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.
The cultivation of this important medicinal substance has interested the English government; and where tested, in some of her colonies, it has proved a marked success. Under cultivation, the bushes will supply a crop of bark about the fourth year. Analyses have established the fact that the cultivated bark yields a much larger percentage of quinine than the bark imported from Peru. The plant is readily propagated by layers, or by cuttings in bottom heat. It is a rapid grower and requires no special culture except the destruction of weeds. The demand for this bark is annually increasing; and, owing to carelessness on the part of the Peruvians in collecting the article, the supply will diminish. We believe its cultivation would prove highly remunerative; and this opinion is based upon data published by the English government, the increasing demand for the article, and the fact that- we imported, in 1872, 2,852,841 pounds, valued in Peru at $982,-674.
For years, immense quantities of watermelons have been grown in Georgia and South Carolina for northern markets, and their production has proved very profitable. With steam communication to Key West, from thence to New York, combined with speedy transit and low freights, the production of Georgia and northern Florida could be anticipated by several weeks, and remunerative prices obtained. Any person conversant with the New York markets, need not be referred to the fact that the island of Bermuda is mainly supported by the tomatoes, onions and early potatoes shipped to New York. From careful observations, made in both places, we are satisfied that these vegetables can be grown more successfully in Florida than in Bermuda. Owing to the frequent rains and low range of thermometer in Bermuda, the early tomatoes are small and poorly colored, and do not begin to color before the tenth of January.
The olive has been tested and found adapted to the State; and, although years would be required for a pecuniary return from an olive grove, it would prove a remunerative crop when the trees attained a bearing age. If a grove was planted, the ground could be used for other crops until the trees came into bearing. The amount of oil imported in 1870 was 283,327) gallons, valued at point of shipment at $403,117.
We could refer to many things that could be profitably grown, but shall merely name the rose, camellias, gardineas, rhododendrons, gladioli, tuberoses, and liliums, for the northern markets. With cheap lands, cheap labor, a healthy climate, cheap meat, an abundance of game, oysters and fish, a diversity of productions, at all times commanding remunerative prices, we see no reason why northern Florida should not become the home of thou-sands who toil for six months to provide themselves with the means to eke out a miserable existence during the other six.
The figures quoted can be received as authentic, for they have been obtained from the statistical department of the government. Although correct, they are calculated to mislead the reader as regards American market values, for they are based upon customs returns, and simply give values at points of production. To the prime cost must be added commissions, freights, insurance, duties, profits of importers, losses on perishable articles, which materially increase values, and which would add to the profitableness of home products.
As but little is known of northern Florida, we propose, in a future article, to briefly refer to its climatology, health and natural productions.