Synopses & Reviews
Whatever one's position in life, does a knowledge of Nature prove unneeded? Should we not know that potatoes grow beneath the sod, as well as apples grow upon trees? Gather a crowd at random on the streets, or corner a half-dozen at some social gathering, and how many can tell you the life-history of a mushroom or a truffle? "Do potatoes grow upon bushes?" was asked not long since. This was positively painful, but worse things have happened. A young lady, from a city renowned for its schools, startled her country cousins by asking, while toying with an ear of corn, "Which end, when you plant, do you put in the ground, the blunt or the pointed one?" If botany is impracticable in the curriculum of the public schools, ought not, at least, the natural history of our common articles of food to be taught? Can not such ignorance as this implied be banished from the land?