This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
When N. C. Meeker of the N. Y. Tribune established the Greely Colony on a high, barren, gravelly plain in Colorado, as much of an enthusiast as he was known to be, he could not have imagined that from that beginning there would grow up such a beautiful town. Surrounded by rich farms with groves of trees and orchards, and all in sight of the eternal snow. The writer had two hours to spend waiting for a train, and put in the time visiting the suburbs. Past the business portion of the town, mostly built of brick, solid modern stores and warehouses, the wide streets lead into the country, and it is difficult to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. The streets and walks are hard and smooth; on each side of the latter is a row of cottonwoods 10 to 12 inches in diameter, giving a delightful shade. At the curbstone a rapid stream of clear water which is turned into the yards as needed, flooding the green lawn, running between the rows of vegetables and around the flower beds, for every place is beauti. ful, rich and profuse with glorious bloom.
The residences all look fresh, and are cottages of modern style; an unpainted house is a rare exception. The objective point here was Mr. Parker's crab orchard of 600 trees, the oldest planted in 1875. These were bending to the ground with fruit, the varieties being Hyslap.Transcendent and Briar Sweet, the latter, larger than Transcendent, originated in Wisconsin. Mr. Parker remarked that having demonstrated the success of crab growing he had sold five thousand trees in Greely and vicinity. The fruit finds a market in Denver, Cheyenne and the mountain towns; the net price realized last year being six cents per pound, 44 lbs. being the weight per bushel. Small fruits of all kinds have given a fine return. Mr. P. cultivates Wilson for his main strawberry crop. The Duncan for an early berry is the best when it escapes late frosts; thirty-five berries have been sufficient to fill a quart box. Plants set a month ago, under the influence of an abundant supply of water now cover a space of 6 to 8 inches in diameter. The red raspberry season is at its height, and growers are busy shipping, realizing twenty-five cents per box.
Clark, Turner and Cuthbert are the approved varieties; all these have to be laid down and covered with earth during winter.
Complaint is made that apples winter kill, though the writer has seen fine specimens of Duchess, Ben Davis and Red Astrachan grown under the shadow of the mountains. The trouble is that the ground is too dry in winter. An abundant irrigation in the fall with heavy mulching would no doubt in my mind insure a good growth. Twig blight is unknown.
Since writing the above I have visited a few of the orchards in Utah, along the line of the Utah and Northern R. R. Apricots have given a fair crop; specimens, as large as hen eggs, not uncommon; early peaches (August 6th) just coming into market. These are clings, green fleshed, very rich and full of juice. Smock, Orange Stump, Heath Cling, etc., show half a crop of fine fruit, while the seedlings in most orchards are full. These furnish the staple dried fruit - Salt Lake peaches. Apples are still troubled with codling moth, but the crop of the standard sorts like Greening, White Winter Pearmain, Wine Sap, etc., is very heavy. Red June, Astrachan and Pennock are in market, retailing at three cents per pound. Pear trees are bending to the ground; Bartletts, Flemish Beauty and other standard sorts very fine. Plums are full, especially Green and Imperial Gage and Coe's Golden Drop. The effects produced in enlarging the size of fruit by irrigation would surprise an Eastern fruit grower. A small furrow runs within three feet of the rows and the water turned in for two or three hours once a week, costing but little labor, gives a large return.
These Utah fruit growers are as well posted on new kinds, etc., as the men of New York. Onions are a profitable crop in the valleys of Utah. On one farm was a fine crop of Yellow Danvers where 800 bushels were gathered last year from three-fourths of an acre; price seventy cents. Omaha, Neb.