CITRUS and TROPICAL
Miami Chamber of Commerce
Dade County, Florida, has an area of 770,000
acres, of which less than 15,000 are under culti-
vation, according to the official agricultural cen-
sus for the year 1916. Thus it will be seen that
scarcely an impression has been made in the
.possibilities of this section. While much of these
uncultivated lands are in the Everglades await-
ing the completion of the state's drainage sys-
tem for development, there are large tracts of
pine timbered and other land still unused. Com-
paratively small areas of the Everglades are
already drained by the Miami, Snapper Creek
and Snake Creek Canals and by private con-
Remarkable Growth in Valuation.
The assessed valuation of the county prop-
erty, real, personal and corporations, for 1916 is
i$11,502,240 on a basis of one-third of the real
value ($34,506,720). In 1900 the valuation was
$1,582,227. In 1910 it was $4,336,569. Which
is a striking illustration of the rapid growth of
Best Roads in the United States.
Over 400 miles of rock surfaced roads, a large
percentage of which is asphaltic oil coated, radi-
ate from Miami to every developed portion of
Dade County. Miami is the terminus of more
national highways than any other city in -he
world and new roads are being constructed year-
ly, keeping abreast of the settler. This insures
easy marketing of crops, which is a saving of
time and money, consequently greater profits to
Important Shipping Points.
All of the towns in Dade County, from Ojus
at the north boundary, to Florida City in the
south, where the line turns to the keys to be-
come the famous Over-Sea railroad, are served
by the Florida East Coast Railway. Important
shipping points are Ojus, Fulford, Little River,
Lemon City, Miami, Cocoanut Grove, Larkins,
Benson, Perrine, Peters, Princeton, Goulds, Nar-
anja, Homestead and Florida City.
Miami the Magic City.
Miami, the county seat, is the largest and
most important city in the county. It had a pop-
ulation of 21,060 in October, 1915, and 26,000 in
October, 1916. Its streets are paved, sanitary
conditions perfect, its buildings modern and its
educational and cultural facilities are of the
best. Six banks in the city have a capitalization
of $525,000 and deposits of more than $8,000,000,
while its public buildings, including schools have
cost $556,000. The building record for 1916 is
close to $2,000,000. The city and federal govern-
ment are now spending $1,000,000 on docks and
deep water channel.
Here the traveler finds plenty of amusement,
including motoring, yachting, fishing, golf, ten-
nls, hunting, etc., and surf bathing, which may
be enjoyed every day in the year, while for the
resident also these provide easily obtained and
The Climate is Unexcelled.
Situated at the extreme southern end of the
peninsula of Florida, Dade County is in the sub-
tropical zone, but it comes under the beneficent
influence of the Gulf Stream and the trade
winds, which equalize the temperature so that
the average mean temperature is 74.5 degrees
with an absolute maximum of 96 degrees and
an absolute minimum 6f 29 degrees, the latter
the highest absolute minimum of any place on
the mainland in the United States, according
to the government weather bureau at Miami.
The normal yearly rainfall is 65.50 inches.
Dade County Soils.
Along the east coast extends a stretch of
pine land from five to ten miles wide, on an
oolitic limestone base, a soft, porous rock for-
mation peculiar to this section of the United
States. The soil is sandy and rocky. At the
southern end of the county it is mixed with
reddish clay and is referred to as red land.
On the west the pine land stops, as a rule,
directly on the edge of the Everglades or muck
prairies-lands on which the organic matter
from the decay of vegetation has accumulated to
some depth, forming a rich, black soil covered
with a rank growth of grasses; but in some in-
stances the transition from pine to muck is less
abrupt and they are separated by sandy loam
Between the pine land and the ocean beach,
particularly in the southern end of the county
and occasionally elsewhere, are the marl prai-
ries. These are lowlands with a soil of decom-
posed limestone, clay and sand on which the
grasses and weeds grow luxuriantly.
Stretches of clear sand are also to be found,
and the entire district is dotted with hammocks,
the name applied to small areas of land covered
with a thick growth of hardwood trees, palmet-
tos and other vegetation where the accumulation
of leaves has changed the soil into a rich humus.
It is generally conceded that the pine and
hammock lands are best for citrus fruits, the
sand for pineapples, the marl for winter vege-
tables and forage crops and the muck and sandy
loam for general farming, but conditions are
such that no rule can be made. Some splendid
groves have been developed on muck and marl
and many fine vegetable crops have been grown
on pine land.
