L. H. (Liberty Hyde) Bailey.

Annals of horticulture in North America for the year ... : a witness of passing events and a record of progress online

. (page 3 of 27)
Online LibraryL. H. (Liberty Hyde) BaileyAnnals of horticulture in North America for the year ... : a witness of passing events and a record of progress → online text (page 3 of 27)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


require the labor of 135 men for six months ; that is the
maximum requirement of the period of cultivation ; then
comes the vintage. This requires the steady employment of
500 men every part of two months, but for three weeks of
that period the demand will be for 700 men. For steady
annual employment, but 70 men afe required. Here we
have a minimum of annual employment equal to 70 men,
for the period of cultivation 135 men, and a maximum during
the vintage of 700 men. The maximum is ten times the
minimum in this case. There are about 200,000 acres of
bearing vineyard in this state. Carrying the proportions de-
rived from an exhibit of the great vineyard into the entire
vineyards of the state, and the 200,000 acres of vineyard in
this state would give us annual employment for 3,500 men.
It will at once be seen that, if grape- growing was the sole in-
dustry of the state, the 3,500 men who would find in it steady
employment would be the only available labor for the vintage,
and they would be grossly inadequate. As has already been
shown, the vintage requires ten times as many men as the in-
dustry affords annual employment. It would be impossible to
have the labor of nine men available for a few months in the
vintage season for one man who might find steady employ-



Digitized by



Google



Fruits^ Vegetables ayid General Interests, 25

ment. The value of a diversified industry comes into view,
and with the accession of population, industries become itiore
diversified.'

**In the leading fruit districts whole families 'camp out'
and gather fruit by contract. Japanese laborers are increasing
in numbers. Hundreds of girls and women are employed in
the canneries. At Fresno they are paid $1.75 a day. It is
certain, however, that there will be a scarcity of labor in a
few years more unless an unexpected increase in immigration
takes place. The lack of labor is the only doubtful feature
about the future of fruit growing. Many of the fruit growers,
it may be said, employ Chinese, and wish that they could ob-
tain more.

<*One of the coming industries of the state is the growing
of winter vegetables for the eastern markets. The bean crop
of 1890 was 1,000,000 centals, but many farmers think that
the crop of winter cabbages, onions, potatoes, peas and simi-
lar products will be more important in a few years than even
the Lima bean fields of Ventura.

**A letter to the Salinas Index says : *The enormous quan-
tity of potatoes per acre raised on the Buena Vista Ranch
this year is almost incredible. Several of the parties who
bought land there a little over a year ago, paying $100 per
acre, have raised this year upon the same upward of 200 sacks
per acre, and some as high as 300 sacks, and have sold them
on the ground at $1 to $1.25 per sack.' The winter fairs for
citrus fruits which have been held in Los Angeles, Riverside,
Pasadena, Oroville, Marysville, Sacramento and other cities of
northern and southern California are not less notable for their
winter vegetables and small fruits than for their oranges.
Beans, peas, red peppers, melons, tomatoes are exhibited at
these fairs as gathered from the open ground in January.

*'A letter from Los Angeles in reference to winter cabbages
says : *A good time to sow the seed is the latter part of Sep-
tember or the first part of October. A person should be gov-
erned by the time the land will be in condition to set the
plants, as regarding the time of planting the seed. The
plants should be from four to six inches high when trans-
planted, and allowed to grow from five to seven weeks from
the seed. To get the very best results in raising plants, the
A. H.— 3



Digitized by



Google



26 Annals of Horticulture,

seed should be put in with a seed drill in rows from eight to
ten inches apart and not too thick. This year the cabbages
were cut so as to leave three or four of the bottom leaves to
keep the heads from bruising in the car, the cabbage being in
much better condition at destination than to have the head
stripped bare as formerly. The yield per acre in this part of
the country is from five to ten tons. The average price per
ton for the last four years has been from $13 to $14. The
best land to grow this vegetable is heavy corn soil.

