Biggle Orchard Book
Category: Preserve for the Future
Location: Botany and Horticulture Library
Biggle orchard book : fruit and orchard gleanings from bough to basket
This pocket sized book is part of the Biggle Farm Library, a collection of numerous volumes that cover a gamut of agricultural topics from gardening to beekeeping to raising pigs and horses. The author, Jacob Biggle, states that his book “aims to tell the inquiring reader just what he or she needs to know—no more, no less.” He writes with a folksy wisdom covering all aspects of orchard care, incorporating sage advice from Harriet and Farmer Vincent. The book starts with advice about the proper planning and siting of an orchard where he advises putting on “your thinking cap” and taking your time. He also covers planting and pruning trees, pest and weed control, picking and packing fruit for market. There is specialized information for the different kinds of fruit trees. In the nut tree section, he extols the commercial potential of the American chestnut tree Castanea dentata. The book also makes a brief mention of a serious contagious disease affecting the chestnut trees in the eastern United States. Sadly, this disease is the chestnut blight, accidently introduced in 1904 that essentially wiped out the American chestnut. Most mature American chestnut trees were gone from the U.S. forests by 1940.
This volume has an early-20th century publisher's binding with a decoratively printed cover and spine. The front cover is nearly detached at the inner gutter. The spine lining is detaching from the textblock. Conservators will remove the textblock from the case, reline the spine, and recase the textblock in the repaired case.
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