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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)


Page 54


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'
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