*' 'The principal points to which cabbages have been shipped
the past season from this part of the country are Denver,
Ogden. Kansas City, and different points in Minnesota, Mon-
tana, Oregon, Washington and Texas. Denver has been by
far the largest distributing point. Texas has also been a good
customer. The freight on cabbages in car-load lots has been
90 cents per hundred pounds to Denver and Salt Lake City,
80 cents to Portlaijd and $1 to Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas
City and St. Paul, and all points in Texas. The demand for
cabbages can be pretty accurately figured in November by
those who are posted in regard to the condition of the cab-
bage crop and the amount raised in the eastern states. The
principal point that California has to compete with in raising
fresh winter cabbages is Florida. Some years January and
February shipments bring the best price, while other 'years
April and May take the lead.*

''The horticultural meetings of 1890 showed increased
attendance, a very gratifying degree of success in fighting in-
sect pests, and a general advance in all that pertains to the
various departments of the industry. The State Board of
Horticulture was created by an act of 1883, and consists of
nine members, appointed by the Governor. It appoints a
salaried secretary, upon whom a great deal of work necessa-
rily falls, an inspector of insect pests, clerks, etc. The total
appropriation that it has for the fiscal year ending June
30th, 1891, is $12,500. Twenty-one counties have boards of
'county horticultural commissioners,' each with a salaried
secretary, and these boards meet in a yearly convention. B.
M. LeLong, the Secretary of the State Board, reports that
1,128 volumes of horticultural books are in the library. The
reports of the Board are considered very valuable abroad and
at home. They are large and expensively illustrated volumes,



Digitized by



Google



Fruits^ Vegetables and General Interests^ 27

well edited and full of practical information upon the olive,
orange, lemon, prune, fig, cherry and other fruits, besides
horticultural machinery, California patents, and all the sub-
jects that belong to the industry. The ten thousand copies
printed of each report are almost immediately exhausted.
Last year many schools wanted a copy for each pupil, but
only one copy could be sent to each district.

**The University has charge of five experiment stations.
Three of them are well established, one at Jackson, Amador
County, for the Sierra foothill region, one at Folsom, for the
alkali soils of the San Joaquin, and one at Paso Robles for the
Coast Range. The central or home station at Berkeley
hardly represents any typical climate. A new and very im-
portant station has now been commenced in the Chino Valley,
about midway between Chino and Pomona, and this is to be
chiefly a citrus and semi-tropic station. The Chino Valley
lies mostly in San Bernardino county, and represents a happy
medium between the coast and the interior climate. It is not
as famous for oranges as the superb citrus colonies of River-
side and Redlands, farther inland, but it offers many advan-
tages for experiment, and the planting of orchards and laying
out of gardens has already commenced there.

** The work that the California experiment stations have to
do is extremely varied. Not only fruits, but a great list of
economic and medicinal plants are tested, soils are constantly
analyzed, and the horticultural resources of the state are
mapped out in the rough by thousands of observations and in-
vestigations, which must continue for many years before their
full value is understood. A recent bulletin of Professor E.
W. Hilgard illustrates the extent of the field. It was a study
of ' the amounts removed from the soil by some of the chief
fruit crops, of nitrogen, potash, phosphoric acid and lime,
these being, according to all experience, the only ones of
which the replacement need ordinarily be considered in ferti-
lization. * These amounts, the report says, are expressed both
with reference to 1,000 pounds of fresh fruit and to what, ac-
cording to our best information, may be assumed to be a ' fair
crop ' per acre. The latter figure is, of course, liable to great
variations and differences of opinion ; but by the aid of a little
arithmetic each one can calculate for himself the data suitable
to his own case or views. The crop assumed in the case of



Digitized by



Google



28 » Annals of Horticulture.

oranges is 325 boxes per acre of fifteen -year-old trees ; that of
grapes is intended to represent a mean between upland and
lowlands.

QUANTITIES OF SOIL INGREDIENTS WITHDRAWN BY VARIOUS FRUIT CROPS.

Total ash. Potash. Phos. acid. Nitrogen,

lbs. lbs. lbs. lbs.

Grapes, 1,006 lbs 8.8 5.0 1.52 1.70

Crop of 10,000 lbs. per acre 50.0 15.20 17.00

Oranges, seedless, per 1,000 lbs 6.07 2.78 .67 2.69

Crop of 20,000 lbs. per acre 55-6o 13.40 53-8o

Pears, 1,000 lbs 3.3 1.8 .5 .6

Crop of 20,000 Ids. per acre 36. 10. 12.

Plums, 1,000 lbs 2.9 1.72 44. 4.2

Crop of 30,000 lbs. per acre 51.60 13.20 167.7

Apples, 1,000 lbs 2.2 .80 .03 .6

Crop of 20,000 lbs. per acre 16.00 6.00 12.0

''The drift of all experiments shows that lime and potash
are usually abundant in California soils but that nitrogen and
phosphoric acid are scarce. When the report alluded to was
published, it aroused immediate discussion in newspapers,
granges and horticultural meetings over the state. The need
of the application of fertilizers was universally acknowledged.
The University reports have gradually educated the public,
and the 'scientific farmer ' is not so rare a creature as he was
a decade ago.''

