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selling agencies in other regions, but, for the most part, outside
of the districts named and even in parts of these most of the
grape crop passes through the hands of local buyers or commis-
sion men in the cities.

There are a number of advantages in selling through coop-
erative organizations. Through such organizations the grapes

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are handled as nearly as is possible in accordance with one
standard in picking, grading, and packing; the output is dis-
tributed throughout the coimtry in such a way as to prevent
disastrous competition; favorable transportation rates are
secured; and in most cases the supplies needed in producing
the crop and in marketing it are purchased more economically.
Grape growers, in common with all other agricultural pro-
ducers, meet at every turn combinations of capital, and coop-
eration becomes almost a necessity for self-preservation. The
business of producing and selling must be carried on in a large
way if the grower is to obtain an adequate share of what the
constmier pays for grapes.

It is not possible to discuss cooperation at length, but a few
ftmdamental principles may be given that should govern asso-
ciations of growers. The ideal cooperative association is one
in which there are, as nearly as possible, no profits or dividends.
All members have an equal voice in the management of the
association and share alike its successes and failures. In such
an association every member should be a producer and abso-
lutely all of his products should be sold through the associa-
tion. Such profits as of necessity arise should be distributed
to the members in proportion to the amotmt of business that
each has done. The association should carry on its work at
as near cost as possible, and declare profits only after expenses,
depreciation, interest on capital, and capital for future oper-
ations are deducted. Such a plan should give each member
as nearly as possible exactly what his fruit has brought in the

The commercial grape-growers in the United States who are
succeeding best belong to organizations that are foimded on the
principles just outlined. As the industry increases, the neces-
sity for forming some such organization wherever grapes are
grown for market becomes greater.

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72. Grape growing is seldom profitable on a large scale
or in any grape-growing regions iinless in times of abundant
crops the grapes may be used for other purposes than for
dessert. On the Pacific coast and in some parts of the East,
the industry is almost or wholly fotmded on the manufacture
of grape by-products. These are wines, raisins, and grape

73. Wines. — ^Wine is the fermented juice of the grapes.
The process of making wine differs with conditions such as
the climate, the variety of grapes, the conditions of growth,
and the kind of wine to be made. However, the fundamental
principles are much the same imder all conditions and may be
described as follows :

Grapes for wine must not be picked until they have reached
full matiuity, thus insuring a high sugar content and perfect
color. The composition of the must, or sweet juice, as to sugar
and acid content is determined by various instruments. If
the must lacks sugar, this ingredient is added; if it is too acid,
water is added; or the composition may be otherwise changed,
although the best wine is made from grape juice that has been
changed as little as possible. The grapes are crushed at once
after being harvested. The modem method is to use mechan-
ical crushers that break the skins but do not crush the seeds.

For some wines, the stems of the grapes are removed; for
others, they are not. If white wine is to be made the juice is
separated from the skins and pulp at once; if red wine is to be
made, fermentation is allowed to take place in the crushed

Fermentation is carried on in large tanks. Some wine makers
prefer open tanks; others prefer closed tanks. The duration
of fermentation may be from 2 or 3 to 20 days, depending on
the percentage of sugar, the temperature, and the activity of
the ferments. The limits of temperature below which and
above which fermentation does not take place are 55° and
95° F.; from 70° to 85° F. is the most desirable temperature.

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When the sugar in the must has been converted into alcohol,
the new wine is drawn from the tanks into casks to age. Before
being bottled the wine is racked two or three times into new
casks to clear it and stop secondary fermentation.

Special treatments give distinct wines. Red wines are made
from dark-colored grapes, the juice being fermented on the
crushed fruits; white wines are made from light-colored grapes
or from juice not allowed to ferment on the crushed fruits.
Dry wines are those in which the sugar is practically all con-
verted into alcohol; sweet wines are those which retain more
or less sugar. Still wines are those in which the carbonic-acid
gas formed by fermentation has wholly escaped; sparkling wines
contain a greater or less amoimt of carbonic-acid gas. Cham-
pagne is a sparkling wine.

74. Grape Juice. — Grape juice is made from clean,
sound, but not overripe grapes. In commercial practice, the
juice is pressed out by machinery, but in home manufacture
of the product the grapes may be pressed by hand. If a light-
colored juice is desired, the liquid is extracted without heating
the grapes; if a red juice is desired, the grapes must be dark in
color and the pulp must be heated before being pressed. If
heating is necessary, it is done in a double boiler so that the
juice does not come in direct contact with the fire. The proper
temperattire ranges from 180° to 200° F. ; it must not exceed
200° F. if the flavor of uncooked grapes is desired. After being
heated, the juice is allowed to settle for 24 hours in a glass,
earthenware, or enameled vessel, after which it is carefvJly
drained from the sediment and strained through some steril-
ized filter. In home practice, several thicknesses of flannel,
pre\'iously boiled, will do for a filter. The liquid is then poured
into clean bottles, room being left for expansion in the second
heating. The bottled juice is now heated a second time, after
which it is immediately corked and sealed.

