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The Florida Agriculturist.
A JOURNAL DEVOTED TO STATE INTERESTS. Vol. 1. Contents of this Number. Pape 11S Let Us Have More Li cut; Braining the Okechobee; Orange City; Will Mr. Manville Explain. Face 114—What a Bird Tbougnt, poetry; The Buried Bungalow; Mr. sarsaper’s Black Eye; A Rhymester's Sorrow: What She Asked Tommy ; Recipes. Pago lift—Poultry Breeding; Adv’mts. Page 116—Editorials; Wrong Information; Too Clever; Using and Abusing Florida; Floridians, Page 117—The State Fair; Orange Orchard ing; Adv’mts. Page 118—Germination of Seeds; Bees; Bananas and Pine-apples; Howto Choose a melon; How to Treat the Hair; Legal Notices. Page 110—The l-'ariu Boy and His Errands; Adv’mts. Page 130—'Telegraphic; Adv’mts. LET ITS HAVE MORE LIGHT. Editor Honda Agriculturist: In your issue of July 8d I see an article copied from the Evening Traveler which lets considerable light into the manner of settling lands in Florida. There seems to ho more than one screw loose, where lies the lault ? There appears to be a Flor ida fever approaching in its wild and utopian ideas the gold fever ot Cali fornia. People of all classes, some with money and some none, are rush ing to the State, thinking to make fortunes in a few years. What is to be done ? They eoiue here with false accounts of the immediate profits of fruit raising and truck farming, buy land and go to work with a will, but they soon find that their way of farm ing is not suited to this new soil, and what they raise and ship becomes a mey to commercial handlers and grabbers. No wonder they get dis couraged and leave the State. No wonder we hear disparaging reports about Florida. What wc want is right knowledge how to treat this peculiar soil which is so different from that of the North and West.and a thorough over-looking and over-turning of the present sys tem of putting our crops into the ' Northern markets. The writer of the article alluded to ( *ays he is inclined to think, with the . President of the Farmer’s Society at J Waldo, that “new land cannot be j got into reasonably good order in less than three years.’’ This state ment does not make it clear what he considers to be “reasonably good ol der.” In this part of the State new land broken up in July or August,; and sown in cow peas to be turned j under in the Fall, will grow excellent I corn, peas and sweet potatoes, with- j out manure. And l can point to! those who have grown these same crops on land broken up in the Win ter, three montfis before planting, the : rows being listed and without ma-i mire. We need information ol' a reliable ; character, from a reliable source, so j that settlers coming to the State may j feel safe in using it and profiting by ; it, :r and need not waste time in trying to make their Northern methods work in a Southern latitude. The need of light of this character is great aud many are beginning to feel i it forcibly, no doubt set to thinking by the series of excellent articles iu ' the Aghiciltc hist entitled “llow to live in Florida.” Let us have more of these for there is here a wide field to work in. Aud let us have a hook filled with such matter and sold at a price which will allow | of its being spread tar and wide. Lot us faithfully sot lorth the many gveat advantages which Florida of- fers to settlers without keeping back the things unpleasant. Before closing I will call attention to the growth and condition of our beautiful Highlands. This section is rolling pine lands, being a continuation of the fertile region about Middleburg on Black creek, which follows the creek up to Trail Ridge, the highest point of the A. G. & W. I. T. R. K., and extonds over into Baker county. It is most excellent land for oranges and grapes. A neighbor, who is an old resident, has a number of oranges seven years old covered with fine looking fruit. And he tells me that last year, one of his trees, at six years, bore a few oranges. He j spreads the fertilizer on the surface jof the ground, under the trees and j does not dig it in. Young trees also | grow wonderfully. The place is jet new and no large groves are started, but I see some very promising nnre i cries. Truck gardening has not vet I been attempted to any extent, as the | land is almost all new, though Mr. Albert Bunker has make some ship ments and intends to extend his bu ) siucss another year. Mr. Baldwin is i also making preparations to go into , the business. The location is good because the land is high and has drain age, therefore crops can be plant ed earlier. Mr. Polechio, who has j 160 acres, has been here nearly two j years and has a large, pleas | cretWeAF ct.