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.
Greeley will yet be a success, I believe, although I am afraid too many are too poor to be able to hang on. The climate is more windy and uncongenial in winter than most are willing to admit, yet grain raising is a success, and I see nothing to prevent successful irrigation. The location is well chosen, the best, in fact, in Northern Colorado, and they have the advantage of good fuel close at hand at reasonable prices. Denver is too near to prevent it from attaining any commercial importance, and it must remain, as it should be, dependent entirely upon the success of agricultural pursuits. There have been a number of mistakes made, such as beginners and inexperienced persons would naturally make, especially in wrong irrigation, but experience is a good teacher, and the citizens are rapidly learning to use their facilities rightly. Another year will place this settlement in a much more favorable light than at any time in the past. Gardening has been the principal occupation since the foundation of the colony. Nearly all the five-acre village farms have been devoted to garden vegetables; and, with uniform success, everything but corn grows there, and fruits nicely.
Melons, cabbages, potatoes, and all of like character for kitchen use are sufficiently tested beyond a doubt of their success. Wherever there has been a system of well-laid ditches for irrigating purposes there has been no failure. Strawberry plants, where well watered, have done well. In several nurseries we saw a most gratifying growth of apple trees, both from the graft and also plants two years old.
Mr. Cooper, formerly of the Tribune office, New York, who is now town clerk of the place, said to us that he had seen in Denver, raised on soil not BO well watered, 54 potatoes weighing 59½ pounds, turnips 22 pounds apiece, cabbages weighing 60 pounds, and barley reproducing 110 pounds from one pound of seed. The average produce of potatoes is 400 to 500 bushels per acre, and wheat 30 to 40 bushels. Of raspberries, the Doolittle is best. Fruit trees had undergone different experiences with various individuals. With one man they had proved a total loss; while another had lost nothing. The winds there are so cold and dry in winter and early spring that they often prove a serious injury unless the trees are protected. Where they had been protected against the rays of the sun from the south they had uniformly been saved. At Denver, the Catawba grape is uninjured, and even some of the foreign varieties have been successfully grown in the open air. One cultivator in Greeley has great faith in grapes, and has planted 2,000 vines - 1,000 Concord, 500 Eumelan, and 500 Salem. The selection is very good. Although there is much uncertainty about standard fruits, yet there is no question that all garden vegetables and grains, except corn, are perfectly adapted to the climate.
Wheat is admirable in production, averaging 30 to 40 bushels per acre. The soil is rotten granite, washed from the mountains, full of potash and mineral matters, and when irrigated will yield the most astonishing crops. H. T. W.