The principles involved in making grape juice are the same
as those observed in canning fruit, and the operation may be
varied in the former as it is in the latter if only certain funda-
mental processes are followed.


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75. Raisins. — ^A raisin is a dried and cured grape. Raisin
making is a simple process. The grapes are arranged on shal-
low trays and placed in the sim to dry; when two-thirds dry,
the grapes are turned by placing an empty tray on a full one
and turning both over, after which the top tray is removed.
When the raisins are nearly dry the trays are piled on top of
one another and the drying is finished out of contact with the
direct rays of the sun. When the grapes are properly dried
they are put in bins to sweat preparatory to packing and ship-
ping. The finishing touch in the drying, however, is sometimes
given in curing houses, to avoid injury from rain or dust.

Seeding, grading, packing, and selling of raisins are now
separate industries from growing and curing. At present all
raisins are made from varieties of the Vinifera grape, no Amer-
ican variety having been fotmd suitable for raisin making.
Grapes adapted for making raisins must have a large percent-
age of sugar and solids, a thin skin, and high flavor. American
grapes lack in sugar content and have a skin so thick and tough
that the fruit does not cure properly for raisin making.

The raisin industry in the United States is carried on only
in California, the great bulk of the crop coming from the
San Joaquin Valley and the southern coimties. Formerly, the
raisins used in this country were wholly imported; now this
product of the grape is exported and in increasing quantities.
The annual production of raisins is in the neighborhood of
100,000,000 pounds.

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(PART 1)


1. The strawberry is the most important commercially
of all the small fruits, which also include the bush fruits, the
more important of which are the raspberries, blackberries,
dewberries, currants, and gooseberries.

In the United States in 1909 a total of 425,565,863 quarts
of small fruits were produced as against 463,218,612 quarts
in 1899. The value of these small fruits in 1909 was
$29,974,481, and in 1899 it was $25,030,877. Of this total
production of small fruits in 1909, considerably more than
half consisted of strawberries, of which there was a total of
254,702,035 quarts, valued at $17,913,926.

From these figures it will be seen that the strawberry crop
is relatively one and one-half times larger than all of the bush
fruits taken together. The crop is nearly four times as large
as the raspberry crop, including both red and black raspberries,
slightly more than fotir times as large as the blackberry crop,
fifteen times as large as the currant crop, and nearly thirty
times as large as the gooseberry crop.

The strawberry is the most popular of the small fruits for
several very good reasons: (1) In quality, it is generally
excellent ; (2) it is one of the first of the fresh fruits to come into
the market; (3) it is comparatively easy to grow; (4) it is a
hardy plant, and some varieties will grow and thrive an^-where
in the United States where any fruit will grow; (5) strawberry
growing can be conducted profitably on a large as well as on
a small scale, and the needs of a family can be supplied from



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a small area. Notwithstanding its present popularity, the
strawberry has not been a popular fruit for any great length
of time; it has been prominent in the market for only about
75 years.

2, Time of Ripening of Small Fruits. — ^The time of
ripening of small fruits is important and is considered here
for the reason that many planters desire to have a succession
of such fruits for supplying a local market. The dates of ripen-
ing given are for the latitude of New York, and although the
order of ripening will be the same in most localities where small
fruits can be grown, the times of ripening will naturally vary
considerably. The following dates of ripening are considered
to be close approximations, but slight variations may be found
in different localities even in the latitude of New York :

Fruit Date of Ripening

Strawberry June 20 to July 4

Black raspberry July 4 to 15

Red raspberry July 8 to 20

Dewberry July 10 to 15

Currant July 10 to 20

Purple-cane raspberry July 15 to 25

Gooseberry July 15 to 25

Blackberry July 20 to August 10

3. Cost of Production of Strawberries. — The business
of strawberry growing in the matted row on a fairly large scale,
say from 10 to 15 acres, is usually considered to require a work-
ing capital of $300 per acre, outside of the cost of the land.
This stim is considered necessary to cover the proper preparation
of the land, the cost of the plants, fertilizers, setting, cultiva-
tion, equipment, harvesting, and incidentals. About 20 per
cent, of this working capital is usually expended to prepare
the land by good tillage and for fertilization; about 10 per cent,
is counted on for the purchase and setting of the plants; and
about 50 per cent, is allowed for labor. These items collectively
would take about 80 per cent, of the working capital, or about
$240 per acre. The balance of $60 per acre is usually consid-
ered sufficient to pay the expense of harvesting until a return

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is secured from the sale of part of the fruit. Under different
management these estimates may be expected to vary widely.

