From "Country Flavor"(sic), by Haydn S Pearson....a regular writer for the New York Times in the 1940's. I love this book which is one page articles about all sorts of aspects of country life. I thought that as we are all ooohing and ahhhing over our catalogues at the moment we might like to see how little things change....whilst changing a lot!
When the R.F.D. man hands over the familiar, paper-covered book, it means that spring is coming, that winter will surely end.
There are different philosophies regarding seed catalogues. Some peruse them as factual documents and can take the adjectives and pictures in stride. Others affect a tolerant scepticism. Seed catalogues, they imply, are an accepted part of the great business of publishing words and pictures. They regard the photographs and drawings with a mild degree of interest; but, as is the case in many conclaves and conferences, they have reservations.
The countryman, however, belongs to a third and larger group. He makes no mental reservations. To him the seed catalogues are a valued part of the year's reading. They are as natural a part of January on the farm as are the mail-order catalogues in March and September. From long experience he knows how to read the seed catalogues in comfortable relaxation. After the chores are done and his heavy boots are stalled behind the kitchen stove, he pulls up the old Morris chair, adjusts the flame of the lamp on the end of the table, puts his feet in the oven, and settles down to a couple of hours of solid enjoyment.
What does it matter if the beautifully symmetrical gardens displayed never show a weed? That's a goal for good husbandmen. Why get unduly excited over mammoth tomatoes, militarily exact rows of sweet corn, each stalk with three or four ears? And that gorgeous painting of a field thickly dotted with big, plump golden squashes! The adjectives may follow each other in mounting ecstasy, but it's all part of a good solid tradition. The important thing is that it's seed catalogue time. Neither wars nor rumors of wars can stop that. If seed catalogues were omitted from our annual publishing output, it would leave an uneasy void in our winter's literature.