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The Florida agriculturist. [volume] (DeLand, Fla.) 1878-1911, July 24, 1878, Image 4

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KILKOPF A DEAN, Publishers.
DeLAND, JULY 24, 1878.
We consider Mr. Hart’s sugges
tion, in his letter on this page, a
valuable one. We fully intended to
have given a complete description oi
the different palms, and their proper
ties, at no distant day, and Mr.
Hart’s article will bring it out the
Of the thousand species said to
exist, there is no doubt that a num
ber may be cultivated to advantage
in this State, and California, and be
an additional source of wealth to the
nation. In late numbers of the Sun
and Press of Jacksonville, Col. Red
mond, the able editor, asserts that he
has eaten dates grown on an island
off the coast of Georgia. We have
repeatedly seen the fruit of dates,
grown in Florida and the West In
dies, but never yet met any com
pared to the imported fruit, nor do
we believe that they can ever be
grown to compete with them in qual
ity, yet we would like to see our
prediction either proved or falsified
by actual facts.
The guavas grown here are what
are called “Spanish Guavas” in the
tropics. There are several varieties'
in Jamaica, growing wild, and these
are the best for making jelly, the fla
vor being much stronger and richer.
Thousands of acres may be seen in
guava trees, in the northeastern part
of the Island of Jamaica, where they
are considered the greatest curse to
the cattle raisers, as they spoil the
pastures and have to be cut down ev
ery year. They are so tenacious of
life that it is hard to destroy them;
springing up from the roots as fast as
cut down. The cattle and pigs which
eat the fruit scatter the seeds all over
the land and help to spread them.
We have no description of the Cali
fornia guava, which may have been
introduced into that State from the
Pacific islands, and they may be a
different variety. The guava you
call the “Strawberry,” wa6 introduced
some years ago into Jamaica, by Mr.
N. Wilson, the Island Botanist, from
Kew gardens in England. They
were called the “Chinese.” There
are two varieties, one with the flavor
of the strawberry, and the other
something the taste of a raspberry.
They have a myrtle shaped leaf and
the fruit resembles the cherry. We
called Mr. Bidwell's attention to them
two or three years ago and advised
his introducing them here, and be
lieve that he has done so. W e should
say they would thrive here and stand
the climate better than the Spanish
guava. The trees are great bearers
and are an ornament to a shrubbery,
with their glossy green leaves and
smooth red bark. The fruit is best eat
en with sugar and cream, they do not
have sufficiently strong flavor for jelly,
in fact the flavor is quite distinct from
the common guava. We will shortly
give some instructions for preparing
the guava in different ways.
Estimate for an Orange Grove.
Mr. John C. Reess, of Orange coun
ty, writing to the Home and Farm
gives the following estimates as to
the cost of setting out and taking
care of an orange grove:
Land, ten dollars per acre; clear
ing, fencing, and plowing, thirty
eight dollars per acre; trees, per
acre, twenty-five dollars; cultivating
grove, two and a half dollars an acre
per month.
Thus the cost of a grove, when set
out, would be seventy-three dollars
per acre. Cost of cultivating an acre
one year, thirty dollars. Accumula
ted cost of "iove of five acres, at ex
piration of five years, eleven hundred
and fifteen dollars.
If any man wishes to pay “ fancy ”
for land he can be gratified. If he
does not, he can for ten dollars per
acre, buy as fine, desirable, high pine
lands as Orange county affords; lands
free from palmetto, with or without
lakes, water-fronts, etc.
As for clearing, fencing, and plow
ing, if any man can not get it done
for less than my estimate, then I will
make the estimate good by doing
the work myself.
As to price of orange trees, they
range from ten cents to five dollars
each, according to size, age, etc. —
Bearing trees may be bought for five
dollars each, and thus materially in
crease the cost of the grove. I based
my estimate on trees four years old.
The older the tree, the greater the
risk of transplanting.
Some New Strawberries.
Our strawberry growers may prof
it by this. Mr. Felix Gillett, of Ne
vada City, Cal., in sending a box of
strawberries to the Pacific literal
Press, writes as follows :
1 will give you a few details on the
contents of the box. First you will
notice the way in which the berries
are packed to prevent moulding,
bruising, and to keep them fresh. In
my work on strawberry culture, I
have given a description of that meth
od of packing choice berries, and I
hope that you will let me know how
fresh the berries will be when reach
ing you. There are three layers of
berries in the box, the first one after
opening the box, the top layer, is the
beautiful “ Bonne Bouche, ” one of
the largest berries and most prolific
bearers on my place. Though ob
tained from France, I must say that
this variety was originated in Eng
land at the Royal garden of Frog
more. As you will see the berry is
nicely shaped, fat, large, sweet and
nicely flavored. The biggest one in
the lot must measure five inches and
a half round. The second layer is
composed two-thirds of “Carolina
Superba, ” originated at the Ver
sailles garden, and one third of “Bour
guignonne” (originated in Burgun
dy). The latter is splendid for ship
ping and so prolific. As to Carolina
Superba, I leave it to you; does it or
not deserve the name “ Superba. ”
The last layer at the bottom of the
box, that beautiful, shining red ber-
ry, is the “ brilliant ” Aurelie, as I
called it in my descriptive catalogue.
