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

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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TREES AND SHRUBS.                                  479
Nutricious Properties of Apples.—It has been found from careful analysis, that the apple contains a larger amount of phos-pcrous or brain food than any other fruit or vegetable and on this account they are very important to sedentary men, the action of whose livers are too sluggish, to eliminate effete matter, which if re­tained in the system, produce inaction of the brain, and indeed of the whole system, causing jaundice, sleepiness, drowsiness and trouble some diseases of the skin.
The Custard Apple.—Is like a thin rough bag, acocoanut full of custard, and such a custard no cook ever yet achieved. Is eaten with a spoon.
The Banana.—Grows easily from the suckors, and according to Humbolt, is 33 times as prolific as wheat and 44 times as prolific as the potato.
Banana Trees.—Every family should have them for their own use in the land of fruits. They will grow from suckers easily.
Plantains.—Can be cooked like apples, or sliced and fried in fat or oil.
In Java.—I saw them fried in cocoanut oil. The plantain is twice larger than the banana; with the pine apples, they both nestle in the green borders of large or small forms.
The Banana is a thoroughly tropical plant. When planted on plantations, the stumps are planted from 6 to 10 feet apart each way. In tropical and semi-tropical countries they grow with scarcely any care if the roots can have access to water. They bear in ten months from planting, one bunch of fruit to each tree. Planted in holes 18 inches deep, 10 feet apart, which is partly filled with rubbish and then with earth in which the stubble is set, and the soil pressded firmly in.
Beef Suet Tree,—Grows on the Mississippi river, with scarlet acid berries about the size of red currants, but much richer in taste, and much cherished; grows in continued clusters, and should be grown in California.
The Horse Chestnut.—The French make a starch of it.
The Oleander.—The wood, the leaves, flowers and bark are poisonous, Children have been seriously, if not fatally poisoned from sucking the flowers. An infusion of the leaves will kill insects and the bark rats. Farmers in Bermuda are under the impression that the plant poisons the grass, and animals are killed by eating it. Perhaps the dead leaves fall on and among the grass and are eaten with it. In Bermuda they use the oleander to form hedges.
How to plant an Orange Grove.—Treatise on orange culture, —For your prospective orange grove remove all roots and stumps, thoroughly plow and harrow the same. Lay off the rows and set