This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol3", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
The fruit trade was still fairly prosperous in 1907, with no apparent sign of over-production. In that year an extensive scheme was launched in west Perthshire. The farm of Shinafoot, extending to 80 ac, and consisting of light soil, situated about 1 1/2 ml. to the east of Auchterarder station, was purchased. A company, called the Shinafoot Estate Company, Ltd., was floated, which took over the farm. Since then the whole land, with the exception of 4 or 5 ac, has" been planted with Raspberries. About the same time the farm of Drumtogle, extending to 220 ac., situated about 2 1/2 ml. from Dunning station, was purchased by a Blairgowrie merchant. The Drumtogle soil is heavier and more retentive than the soil at Shinafoot, but most of it is equally suitable for the production of fruit. The whole farm was divided into small holdings, and sold to purchasers at £50 per acre. The price is payable, as in the Essendy case, by ten equal yearly instalments, with interest at 4 per cent on the unpaid balances. The holdings extend from 2 to 40 ac. With the exception of a few acres under ordinary agricultural crops, practically every holding is planted with Raspberry bushes.
One of the serious problems which the growers in this part of the county had to face was the question of pickers. In some respects it was more serious than it had been in other parts of the county. This was due to the fact that practically the whole area, extending to nearly 300 ac, was laid down at once. There has been, therefore, no gradual development of the industry. Moreover, the population in the surrounding villages is limited. The growers have, therefore, had to depend largely on casual labour. They have erected accommodation for between 1000 and 2000 pickers. Restaurants and grocers' shops have been built at suitable places on the farms. Everything has been done to ensure as far as possible the comfort and the convenience of the pickers, and the expeditious reaping of the harvest.
The growers are associated with the Essendy fruit growers in connection with the sale and dispatch of their fruit. The representative of the Essendy fruit growers at Blairgowrie controls the Auchterarder traffic He sees it dispatched from Auchterarder station, and supervises the disposal of it to preservers throughout the country. The Glasgow representative of the Essendy Association deals with the Auchterarder traffic going to the West of Scotland, and assists in the disposal of the Auchterarder fruit generally throughout the United Kingdom. The London representative confines his energies to operations in the London market.