University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
The State of Wisconsin Collection

Page View

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)


Page 42


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.


Go up to Top of Page