New Stories From 'Urban Agriculture Notes'
Random header image... Refresh for more!

1856 – The American Kitchen Gardener


Containing practical directions for the culture of vegetables. Also, garden fruits, strawberry, raspberry, gooseberry currants, melons, etc.

By T. G. Fessenden
C.M. Saxton and Company



The importance and utility of Horticulture, or the art of cultivating those products of the soil which are used in domestic economy, require no elaborate exposition. The greatest blessing which a kind Providence can bestow on man, in his sublunary state of existence, are, health of body and peace of mind; and the pursuits of gardening eminently conduce to these. Gardening was the primitive employment of the ‘first man’; and the ‘first of men’, among his descendants, have ever been attached to that occupation. Indeed, we can hardly form an idea of human felicity, in which a garden is not one of its most prominent characteristics.

Gardening is not only innocent and healthy, but a profitable occupation. It is not alone by the money which is ‘made’, but also by the money which is ‘saved’, that the profits of a pursuit should be estimated. Where a good garden constitutes part of a rural establishment, and the culinary uses of its productions are well understood, the field or the market furnishes a proportionally small part of the provisions necessary for family consumption. “I consider,” said Dr. Deane, “the kitchen garden of very considerable importance, as pot-herbs, salads, and roots of various kinds, are useful in house-keeping. Having a plenty of them at hand, a family will not be so likely to run into the error, which is too common in this country, of eating flesh in too great a proportion for health. Farmers, as well as others, should have kitchen gardens; and they need not grudge the labour of tending them, which may be done at odd intervals of time, which would otherwise chance to consumed in needless loitering.

Cowley says of gardening, “It is one of the best-natured delights of all others, for a man to look about him, and see nothing but the effects and improvements of his own art and diligence; to be always gathering some fruits of it, and at the same time to behold others ripening, and others budding; to see his soil covered with the beauteous creatures of his own industry; and to see like God, that all his works are good.

Read the complete book here.