I do not certainly expect that those
berries raised on the red clay of my
barren hill wall beat those raised be
low in the rich loam of your valleys,
but do you not think that they will
compare favorably with them ?
I would advise every one of your
readers that get plants of either those
four varities not to be afraid to root
runners this year, but set out as
many plants of them as they can,
and then not to bother themselves
about the big names of sorts.
The Press acknoweledges the arri
val of the boxes in these words :
The berries arrived in perfect con
dition, and merit the best words
which could be written of them. We
do not remember ever seeing any
thing finer. /They were carefully
laid in with payers of grape leaves
above and below, and above and be
low the grape leaves was a thin lay
er of hay, to guard againstjthe contin
uous jar of the railway cars. Holes
were bored in the box all round,
which admited air and kept the fruit
dry and sound. The package was
the best we ever saw for safe carriage
of a delicate product like strawberries.
Editor Florida Agriculturist:
At a meeting of the the Fruit
Growers in Jacksonville last winter,
an eminent horticulturist arose and
made a few remarks upon the pictur
esque effect produced in parks and
cultivated grounds by the tasteful
distribution of palm trees; adding
that there were fifty or more kinds
hardy enough for this latitude. His
words seemed lo attract little or no
interest, and he afterwards expressed
to me his conviction that they were
regarded by the audience as some
what Utopian. I did not view the
matter in that light, however, but
considered it, like the telescope of
Galileo, as a subject brought up pre
maturely—before the popular mind
was prepared 19 receive it.
Nothing more strongly impresses
an admirer--;r’-iIF beauties of -nature
on his first approach to the topics
than the palms, so different from the
character and aspect of the forest
scenery of the temperate zone, as to
suggest the idea of being in another
world. Linnaeus styled them “ the
princes of the vegetable kingdom,”—
the sight ol them in their tropic
homes so wrought upon the enthusi
asm of George Kingsley as to call
forth the exclamation “ a thing of
beauty and a joy forever,” and their
forms suggested in the most remote
ages the shaft, capitol and arch which
are the alpha and omega of architec
ture. They are rapidly growing in
favor among the exotic plants cultiva
ted in greenhouses at the North, by
reason of their fine effects in group
ing and forming the background of
floral decorations, and to find them
flourishing in the open air in Florida
would greatly delight our northern
visitors. Most varieties ol this genus
are preeminently at home in a sandy
soil such as we possess, and make
light drafts upon its fertility. The
Arabs say that the corn growing up
to the very base of their date trees
yields as abundantly as that at a dis
tance, showing that the date requires,
so to speak, merely standing room
and does not interfere with crops
sown around it. I have known cab
bage palms to be loft standing at in
tervals in an orange grove and even
to be planted as a protection and
shelter. If the assertion be true that
the palms do not crowd and hamper
other plants, they might be consid
ered as so many gigantic umbrellas
set up in the grove to shield the fruit
trees beneath them from sun, wind,
and frost. For a few years they
grow slowly, till the stem has acquir
ed the proper thickness, after which
they shoot rapidly aloft
It would seem well for such papers
as the Agriculturist, which many
look up to as an oracle in rural af
fairs, to enlighten their readers as to
what kinds are likely to be success
fully grown here m foster a taste for
the ornamental as well as useful
in tree planting and to exert their
influence in the introduction and dis
semination of this valuable class of
plants which must at some day be
extensively raised in Florida. No
other class of trees yields so great a
variety of useful substances as these,
and many of the more tender kinds
that conld not be grown here for
profit, will, with a little care, do well
enough to ample reward the labor
of the amateur. People should be
encouraged to experiment with them,
for no one can say positively what
may be done with anything until it
has had a fair trial. Ten years ago
I was solemnly assured by people :
who ought to have known, that
Strawberries could not be grown in
Florida; others made the same state
ment with regard to the Japan plum,
yet experience has now proved that
both can be successfully grown.—
Now has it ever been satisfactorily
demonstrated, how far nortli the
coeoanut tree will survive 0 Dr. Mays
of Orange Mills, told me that he had
one growing on his place at the break
ing out of the war, which was then
as high as a man's head, but on his
return home after the troubles were
over, he found the surrounding trees
had been cut away, and the spot
where it stood washed into the river.
A gentleman of Fruitland peninsula
says that he has a four year old plant,
in the open air that never has been
protected in winter and which bore
unscathed the ordeal of December
1876 when the guava alongside of it
was frozen to the ground. By all
means let us have lurther experiments
of this kind. Is it wise to discourage
people from planting the date be
cause it might not produce an edible
truit here? Some experiments with
it would be interesting, especially as
fruit is not its only valuable product.