Washington. Attention has been directed of late to the
remarkable horticultural resources of some parts of Oregon
and Washington. It appears that the region lying about the
Straits of Juan de Fuca, in the extreme northwestern corner
of our territory, possesses adaptabilities to fruit-growing of
an unusual character. The following correspondence upon
fruit-growing upon Orcas Island, by Rev. S. R. S. Gray,
which originally appeared in the Seattle Post- Intelligencer^
indicates the possibilities of the region :

"The Japanese current exercises a profound influence upon
western Washington, where, entering through the grand chan-
nels called the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the Gulf of
Georgia, it penetrates by sounds, by canals, by reaches, natural
harbors and vast bays, gulfs and channels far into the body
of land lying west of the Cascade range and east of the
Olympic range, so that thousands of square miles of agricul-
tural lands are influenced. Lying in that vast waterway



Digitized by



Google



Fruits^ Vegetables and General Ifiterests. 29

where the waters of the Gulf of Georgia and the Straits of
Juan de Fuca unite, in what is called the Archipelago de
Haro, is an island which, not only favored by climate, has
also great natural advantages for fruit and vegetable culture,
surpassing any other part of western Washington. Situate
partly in the cretaceous and partly in the lower silurian
epochs, it has a soil rich in lime and phosphates, made in
great part by the gradual erosion or decretion of the moun-
tain slopes. Orcas island, named by the Spaniards, is the
most favored of all the islands in the archipelago, or even of
those lying outside to the west, east and south. Mountains
rise on all sides, sheltering and warming by reflected heat
the valleys and rolling lands between them. The sides of
these mountains will some day be terraced and the grape be
cultivated ; and on higher slopes the peach and apple will find
a soil and exposure which will produce the richest results.
In every part of the island streams and natural springs abound
— plentiful for irrigation of the whole of the 28,000 acres
of bottom and valley lands. The soil, which varies from rich,
black clay loams to red and brown sand loams, is everywhere
underlaid at a depth of from eighteen inches to four feet with
a good clay subsoil. The prune and the pear find their
natural homes in the clay and heavy black loams, and the
gravel and boulder lands produce those superb apples and
peaches for which the island is famous. A well drained clay
subsoil, other things being equal, will always produce finer re-
sults thstn any other kind. The richness of the soil above is
never leached and wasted, as in those lands where the sub-
soil is of sand or gravel. Draining is very easily accom-
plished, as the lands are all rolling, and while so many ditches
are not required, those that are properly put in do more and
better work than where the land is level. Most of the drain-
ing has been done, so far, with cedar, or carefully constructed
rock work, but tile will probably, in the near future, take the
place of this rougher method. There has been a steady ad-
vancement in prices of lands for the past three years. To-
day uncleared ten and twenty-acre tracts bring anywhere from
$20 to $100 per acre, according to location, and cleared and
cultivated lands from $60 to ;?40o per acre, the higher prices
being obtained in the village, at the head of East Sound.
**The fruits raised for market are apples, apricots, pears.



