Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 40.djvu/85

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cause people would cook the leaves, whereas, in its native country, it is only cultivated for its tender, fleshy roots."

I trust you are not discouraged at this outlook for our coming vegetables.

Two groups of improvable food-plants may be referred to before we pass to the next class, namely, edible fungi and the beverage-plants. All botanists who have given attention to the matter agree with the late Dr. Curtis, of North Carolina, that we have in the unutilized mushrooms an immense amount of available nutriment of a delicious quality. It is not improbable that other fungi than our common "edible mushroom" will by and by be subjected to careful selection.

The principal beverage-plants—tea, coffee, and chocolate—are all attracting the assiduous attention of cultivators. The first of these plants is extending its range at a marvelous rate of rapidity through India and Ceylon; the second is threatened by the pests which have almost exterminated it in Ceylon, but a new species, with crosses therefrom, is promising to resist them successfully; the third, chocolate, is every year passing into lands farther from its original home. To these have been added the kola, of a value as yet not wholly determined, and others are to augment the short list.

[To be concluded.]

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TO my own mind, the Federal census system is faulty in many features. It is bungling, unwieldy, and unproductive of scientific results. It is the legitimate growth of time and the honest endeavor to secure broader and broader results to satisfy the growing demand for information concerning all the conditions of the people, and it is perfectly natural that the additions from time to time should have resulted in the present system. The system should be changed radically before another census period comes around.

To be specific in the condemnation of our system, attention should be paid, first, to the method of enumeration. Vicious as it is, it is a vast improvement upon that existing prior to 1880. There are four methods of enumeration, or rather four methods of enumeration have been tried on pretty extensive scales. The English method consists in securing all the facts called for under