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The Florida agriculturist. (DeLand, Fla.) 1878-1911, August 22, 1906, Image 1

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JOURNAL STATE INTERESTS r rVOL
VOL XXXIII No Nol Si 3l3 3 JCL < < J l Jacksonville and DeLand Fla Wednesday August 221906 Whole No 1662
Evolution of a Mississippi FarmFrom Farm FarmFrom FarmFrom
From Cotton to Pecans PecansMany PecansMany PecansMany
Many small pecan groves in this thisstate thisstate thi thistate
state have so far passed the experi experimental experimental experimental ¬
mental stage that it is proved be beyond beyond beyond ¬
yond the possibility of successful con contradiction contradiction contradiction ¬
tradiction that pecan trees will bear bearprofitable bearprofitable beaprofitable
profitable crops in FloridaProf Florida FloridaProf FloridaProf
Prof H E Van Deman is at the thehead theluad th thhead
head of a company which has planted plantedsissippi planteda
a large orchard of these trees in Mis Mississippi Mississippi
sissippi He tells of their methods of ofwork ofwork c cwork
work at this business in the Rural RuralNew RuralNew RuraNew
New Yorker YorkerIf
If there is one mistake greater than thananother thananother thatanother
another made by the southern farmerit farmers farmersit
it is that of planting too much land landto landto laneto
to cotton > The center of the production produc production production ¬
tion of the largest crops of cotton in inthe inthe it itthe
the world is not far north of the Mis Mississippi Mississippi Mississippi ¬
sissippi and this is also the region regionwhere regionwhere regiotwhere
where the wild pecan both in tree and andnut andnut anc ancnut
nut reaches its highest development developmentHaving developmentHaving developmentHaving
Having decided to plant a large or orchard orchard orchard ¬
chard of pecan trees of the finest var varieties varieties varieties ¬
ieties I organized the American Nut Nutand Nutand Nuand
and Fruit Co and after several yearof years yearsof yearsof
of thorough consideration of the thewhole thewhole th thwhole
whole subject and examination of the thevarious thevarious th thvarious
various regions where this nut flour flourishes flourishes flourishes ¬
ishes I concluded to locate it where wherenature wherenature wherenature
nature and man had both succeeded succeededbest succeededbest succeededbest
best with it One of the old planta plantations plantations plantations ¬
tions on which cotton of the highest highestquality highestQuality highestquality
quality had been grown for genera generations generations generations ¬
tions was bought It lies near the thewest thewest thewest
west bank of the Mississippi and andfronts andfronfs andfronts
fronts on Lake Concordia which is isone isone isone
one of the ancient but now usused ususedchannels ususedchannels ususedchannels
channels of the great river and at ata ata ata
a medium high stage of water water con connects connects connects ¬
nects with it and is navigable for forboats forboats forboats
boats of the largest size A railroad railroadline railroadline railroadline
line crosses crosses the land near the center centerand centerand centerand
and affords us a station The tract of ofland ofland I Iland
land that was thus selected as the theplace the theplace i
place for our big pecan orchard con consists COlsists consists ¬
sists of nearly 2250 acres over 900 ofwhich of ofwhich dfwhich
which are cleared and nearly all noV noVin noji nojiin no noin
in a fine state stat of cultivation cotton cottonbeing cottobeing cotton cottonbeing
being the principal crop grown The Thewooded Thewooded Thewooded
wooded portion has thousands of ofgiant ofgiant ofgiant
giant pecan trees growing on it and andeven andeven andeven
even in the fields that have been beencleared beencleared
I Icleared
cleared the longest there are pecati pecatitrees perm permtrees I Itrees
trees struggling for existence and so somany so somany somany >
many cases flourishing They TheyalF TheyalFfrom art artfrom arc arcfrom
from stumps that were cut off and andfrom andfrom andfrom
from nuts dropped by crows and blue bluejays bluejays bluejays
jays that were flying about when pe pecans pecans pecans ¬
