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Description of Fruit-selling.


out of the question. He studies the needs of each customer, and having secured the amount needed to fill his orders, at once commences to send by express, and to many points where through freights run the fruit goes largely in that manner. It is safe to say that there is no spot within two hundred miles of Chicago that, with fair means of connection with this market, can not have a full supply of fruit.

"Now, as to the expense or cost of these shipments. The broker, dealer or shipper is well satisfied if he can realize 10 per cent on his purchases. Let the shipper of fruit to this market consider what it means. There is the careful selection of fruit, the marking, billing, practically guaranteeing of safe delivery, chances of failure of his far-off customerand collecting his bill at the end of two weeks to three months. Applying the test to the fruit broker or shipper, but few get much more than a living out of the business. The express and freight companies charge only a fair compensation for the service performed. Although fruit may come high in central Minnesota or northern Wisconsin, the dwellers in those regions can not reasonably expect to have fruit brought to them without labor and expense.




There is universal curiosity to know how the various kinds of fruits have originated. It seems to be next to impossible to enlighten the public mind upon the question, for whatever detailed explanation one may give seems to leave the questioner unsatisfied. The real cause of this dissatisfaction is the fact that people assume that there is something mysterious about the process of the origination of varieties; and so long as the mind makes a mystery of a subject it is impossible to elucidate it. We have also been taught that like normally produces like, and therefore that any unlikeness between two plants-as between the parent and its offspring-calls for instant explanation. The fact is, that it is not the nature of domestic productions for like to produce like, but rather for similar to produce similar. That is, there are certain type or family characteristics which pass over to the offspring, but there is normally almost endless unlikenesses in the details. Apples give rise to apples, and sometimes there is a closer reproduction of the parents in tribes like the Fameuse apples and the Crawford peaches; but there is seldom or never an exact duplication of parental features. Considering that this is the normal law of nature, it follows that the wonder is that plants should ever reproduce the variety with approximate exactness. In other words, rigidity of generation may be the thing to be explained rather than the elasticity of it. In kitchen-garden vegetables this rigidity has come about,

but it is the direct result of a long effort at selection and breeding until the elasticity of the type has been largely bred out.*

*A fuller explanation of this class of facts will be found on pages 88, 89 and 90 of "Plant-Breeding;" and the reader is referred to that work and to "The Survival of the Unlike" for discussions of the philosophy of plant-breeding and of the running out of varieties.

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Those persons who are always wondering how the varieties of fruits have come should consult the records. History is capable of enlightening them. If the origins of varieties are traced it will be found that in the vast majority of cases the variety was simply discovered, and that some one began to propagate it because he thought it to be good. A tree springs up along a roadside, in the fence-row, back of the barn, in a thicket, and bears acceptable fruit. It is the product of a chance seed dropped by a bird or thrown there by an urchin. A thousand, perhaps ten thousand, seeds produce trees which bear poor or indifferent products where only one bears superior fruit. This one good tree is cherished, and all the others are forgotten, or perhaps are never seen; and then we wonder why so many more good varieties originate in the half-wild places than in the garden. It is only because more seeds have been sown there; and as we do not covet the ground, the failures pass unnoticed. If we should secure the same results in the garden by the sowing of only half the number of seeds, we should consider the experiment to be a costly one. It is probable that a seed will produce the same character of fruit, whether the tree springs up in a fence-row or in the garden; and the halfwild areas are, therefore, most useful and prolific places in which to allow nature to carry out her various whims in plant-breeding. And if man has been willing to be relieved of all effort in the matter, it is fair to assume that he will long continue of the same mind, and that this exploration for new varieties will be a passion of the adventurer until every copse and tangle has been razed into cultivated fields.

There has been, to be sure, an occasional direct attempt to produce new varieties, but there has been very little definite plantbreeding of the type which sets an ideal before the mind and then tries to attain to it. It is not germane to the present book to discuss the fundamental reasons why plants vary and new forms arise. These reasons are obscure at best, but the greater part of them are probably not past finding out. It is enough for this occasion to say that nearly all the varieties of fruits were seedlings found in some waste place, or in a nursery row or a garden; and they were propagated.




The subjoined bibliography comprises all the American books in the author's library which are devoted to the general principles of fruit-growing. It omits all works upon particular pomological topics, as small-fruits, grapes, oranges, and the like. Inventories of these special books belong properly in the works which shall be devoted to the various classes of fruits.


THE NURSERY-BOOK; a complete guide to the multiplication and
pollination of plants. Illustrated. New York. 1891. [c. 1891.*]
The Rural Publishing Company. pp. 304. 71⁄2 x 5.
-Same, 3rd ed. New York and London. 1896. [c. 1896.] The
Macmillan Company. pp. xi+365. 7x42. [The Garden-Craft


Illustrated. Boston. 84 x 5%.

PRACTICAL AND SCIENTIFIC FRUIT-CULTURE. 1866. [c. 1866.] Lee & Shepard. pp. 523. BARRY, P. THE FRUIT GARDEN; a treatise intended to explain and illustrate the physiology of fruit trees, the theory and practice of all operations connected with the propagation, transplanting, pruning and training of orchard and garden trees, as standards, dwarfs, pyramids, espaliers, etc., the laying out and arranging different kinds of orchards and gardens, the selection of suitable varieties for different purposes and localities, gathering and preserving fruits, treatment of diseases, destruction of insects, descriptions and uses of implements, etc. Illustrated with upwards of 150 figures, representing different parts of trees, all practical operations, forms of trees, designs for plantations, implements, etc. New York. 1860. [c. 1851.] C. M. Saxton, Barker & Co. pp. xiv+398. 71⁄2 x 5.

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CANADIAN FRUIT, FLOWER, AND KITCHEN GARDENER; a guide in all matters relating to the cultivation of fruits, flowers and

* Date of copyright.

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