In some parts of the east, as Morocco,
excellent dates are grown where they
have a rainy and a dry season, but
the trees receive a certain amount oi
fostering care in order to bring the
fruit to its highest perfection. If dry
weather is requisite while the fruit is
growing, this condition certainly ob
tains in California. I will not ques
tion your statement that good dates
cannot be produced in this .hemis
phere, but I would ask, whether con
sidering its dioecious character, the
experiment lias been fairly tried of
planting sufficient numbers of them
together, and reasonable care 'taken
to properly fertilize the blossoms,
and render those other little atten
tions which even the Arabs find nec
essary in order to secure the finest
fruit ?
Again,—if the wild date, Picnic
Sylvestris , the greatest sugar produc
ing tree known planted 15 feet apart,
200 to the acre yield fifty cents to one
dollars worth of sugar to the tree per
annum in India, where this sugar is very
cheap, it would seem that it might be
profitably grown here for the same
purpose, where sugar is dear. Prob
ably the other varieties of Phenix
are as hardy here as the I*. Dactyli
fera has proved itself to be. As or
namental plants some of them are
more desirable than the P. Dactyli
fera, the foliage being less stiff and
spiny—the leaves of the P. Reclinate
are drooping, with edges of an ashen
hue, the P. Canariensis more erect
and edged with pink.
In the Argentine Republic, where
winters are as severe as in Florida,trav -
elers speak of a species of palm bear
ing small, sweet oily nuts resembling
the pecan, relished by the people, and
devoured by cattle and swine. The
city of Jericho m Palestine wasjfam
ous in ancient times for it palms
(were they the palmyra?) which were
much admired by the Iloman con
querors, and on coins and medals the
desolate condition of Judea capta
was represented by a lonely female
sitting under a palm tree. It Is
worthy of a trial whether so valuable
a tree as the Palmyra would grow in
Florida. It certainly should if It
flourishes in Palestine and Mesopota
mia, and native -writers enumerate
eight hundred uses to which it is ap
plied. The temperance
might oppose its introduction lest we
become a nation of toddy drinkers.
Large as is the consumption of -wine
in the world, it is estimated that the
fermented sap of different species is
used as a beverage by a greater num
ber of people than the jnice to the
grape. Many kinds are bled for wine,
and the Cryotaurens, one of the most
elegant of East Indian palms, is said
to frequently yield the astonishing
quantity of a dozen gallons of jnice
in 24 hours.
Iu portions of New Guinea and the
coast of Africa, tho pith of the sago
palm, (Sagus Rumphi) made into
bread is the chief food of the inhabit
ants. The tree, seven years old
yields seven hundred pounds of flour,
so that one acre of ground containing
three hundred trees would afford cou
tinuous support lor fourteen people.
The moriche, {Mauritkt flexuosa)
performs the same office for the
dwellers on the plains of Veneznla,
as the date for the Arabs of northern
Africa, giving them, as Ilumbolt says,
Return et amicUem, food, drink cloth,
ing and building material, indeed the
very existence of some Indian tribes,
it may be said, is closely linked with
that of the moriche and pirita or
peach palm.
I might enumerate many other
kinds of useful palms, as the corypba
teclorum of Venezula, the wood of
which is so hard, that it is difficult to
drive a nail into it, and the fan like
leaves used as thatch last for more
that twenty year?; Humboldt’s wax
palm of the Andes, growing almost
to the limits of perpetual snow ; the
Carnauba or wax palm of the Amazon,
yielding the greatest variety of useful
material of any known plant; the
doom palm of Egypt, from the leaves
of which water tight baskets are
woven, the manufacture of which anil
similar articles give occupation to
whole villages; the oil palm of Africa
*.fcc., but this letter is already too long.
It the Agiucjultukist would print
a series of articles discriptive of the
palm tribe; telling what kinds to
plant in Florida and where and how
to procure the seeds, it would be
doing good service to the State, and.
direct the attention of its readers to
a source of agricultural wealth, that
has hitherto been overlooked.
E. 11. Mart, "j
Federal Point, July 15th 1878.
Editor Florida Agriculturist :
Observing in your article on ‘-In
cubation,” the name of M. Eugene-
Gay ot, I cannot help giving you my
experience of that gentleman. In the
latter part of last decade I was liviiii
in the west of France, and there got
hold of a book on poultry, published
in England by a Mr. Wright, and in
which he quotes from a work of M.
Gayot’s, published in Paris, the
very claborite description of the poul
try establishment of the Countess do
Lina, said to be at the village of Ec
lair. near Paris. I have seen the same
description copied into several Amer
ican papers, and have no doubt it is
'veil known and admired by most ot
the people who are interested in
poultry, etc. Being at the time
much interested in the subject my •
self, I determined to find out this
wonderful establishment. Paris ho-

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