home bookshop feed the hungry   earthly pursuits logo
what's new old book library safe seed pledge  
contact about books about food & recipes  
links I  II   garden tips  
search flower language blether  
  alphabetized flowers     flowers by meaning companion planting  
    click here to make a
"free" contribution to earthly pursuits




The Evolution of Horticulture in New England


Title Page


        6 SECTIONS   [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]


                 NEW ENGLAND

                 MASSACHUSETTS BAY

through page 105 of 180

I have posted what I have finished typing on this book but I am going to delay indefinitely the rest of the book because most of the rest of the book is unopened (the pages have not been split apart) and I would prefer not to open the pages as this is a good example of how books used to be made. If I get enough requests to finish the book, I will try to find an opened copy. So, if you want to know the ending, e-mail me.




The relations which the New England settlers held to nations of which they were direct descendent, necessitate consideration of the gradual evolution of horticulture, not only as it refers to them and their immediate predecessors, but even to the earliest historical record of man.

                The term horticulture is applied to the cultivation of fruit, vegetables, herbs, or flowers, within a limited space or enclosure commonly called a garden. The English word garden is derived from the Anglo-Saxon gyrdan, to grid in or enclosure. Orchard had its origin in ort geard, an enclosure for fruit trees. Wyrt geard, signified a garden for any kind of vegetable or herb.

                That horticulture preceded agriculture may be inferred from the history of the human race. The Scriptures say: “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there he put the man that he had formed. … And the Lord God took the man and put him into the garden to dress it and to keep it.” Whatever construction may be put upon the story as presented to us in Genesis, it is reasonable to conclude that our first parents were placed in Paradise to practise  horticulture. This was their occupation, and continued to be that of their immediate descendants, and undoubtedly of all Eastern nations for an indefinite period. The attention of man as at first specially directed to the cultivation of fruits; they were mostly fruit eaters, and as the Oriental nations long remained stationary, and the value of property and the consequent necessity of enclosing their cultivated lands thus gradually became appreciated, gardens were formed, in which were planted fruit trees and particularly the vine. Those devoted solely to the latter were termed vineyards, for the protection of which special laws were instituted, on account of the value of their produce and the nature of its properties, which experience soon taught the people. The qualities of various herbs, among these vegetables, sooner or later became recognized as articles of food, and gradually led to their culture, also in enclosed lots. Of these facts the Scriptures fully inform us.

                Thus commenced the art of gardening, which at first was conducted by means of the most primitive tool, such as a pointed stick would provide, and by which the useless and undesirable plants known as weeds could be eradicated. In due time, the scarcity of food led to the discovery an great value of cereals, and the demand for greater quantities of these would tend to the extension of the areas of cultivation and easier means of production. Hence the pointed stick elected was of larger dimensions, and rendered more manageable by the addition of handles at one end, while at the other, by the attachment of a domesticated animal, it was propelled through the soil; by these means thus enabling man to till larger districts – in other words, to covert him into an agriculturalist or cultivator of fields.

Thus agriculture, as it provides food in sufficient quantities adapted to the wants of man, may in a certain sense be considered to precede horticulture and to be its parent. On the other hand, since Agriculture, historically considered, was evolved from the art of gardening, as has been shown, the latter should enjoy this distinction of parentage.

                Horticulture, in fin, is the perfection of agriculture, as it supplies luxuries, and therefore, in the language of Winthrop,1  is emphatically the fine art of common life. “It is eminently a republican fine art; its implements may be wielded by every arm, and its results be appreciated by every eye.” When the precision and care which now marks this art are manifested in all the operations of the agriculturist, then, eventually, the whole world will become a garden.

1 R. C. Winthrop. Speech at anniversary of Society, 1848.



SECTION 2 of 6   [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]