Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Transactions of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society. Proceedings, essays and reports at the annual winter meetings, held at Madison, Feb. 1, 2 and 3, 1870 and Feb. 7, 8 and 9, 1871
(1871 [covers 1870/1871])
Stickney, J. S.
Small fruits, pp. 41-45 PDF (1.1 MB)
42 WISCONSIN STATE HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY. seem much the same as does the enthusiasm of poultry fanciers to the owner of a fine herd of Devons or Durhams. Neither do we hope to interest those who only notice fruit as it comes to the table, prepared for use; who value just as highly the quart of berries bought in the market as those gathered fresh from the garden From the thoroughgoing "hog and hominy" eaters we expect no favors; and yet some converts, and now and then a good working disciple, come from that class. But to the laboring man, with only his cottage and rood of ground, which by his skill and industry he would improve and beautify; to the mechanic, who needs rest and recreation in the open air, and who perchance may also need all the substantial comforts and luxuries he can possibly derive from his garden; to the parent who would educate his children in habits of thoughtful and productive industry; to the professional man, who needs rest and relaxation from an overtaxed brain-to all these, and others, we bring words of good cheer. For all these, small fruit culture is just the thing, giving ready and abundant pay in beauty, utility, health and happiness. What will the culture of small fruits do for us in dollars and cents? Let the person of limited means buy, at a cost of five dollars, or get as a gift from his neighbor, one thousand currant cuttings; plant in early spring, in good soil, and tend carefully through the season; in autumn, at least two-thirds will be well rooted plants, worth from two to four cents each. Here, at the end of six months, is your pay, at the rate of twenty-five cents per hour, for all labor bestowed. But do not realize now; better let your capital accumulate. Take these plants and re-set them in rows four feet apart and two feet in the rows. Still tend carefully, and they shall yield you wood for new supplies of plants, and after one year a paying crop of fruit. Do your duty by them five years and then balance accounts, and you shall again see your twenty-five cents an hour. Or buy one thousand plants of black-cap raspberries, costing ten dollars; plant in good soil, and tend carefully; in autumn layer the tops as they are ready, and in one year from the day of planting you may have three thousand good plants to sell, and in three months more, say five hundred quarts of choice fruit. Here again is your twenty-five cents an hour, and as much more in value of plants for future crops. Similar results may be reached with grapes or strawberries, though perhaps with less certainty. Do you lack the knowl- edge to do this? Observe and question carefully all within your reach who know aught of these things. Read all the books and agricultural papers at hand. Above all, watch carefully the effects d your own acts, and study to improve upon them, so that each succeeding year may find you better able to command success. In this way shall acquisitions of knowledge and power be of more value than the dol- lars and cents. The man with some capital, who seeks an investment and a business, may safely and profitably invest in small fruits, if he can bring to his work a good stock of perseverance, energy and careful observation. Raspberries are readily made to pay a net yearly income of two hundred dollars per acre. Currants will do quite as much, and are more certain. Strawberries sometimes pay more than twice this, but owing to frequent failures are no more profitable than the others. But it is no c areless, neglectful culture that secures these results. Yet it requires no more skill or management to succeed with these than with the best class of common farming.
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