Excerpt from A Companion for the Queensland Student of Plant Life and Botany Abridged
Almond or some far inferior fruit the luscious Peach and Nectarine; and not only have the fruits, grains, and roots, under the dlrecting care of the cultivator, been greatly improved, but kinds have been obtained which produce their crap at difierent times of the year. Thus by planting various kinds one may gather from his garden the same kind of fruit through several months of the year. Amongst the indigenous plants are many which we may anticipate, at probably an early date, being taken in hand by the cultivator and made to produce some of the necessaries or luxuries of life. At the present it may be thought unnecessary to trouble ourselves with the work of obtaining fresh useful fruits, &c., considerin the vast number now in cultiva tion but we should bear in mind t at we might obtain strong healthy kinds which would be found more suitable to our variable climate. The subject is one that a teacher might at times point out to his pupils. He could point out that the grain of some of our grasses is little inferior to wheat; that some of the native Ipommas nearly equal their ally the sweet potato; that a large number of the indigenous fruits, even in their wild state, are used by the settler, and are undoubtedly wholesome and agreeable and that some are more or less closely allied to the highly prized fruits of cultivation. Attention might also be directed to the valuable or useful properties of some of our native plants. This the children themselves in some instances have observed, and put their knowledge to a practical use, for at times we find them gathering the leaves of the Red Ash (alphz'tonia excelsa) to use as soap to take from their hands the stains of ink.
Seeing, then, how useful and necessary plants are to our well being, surely it will be allowed that some little knowledge of this most important branch of natural history should he possessed by all. They are probably the first natural objects which delight our children; so one might easily imagine that little labour would be required to induce the young to take a further interest and to acquire some little'know ledge of their names and the characteristics which distinguish species from species, genus from genus, order from order, and class from class. Teachers must not fancy for a moment that I am advocating that some additional subject be taught, for really too many things are attempted already. I am not asking for Botany to be added to the long list ofxsubjects now taught. I am rather asking, particularly the country teachers, to look around them upon the wonders of the Vegetable Kingdom, to make themselves conversant with the plant life of their district, so that when the scholars bring ﬂower or fruiting shoots of the plants to the school they may be able to give some information regarding the same in a casual way, which may have the qffiect of awakening in the young mind a desire to know more of plant 1' e.
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