This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Peach culture on the Delaware peninsula has developed with such rapidity in five years that it is unequalled in magnitude by any of the fruit sections of the world.
The number of peach trees now on the peninsula, as gathered from last reports, is 5,000,000 - representing fifty thousand acres. The value of land devoted to peach orchards,.averages 950 per acre, and the average annual income does not exceed $50, although in many cases $200 or $300 per acre are realized. Estimates from most reliable sources indicate that the peach crop of 1873 will be about 2,500,000 baskets; half of the crop of Delaware, in the northern half of the State, have had their buds entirely killed the past winter; were the entire number of trees on the peninsula to bear a full crop once, it would be fairly enormous.
We sincerely hope these enthusiastic peach growers may have a most, abundant crop, and then, after it is all over, sit down and reflect: Does peach culture pay when everybody is going into it f We have felt so for several years, that too many trees were being planted, and peach growing for the next five years would not be even as profitable as devoting the same ground to potatoes. The peach crop also effectually spoils the sale of other fruits which ripen at the same time. So much so that growers of other fruits often wish there never was a peach. It seems as if the peach growers did not make much money themselves, and did not allow others to make any also. Peach culture in Delaware is effectually overdone.