Digitized by



Google



30 Annals of Hortiadture.

peaches, prunes, plums, strawberries, blackberries, and* other
small fruits. The principal vegetables raised are cauliflower,
celery, cabbage, tomato, squash, pumpkin, and potato.
Grapes of certain kinds, and canteloupe melons have also been
successfully raised. Green corn is also a paying crop. It is
a well-known fact amongst fruit-growers that the late varieties
of apples pay much better than early ones, but many like to
grow some early and fall varieties for market and they pay re-
markably well at a net price of 75 cents per bushel. The Red
Astrachan, which in some localities becomes a striped apple,
is a good annual and early variety. But Williams' Early Fa-
vorite, a very dark crimson and juicy apple, is probably the
best variety grown. Later the Gravenstein takes the first
rank as an early fall variety. It is a fine golden apple with
red stripes in the sun, very juicy, with a mild, subdued flavor,
of a large or medium size. It brings 75 cents to $1 a bushel,
net. The Twenty-Ounce apple is the next variety of any great
value. It is a large, boldly striped apple of second-rate quali-
ties, but as it yields enormous crops every year it is much
cultivate'd. About 3,000 boxes of this apple were shipped this
year from East Sound alone, and brought an average price of
80 cents. The next varieties of any great value are Blue
Pearmain, a large, purplish apple, with a fine bloom, aro-
matic, but generally of a second-class order ; the Tompkins
King, a large, brilliant scarlet apple of first quality, of which
there was an enormous yield this year, bringing from Ji to
$1.25 net, and those held to Christmas this year will probably
bring nearly double ; Canada Reinette, Blenheim (erroneously
called the Dutch Mignonne), Fallawater, Paradise Winter
Sweet, Ben Davis, Jersey Black, Rhode Island Greening, Gil-
pin (erroneously called Vandevere), Monstrous or Gloria
Mundi, a fine cooking apple. Fall Pippin (erroneously called
the Golden Ball), and the Yellow Belleflower, a fine and most
profitable apple. After these come the longest keepers : the
Lansingburg, a small green inferior apple, which yields
heavily, and as it keeps till April, a very profitable variety ;
Peck's Pleasant, Monmouth, English Russet, Golden Russet,
Ortley, a small medium sweet, green apple similar to the Lan-
singburg and locally called the Imperial, which yields heavily
every year and keeps till April, and the Belmont, a good
apple, but not as valuable as Monmouth or Peck's Pleasant.



Digitized by



Google



Fruits^ Vegetables and General Interests, 31

Several other varieties are grown in smaller quantities and
are doing well. Cole's Quince, ^n early variety, American
Golden, and Grimes' Golden, are fall varieties and very valu-
able (the two last will probably be grown in great numbers) ;
the Baldwin, Esopus Spitzenberg, Jonathan, Yellow New-
town, Fameuse, Maiden's Blush and Ribston, are also popu-
lar. Other varieties are being tried, such as the Mcintosh
Red, Romanite, Autumn Strawberry and Northern Spy. The
best apple orchards on the island will yield this year about
J>5oo to the acre. An average income can be obtained of
about $300 in ten-year-old orchards. But this amount could
be doubled and trebled if fruit-growers would follow Barry's
advice, which is practiced all through Europe, of growing
dwarf and semi-dwarf trees among the standards for the first
twelve years.

*' Pears are very profitable, but require a more thorough
culture than has yet been given. And if this fruit were grown
in pyramids, as well as standards, every acre would yield one
hundred times as much as at present. The Bartlett, whilst
not as large as the Bartlett of California, is much more lus-
cious and more highly flavored. The Seckel, Onondaga, Gray
Doyenne, Vicar, Anjou, Giffard, Flemish Beauty, Louise
Bonne, and many other varieties are grown with great success,
but perhaps the Bartlett and the winter pears pay best. They
bring from %i to $4 per bushel, and are sold in half bushel
boxes.

''The prune industry gives promise of rivalling, if not of
outstripping, the apple culture. The Fellenberg, commonly
called Italian, gives promise of being the most valuable va-
riety. The yield is simply enormous, averaging $400 per
acre in 7-year-old plantations. The German prune, which,
on good black loam, also yields very largely and is a most
valuable variety for drying, seems not to have grown into
favor so far. The Prune d'Agen is left to California growers,
being considered too small. The Silver prune in this locality
is often confounded with Coe's Golden Drop, which it resem-
bles only in color. The true Silver prune, the St. Catherine
plum, is a very valuable variety and it is extensively grown in
Belgium ; It is smaller than Coe's Golden Drop, slightly larger
than the Prune d'Agen, broad at the base, and upon turning
the plum so that the suture is hidden, it is seen that the right



Digitized by



Google



32 Annals of Horticulture,

lobe is longer. There are about 10,000 acres suitable for
prune and pear culture on the island.

*' Cherries are an excellent and paying crop. But of the
varieties grown, the Black Republican, the proper name of
which is Llewellyn (an Oregon seedling), the Napoleon Bigar-
reau (erroneously called the Royal Arm), Murillo, Sparhawk,
Governor Wood and the Bigarreau are the niost valuable va-
rieties. The Moorpark is the only apricot in bearing, but
other varieties are being grown. This fruit, if well cultivated
and severely pruned, will be one of the best paying fruits
grown. Peaches are a proved success, the early and late
Crawfords taking the lead. The Fidalgo, Waterloo, Troth's
Early and Alexander all yield abundant crops. . Strawberries
are extensively grown, and do exceedingly well, yielding from
JI500 to $1,000 per acre. The principal varieties are the
Sharpless, Crescent, Jucunda, Wilson and Matichester.
Blackberries, of which fruit only the Lawton is grown, yield
as high as $800 per acre.