Variety of Industry.
In this favored district, therefore, the farmer
may turn to whatever phase of industry suits
him best. He may indulge exclusively in fruit
growing. He may become a chicken fancier
,r go in for stock raising or trucking.
During the winter the table may be supplied
.vith vegetables grown among the fruit trees,
while in summer this land may produce fodder
for the stock. Poultry will keep the insects
down and add much to the upkeep of the place
and each phase of farm life will dove-tail into
the other to make a profitable whole, no idle
seasons and a steady income.
As has been the case in every other section
of the United States, diversity of crops and the
maintenance of live stock has been found to be
the solution of many of the South Florida far-
It is the purpose of this booklet to present,
concisely and accurately, facts concerning con-
ditions here, vouched for by men of experience.
The figures may be taken as a fair average,
always taking normal conditions into considera-
tion. An attempt has been made to answer the
logical questions of the seeker for the truth in
regard to Dade County's products.
If there is one fruit on which Dade County
has a right to base its claim for fame, it is the
grapefruit or pomelo, now generally acknowl-
edged as the proper complement to the break-
fast of discriminating folk. Coming into mar-
ketable condition a month ahead of any other
section of Florida, possessing a richness and
sweetness of flavor which can not be excelled
and grown on trees which have been carefully
inspected and pronounced free from disease by
representatives of the state plant board, the fruit
is produced under ideal conditions.
As has been stated above, some fine trees have
been grown on muck and marl soil, but by far
the bulk of the citrus groves are grown on the
high, rocky pine land where there is excellent
drainage with unfailing supplies of water from
six to Light feet below the surface,
Location with reference to the rock-surfaced
roads and the shipping station determines the
price of land suitable for this crop, which ranges
in cost from $30.00 to $200.00 per acre.
Methods of clearing the land and planting
the trees vary. Some groves have been set
out in pine land from which the trees have been
merely cut and the underbrush cleared sufficient-
ly to permit the tree holes to be blasted out.
Other growers insist that the stumps be pulled,
the surface rock partly removed and the tree
holes dug; while others believe that thorough
clearing of all growth and rock is essential to
the highest degree of success. From $40 to $100
per acre must be figured as the cost of clearing
and preparing the land for planting.
Grapefruit may be budded on to grapefruit,
wild orange or rough lemon stock, with pref-
erence for the letters as possessing the greatest
vitality with most rapid growth and earliest
bearing qualities. The trees are usually set 25
feet apart, or 68 to the acre. The trees cost 35
to 60 cents each, according to the age of the bud,
one to two year old buds being used.
Careful pruning, watering in seasons of
drouth and spraying are necessary. Those who
have worked among grapefruit trees for years
will agree that the response to the personal care
and touch is almost uncanny.
One of the most important features in grow-
ing grapefruit is the fertilization. During the
first year each tree is given approximately one-
half pound of commercial fertilizer every six
weeks; the second year two pounds are given
every two months; the third year, four to five
pounds every three months, and the fifth year,
six to ten pounds every three months. The trees
begin to bear a little in the fourth year and in
the fifth should produce around 100 boxes to the
acre. When the sixth year is reached, from
200 to 400 boxes should be the harvest and the
grove should almost have paid for itself. From
that time on the income is steady with an av-
erage price of from $1.50 to $3.00 per box, f. o.
b. cars. Many growers contract the fruit on the
trees, content to get $1.00 to $2.00 a box and
avoid the expense and worry of shipping. An
established, bearing grove is generally consid-
ered worth $1,000 an acre and a bearing tree has
been officially estimated as worth $50.
A conservative estimate of the total cost of
a grapefruit grove during the first five years is
from $430 to $470 per acre. If the land is well
cleared, vegetables or pineapples may be grown
among the young trees and this method, fol-
lowed for the first four years not only produces
immediate income from the land, but also very
materially increases the growth, production and
all around success of the grove; or a valuable
forage crop of velvet beans, cow peas, sweet po-
tatoes or pumpkins may be grown for stock.
A fruit killing frost has never been known
in Dade County and this fact is one of the most
important elements to consider in selecting a lo-
cation for a grapefruit grove. Even the most
tender new growth and the most susceptible
bloom has never been injured in any degree by
frost, during seventeen years experience here.
