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the valleys from seed scattered in harvesting? It is not unusual to have two good volunteer crops in succession, in as many years. Garden vegetables seed themselves in the same way.
By a curious arrangement, the seeds which are scattered on the ground are often secured most effectually. A large portion of the valley surface is composed of adobe soil; and as soon as the dry weather comes this soil begins to crack in all directions, and when the seed ripens and falls, it is preserved, in these natural receptacles, from the depredations of birds, squirrels and other animals.
The preservation of the pasture by drying, and the shortness of winter and consequent early production of new pasture, have tempted farmers to make little or no provision for their stock, such as is necessary in the same latitude elsewhere. There is a want in the country of barns, and of the means of housing and foddering. When there comes a severe winter, with cold rains and a long suspension of the growth of pasture, the effects are disastrous. Every such season proves fatal to vast numbers of cattle, the mere loss of which should be esteemed of less importance than the torture inflicted on them by cold and starvation. The humane farmer should not trust to the chances of a mild winter. i
HEALTH, DOMESTIC ECONOMY, etc.
An inhabitant of New England, or Canada, coming to California, wears nearly as warm clothing in the month of July in San Francisco as he wore in January in his old home. Even then he shivers with the sea breeze, and sometimes dons an overcoat before sunset. No one thinks of casting off his flannel, or wearing a lighter coat on account of the approach of summer. With the ladies, however, the case is different. The occasional warm mornings of summer allow the exhibition of summer fashions, without prohibiting cloaks and furs. At night it is otherwise, the temperature requiring the use of blankets. Even in the interior, with the thermometer at 100° at noonday, blankets are almost everywhere required before morning. There is no climate in the world in which one sleeps so comfortably all the year round; and it is questionable if there is any other country in the temperate latitudes where people devote so much time to sleep.
The atmosphere is mostly dry, even during the summer mists; vapor never condensing on the walls, nor indicating its presence within doors in any other perceptible manner.
In its relations to the physical development of animals, including man, the climate of California appears to be propitious. Laborers will toil in the extreme heat, in the interior, and preserve their health and vigor in a remarkable degree. This is partly due to the dryness of the air, which promotes the rapid evaporation of sweat, and partly to the coolness of the nights, which favors rest and recuperation. The climate is remarkably adverse to epidemic diseases. The malignant cholera made a visitation in 1850, but was scarcely felt elsewhere than at Sacramento, where a combination of the most unfavorable circumstances gave it destructive power. Passengers have frequently arrived since that time, after traversing regions where the disease was raging, without introducing it. With the exception just noted, it might be said that no epidemic has prevailed in California since its settlement by Americans. Every summer an influenza prevails with greater or less force, in the bay climate, and in several instances it has extended along the coast into the neighboring region. Many of the interior valleys are subject to malarious fevers, but not generally of a severe type. The various forms of disease which prevail elsewhere are found here, but they present no peculiarities worthy of comment. Insanity, and diseases of the heart and blood vessels, are frequent, but this is due rather to moral and physical causes than to climatic influence.
The relation of the climate to pulmonary affections presents its most important aspect. Many persons threatened with lung disease, or but slightly affected by it, have regained their health completely by immigration. But the benefit is to be ascribed to the sea voyage, and to circumstances incident to change of residence, more than to the curative effect of the climate of the Pacific coast. To individuals in other countries suffering with tubercular disease in its established stages, this country offers no valid prospect of benefit. Consumption is developed in California as it is in most other portions of the temperate zone. The chilly winds of the ocean climate in summer, whilst they will, in many cases, brace the system against debility, and enable it to resist the invasion of disease, depress the vital forces in other cases beneath the power of resistance. On the other hand, the extreme heat of the interior leads to the same injurious results by its exhausting operation. But there is a wide range of climate between the two extremes, more favorable than any other on the Pacific slope to pulmonary patients, and much more favorable, it may be added, than the climate of the Atlantic States, either in summer or winter. The same may be said of the southern section of the State in general. The winter of California everywhere exhibits great uniformity in its relation to pulmonary invalids, and is decidedly superior to the corresponding season on the Atlantic slope.
Aobictltcee. Preliminary Observations. The Cereals: Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, etc. Grasses: Alfalfa, Clover, etc. Cotton—Flax—The Sugar Beet—Melon Sugar—HopsTobacco—Mustard Seed—The Amole, or Soap Plant—The Tea Plant. Fruits and Nuts: Apples — Pears—Peaches — Plums—Cherries—Oranges— Lemons—Limes—Bananas— Olives—Almonds—Chestnuts, etc. Berries: Strawberries —Raspberries—Blackberries. Dried Fruits: Raisins—Currants—Prunes—Figs, etc. Pickles, Preserved Fruits and Vegetables: Orange Marmalade—Quince Jelly—Onions, etc. Potatoes—Large Growths. Dairy Products: Butter—Cheese. Cattle and Horses—Sheep and Wool—Hogs—Bees and Honey—Insects. Wood Planting : Transplanting Trees—The Sirocco. Agricultural Implements : Steam Ploughs—The California Land Dresser. Irrigation—Under Draining—Famine Years—Late rains —The Farmer's Troubles in California—Hints to Emigrants—Contrasts—Advantages—The Chinese in California—Farm Labor—Harmony among Producers. Yisicin/ruBE. Grapes—Wine—Brandy—Wine Merchants, etc. Silk screen. Mulberry Trees—Cocoons—Diseases of Silk Worms, etc.
