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opened, their aroma is such that no well-bred consumer can resist the temptation of a high price. Ordinary fruits, however, are not worth this care.
It is important that all fruit should be packed very snug, especially that which is to be shipped any distance in barrels or other large packages. Fruit which is slack when it reaches the market is nearly always injured, and sells as second or third quality product. This slacking or shaking in barrels may be prevented by using fruits which are not over ripe, by careful attention to grading, so that all the specimens are of uniform maturity, by keeping the product cool after it is packed, and especially by placing the fruits in the package by hand. Barrels of apples and pears should ordinarily be filled about an inch above the chine and the fruit should be pressed in with a screw or lever press until the head comes into place. If the fruits are wrapped in paper, or if the package is lined with several thicknesses of paper, the spring of the paper itself will take up the slack and will keep the fruit in place; and in such cases it is not necessary to apply heavy pressure in the heading-up of the barrel.
Upon the best brands of fruit, a trade-mark is often important. Some neat pictorial design, with the name of the grower and a statement to the effect that the fruit is guaranteed to be as represented, attracts the eye of the purchaser and gives him confidence in the article; but to put a trademark upon fruit of indifferent or even of ordinary quality is little more than a joke. If a man
The Growing of the Fruit.
a trade-mark, he must expect, of course, to handle his own produce, or at least to see that it reaches the market under his own name. The fruit buyers who travel through the country for apples and other produce ordinarily pay little attention to the trademark of the grower, but put their own mark upon the package. If one really grows a good quality of fruit, it will commonly pay him to give his farm some neat and attractive name, which can go onto the labels. In short, every effort should be made to put up the produce in a finished manner, as the best grades of manufactured produce are now packed and delivered to the consumer.
Very much of the success of any fruit upon the market depends npon how it is grown as well as how it is handled. There may even be a difference in the salableness of samples of fruit which are to all appearances alike. It is now pretty well demonstrated, for example, that apples from trees which have been thoroughly sprayed and well tilled are better keepers than those of similar size and appearance which are grown upon neglected trees. When fruits are to be shipped to any distance, it is particularly important that the tillage and general care of the fruit plantation should have been the best.
Packages. It is well nigh useless to make any general remarks upon the packages which are used for fruits, because so much depends upon the particular grade of the fruit and upon the way in which it is shipped and handled; very much also depends upon the demands of the given market.
It is an excellent plan for the fruit-grower to visit markets in advance of the ripening of his crop, and to determine just what style of package his market will most appreciate. When fruits are pooled, or shipped through exchanges or unions, it is imperative. that a uniform style of package should be used; but when a man handles fruit solely upon his own account, and has a fine or superior quality, he can often advertise his product by a his product by a unique package, or at least by one that is unlike those in most common use. Such a package singles him out from his neighbors, and answers as a trade-mark for his product. The writer has known profitable returns to be got from fruit which was shipped in colored baskets. A dye was made of aniline, and the baskets were dipped into the kettle (being handled with a pitchfork), and fruit which was no better than the ordinary run brought from two to five cents a basket more than that packed in the ordinary white package. This will not often succeed, however, but this instance is given simply to show that a package which is somewhat out of the usual run may be a desirable one for a man to use upon particular occasions.
This inthe pur
In all the finest fruits the grower should nothing but a gift package, that is, one given away with the fruit when it is sold. sures a clean and dainty package, and chaser is not bothered with the thought of returning are to reach a good market,
it. In fruits which
been used once is a positive
Packages for Fruits.
detriment. In very many cases, it is the packing and the package which sells the fruit, more than the fruit itself. When fruits are sold by the definite quantity, as by the quart, the peck or the bushel, the packages should be full measure. It sometimes happens that for a time a man secures as much for a short or snide package as for one of full measure; but such a person can scarcely expect to hold a superior trade for a great length of time.
The most popular package at the present time for grapes, peaches and apricots is apricots is the Climax basket, which is made in various styles and sizes. Some of the common forms are shown in Fig. 95. These are made in sizes holding from five to ten or twelve pounds of fruit. They are handy, cheap, nest well in the shipment, and are durable. A good basket of any kind should be one which is neatly made, with no splinters or tag ends hanging from it, which is firm and symmetrical in shape, well nailed, and which is perfectly clean or white in appearance. Baskets become yellow and discolored if they are left in the sun; therefore, when they are stored, they should be placed in a clean and dark dry loft or room. If packages which have been left over from the last year are somewhat dingy, it is sometimes possible to bleach them by burning a little sulfur in the room.
The grower, then, will begin some months in advance to look up the packages which he shall use, for he will thereby not only suit himself and