Farming & Horticulture

A Farmer's Vacation, 1873

Guernsey, from an article in the influential American publication, Scribner's Monthly Magazine, September 1873; the article is one of a series eventually brought together as a book, A Farmer's Vacation, by George Wearing, published in the same year. Interest in the exportation of Guernsey cattle to North America and their management was bringing significant numbers of US farmers or their agents to Guernsey in this period. Wearing had first visited Jersey, to compare their agricultural procedures. Below is the Couture Water Lane in St Peter Port, admired by the author.


La ponais, Guernsey's favourite crop (you thought it was the tomato, didn't you!) From Bellamy's Guide to Guernsey, 1843, pp. 130 ff.; the woodcuts in this charming volume are by Thomas Bellamy himself; and Duncan's famous The history of Guernsey: with occasional notices of Jersey, Alderney, and Sark, and biographical sketches, 1841. Frank Dally, in 1860, claimed that 'before the potato disease of 1845 the potato [as opposed to the parsnip] was the staple root of tillage, particularly in Guernsey, since which time it has very much declined.'

The Chaumontel pears of Guernsey and Jersey

'There is a pear which is peculiar to these islands, the Chaumontel, which grows to an extraordinary size, and sells very frequently for a shilling each for exportation.' From Cochrane's Guide to the Island of Guernsey, 1826. 'Guernsey supplies to London, besides granite pavement and chaumontelle pears, megalithic theories and watercolour paintings.' The Channel Islands Magazine, May, 1853. The watercolour is from Alphonse Mas' Le verger (The kitchen garden),  1865.