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Mbr.'irinrt of CorigreM -
VOL. XXXIV No. 2. DADE COUNTY. Editor Florida Agriculturist: To say Dade county is “on a boom” is putting it mildly. About all trace of the late storm is gone: The newspapers exaggerated very much. The greatest damage was to vessels out at sea and not to the homes on land. So much rain however injured low land farms, but was good for pine land. That was several weeks ago. The present weather is “ideal,” per fect, made to order for the winter tourist. Tourist travel is much earlier this winter. In fact the Royal Palm Ho tel opens almost a month earlier than usual. t We have also double the usual num ber of trains after 15th December. The vegetable shipping season is on hand also. ’Tis good weather to ripen tomatoes, and beans will *be ready to pick by first of January Beans are a favorite “truck” vegeta ble —they bring also a good price in the local market. Sweet potatoes grow here all the year, also pumpkins . The vines keep growing and Rearing al the time. But I notice sweet potatoes are hard to keep after they are dug. It pays to leave them in the ground till time to market them. Orange and grapefruit trees are do ing well. They have been examined and are reported to be remarkably free from the white fly and diseases peculiar to citrus trees. There is something queer about the rocky subsoil of this part of the State. It seems to hold both moisture and plant food. A fruit tree is perfectly safe with out rain many weeks. The roots pene trate the rock which nourishes them well. We have many miles of smooth rock road-which the road hands are putting in perfect order. Some places are being made broader and washed and worn places filled up. These good roads are one of the principal attractions of Dade county. M. I McGreger. VALUE OF SEEKING AND TAK ING ADVICE. Editor Florida Agriculturist : When engaging in any new busi ness, especially that pertaining to the cultivating of our light sandy soil. Were I to engage in the dairy busi ness, for instance, in this section of Florida, I would seek the experience t Jacksonville and DeLand, Fla., Wednesday, January 9, 1907. of a number who are in that line of business and who are making a suc cess of that branch of husbandry. I have in mind a case to the point, that has occurred in our county quite recently. A man who thought that he knew it all, and would not take advice from those who were intelligent fruit growers. A large undertaking was started in the matter of a peach orchard and pecan nuts combined. As he was not familiar with. either of these trees, he was fairly scalped in the purchase of the trees, buying from a company which is here today and nobody knows where tomorrow. The peach trees were not what was wanted, and had to be rebudded. This put the orchard back a year or more, besides the cost of the rebud ding. The pecan trees were mostly seed lings, cut off to resemble buds, for which they were bought, trees costing seventy cents and worth about ten cents. What can be expected as to varieties from such unreliable deal ers? Another mistake was to suppose that a profitable orchard could be grown on common pine land without a plentiful supply of tree food in the shape of a good commercial fertil izer applied at least twice a year. The result is that the orchard has not made as much growh in two years as can be made one year. This experience is quite discouraging to one who has spent a. small fortune and has mostly experience as a result. W. H. Haskell A PLEA FOR AGRICULTURE IN RURAL SCHOOLS. Why should not agriculture be taught in rural schools? The pupils are the children of farmers, and should be educated to follow and re spect their father’s profession. The following plea for such an education was taken from the American Agri culturist: “Everyone is more or less interest ed in the field, the forest and the farm. ♦ “It is the earth that feeds us and clothes us. Hence the earth more or less attracts us. Certain lines of busi ness may be started, may grow and develop, flourish for a day and then fall into decay. But the field must be worked, the farm must be tilled that mankind may live. Then there are lines of work that are artificial in their make up. That is, they rest upon some condition brought about by the present day complexity of human liv ing, human endeavor and human ac complishment. But agriculture is primal in its nature. “In the normal man, woman or child there is an inclination to know more about the natural things that make up their environment. Hence an agricultural education is natural. To borrow a phrase we might say it is really “back to nature.” Therefore running through every public school course of study there should be a line of nature study and agriculture. We hold then to agriculture in the public schools, because education being the natural, steady development of the powers of the child it becomes neces sary to use the right means for such development and the lines of nature and agriculture always being near at hand, primal in character, strong in influence over mind, heart and body, constitute leaders in this development or education. There are essentials in education which every citizen should be possessed of. We dare not neglect reading, writ ing and arithmetic, while there are studies kindred to these that we must teach the children of bur land in or der that they may be intelligent cit izens. But often the srong, robust boy, made strong because of healthy parentage and good living on the farm, confined in the schoolroom, may be an uninviting room without any attractions, may be with a teacher lost in the depths of abstract learning wih no sympathy for robust child hood, a door closed between him and the beautiful world outside, while na ture with her many voices is con stantly caling him. 1 Attractions of Country Life. The music of the birds, the chirp of' the squirrels, the soft eyed wood chuck sitting beside his front door, the brook, attractive because it is alive and gives life to so many differ ent things, the orchard -with ples, red-streaked and yellow, whfe just over the hill the old chestnut, tree v ■ v ' ' - V *■••• ' ■* with its burs just bursting with the early frost— all there call him. Then to the spirited boy. there is the young colt with whom the boy often can do more than the father because of the sympathy of age. It is true the boy has learned to bend his back picking x up apples and potatoes and corn. But then these tasks were re lieved because in doing them the boy has learned the joy of seeing things ,J one, of ' accomplishing ' something. Who says the farm is dull? "Who says i£. is a tame place to pass one’s life? Go ask the boy. He knows bet ter if he has been given half a chance. The Farm is a School, a university for our children. The public schools, the pride of our land, especially those schools that are loca ted in the county, should appreciate this fact. They should take our chil dren where they are and lead them into new lines of learning. If you please, lead them from the known to the unknown, for this is one of the fundamental principles of .education. When I consider these things, the de lightful part of much of our farm life, the unattractive part of much of our school life, T do not wonder that John is slow on his way to school, slow in turning the well-thumbed pag es of the old arithmetic, careless as the blot appears on his writing while he stumbles -over some of the deep mystifying philosophy that fills the pages of* some of our reading books. I hold "that the bcfyr should equally love his school. Not that you should *> * make life easy, for the true American bOy’i's not looking for an easy job*a,ny more than he is looking for an uninteresting, hard is willing to face the heavy task, but* to attract his energy and ambition it must Have some pleasant features about it and it must be interesting. I belieye that humanity loves that which is good and that which they know something about. Therefore, nature studies and agricultural stud ies are the ones with which we can make the public schools, the primary, the'grammar, the high school, inter ring, pleasant, attractive places for our boys and girls. A little nature will lead to a love for reading; a lit tle agriculture will, in cases, lead to a love of the sciences and mathematics. I know this because I have worked it out in my experience as a teacher. A Case in Point. • •• . i . I remember one strong, young man at one time in my high school. The r discipline was irksome to him. The confinement of the schoolroom was almost more than he could bear, while there was no connecting link, be tween him and Latin and algebra and such high school studies. While I was sumbling around trying to find a door to his soul, I found it in a lit tle line of agriculture in the physical geography that I was teaching. At once there was anew light in his eye. Anew spring in his step. There was anew birth. We had anew boy in our school and then I proceeded from the known of the boy to a little I of the unknown and agriculture was Whole N*. 1682.