-iblfe three acres | cleared, (pine stumps and all.) fenced, and under cultivation, and two acres cleared but not fenced. lie has on his placo a number of bananas set out a year ago last Spring which have made a surprising growth and one suspends a large, purple bud a foot long. Several of the residents have flourishing bananas which bear fruit every year. Although wc are 100 far north to grow bananas successful ly as a business, yet the growth of these and of fruit trees generally shows a soil remarkably well adap ted to fruit raising. Mr. I*. is also trying some African millet, which is doing finely and is excellent to feed to cattle and horses. There is no Guinea grass here as yet but the writer intends to introduce it in the Fall. A postoflico, accommodating this neighborhood, has been started and given the name of Highlands Station, J. C. Baldwin, postmaster. Several of us are expecting friends from the North to come here and settle this Fall. Wo find Florida a pleasant place to live in, climate healthful, soil easily w orked, and, though new aud almost unfertilized, when properly treated, bringiug good crops. We do not hesitate to advise those who have means and want to change their homes to come among us. F. L. B. Highland*. Aug. 18. 1878. DRAINING THE OKEC HOBEE. Editor Florida Agriculturist ; Your editorial in the Aiaan't.- Tt'n IST, oi’ August 14, on the drain ing of Lake Okechobee and the ac companying clipping from the Sa vannah Notes led me to sonic reflec tion and inquiries concerning the area of the country proposed to be drain ed. the probable value of the land when drained, and influence such DeLand. Florida. Wednesday, August 21, 1878. a work would have upon the future of Florida, whichEpiaet the subject before my miwJlps one off 1 so great importance that lam induced to of fer them, in to call out more discussion and “more light.” I have no official surveys to refer to, but judging by the map and such means of inforpation as are at hand, and UkingHor granted what seems to bo conceded, that Ufe drain ing of the lake yfMld afeiv'arain the everglades, it appjgurs thV a body of land fifty miles broil and by Seventy-five in length will btHppared for the ax and plow of the pioneer, if this pro jected scheme becomes on accom plished. feet. This equals 8,t50 square miles or 2,4oo,OCjp’laerc?, Or, to bring this great area better within the grasp of the mind, about ten acres for every man, w oman and child irt the State. The proportion of sugar made in the South to the whole amount used in this aud countriesi that are non-pro ducers, in comparison with the w orld’s crop, is insignificant. Conse quently, this whole body of land could be cut up, .into sugar estates (which is the use it would naturally go to.) without the added supply oh the materially effecting the current prices of sugar and syrup. It is probable, the)i : that in the future ’sugar cane land kvijl keep its present relative value as jpompared w ith oth e* law'*®." isWT w us to an c-sti ft t l,c value nftho land per acre. And here it can only be a matter of opinion aud opinions vary widely. There is a great quantity of pine land in the State and where at all accessi ble it goes off readily at State prices; but the laud adapted to the cultiva tion oi cane is comparatively limited; there is no other large, unoccupied tract in the country, and ot that that there is, there is none naturally so well fitted to produce a fine sugar aud syrup as this. In addition, there is no staple crop of the South that can pay so large a per cent, on the money invested. There can be no risk, then, in saying the land would go rapidlj at from sl. to SIU, per acre, 1 according to location. If this is even approximately true there ought to be no great hesitation on the part of the State about taking the matter up as a State enterprise. Such part ot this laud as the State has no title to at present, would readily be ceded by the United States, because in its pres ent condition it is valnlcss, and as Uni ted States land would continue so, for the reason that it is out of the le gitimate sphere of the general gov ernment to engage in any work ot im provement as purely local as this would be. It is true that the people of Florida are few and poor; but in proportion to the magnitude of the work, the population and wealth is greater than in that State, when New York undertook the construction of her great canal, and the benefits to bo derived irom this improvement, in the way of internal navigation and increase of State wealth, by the way of valuable State lands, are greater, and as vital to the interests of the j State, than were the benefits derived bv New York, from her canal, and that has long been conceded one of the most influential agencies in the ! building up of that great State. And j in any event, unless the surveys and 1 estimates of expenses already made, i are calculated to mislead rather than I give information, the cost to the State of draining the lake would soon be met by money arising from the sales of land. Doubtless the sum of $20,000, as estimated by the Savannah News cor respondent, is far below what the ac tual cost would be. Governmental machinery can hardly be put in mo tion for $20,000. But unless the necessary amount is veiy many times greater than this, it is not beyond an easy accomplishment by the State. If it is, the matter may as well be dropped, for there is nothing more certain thau that government will not go so far outside the coarse of its prescribed constitutional duties. It is a delusion to look to the gener al government (as the correspondent referred to. seems to suggest,) for aid in a matter as part ly local as this is, by any fair construction of the case. County Commissioners might with almost as much propriety ask the central government to decorate the grounds about the court house. The people ot Holland have