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)
WINTEB MEETING. 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 179
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