cans were in season Every means meansthat meansthat meansthat
that the cotton growers have used for fortheir fottheir fortheir
their destruction such as ax hoe and andfire andfire andfire
fire have failed and thrifty sprouts I
have kept coming up annually and andwill andwill an anwill
will do so until the roots are dug out outvery outvery ou ouvery
very deepThe deep deepThe deepThe
The soil of this region is the richest richestof richesof
of alluvium It has been madthrough made madethrough madethrough
through countless ages by the over overflows overI overflows ¬
I flows of the mighty river that carried carriedI
I in its waters the teachings and wash washings washings washings ¬
ings from millions of acres of the thegreat thegreat the thegreat
great basin that it drains There i inot is isnot isnot
not a rock not even a pebbleto bother botherthe botherthe bothethe
the farmer and all the fault faulto of thiland the theland
land is its almost level surface sur ace which whichmakes whichmakes whirlmakes I
makes good drainage in time of heavyrains heavy heavyrains heavyrains
rains rather difficult But a good goodsystem goodsystem goo goosystem
system of ditches has greatly ob obviated obviated obviated ¬
viated this and little water stands standslong standslong standlong
long in our fields even after the heav heaviest heavicstrains heaviest ¬
iest icstrains icstrainsOn rains rainsOn rainsOn
On the first day of February of ofthis ofthis of ofthis
this year we weplanted planted the first pecartree pecan pecantree pecantree
tree in the orchard proper It was wasset wasset wa waset
set among the cotton stalks with my myown myown myown
own hands with the former owner ownerof ownerof owner ownerof
of the premises and others to assist assistme assistme
me m The tree was of the variety call called called called ¬
ed Stuart which is generally consid considered considered considered ¬
ered the best of the wellknown kindsThis kinds kindsThis kindsThis
This orchard we hope will be and andshall andshall andshall
shall endeavor to make one of the thebest thebest thebest
best as well as one of the thelargest thelargest thelargest
largest in existenceWithin existence Within six weeks weeksfrom weeksfrom weeksfrom
from the time the first tree was plant planted ¬
ed we were practically done setting settingthe settingth settingthe
the th entire 10000 trees that I had plan planned planned planned ¬
ned to plant this spring They cover covernearly coverncarly covernearly
nearly 600 acres and are all 11 in a asolid as asolid
solid s lid block They are set 50 feet feejtapart fcetapart feetapart
apart both ways except where whereavenue A Aavenue bavenuc
avenue 100 feet wide and running runningfrom runningfrom runningfrom
from our station on the railroad If Ifour t tour tour
our plantation house intersects tile tneproperty tileproperty theproperty
property about the center Provi Providence 1roviL 1roviLdence Providence ¬
dence favored us or we could not nothave no nohave nothave
have done the work as quickly as aswe allwe aswe
we did which was really in about 2b 2bJays 20 20days z zdays
days of actual work for rains rainsand and cool coolcool cooicool cool coolcool
cool spells interfered d somewhat Ail Ailthe Ailhe
the he hands were negroes and had to tobe t tbe toe
be e trained to planttrees plant trees for none noneof non nonof none nonef
of > f them had ever done anything of ofthe of ofthe ofhe
the he kind Their life work had been beento b been beeno el elto
to o destroy rather than to plant trees3ut trees treesBut treesBut
But they ey worked faithfully and fron fronearly fro froearly from fromarly
early before sunrise and with less lessthan lessban s sthan
than half an hour to eat breakfast breakfastwhich breakfaswhich breakfastvhich
which was brought to the field and andan andLn
an Ln hour for dinner we worked until untilsundown untilsundown untilundown
sundown The usual wages here for forcommon forcommon forommon
common labor is 75 cents per day butpaid but butI bUII
I paid a dollar per day for this job jobbecause j jbecause jobBecause
because Because 1 1 thought it was worth itnd it itand itand
and nd to get the best service possible possibleThere possibliThere possiblehere
There here was no grumbling nor lagging laggingand laggingand laggingnd