''There are about 28,000 acres of good fruit land on the
island, without counting the mountain slopes which will be
terraced and utilized also. Less than one twenty-eighth part
of this is now in use. But the population is rapidly increas-
ing, and one, five, ten and twenty acre tracts are being sold in
every direction. During the past year over 1,000 acres have
changed hands in tracts of various sizes in the village of East
Sound alone, and over $75,000 worth of fruit lands have been
sold on the island. There is no reason why the island should
not in years to come be as densely populated as the Island of
Jersey, which is rather smaller in area than Orcas, but which
by fruit and vegetable culture has built up a city of over
60,000 people, as well as an immense rural population.'*

Fruit culture in Mexico has been brought into prominent no-
tice during the year through the discussions upon the tariff.
Orange growers fear' serious competition from this source.
To determine somewhat of the extent of the fruit industry and
possibities in Mexico, I have invited A. V. Temple, of
Guanajuato, who is well acquainted with the country, to ex-
press his opinions :

** The result of my experiences with American fruits in the
state of Guanajuato is as follows ;

''Apples, peaches, apricots, nectarines and cherries im-



Digitized by



Google



Fruits^ Vegetables and General Interests, 33

ported from California do not do well, partly on account of
there being no cold season to give the trees a rest, and partly
because of the long dry season, succeeded by heavy, drench-
ing rains. The trees grow in a sickly fashion for two or three
years, and then become subject to various diseases and die.
I have experimented with some five or six hundred trees of
the above mentioned species, including some of the more
prominent kinds, but uniformly with unsatisfactory results.
The apricot trees are subject to a disease of the roots, which
swell, and appear to be affected by some sort of fungus. The
more vigorous the tree, the more it is subject to this disease.
I now have under cultivation Bartlett and Seckel pears, and a
few specimens of other varieties. They appear to be doing
fairly well, and I judge they will be successful. Japanese per-
simmons also are doing quite well.

*'I have under cultivation about 15,000 grape vines, mostly
imported from California. These vines are doing well, in fact,
quite as well as in California. The thicker-skinned and dark-
fruited varieties appear to do the best, but as the fruit ripens
mostly in the rainy season, we cannot count on a crop as
surely as in California, for the hail storms and the periodical
rains injure the fruit, and produce rot ; but I think the crop
will be as sure as the grape crop in New York, which is more
or less subject to storms. The varieties known as Isabella,
American, Concord, etc., do not do well in this country.
They grow in a feeble, disheartened manner, and so far my
own have produced no fruit.

''American horticulturists need fear no competition from
American fruits grown in the central mesa of Mexico — that is
to say, in the great plain from 4,000 to 6,000 feet above the
sea. But the competition that American horticulturists will
have to meet from this country is from the native fruits, which
grow in great perfection. I mean the sub-tropical fruits, such
as guavas, cherimoyas*, aguacatesf and sweet limes. These
are apparently subject to no special diseases, the trees grow
vigorously, and the fruit ripens to perfection. The fruit is
also better flavored than that grown on the coast, or in the
immediate neighborhood of the sea.

''The one element that will prevent a rapid extension of

•Anona Cherimolia. fPersea gratissima.



Digitized by



Google



34 Annals of Horticulture,

this industry is that all these trees are of very slow growth,
requiring from eight to twelve years to come to full bearing,
and as the number of trees now under cultivation is small, be-
ing confined to the local consumption, it will be many years
before there will be any quantity of fruit for exportation.
Fruit cultivation as an industry by itself is almost unknown
in this country, the fruit trees being found mostly in the gar-
dens connected with large haciendas, and 1 know of no fruit
farm in the republic. The railroad communications with
Texas and Kansas, and the exportation of coast oranges by
rail through the central mesa is beginning to open the eyes of
the hacendados to the importance of this branch of agricul-
ture, and in a number of places trees are being set out, but as
I stated before, it will be many years before they are in bear-
ing. There are also a number of large vineyards, mostly of
California varieties of grapes, being set out with a view to
the manufacture of wine for home consumption. Mexico will
never be able to export grapes to the United States in my
opinion, but I think before many 3^ears the importation of
grapes and wine from the States to Mexico will cease. The
most serious competition from Mexico will come from the
orange trade from the coast states.



Online LibraryL. H. (Liberty Hyde) BaileyAnnals of horticulture in North America for the year ... : a witness of passing events and a record of progress → online text (page 3 of 27)