Elsewhere in this work will be found general statements pertaining to the agricultural productions of each county in the State. One of the purposes of this chapter, is to present to inquirers abroad a clear comprehension of what a farmer in the Atlantic States, or in Europe, would desire to know should he contemplate emigrating to California. In endeavoring to do this, we have aimed to answer every question this class of inquirers would be likely to ask, not omitting to mention the disadvantages that exist, so that having the whole subject fairly presented to him he can act intelligently in the premises.
Except in treating of the dairy business, which requires peculiar conditions of climate and situation, we have not directed much attention to localities—for the area is very large from which to choose; and, besides, that is done elsewhere in this volume, where also will be found descriptions of the various soils, and quotations of prices. There is, however, no standard quotation anywhere except around towns, and there it may so change in a year as to mislead. In general terms, land is very rich and very cheap. Improved farms can always be bought of persons ready for a change at moderate prices. It may, also, be said that the trials and discomforts of the first year of emigrant life are less by sixty per cent. than in the western Atlantic States, owing to peculiarities hereafter explained.
The climate of California is so mild in winter, which is in fact the season of verdure, that very little feed or shelter is provided. Barns are almost unknown. Some degree of shelter would, however, prove beneficial to animals in long protracted rains. By February spring comes ; ploughing begins in November, if, as is usual, the rain fall suffices to soften the ground; sowing following immediately after, except on lands subject to be flooded—but grain can be sown at any time during the winter months. The best crops are grown when the rains of March and April are sufficient to carry the growth to maturity in June or July, which is the harvest time. When these are deficient, early seeding fares the best. This system gives more pleasant and profitable winter occupation than in the Atlantic States. It is, however, in the time of harvest that the farmer finds his chief advantage ; his crops are gathered without a rain fall to injure them, or to cause a day to be lost.
Wheat—The varieties of wheat chiefly raised are Chilean and Australian. Grain-cutters are in universal use. Threshing is all done by machinery on the field, and grain is sacked on the spot, where it may lie safe from injury, needing no shelter, till October. It is allowed to get fully ripe, and is so entirely cured that it never sweats in the ship's hold, however long the voyage; nor does this entire ripeness cause much loss of grain by falling to the ground in handling. It is a peculiarity of all seeds here, that the containing capsules hold them fast till the first rain relaxes their fibres and allows them to drop. On this account harvesting need not be hurried. A field of wheat may stand a month, or even two, after being fully ripe, and lose but little by its late cutting. This gives the farmer a longer time to dispose of his crop without immediately incurring the expenses attending carriage and storage.
A farmer who owns his land can always arrange for money advances, either to cover his first outlays for a crop, or to hold his grain for a market, if he be not too remote from shipping points. The great crop is wheat; nearly half the land under culture in the State, being devoted to it. It is the money-making crop; therefore, we give leading particulars in regard to it.
regarding the certainty of a market for wheat at fair paying rates, we give the aspect of the future, as it appears at this time. California produced in 1867 about fifteen millions bushels of this cereal, of which nearly eight millions were exported. The average market price during that year was $2 per one hundred pounds, the ruling rates in the early part of 1868 having been $2.60 per one hundred pounds. Our exports of flour during the year 1867 amounted to 520,000 barrels.
In no country can wheat be raised to greater profit even at the high price of farm labor, say forty dollars a month and board. Eighty cents a bushel, in favorable seasons and localities, pays the farmer, since one seeding can be made to produce two crops; the second being termed a volunteer crop, and coming from the seed that falls in harvesting the first. The yield is somewhat less, but the profit is of course much larger, as there is no expense for ploughing and seeding. The California farmer is at no expense for manure; he burns the straw! This looks like wasteful and destructive exhaustion of the soil. In some places it is being seriously felt, and in time it must work universal impoverishment of the land. But there is a large extent of land which has been in grain for fifteen years, and yet produces twenty to twenty-five bushels to the acre, as at first. There are well authenticated cases of fields situated in the San Joaquin valley, that have been cultivated to grain for sixteen consecutive years without diminution of the production, except one year, when the crops were a total failure, from the absence of the usual rains. Regarding the quality of California wheat, it may be mentioned that it commands extra prices in England and France, especially on account of its faculty of appropriating much more water in the baking process than other flour, and thus giving greater weight of bread. Our principal market for wheat is England; next, New York, and other domestic ports. Freights to New York and Europe, during the year 1867, ruled at about $15 per ton. Flour is sent to New York, by steamer via Panama, for $2 per barrel, considerable being shipped by that route. Shipments to Mexico and Central America are increasing, as well as to various other parts of the world.
Oats—This grain, of which comparatively little was at first cultivated in the State, barley being preferred because of its greater cheapness for horse feed, has for the past few years been growing in favor, and is every year being more extensively planted. The total product of the State for 1867 reached about 2,000,000 bushels, the average yield having been about thirty bushels to the acre. The quantity received in San Francisco for the year from the interior was 282,000 sacks of one hundred pounds each. Very little was exported, nearly the whole being