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.                             481
the true name, being called so by the negroes of the West India Islands. It is the only fruit that cats will eat. In Brazil it is eaten with wine and sugar. In the West Indies with pepper, mustard and vinegar as a vegetable.
Persimmons, the Kind.—Of this fruit we have any quantity and different kinds all over the Southern and Western States, but are not so large by a great deal as those in China, but are equally as de­licious, and can be had without money and without price, so great is the yield. They are left to dry on the trees, and in January and February are dry, granulated and sweet. I have seen the deep yel­low and green persimmon of China summer and autumn, both equally good ripened in lime artificially, some measuring 8 inches in circumference. Our own persimmons are valuable for making winter beer, which I have tasted equal to delicious wine. The bark of the tree is good in making black die for woolen goods, and that or the green fruit is a most useful and valuable astringent in making throat gargles and in diarrhea.
The Cocoanut TreeIts Value.—Furnishes the inhabitants of the tropics with bread, water, and wine vinegar, oil, honey and su­gar. From its leaves, shells and husks of the fruit they obtain threads, clothes, vases, cups, baskets, paper, boat sails and ropes. How could these people live without the cocoanut tree ?
The Cocoa grows from 15 to 20 feet high, and may be easily seen from a distance by the yellowish green leaves. Should be planted 12 feet apart, and when first planted, should be protected from the sun by a plantain leaf. Three years after planting the trees yield, and thereafter require but little attention. The nuts or fruit grow directly from the the under branches. The pulp from which the seeds are taken is white, and makes a deliciously refreshing drink, called cocoa wine.
To Plant Peaches.—In October excavate a bed of earth 5 inches deep, place in the stones and cover with earth 2 inches deep, and in winter, to prevent freezing, cover with pine boughs, stalks or straw. In the spring, as soon as the stones begin to open with the swelling kernel, open the bed and plant the kernels in rows, 4 1-2 feet apart and distant 4 inches from each other. The stones that have not been opened, may be cracked with a hammer and planted in the same way. Plough and cultivate the seedlings until "budding time," which will be about the 10th of August, or earlier, according to the latitude. Take buds from thrifty orchard trees, 3 or 4 years old, cut the buds 1 inch long, having an eye in the middle. The husk will easily cleave from the wood, and the bud without the wood is best. Slit the seedling close to the ground and insert the bud and secure it by wrapping rouad it strands of Russia mat, twine, or any