Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes / Wisconsin Farmers' Institutes : a hand-book of agriculture
Bulletin No. 11 (1897)
Hatch, A. L.
Apple culture as a business, pp. 52-55 PDF (1.0 MB)
WISCO1MT PAkt Rs mINSgrITUt. we expect trees to thrive under roredt trees forty feet high, or crowded with two others of their own kind that at twenty years will have a spread of top twenty -to twenty-five feet across. If you want a good orchard let each tree have 900 square feet of room. On trees so situated I have had from three to five barrels of splendid ap- ples per tree this last season, while some crowded trees have failed to produce a half barrel per tree of good apples for the last five years. The young orchardist may plant closely, but the old orchardist always gives more room. Will it Pay? Yes. Although my orchard is very far from being a business orchard such as I would now plant, It has always been a paying business upon my farm. How have I made it so? Even this last season of hard times, overproduction, and low prices, it paid me several hundred dollars clear money, and now It is established I cannot see how It can possibly bank- rupt me as the principal expense about it is harvesting. Surely no man ever was bankrupted in Wiscon- sin by the cost of merely harvesting a good crop. To make It pay I have always tried to grow good crops and one thing that has greatly assisted me in that is judicious pruning. By doing that in the spring before the sap starts I thin the coming crop and secure a vigor that Is necessary to each tree to help it grow good apples. Where I cannot cultivate this has been a great help. Of course I spray and fight insects, but I go very slow in the use of animal manures, always preferring wood ashes as a top dress- ing. Although I am not favorably situated for shipping, I have for many years found profitable sales in the great city markets of Chicago, Mil- waukee, St. Paul and Minneapolis. This last year all our shipments were to Minnesota. Co-operauon with my neighnors, especially this last season, has helped me very much. By joining together we were able to secure our apple barrels at five cents better prices than heretofore, for each barreL On the 2,500 barrels we all used, this amounted to $126. Then we shipped only in car loads and made another saving to us all of about $600 above what it would have cost if we had shipped In less than carloads. In this way we saved on those two items over $700, of which my share was $300. In other words, -on the eleven carloads shipped for myself and neighbors, my neighbors were worth $300 to me, and I was worth $400 to them on account of this co- operation. But we did not ship all our apples. We picked, stored, cured, sorted and packed nicely a good many barrels, including our Snow apples, and others that were good keepers, and sold them at home during the last of Oc- tober, at better prices than outside apples brought, and that, too, with good satisfaction to our customers. A Few Words About Vareties. Of over eighty varieties of Russian apples, and twenty-five or more American apples grown by me in the last twenty-five years, there are many paying kinds that can be safely planted In the business orchard. One of my favorites is the McMahan, not only on account of its superior hard- iness, standing at the very front in that respect, but because it makes a large, strong tree in the orchard not easily broken by its loads of fruit, in- deed it Is very near a model for strength and stoutness. It is a splen- did apple in the market and brings good prices. The Lubsk Queen is so beautiful that It has always sold for about double that of any other apple of Its season. Last summer some sent to Minneapolis sold for $4.50 per bar- rel. In one car of 170 barrels there were ten barrels of them and thq' a '' -X"- '% rw'.. t' . __ __ - - - -
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