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J. E. BAKER.
Career of Washington State's New Com
missioner of Horticulture.
J. X," Baker, the recently appoint
ed Commissioner of Horticulture of
the State of Washington, was born
in Oswego County, New York in
the year 1837. In 1857 he com
menced business in Colxlin, Union
County, Illinois, as a nurseryman
and fruit and vegetable grower for
the northern markets, making a
specialty of small fruits and the
propagation of market garden plants
for sale, building large forcing
frames for that purpose.
In 1861 he enlisted in the 12th
Illinois cavalry and continued in
the service of the government until
1866. The last three years of this
time were rendered in the capacity
of cashier of the chief quartermas
ter of the Department of Washing
11l 1866 he resumed horticultural
pursuits near Norfolk, Va.; was a
pioneer in the culture of small fruits
and conducted a large truck farm,
supplying. the great northern cities
with early vegetables, making a
prominent feature of the business a
vineyard and the propagation of
native grape vines. During the
French pylloxera scare of 1872-3
he was in a position to supply the
extensive demand for resistant
stocks of American varieties for ex
port, both in the form of rooted cut
tings, layers and cuttings, collecting
the same from all of the Southern
He came to the Pacific coast in
1890, since which time he has been
employed in planting an orchard,
cultivating small fruits and market
gardening for the cities of Puget
Sound. He was one of three who
passed successful examinations be
fore the faculty of the State Agri
cultural College as skilled horticul
turists, as a requisite to appoint
ment as Commissioner of Horticul
QUESTIONS IN FLORICULTURE.
Mrs. A. E. Keck, North Yakima,
has an oleander eight years of age
which has stopped growing.
Mrs. A. K. Sayer, of the Home
Nursery, Walla Walla, answers
that ' 'if the oleander is a large one
and has grown well other years, it
has likely outgrown its pot. To
save repotting, dig out all the dirt
possible without disturbing the
plant and fill up with fresh dirt well
RANCHE AND RANGE.
enriched. There may be other rea
sons why the plant remains dor
mant, but it is hard to prescribe for
a patient you don't see."
Mrs. Keck also reports trouble in
getting Martha Washington gera
niums. Mrs. Sayer says "this va:
riety is the easiest grown of any of
the geraniums. Take woody slips,
broken, not cut, and put in almost
any soil and keep damp; but don't
use any fertilizer, unless you want
If road dust or dry earth of any
kind is strongly impregnated with
kerosene and sprinkled freely on
squash and melon plants, the bugs
will not touch them. A man who
tried it says: "I left the patch
fearing I had killed my plants with
the oil. But time proved that fear
groundless. I used it by the hand
fuls on the leaves and around the
tender stems, and while the odor of
kerosene could be perceived no bug
could be seen."
From the beginning the orchard
should have an annual pruning. If
it does not have it the limbs will be
come crowded, some of them mis
shapen, and there will be increased
difficulty in bringing the tree into
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