Although oranges were not so largely planted
as grapefruit in the earlier development of our
citrus industry, they are now being extensively
planted in the southern half of Dade County
in the famous Redland fruit belt, as well as in
various other localities.
Orange trees being less vigorous than grape-
fruit require more fertile soil for maximum re-
sults, and when grown on suitable land, our
groves are very productive and highly profitable.
Immunity from killing frost is particularly
favorable to our Valencia Late Oranges and
King Tangerines, as with no frost to injure this
late fruit, it hangs on trees in perfect condition
until late spring, when fruit is scarce and high
Parson Brown and Pineapple are leading
early oranges, while tangerines mature early
enough for Thanksgiving market and are grown
to perfection on our better grades of soil.
The South Florida Keys are peculiarly adap-
ted to the cultivation of the lime, while attempts
to produce this fruit on the mainland have met
with indifferent success. There is some essen-
tial element in the soil, water or atmosphere on
the keys which seems to result in fruit of super-
ior quality and the right size for commerce.
Florida produces practically all of the limes
grown in the United States, #nd 84 per cent of
these are grown in Dade and Monroe counties
on the keys or islands which skirt the coast.
Limes resent too much cultivation. They
are planted in the primeval forest with only suf-
ficient clearing to enable the laborers to get
about. An average of 120 trees are set out to
The trees begin to bear in the third year
and an average yield is 100 barrels per acre
when in full bearing. Boats are used to bring
the limes to market, where they bring from $10
to $20 per barrel.
The key lime is superior to the lime grown
in the West Indies and Mexico and commands
a price of from $1.00 to $2.00 per barrel higher
than the latter in the market.
Pineapples require a well drained and thor-
oughly prepared soil. This soil may be sand,
sand and rock or sandy loam, but essential re-
quisites are good drainage and thorough prep-
aration. For many other crops, or for fruits,
the rock may be gradually cleared from the land,
but to grow pineapples successfully, all rock
must be taken out to within five or six inches
of the surface before the plants are put in the
ground. Suitable land for the pineapple indus-
try varies in cost according to location with ref-
erence to the shipping points and kind of soil.
It may be bought for from $30 to $200 an acre,
The cost of clearing, which ranges from $75 to
$150 per acre, will depend upon the amount of
growth or rock to be removed.
The Red Spanish variety Is most generally
grown in this state, but the Smooth Cayenne
and other larger varieties are also grown for a
more restricted demand. The smooth Cayenne
is the one grown so extensively in the Hawaian
Islands for canning purposes. The Red Span-
ish, however, has a more spicy flavor and could
be canned just as well, with the proper facilities
Of the varieties, the Red Spanish is the har-
dier and probably the least expensive to grow
after the first cost of planting. Its plants will
cost $5 a thousand, with from 10,000 to 12,000 re-
quired to the acre, while the Smooth Cayenne
plants cost $60 to $70 per 1,000 and are set out
at the rate of 8,000 to 10,000 per acre.
A good .grade of fertilizer must be used and
this must be determined by the character of the
soil. Government experiments have demonstra-
ted that pineapples grown on soil which natural-
ly seems absolutely lacking in all nutriment,
by the aid of commercial fertilizer scientifically
applied, are distinctly superior to those grown on
naturally rich soil. The United States Depart-
ment of Agriculture has issued a bulletin on
this subject and has given as an approximate
formula for pineapple fertilizer four per cent
ammonia, six per cent potash, and one per cent
"phosphoric acid, with restrictions as to the
sources of the three essential ingredients. Fer-
tilizer is applied four or five times in the first
eighteen months and after that two or three
times a year, using from one and one-half to
two tons per acre, at a cost of from $75 to $100.
Pineapples require close attention during the
first year. Weeds must be kept down and the
ground aerated by giving frequent shallow cul-
tivation, but after that there is little work in
the field except at the time of gathering the crop.
The first crop matures in about 22 months after
planting and a healthy, well kept field will con-
tinue to yield for eight or ten years. From 200
to 300 crates per acre is a good crop, and $1.50
per crate, f. o. b., is a fair price. The sale of
plants adds to the income from a field.
An economical way to grow pineapples is in
connection with a young avocado or citrus grove.
