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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year 1910
Volume XL, Part II (1910)

Toland, F. J.
Washington and Oregon vs. Wisconsin,   pp. 178-187 PDF (2.2 MB)

Page 179

At Spokane I found numerous propositions that from a specu-
lative standpoint were good, but I did not find anything in ex-
istence nor prospective that inclined me to believe that apples
could be grown successfully or profitably in the vicinity of Spo-
kane, Wash. The soil is varied, including pure unadulterated
sand, coarse gravel with a sandy loam, I should say from 25 to
40 per cent gravel with a very liberal top-dressing of what we
boys used to call clay, clay loam, and in some of the valleys,
muck. I decided that the land would be good, some of it, for
truck gardening and small fruits, but it would require consider-
able fertilizer and in loose soil the fertilizer would undoubtedly
leach through and give no permanent benefits. As to the climate,
the regular climate is subject to very severe and sudden changes,
and the local conditions are such that on almost every quarter
section that I came to I found land that was liable to frost, late
and early, and land that would be caught by frost any old time
during the growing season. The irrigation schemes that I saw
consisted of wells with comparatively cheap pumping plants
which were supposed to become the property of Eastern people
when they purchased all the tract. I figured that they would
prove very expensive, very uncertain, and it seemed that the
water was too cold to secure the best results from irrigation.
The commercial orchards exist more in the minds of the adver-
tising companies than in reality. I saw a few orchards that the
owners called commercial orchards. They were on the prairies
and were not irrigated. Not one of those men that I met told
me that he had ever made any large amount of money from
raising apples at Spokane.
From Spokane I went to Pasco. If you are interested in
Western land, keep your eye on Pasco, but be sure to keep your
eye open on the real estate man at Pasco. There is nothing at
Pasco very interesting to the fruit man. There is one farm
about two miles from Pasco that is irrigated from the Columbia
river, and I understand has been very profitable. I did not
have any trouble to find a place to put money; they are looking
for it, they meet you at the train and they follow you to the
train when you are leaving if they have not got your money,-
in that case it is different. It may be a good thing, I think it
will be after a while when they get water, but to secure water for
irrigation or for the city even, they will have to raise it more

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