeps hogs in it, that produces good Greenings, but they do not keep as well as Baldwins. I would sooner have a crop of Baldwins every other year than a crop of Rhode Island Greenings every year. The trees of the Rhode Island Greenings are infected by a worm, that does the orchardist great injury.
Mr. Fuller.Then it is not the quality of the apple you object to, but the worm that infects the trees.
Mr. Carpenter.-Our friend, Dr. Trimble, some weeks since presented a very superior apple, which he understood as originating in New Jersey. I was very much pleased with this apple, and as Dr. Trimble promised to distribute grafts of this tree, I was in hopes of adding this variety to my orchard; but since that time I have ascertained the history of the apple. The original tree stands in the garden of Mr. Stephen P. Carpenter, of New Rochelle. It has been called the Ferris apple, but is better known as the Westchester Seek-no-further.
Dr. Trimble.From all the information I can get, it appears that the apple originated in Albion, Orleans county, N. Y, I think our friend, Mr. Carpenter, is mistaken in the location of this apple. Mr. John G. Bergen stated that a gentleman put up two barrels of apples, [Am. Ins.)
one in a flour barrel, which kept poorly; the other barrel, which had contained lime, kept entirely sound. The apples looked as if only just picked from the tree, and the flavor uninjured.
Mr. A. L. Smith. I have tried apples packed in lime to my satisfaction. I shall not try it again; they kept well, but the flavor was destroyed; besides, it is very difficult to clean the apples from the lime, and then they decay very rapidly when exposed to the air.
"I notice in the reports of the weekly meetings of the American Institute Farmers' Club, January 27, the Chairman says: “The best way for a family to get early tomatoes is to grow the plants in a hotbed, and select the strongest, and set them in the most favorable situation.' An erroneous opinion prevails in regard to this subject, which it would, I think, be well to set right. Most people, excepting professional gardeners, suppose that the earlier you start plants the more forward they are at setting, and the earlier you get tomatoes. This belief is so prevalent that it is difficult to dispose of plants which are not nearly ready to bloom at setting time. This works to the gardener's advantage, as the first lot of plants are generally set early, and the late frost makes room for another set. In this vicinity plants should not, on the 25th of May, be more than five inches high, and the second week in April is early enough to sow your seed. That the practice of producing large plants is opposed to nature's laws, we will endeavor to show by reason. As a plant reaches maturity, the growing power develops into a fruit-producing, which was the principal object of the plant's growth. A sufficient volume of roots having grown for this purpose, their object is to furnish nourishment and strength to the plant. Disturb these roots by transplanting, and you take away the vital power of the plant, for they do not seem to possess, after a certain date, the
power of reproducing root, except at the sacrifice of fruit. A young plant, on the other hand, readily revives, and soon gets over the check which it has received by transplanting.”
Mr. John G. Bergen.-I was the chairman at that meeting. The gentleman must have misunderstood my remarks. I sow the seed in hotbeds in February and in April; when the plants are about three inches high they are transplanted to other beds not as hot, but where they can be protected. They are set in these beds four or five inches apart, where they grow stocky, with strong roots; and from these beds they are transferred to the field, after all danger of frost is over, with as much dirt as possible adhering. To make it adhere, the bed is drenched with water, and the plants taken up with a trowel or spade and set upright upon boards, and reset rapidly, and the growth hardly checked. When plants are taken direct from the hotbeds to the field, they have but very small roots, and their growth is seriously checked. We are careful to set the plants about the same depth they stood in the plant beds. .: Dr. Trimble.I take my plants from the hotbed and set them in pieces of reversed sod, and place them where they are sheltered, until ready to set in place, and thus I get well rooted plants, that are not checked in growth when set in the garden.. I have transferred plants in this way without injury when they were in blossom.
Mr. A. L. Smith gave his mode of growing tomatoes. He digs holes eighteen inches deep, and puts about six inches of rich earth at the bottom, in which he sets the plant, and, as it increases in size, gradually fills in till level, and after he has done hoeing puts three or four shovelsful of white sand around the plant, which he considers better than manure.
Mr. Carpenter.-I take the opposite course, endeavoring to keep everything well up with the surface.
Mr. J. G. Bergen—Sand might answer for manure in Connecticut-it would not do for Long Island, and we never should succeed if we set our plants, as Mr. Smith does, in holes. I live in a section of country where more tomatoes are raised than in all the adjacent counties. Some of our fariners plant from ten to twelve acres. We prepare the ground very mellow and rich, and mark it off four by five feet, and some five by six feet; and the vines, when fully grown, cover the ground that we can hardly get between them.
Mr. A. S. Fuller.-I plant my tomatoes in poor soil, and when I find about a dozen tomatves set upon the plants I stop them, and then transfer them to the ground, and force them to ripen the tomatoes set. I want tomatoes very early, as I consider tomatoes grown the last of the season not fit to eat.
DELAWARE GRAPE RAISINS. Mr. R. G. Pardee stated that he had made some excellent raisins this year made from Delaware grapes, with no signs of decay in drying.
Subject for the next meeting: "Pruning, Grape Vines in particular, and Preparation of Hotbeds." Adjourned.
JOHN W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.
February 24, 1863. Mr. Edward Doughty, of Newark, N. J., in the chair.
WAX MODELS OF FRUIT. Mr. William S. Carpenter exhibited models for the purpose of letting members know what beautiful ones they can have if they wish. The specimens were made by Mrs. De Wolfe, corner of Broadway and Twenty-first street, New York. They were very much admired.
