The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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476                               FRUIT CULTIVATION,
traueous roots. The figs are propogated from slips, selected with as many joint buds as possible. To form a tree two slips are placed one foot apart, and then joined at the top. The trees if planted in rich soil, should be placed about thirty feet apart, and for poor soil 25 feet distant from each other. The cuttings are planted in the month of March, two in a hole—about nine or twelve inches apart at the root end, then gradually bring the top buds to meet just crossing them like an X; then tread in the earth well. The cuttings must be full of buds or eyes, and when about to plant them cut the root end off at the first knot, care being taken not leave any of the pulp in sight, as it will then be liable to be attacked with worms, which will make the tree hollow and sickly. The cuttings are put into the ground within an inch or two of the top, after which the process of crossing must take place. The ground must be trodden within one or two inches of the top, then cover the remainder over with loose earth, which will protect the ends from the heat of the sun. When the trees arrive to the height of a man, cut off the tops to one uniform height and this will cause the tree to branch out. During the youth of the tree, the ground should be plowed up two or three times during the winter or spring, and the space between them may be used to cul­tivate any thing you wish. The system of plowing should be kept up, otherwise the fruit will depreciate in size and quality.
To dry the Olive.—Chinese.—The Chinese sprinkle them with salt, dry them, and pack them away as herrings are packed. Thus prepared they are not objectionable, and in flavor they resemble the herring.
Oranges Eaten before Brearfast.—A distinguished physician has said that if his patients would make a practice of eating a good orange before breakfast from February to June his practice would be gone.
How to Preserve Oranges and Lemons after they become Specked.—Buy a number of dry and damaged fruit, cut out the specks,peel them in as large pieces as you can, boil them,chop the boil­ed peels fine, weigh them and the pulp, which may be chopped with them, and allow 1 pound of sugar to t pound of fruit. As the fruit is the most valuable, you need not grudge the sugar. Make a syrup of the sugar, for which you may use a little of the last boil­ing water from the peel; put in the fruit and boil 1 hour till it is thick and stirs heavily. Lemons are less juicy than oranges, and require a rather thinner syrup. Use these marmalades either to eat with bread or to make pies or puddings.
Edible Passion Flower Fruit.—The small grows in temperate climates as well as in torrid climates. The seeds are enclosed in a pulpy mass, which is of delicious flavor. The large fruit grows in