The cost of production of 1 acre of strawberries as estimated
by three prominent strawberry growers, the yields per acre,
and the returns are shown in Table I. The rent of the land for
the first grower is higher than that of the other two because
of the higher value of the land. As shown in the table, the
largest average crop was produced at the highest cost, but the
larger crop was produced the most economically, as the increased
value of the crop was much more than the difference in the cost
of production. The 8,000-quart crop was produced at an aver-
age of 3.71 cents a quart; the 5,000-quart crop, at an average
of 4.44 cents a quart; and the 4,000-quart crop, at an average
cost of 5.87 cents a quart. In an oversupplied market where
the fruit would have to be sold for 5 cents a quart, only grow-
ers No. 1 and No. 3 wotdd be able to obtain any profit, and of
course at higher prices their profit would be correspondingly

In some of the trucking sections where market gardeners
grow strawberries in fairly large quantities for market, the cost
of production of a good-sized crop is estimated to be about
5 cents a quart, of which amotmt 1^ cents is paid for picking.
This estimate is more than that of growers No. 1 and No. 2
on the basis of a 5,000-quart crop, which is considered more
than an average yield; the cost of production of a crop this
large wotdd be about $250.

4. Considering the previous estimate to be approximately
correct, the net profit that may be expected from a 5,000-quart
crop of strawberries can be readily figured up from the prices
current in any particular market. Taking the cotmtry over,
strawberries of a high quality may be expected to bring the
producer from 8 to 15 cents per quart basket, the differences
in price being due to varying local conditions, supply and
demand, and the skill with which the marketing is conducted.
At 8 to 15 cents a quart a 5,006-quart crop of strawberries wall
return from $400 to $750 per acre, but to secure these prices
the berries must be of the finest quality. Strawberries of

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medium quality often go begging for buyers in the market at
5 cents per quart.

The equipment for strawberry growing is simple. Trowels,
or fiat steel dibbles, as shown in Fig. 1, are used for setting the


Items of Cost

Rent of land

Preparation of land . . . .





Mulch and mulching . . .

Harvesting and market-
ing, including cost of

Grower No. i I Grower No. 2

$ 30.00


$ 10.00


Total cost of pro-
duction i $297.00


Grower No. 3

$ 15.00








Yields Per Acre and Returns

Average crop secured . . .

Average cost of produc-
tion per quart

Net profit at 5 cents per

Net profit at 8 cents per

8,000 quarts

3.71 cents



4,000 quarts

5.87 cents



5,000 quarts

4.44 cents

$ 28.00



plants. Round dibbles may be used, but they are not so
convenient. The hoe used for strawberries differs from the
ordinary hoe in that it is narrower and is cut to points on the

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sides, but it is no more expensive. The ordinary garden spike-
tooth cultivators are used.

Strawberries require about as much horse cultivation as
wotild be needed on a crop of potatoes or com, and sometimes
considerable hand cultivation is also needed. For the proper
care throughout the growing season of 1 acre of strawberries
according to the matted-row system, the constant attention
of one man for hoeing is needed.

5. Size for a Plantation. — ^The size of a strawberry plan-
tation depends to a great extent on the other interests of a
grower and the kind of market he intends to supply. The
market gardener who caters to a small local market and who
grows a large variety of products, each on a small

scale, may find that the crop from 1 acre of straw-
berries will be as much, or even more, than he can
handle or dispose of. On the other hand, a grower
who is in the business on a large scale, or who
ships to a distant market and sells through an
association or to a commission house, will usually
find that he cannot afford to work less than 10-acre
blocks. How many such 10-acre blocks a grower
is capable of managing is a question that each
individual must decide for himself.

The actual area operated by different growers of
strawberries and other small fruits, as determined
by the Cornell Department of Pomology in a stir- ^*°* ^
vey of Western New York is given in Table II. It will be
noted that the average acreage of 125 strawberry'' growers was
2.38 acres. This seems like a rather small acreage per grower,
but is an acciu-ate statement of the conditions actually exist-
ing in that part of the country, and may be considered as an
indication of conditions existing in other sections.

6. Exposure for a Plantation. — ^The exposure for a
strawberry plantation depends to some extent on the varieties
to be grown. In the localities where there is danger of very
late spring frosts, the wisest plan is to set the early varieties
of strawberries on elevated land where frosts are least likely

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to damage them, and the exposure should preferably be to the
north or west. A southern exposure is likely to cause a too
rapid development in the early spring, which will force out the
blossoms prematurely and render them liable to injury from

If, however, earliness is the all-important factor to good
profit, the grower often secures more profit by taking a chance
and planting his early varieties on a southern slope. The injury






Red raspberries

Black raspberries . . . .
Purple-cane raspber-


Red currants



Black currants

Number of
















1. 19


Value of Crop After
Deduction of
Freight and





from a single frost would seldom be sufficient to spoil an entire
crop, as the frost is likely to injure only the blossoms open at
the time it comes.