PEARS AND PLUMS. Dr. S. J. Parker, Ithaca, N. Y., writes inquiring the name of a hardy plum and pear grown in that region. He says:
“It is about the size of the old blue plum, which perished years ago by curculio and black knot. The color is reddish blue on the sunny cheek, and greenish white on the shaded side, with a whitish blue bloom when ripe, and is then sweet, soft and pleasant to eat, or good for cooking. The tree is a rapid grower, and when fifteen or twenty years old is subject to the black excrescence, which in ten years more kills the tree. Young trees are rarely affected. Somebody has said it is too tough to have the excrescence.'
"It is almost proof against the curculio. That is, while the curculio does me the favor to thin' out one-third to one-half of the excessive crop which every year loads my trees, it does no injury to the rest, and I get a good supply of plums, which are either eaten up or sold every year. That same somebody has said 'the plum is too ugly to be bitten by the curculio;' but I consider that a great slander, probably a spiteful grudge, owing to the origin of the tree, which was, that an old skinflint of a tree seller, when I was a very young boy, sold them about town here for five or ten cents each; and grow they would, and would not die anyhow. Indeed, they were abont as persistent in growing and resisting the curculio and excrescence as the old codger was in selling a lot of them ‘for a dollar,' whether anybody wanted to buy them or not. I say, all this is a slander on the tree-a willful libel, in fact; for in scarce years I always have plums to eat and sell, even though I have stuck the cheap trees in the toughest ground I have got, where they stand all sorts of neglect and abuse without a murmuring word. That all this is a 'wicked shame,' is evident from the fact that nearly every year, from ten to fifty miles distant, these plums are sent for, as a necessary part of the year's supply of preserves.
“I have forgotten to say, some years it is so much whitened by the light blue bloom as to be considered a blue, not white plum.
“Its greatest fault as a tree is that, as you in the Club say of wheat and sugar cane, it 'tillers' off a lot of young trees every year at the root; so that the person I bought them of has' trees to sell every year. Owing to this tendency, which we careful farmers out west here haven't time to nip in the bud, which is a nice way to treat weeds and other articles on a farm, I have a few trees to give away every year to anybody who wants to try the thing
Somehow, in the last dozen or more years, this 'pesky plum' has given us most of our plums, and we have sold more than of all others. May be it is a good tree, after all, as its account book foots up well.
“ The other fruit I want to ask the Club about is a pear tree that was thrown in with a lot of trees by the old tree-seller, to 'make up the dollar's worth.'
“This tree, too, is as tough as a pine knot. There is no die to it, that I know of; never anything the matter with it; takes care of itself; never bothers anybody; bears nearly every year, and always a full crop. You can't flatter it by any of your attention with manure, nor compliment it by spading. Forking up the ground, and killing the grass about it, it treats with perfect contempt, as useless modern humbugs. The only thing that the tree seems really grateful for is to be let alone; though, once in a ten years' time, breaking off a foot or two of the ends of the branches seems to be agreeable to it.
“ It is not a very large pear, Resembles somewhat the Seckel and Washington, as figured in the third volume of Agriculture, of the Natural History of New York, State Reports. It has the peculiarity that, until a
week or ten days before they ought to be picked, no wind will blow them off, nor will they be shaken off. Suddenly they begin to fall, and in a day or two will all be lying on the ground, about the toughest green things you ever saw, apparently “fit only for the hogs,' and doubtful whether they would eat them. But pick them up and lay them away, the five or ten bushels from each tree, and in about twenty days they are yellow, thinskinned, juicy, sweet-melting in your mouth.
“Talk about pear trees hurting themselves by overbearing; why, this tree would spit ten bushels at you, and not feel it a bit. It will load every inch with fruit, and then the next year load itself again, just for the fun of it, in the same manner. If it was not such a stupid pear tree, I would think it was saying: 'We old revolutionary first settlers ain't your puny dwarfs that want pampering all the while, and then are too lazy to do anything. We knew a thing or two a hundred years ago, I can tell you. We learned how to grow when we had to stand it, I tell you.'
"Another pear tree I have, has this feature: it is a tall standard, thirty or forty feet high, and as many years old. I have tried all sorts of ways to ripen the fruit, but ripen it will not. Being a fall pear, it rots before it ripens. But all this is more than compensated by its hanging long on the tree, and by its one use. Pick them, wash them clean, put them on a clean tin baking plate, put them in the oven, and let them cook slowly until baked brown-nice and tender-and you have a luxury that makes every visitor say: ‘I'll take another of those baked pears, if you please; your wife seems to know how to bake pears remarkably well.' 'My dear madam, how do you bake them so nicely? Do you put sugar on or in them? ..0, no! They are only baked. We have to bake the pears of this tree to get rid of them.' Should not think you'd have any
if all are as good as these.' Yes, we all like them when baked.'
"This pear is large, tough, not knotty, but fleshy, juicy and flavorless, do what you will, until baked, when its obstinacy and ill-temper are all gone, and it is mild, sweet, fine flavored, and often inquired for, hot or cold.
“These three fruits I have repeatedly shown to good judges, but none have been able to name them."
Mr. Wm. S. Carpenter.-From the description given by Dr. Parker, I am unable to name the pears; the plum, I should think was a damson. I hope Dr. Parker will send us some of the pears and plums next season.
Mr. Solon Robinson "read a very interesting letter from Mr. D. Petit, Salem, N. J.:
KEEPING APPLES IN LINEN. " There is one mode of preserving apples which has been practiced here for many years, and which I have tried with complete success, viz.: Place them on the floor in a room, or in any other cold situation, early in the winter, and cover them well with some kind of linen, and leave them so through the various changes of winter. I have known them to come out in the spring rather improved than otherwise. I give facts only.
“ About two months ago I gave you my experience on the movements of the barometer, as an indicator of the weather. Let me now cite your