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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Lure of the Vegetable Garden

Lure of the Vegetable Garden (New York Times, July 11, 1908)

"The last word in vegetable gardening has surely been said by Miss Ida D. Bennett in her book, "The Vegetable Garden," (the McClure Company.) Every sort of information required to run a home garden lies within these pages, full of enthusiasm and delightful detail, enlivened by photographs of various delicious products, and further enriched by a number of excellent receipts (recipes) for the cooking of all the better-known vegetables. The chapter on hotbeds, pits, and cold frames is thoroughly scientific and exhaustive, and the descriptions of the various pests with the necessary information for circumventing their ravages are excellent.

Miss Bennett, in her enthusiastic studies of these annoying insects from eggs to maturity, rather encroaches on the modern nature school. "The worms lose much of their repulsiveness when studied at close range," she says, "and in captivity soon come to know one and to show none of those signs of irritation displayed by wild worms or tame ones in the presence of strangers."

It gives one rather a turn to think of entering a garden full of wild worms after reading that sentence, but it is the only one in the book to produce that effect. On the contrary, one's chief desire is to get to work immediately, with this excellent volume as a guide, and make a vegetable garden of one's own."

I'm pleased to have this book in my library, in spite of or maybe because of the passage on worms, which did not give me "rather a turn" at all.

Read it again...

The worms lose much of their repulsiveness when studied at close range, and in captivity soon come to know one and to show none of those signs of irritation displayed by wild worms or tame ones in the presence of strangers."

And carry that thought with you, to warm your gardening heart on a cold winter's day. There will be a vegetable garden this spring, full of wild worms, which apparently can also be tamed.

11 comments:

Dee @ Red Dirt Ramblings said...

I really think I need that book. Sometimes what is missing from newer books on the subject is that sense of adventure and enthusiasm.~~Dee

Barbee' said...

How delightful!

Brent and Josh said...

We want that book!

T said...

Some of Ida's books are available as google books and in reprints on Amazon. I just got a copy of "The Flower Garden" I think I will donate it to the Coldwater Library when I have finished with it. They lost their copy to damage.

Helen said...

Thanks for a hearty chuckle, Carol. Think I'll get out my little tiny chair and whip in case my worms suddenly remember that they're wild when they stampede up to meet me...

Commonweeder said...

Carol - I love these old books that do indeed give lots of good and timeless advice. Sometimes they are not too hard to get. Fortunately there are also great new books full of wisdom and enthusiasm - I just got a copy of Grow the Good Life by Michele Owens who many of us know from Garden Rant.

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Carol, What a find! Thanks for the chuckle ... I'm still laughing. P x

Kathy said...

Don't you have a worm farm, Carol? Have you tamed yours yet?

Kylee said...

Who knew? Ida, apparently!

I haven't read my copy yet, but sure have enjoyed thumbing through it and The Flower Garden.

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

I've thought about taming bees, but never worms. I can't wait for spring to catch one & name it "Wormy."

Sissy said...

In my entire life, I have never considered that a worm might be displaying irritation in the presence of strangers!!??
(it's wonderful to find you are still here, Carol!)