A location for strawberries where snow lies all winter will
go far toward insuring a good crop of fruit, as the snow will
prevent the ground from alternately freezing and thawing,
and thus keep the plant roots from being broken and the plants
from being heaved partly out of the groimd.

7. Soils f6r Strawberries. — ^The best growers take great
care in selecting soils for strawberries. Although strawberries
do well in any soils, when maximum returns are looked for

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the varieties that will do best in certain particular soils must be
foimd. This is a local problem and must be worked out largely
by each grower for himself.

In many sections of the country early varieties of strawberries
are planted on shaly or gravelly soils; mid-season varieties are
planted on sandy loam soils, and late varieties, such as the
Marshall and the Brandywine, are planted on clay loam soils.
Many failures have been made by mistakes in planting varieties
on soils not suited to them.

As a general rule, the ideal soil for strawberries is a mediimi
to sandy loam that is well filled with humus and weU drained.
Most soils that are in good shape to raise garden crops will
raise good crops of strawberries. That a strawberry bed be
well drained is absolutely essential to the success of a crop, but
the other extreme should also be avoided and the soil should
not be too well drained. The soil should be of such a nature
that the upper foot will not hold too much moisture. If, how-
ever, the subsoil is very open and not retentive of moisture, the
crop is likely to suffer severely from drouth at a time when
moisttire is most needed to swell the strawberry, that is, just
about the time when the fruit is beginning to color. There-
fore, a subsoil that is comparatively compact is an advantage.

If both early and late varieties of strawberries are to be grown,
preferably two pieces of land should be selected and set with
the varieties best suited to each.

8. In the selection of a location for strawberries, the crop
or crops just removed from the land should receive due con-
sideration. Freshly plowed grass-sod land should not be planted
to strawberries, because such land will contain many insects,
such as white grubs, cutworms, and wireworms, injurious to that
fruit. These insects will do a great deal of damage to the roots
and crowns of strawberry plants. In the trucking sections,
fields from which a crop of com or melons infested with aphids
has just been removed shoidd be avoided, because the ants
that associate with com and melon aphids, carrying them from
plant to plant, will also associate with the strawberry aphids
and spread these insects quickly over the field.

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White potatoes, and, in the trucking sections, tomatoes and
sweet potatoes, prepare the land well for strawberries, because
they require thorough cultivation and the insects attacking
these crops are not serious pests of strawberries. When the
crop preceding strawberries is white potatoes or tomatoes,
a cover crop of some sort should be sown either immediately
after the crop is removed or during the latter part of its growth,
so that a certain quantity of green manure may be plowed
under the following spring before the strawberries are set.



9. The selection of varieties of strawberries for planting
in any particular locality is a serious problem, and careful con-
sideration should be given to the experiences of local growers
and the state experiment stations. No list of recommended
varieties should be considered as absolute authority for any
locaUty until local climatic conditions and local markets have
been carefully inspected. Many varieties may do well in a
particular section, but one, two, or three varieties will' prob-
ably do exceptionally well under the same conditions, and the
most profit can be secured orJy by planting these. The object
of here discussing and recommending varieties for trial is not
to speak the last word on the selection of varieties for any par-
ticular locality, but to suggest ideas that may be of value in
such a selection. Among the lists of varieties mentioned later
some will be found adapted to almost every locality.

The two fundamental points to be considered in the selec-
tion of varieties of strawberries are: (1) To secure varieties
that ta411 ])roduce strawberries of the type most in demand in
the market, and (2) to secure varieties that will be hardy and
abundantly productive under the climatic conditions existing
in the locality.

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The ideal strawberry for market is one that will measure
from 1 to li inches across at the hull end and be about one-
fourth longer than the extreme breadth; the berry should taper
gradually to a blimt point; preferably the berry should be of a
bright, uniform red color, with bright-yellow seeds that are
small to mediimi in size; the hull should be large and green,
and should part fairly easily from the fruit. The flesh of an
ideal market strawberry shotdd be bright red, solid, meaty,
and wdthout a hard core. A good market berry should ripen
evenly, that is, the plants should mature their fruits as near
together as possible. The chief objection to two of the greatest
market varieties is the fact that they do not ripen their fruits
evenly, but have green tips, sometimes called green noses, at
picking time. The Klondike strawberry is one of the most
popular market strawberries because it possesses a combination
of the preceding good qualities, is of fair flavor, and ships well.


10. The following varieties of strawberries have been recom-
mended for planting over a large area, and many of the varieties

Online LibraryInternational Correspondence SchoolsPeach culture: plum culture; grape culture; strawberries; raspberries ... → online text (page 18 of 35)