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taking the State Society's premium. One man had fifty acres of clower in the very midst of the scruboak barrens, as fine clover as ever grew. the figures of a thirty-acre farm, which gave a profit for the year of $9,300. There were ten acres in cucumbers. Another farmer raised 4,000 bushels of potatoes, which he sold for $7,000.
A member of the Club having asserted that "it was impossible for any poor man to occupy such land, because he could not improve it," another said in reply :
“ The Long Island lands were no poorer than those along the Camden and Amboy Railroad, which have been made the garden spot of New Jersey, and made so by the labor of poor men. He deprecated this continual attack upon Long Island, this constantly telling poor men not to go to that poverty-stricken region to starve. It was this oftrepeated assertion that the lands are barren which keeps them so; it is not because they are so, for it has been proved by the most incontestable evidence that these plains, or barrens, as they are called, can be profitably cultivated. He thought it would prove a great blessing to a great many poor men if they should go out upon the island and cultiFate it like a garden. It is no use to talk about capitalists undertaking the work of renovation, if they have got to buy the land and spend a hundred dollars an acre to improve it before they begin to realize a profit. Such men of money are much more likely to spend it in Wall street speculations. For the improvement of Long Island we must look to the laborers, the hard-working poor men, such as the gentleman, in his old-fogy argument, would discourage from the attempt to better their condition.”
Another member related an interesting anecdote
of one of his acquaintances, who proved, in the most practical manner, that a poor man could settle upon these so-called poor Long Island lands, and make a good support for his family, and gain property at the same time. He thought it a disgrace to the country and the age we live in to say that these lands were incapable of improvement, except by an expenditure of money so far beyond the reach of all ordinary cultivators that none would be found to undertake the work of improvement.
How some of this land within a few miles of New York is used, and what a variety of products it is capable of yielding, is related in the following lively article from the Tribune for July, 1858:
"Long Island is to New York city just what is, or should be, the little inclosure picketed in at the back of every farm-house-the garden-spot furnishing a great abundance of fruits and fresh vegetables to the residents of the mansion in front. Unfortunately, the simile holds good in several respects, for this great garden spot is, like a great many kitchen gardens, run to weeds and waste for lack of care and cultivation. Like the garden divided off in plats, parterres and little nooks, it shows one of lovely flowers and another of weeds-a third is filled with choice fruit, and the next is a nest of wild vines, crabs and brambles a fourth is waving corn, growing in all the luxuriance of the wonderful soil, while right alongside is a spot that only affords a scant pasture to a stray cow. Instead of being one great garden, unsurpassed by all the world, it is a sad evidence of what neglect and careless cultivation can do to
such a spot.
“ In the course of our ramble we became satisfied that the soil is capable of furnishing this great city with all its
food except, perhaps, the great staples of the west, which alone bear transportation. At Ravenswood we looked into a garden where raspberries are grown by the acre—four or five acres, we should say, in a plat—not for fruit, but to sell the plants to others, at $70 or $80 a thousand, the demand being greater than the owner could supply. Within the same inclosure is an acre or two of rhubarb, which, grown as a crop on several farms on Long Island, yields $500 an acre.
“ There are also a great number of sample vines started as stocks for cutting, and to show what is the quality of the fruit of those two new and very superior grapes, the Delaware and Rebecca. The cuttings are all started in thumb pots, in forcing-houses in the winter, and as they make roots, successively removed into larger and larger pots, until there is a mass of fibrous roots filling a gallon pot, which gives a rapid growth to the vine when set out, which buyers greatly prefer to the slower growth obtained from cuttings set in the open ground. The owner is profitably working land that is worth at least $1,000 an acre for building lots.
· Next to his grounds we visited those of a grower of the new cherry currant. But, excellent as that is, he is not satisfied without an attempt to get a better one, and so he has 2,000 seedlings a year old, grown from seeds of the very largest of the fine ones at present grown. Of these, 2,000 plants were grown with much labor, requiring the care and attention of the planter for three years before he can obtain and prove the fruit. He may be rewarded with one choice new seedling, and cast the other nineteen hundred and ninety-nine into the fire, or he may not get even that single one. It is a great labor to grow seedlings unti one is obtained better than the original, yet some one must persevere in such labor, or we should never have the choice
fruits we now enjoy—such as Hovey's, Hooker's, Longworth's, McAvoy's, Peabody's, Burr's, Wilson's, and other new strawberries; Brinkle's raspberry, Houghton's gooseberry, Lawton's blackberry, and an almost endless list of apples, pears, plums, cherries, and other choice fruits and plants, that somebody has had the patience and perseverance to grow from the seed of old sorts.
Jumping from Ravenswood—that village of beautiful residences on the bank of the East River, opposite the Isle of Penitence—to East Brooklyn, we shall see as we ride out Division avenue, alias Broadway, a considerable number of small gardens and cultivated spots; but most of the land lies waste and useless to the thousands of starving laborers that throng the streets in pursuit of employment. Not that they are unwilling to work, or the owners of the land unwilling that it should be cultivated, but because the absurd practice prevails of letting cows, horses, hogs, goats, geese, ducks and fowls run at large, pirating their living upon the unfenced lands, and frequently breaking into inclosures. Thus no one can plant a little patch of garden vegetables, which in some cases would save the family from begging or being a public charge. And it is almost an annual charge to fence in a lot, since the material will be stolen for winter fuel, unless closely watched. And so a wide breadth of rich soil, extending as far out as the land has been cursed by city lot surveyors, is a worthless waste, with only here and there a rich green spot, to show us it is not by nature a barren.
“One of these green spots we notice on our left hand, some three miles from Peck Slip Ferry, is a pear nursery, where more than ten thousand trees were in bloom last spring. The most of the trees are grafted upon quince stocks, and are growing vigorously in a clayey loam soil, deeply prepared and highly manured. The trees grown for fruiting are some of them trained to branch three to five stems from the ground, and others one stem, with branches only a few inches from the surface, and top of pyramidal shape a few feet high. Between all these trees plants of Hovey's seedling strawberries are set, and one spot of wonderfully small dimensions, for such a yield, was pointed out, from which forty quarts were picked one evening, which sold readily for forty cents a quart. We should say an acre at the same rate would produce a thousand dollars.
“Between the rows of nursery trees one or more rows of cabbages are grown, by which a clean and continual cultivation is insured to the trees, and a summer crop sufficient to pay for all the labor, leaving the money for trees sold as profit-less the first cost. All of the quince stocks, and many of the pears ready grafted in them, are imported from France. One bill of freight covered 20,000 trees. Who buys all the trees annually imported, or grafted, and cultivated here, we cannot say; but the proprietor assured us that he had constantly upon his book orders ahead of his ability to fill, not being willing to send out any but wellrooted trees.
“Now, all this production from a waste spot has come without premeditation; the proprietor, while engaged in other business, built a house here for his family residence, and could not bear to see all around him a desert of waste; and so he began, first for his own use, to plant pear-trees, and finding his neighbors wanted them, he enlarged his production, until from an amateur he has become a nurseryman, and has made an oasis in the middle of the desert of unoccupied, unfenced city lots, where whole farms have been turned out to common grazing-ground for wandering
“By his side, a man has fenced in with wire several of