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])
Willey, O. S.
Report of the recording secretary, pp. 15-20 PDF (1.4 MB)
TRANSACTIONS FOR 1870. 19 definite plan for a continuance. The former system of soliciting donations, while it is well to a certain extent, is poor when continued as a dependence for the entire stock to plant. My own idea would be to decide on some one or more things that it is desirable to test For instance, there are about one hundred and fifty varieties of the willow. What finer collection could there be than to have these arranged in rows or groups and their value fully tested for this climate? But how to get these? For this purpose we should appropriate a given sum for the purchase of plants, the Secretary never forgetting to use his soliciting power for the general good. By this means we may be enabled to focalize our efforts, expending them one year upon one thing-another year some other branch may be taken up. I mention the willow as it suggests a broad and very interesting field of labor. Others are just as much so. Even that much neglected bush the currant, numbers in the list about thirty named sorts; and yet how few in our state ever saw a half a dozen sorts. And so we may continue the list of subjects or items of special interest which should be taken up from year to year, as time and means are given us. Nor is this, gentlemen, like an idle tale, to be wafted away from us. There is great good in store from our labors. A plan can be matured which will prove tangible and result in great good. Shall we put our shoulders to the load, and with our joint action resolve that the sons of Pomona in the Badger State win lead the van in the successful organizing and carrying out an experimental garden? A state like ours needs just such a garden- a place where every known fruit, vine, and especially the small fruits, may be tested, not so much for profit-though in time it may grow to be a source of income-but particularly as a source of information to those who would be encouraged to plant orchards and ornamental trees if they knew what to plant. Another reason for re- quiring the continuance of this work is that we may have some place where all the old and new sorts may be congregated, worked in some manner so that they win fruit at the earliest possible moment, and by comparison of sorts very much can and would be done to correct the nomenclature of our present lists, and these lists, so corrected, should become the authority of the state. This garden in time should grow to an influence of no mean proportions. Imagine for a moment a thousand varieties of apples growing there, five hundred of pears, one hundred or more plums, and as many grapes and strawberries, not to mention other fruits, ornamental trees and plants. With a managing committee of say three of your best pomologists and botanists, whose duties should be to visit as often as might seem necessary the gar- den, comparing the various fruits and noticing its progress and condition. Will any one present say that such a work is not worthy your best efforts? Might it not become a labor of love of this society, and the pride of the state, to which other staes may point with envious pride? Still another benefit, and one which to my mind is of incalculable benefit to the state, is the influence it would have upon the young men, students, who will see with honest pride the fruit resources of their state, and in their leisure learn to study its development, from thence the fruit sections or localities of their own homes, and when they leave their college life they will have learned what the books do not teach-practical horticulture; its effects will be known and read of all men in the renewed activity in tree planting. Can our state officials do less than to grant a helping hand for the encourage ment of one of the mont useful of the industrial pursuits?
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