The plants may be set among the trees and
grown with slightly increased fertilizer or la-
bor. Before the grove is in bearing sufficiently
to be profitable, the pineapples have reached the
height of their productivity and may more than
pay for the expense of the grove .
The pineapple is among the most wholesome
as well as palatable of the many tropical fruits.
The juice, freshly expressed or conserved, makes
a delicious beverage and has long been recom-
mended by medical journals as an aid to diges-
Avocado culture is still one of the infant in-
dustries of this county, but judging from the
rapidity with which large tracts are being set
out to trees, it may soon rival the citrus fruit
business, and indeed even now the returns are
quicker and larger in proportion.
Well drained soil is necessary for the proper
growth of the avocado, for in wet seasons it is
liable to throw its fruit if there is too much
moisture in the ground about it, and as the tree
grows older it will not stand as much water as*
a citrus tree. The preparation of the soil and
the cost of this item are practically the same
as for citrus fruits. The first clearing need not
necessarily be thorough, but eventually all wild
vegetation should be eliminated. No mulch
should touch the tree, particularly the especially
injurious palmetto root.
Only budded trees on seedling stock are un-
der consideration, and of these the Trapp variety
is most generally grown, for it comes into bear-
ing in September and continues until late in De-
cember, with some fruit hanging on until Janu-
ary or even February. A Guatemalan variety
which bears from January to May is being ex-
perimented with and if satisfactory will give an
all-winter season for the fruit.
When the budded trees are from 12 to 18
inches high they are ready to be transplanted
from the nursery to the grove and this may be
done at any time of the year with the exception
of the period between December 20 and February
20, the dormant season. The average price of
the young trees is $1.00 each. They are set
out with a spacing of 20 by 35 feet. In planting,
each tree should be given one peck of Well rotted
dairy manure and an abundance of water. With-
in the first twelve months, 12 pounds of commer-
cial fertilizer should be applied and this should
be increased each year until at the age of 7 or
8 years, the tree gets 65 pounds during the
Avocadoes require more phosphoric acid than
other grove trees, averaging probably 11 per cent
during the year, and the source of the ammonia
in the fertilizer should be from rank organic
Budded Trapps will bear the first year, but
this should be discouraged-not by pinching off
the blossoms, but the young fruit as it forms. It
is wisest to wait until the trees are three years
old before permitting them to bear.
To bring a grove into bearing, or through the
third year, will cost an average of $500 per acre,
but the returns are quick, for in years past the
growers have averaged from $4.00 to $7.00 per
crate of three dozen fruit, f. o. b. shipping sta-
tion, throughout the season, with late fruit
bringing $18.00 or more per crate.
This industry is still too young to give ac-
curate figures as to the length of bearing life of
a tree. They are, however, very prolific and
The avocado is often referred to as the 'per-
fect fruit" because it contains the principal ele-
ments necessary to sustain life in such propor-
tions that it ranks with milk or eggs as food. It
is most generally found on the menus in north-
ern restaurants and hotels as "alligator pear
salad," and its fame as an unusual and delight-
ful fruit is spreading rapidly and the demand is
The avocado is not a pear, but belongs to the
laurel family and is, so far as known, the only
member of that family which bears fruit.
Papaya (Paw Paw)
The papaya is at once one of the most easily
grown, prolific and interesting of the tropical
fruits of Florida, and yet one of the least known.
While as a commercial proposition it has at-
tracted little serious attention, there seems to
be no reason why the papaya should not be a
good source of income, for little expense is at-
tached to growing this strange fruit and a dou-
ble return may be secured by selling the milk,
with its rich load of pepsin, for medicinal pur-
poses, and the fruit for food. As a remedy for
certain stomach disorders, the papaya is consid-
ered nature's own provision for man.
Papayas will grow on pine land with liberal
applications of fertilizer or on hammock and
muck soil with little or no artificial aid, provided
there is plenty of mulch and good drainage. The
trees are set out in May, eight feet apart both
ways with a male tree to every ten, but the seed
beds are planted in the nursery in January. By
the next January, one year from the original
planting, the trees should begin to bear, and for
an average period of two years will bear fruit
continuously, each tree producing from 25 to as
high as 200 fruit, with 75 as an average.