and nd I want to say in praise of these thesepeople thespeople theseeople
people there was not on oath nor noran noran norn
an n ugly word heard by me on the en
tire job jOband and I was present all of the thetime thetime th thtime
time The average number employed employedI
I was about 12 men and two women womenbesides womenbesides womenbesides
besides the boys or girls who carried carrieddrinking carrieddrinking carriedrinking
drinking water waterThe waterThe waterThe
The method of setting used was waswith waswith wa wawith
with a spaced planting wire I made madeone madeone madone
one wire 1000 feet long using No Nci6
16 galvanized and annealed steel This Thiswas Thiswas Thi Thiwas
was rather too small for its Iengtland length lengthand lengthand
and the tight streatching we gave it itand itand i1 i1and
and I will use No 12 next year It Itlengthened Itlengthened I Ilengthened
lengthened slightly from the tension tensionand tensionand i iand
and gave us a little trouble by having havingto havintto
I also alsomade alstmade i imade
to remark the planting points
made two spaced wires 500 feet long longAll longAll longAll
All three were marked into spaces by bysoldering bysoidering b bsoldering
soldering about four or five coils of ofsmall a asmall asmall
small wire about the large ones at atpoints atpoints a apoints
points accurately measured 30 feet feetapart feetapart fee feeapart
apart and then by securely tying tyingsmall a asmall asmall
small strip of red flannel at each that thatthey thatthey thatthey
they might be easily seen Several Severaltall Severaltall Severatall
tall straight poles were provided to tobe tobe tc tcbe
be used in lining up the wires A Asmall Asmall A Asmall
small pocket telescope was used iscase in incase incase
case it was needed at times when whenthe whenthe whenthe
the light was not good and the slightpoles slight slightpoles slightpoles
poles were difficult to see We also alsohad alsohad alsohad
had a small surveyors compass for forlaying forlaying forlaying
laying the base and perpendicular perpendicularlines perpen icular icularlines
lines at the starting point and to toprove toprove toprove
prove correctness of the lines at any anytime anytime anytime
time we desired desiredThe desiredThe
The planting was done by stretch stretching stretching ¬
ing of this base line and the two short shortones shortones shortones
ones at either end and at right angles anglesto
to it Sight poles were set at either eitherend eitherend eitherend
end of the long wire and three in intermediate intermediate intermediate ¬
termediate ones but they were exactly exactlyon
on the base line which is where the thetrees thetrees thetrees
trees trees were to be planted The little littlespace littlespace littlepace
space given by stretching the wire wirea
a i few inches in front of the baseine base baseline baseline
line was sufficient and intended to toallow toallow toillow
allow digging the holes and planting plantingthe
the he trees without disturbing the wire wireSome wireSome wiretome
Some of the workmen had spades and andothers andothers andothers
others had loinch Iwan posthole postholeaugers postholetugers osthole ostholeaugers
augers With the spades the holes holeswere holeswere holeswere
were started immediately opposite the themarked themarked thenarked
marked points and the augers were wereused wereused wereised
used to finish them to the required requireddepth requireddepth requiredlepth
depth which was fully 20 inches for forpecan forpecan foriecan
pecan iecan trees have very long tap roots rootsand rootsand rootsnd
and nd almost no side roots and the thesoil thesoil theoil
soil oil being very deep and rich the thedeep thedeep theeep
deep eep holes 10 inches wide were am ample ample amle ¬
ple le The hands usually worked in insets insets inets
sets ets of three two with spades and andtamping andtamping andamping
tamping stick and one with an auger augerBy augerBy augerty
By ty the time the first hole was ready readythe readythe readyhe
the he trees having been distributed distributedalong distributedalong distributedlong
along the line from a cart in which whicha whichlot whichlot
a lot were constantly kept in wet wetmoss wetmoss wetloss