spent millions of money in saving from the sea a few thousand acres that in nat ural productive capacity bear no kind of comparison with this land in south ern Florida, [.urge bodies are actu ally below the level of the sea, which hangs over them like a great threat leuing hand, and is only kept off by a system of dykes, which upon several tint uuru wruwTi trirw* t From the lower levels the water is elevated by a multitude of pumps, worked by windmills, into canals, which pour it into the sea. By com parison with this old world combat with the ocean, the difficulties of draining the lake and everglades dwarf into insignificance. It is true that in Holland there was au imme diate and very urgent demand for land, while in Florida there is to spare. Still, such is the character of the land to be redeemed, and the slight cost ol the work in comparison with the results to be obtained, that it is not too soon for the subject to receive attention. Instead of being a cause of great expense without ad equate returns, it is quite certain that the sales of land would soon become a considerable source of revenue. In addition to this we owe something to the future ; this work should l*c done now, or soon, for the reason given in the editorial which induced these re marks : “Such work must be done before the surrounding country is set tled up, for it will cause malarial fe- ver for some distance around when such a vast mass of decayed vegeta ble matter is exposed to the sun.’’ In these words you have present ed tho strongest argument in favor of immediate action in this matter, aud one that should induco the proper authorities to take measures at an ear ly day to secure accurate surveys and estimates of expenses, preparatory to actual work in the near future, unless such surveys and estimates show the work to he much more expensive aud less important than is now sup posed. S. W • H. Jacksonville, August 30,1878. FROM ORANGE ITTV. Editor Florida Agriculturist • You may wonder if the people oi this placo arc all sleeping through the rainy season —will say, nay ! but everthing is growing so rapidly that we no longer have an open outlook around as we were wont, —to seo all <?ur neighbor’s doings—consequently have less to report, aR the weather is too warm to make interviewing a pleasant business. As to mercury, we have it 92*, and above, oftener lower than higher, whilst wc read, sitting on our vino clad porches, with cooling breezes wafted around us, from northeu pa pers of 100, 102,104 and 106* and they poor souls wondering what it can be away down in the Alligator State, Florida. At present there is little or no building going on, only perfecting those already up,—some making ready for Winter visitors. Our school building has anew attachment however in the shape of a bell and belfry, the former a present from R. M. Searitt, of New Milford, Conn., who bas a fine grove planted out here, and whom we hope soon to welcome as a semi-annual citizen. Our good people here have resolv ed themselves into a Temperance So ciety hoping, to meet and put down the enemy of intemperance which is sure to attempt to locate itself on or near every newly laid out town. May success crown the effort. As to the groves in this vicinity, ono can hardly speak in too glowing terms, when we think of time, age of trees, and the preverse obstinacy of some in carrying out their north ern education as to planting and rais ing, but all will soon wheel into line and the march ot progress will be on ward with speed. ffflws, an a many are now having a limited supply of bananas, figs, grapes and a few oranges, to say nothing of those fine pine-apples one scents now and then from a neigh boring patch. Altogether we feel that as soon as our soil gels iu order, and we understand when and how to raise vegetables, with our on-coming frosts, we shall most surely be a healthy and happy people. More anon. A. M. T. Will Mr. Mauville Explain i Editor Florida Agriculturist : I should like to ask Mr. Arthur 11. Mauville to please explain what he means in his article headed “Hints to New Coiners,” where he says (near the bottom of the third column) “It is difficult to obtain fresh fruits and vegetables for the table 1 ' and at the bottom of the same paragraph, “A plentiful supply of fresh vegetables of all kinds can be bad the whole yeai round.” These two statements conflict just a little. I was asked to explain by a friend who contemplates coming here, so I in turn repair to the an thur. Also will he please tell us what kinds of vegetables can be raised so plentifully and at what time of the year he plants. I think his answer will be very ac ceptable to many readers of this val uable paper, for very many have fail cd in raising vegetables, except in fact, sweet potatoes, Florida peas, melons, cucumbers and a few to matoes. J • A. B. H. —Scene in a railway carriage— Fond wife : “Lot me sec your papei a moment, dear.” Husband : “Yes, as soon as wc get to the tunnel.” The seeds of plants arc their eggs. A sunflower produces 4,000, a poppy 30,000, a tobacco plant 300,000, and spleenwort 1,000,000. Some, as tbe sea pink, have but one seed, umbellif erous flowers two, and the surge an and ranunculus three. The capsule of tlm white poppy contains 8,000 seeds. N0.15.