moss loss the two men with spades were wereready wereready wereearly
ready to plant They worked togeth ¬
er erone one holding the tree and tamping tampingthe
the earth about it while the other otherfilled otherfilled otherfilled
filled it in with his spade Within Withinabout Withinabout Withinabout
about 10 minutes after the hands had hadbecome hadbecome hadbecome
become trained a row was completed completedand
and the wire ready to be moved to tothe tothe tothe
the next place and in some cases it iti itwas
i was done in eight minutes This Thisincluded Thisincluded Thisincluded
included the entire work of moving movingthe
i the wire setting the sight poles polesstretching polesstretching polesstretching
stretching and lining the wire like likea
a chalk line digging the holes andplanting and andplanting andplanting
planting the trees Thus over an acre acrewas acrewas acrewas
was planted in that time for there thereare thereare thereare
are 20 trees along the line 1000 feet feetI feetlong feetlong
I long and anly 17 required to the acre acreThe acreThe acreThe
The men soon learned to move the thewire thewire thewire
wire in a jiffy all taking it up at once onceand onceand onceand
and stepping forward 50 feet Those Thosewho Thosewho Thosewho
who could be trusted the most were wereput wereput wereput
put at the ends and where the inter intermediate intermediate intermediate ¬
mediate sight poles were set When Whena
a certain block was planted all hands handspicked handspicked handspicked
picked up the wires tools etc and andmoved andmoved andmoved
moved to the next position I rode rodea
a horse and kept close watch of everything every everything everything ¬
thing that was done during < the entire entiretime entiretime entiretime
time which was quite necessary for forthere forthere forthere
there were new hands to instruct instructabout instructabout instructabout
about getting and keeping the line linestraight linestraight linestraight
straight digging the holes planting plantingthe
the trees and all such details and even evenour evenour evenour
our oldest and most trusted men were werefrequently werefrequently werefrequently
frequently making mistakes forget forgeting forgetmg
ing mg instructions etc But we gotalong got gotalong gotalong
along very well and faster than I Ireally Ireally Ireally
really expected expectedAs
As soon as we got a block of trees treesplanted treesplanted treesplanted
planted I started wagons with loads of ofstakes ofstakes ofstakes
stakes six feet long and about like likesmall likesmall likesmall
small fence posts with men to drive driveone driveone driveone
one beside each tree for its protec protection protection protection ¬
tion Cottoncorn and cow peas are thecrops thecrops the thecrops
crops that are being planted amonghe among amongthe amongthe
the he trees this year and will be for forseveral forseveral foreveral
several years to come and my pur purpose purpose purpose ¬ =
pose is to keep the darkeys and the themules themules thenules
mules from injuring the trees All Allthat Anthat Allhat
that hat they need is the same space and andattention andattention andttention
attention that a stalk of cotton or orhill orhill orsill
hill of corn needs and this they shall shallhave shallhave shallrave
have rave A trusty man will be put on a ahorse ahorse aworse
horse worse and charged with the duty of ofseeingthat ofseeing ofeeing
seeingthat seeing that the trees are given a afair afair aair
fair chance to grow This they will willdo willdo willto
do to in this soil of unknown depth and andrichness andrichness andichness
richness if not injured They are areset areset areet
set et 50 feet apart but in 25 years must mustbe mustbe mustie
be ie thinned to 100 feet feetWe feetWecpuld feetWe
We Wecpuld could not have accomplished accomplishedthe
the he planting of this big orchard in so soshort soshort sohort
short a time without good weather weatherand weatherand weatherurd
and the tools we used The soil soilhere soilhere soilsere
here sere is very sticky and rains are usu usually usually usuIly ¬
ally Ily very frequent and copious at the thetime theime
work which whichmakes whichmakes whichnakes
time of year we did the
makes work very difficult and uncer

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