Three or four times during the ripening pro-
cess, the fruit is scored with a sharp knife and
the milk-like substance which oozes out is col-
lected, dried and sent away to be made into med-
icine. The government estimated this product to
be worth from $5 to $7 a pound. Seventy-five
pounds per acre is a large return.
Papayas bring three cents a pound at the
grove, or in the city one may buy them for from
fifteen to 25 cents each.
This fruit is often erroneously called the paw-
paw, but bears no resemblance to the northern
paw-paw. The fruit is borne on the trunk of
the tree, which grows straight up without
branches and is crowned at the top with a thick
cluster of long-stemmed leaves.
South Florida, and Dade County almost ex-
clusively, is the only portion of the United States
where fine varieties of mangoes may be grown.
This fact, coupled with the growing demand for
this most delicious of all fruits, makes the im-
portance of this industry obvious.
For years, the common seeding or turpentine
mangoes were the only ones known in this coun-
try, and while they were considered a delicacy
the presence of a great amount of fibre in the
fruit made them unpleasant to serve as food and
impossible to handle commercially. A few years
ago budded trees of improved varieties were
imported from India, the home of the mango,
and today there are in Dade County several
orchards of fine trees which are producing fruit
of exquisite flavor and so nearly fibreless that
the seed may be lifted out of the halved fruit
and the pulp eaten with a spoon. This fruit
will also ship well, but will always be an aris-
tocrat, however, because of the limited area of
The soil best suited for the cultivation of
the mango is a light sandy loam with a well
drained surface. The months of December, Jan-
uary and February are the most desirable time
for planting the young trees, which must be
transferred from the nursery to the orchard
within a few hours and given the best attention.
An average of 80 trees are planted to the acre.
The cost of budded Mulgoba or Haden mangoes,
the two varieties considered the best for com-
mercial purposes, is from 95 cents to $1.70
each, while other rare trees may be bought for
$1.60 to $2.50. Cultivation of the inferior seed-
ling mangoes is being discouraged as detrimen-
tal to the industry.
Vegetables may be grown among the young
trees until they come into bearing, which is
in three years from planting. Good trees yield
prolifically and the fruit, brings fancy prices,
The Mulgoba and Haden sell for from $1.00 to
$3.00 per dozen, f. o. b. Miami.
Strawberries in mid-winter are, in the north,
considered a luxury which only the extremely
rich may enjoy, but in Dade County, from De-
cember until May, home grown berries of splen-
did quality are to be found on the market at
an average price of 30 cents a box.
Soil suitable for growing strawberries is
limited in quantity, but there is enough of it in
the county to make the industry a profitable
one. Marl with a clay sub-soil, with the rock
from five to ten feet below the surface furnishes
the ideal land for the berries. During the sum-
mer this is planted to velvet beans which are
plowed under about the first of September, thus
putting the necessary nitrogen in the soil and
doing away with the necessity for commercial
fertilizer. Thorough pulverization is essential
and in fact incessant cultivation is one of the
secrets of success in this business.
Although some growers make their own seed
beds and grow their own plants, it is generally
conceded that the imported plants are better.
They cost $2.00 and $2.50 per 1,000. Almost
any variety grows well here. After September
15, the plants may be set out. The usual rule
is to make the rows one foot apart and the
plants six inches apart in the row. Some irri-
gation is good at this time, but it is the only
time water should be applied artificially.
Within six weeks the plants will bear and
for six months the picking will continue. Be-
cause of the long bearing season the fields are
replanted every year.
After Christmas, the berries are picked ev-
ery day, and from 25 to 200 boxes may be gath-
ered from an acre daily when the plants are
doing well. In the height of the season a fancy
price of 45 cents a box is often secured.
Strawberries love attention and the field
must be covered every week with the hand hoe
Henry C. Cowles, professor of botany, Uni-
versity of Chicago, says "that after spending
several months here and making a careful
study of the subject, I find that this is the only
locality in the United States where true trop-
ical vegetation is found."
This statement is especially exemplified in
the fruits grown here. The staple fruit crops
have been mentioned. Almost countless are
the other kinds of fruits which are gradually
becoming better known and liked.
Among the citrus fruits are the kumquat and
lemon, both of good quality.
Bananas yield abundantly and mature their
fruit easily in this climate, but the local mar-
ket consumes practically all of the crop and the
growing expenses are too heavy for competition
with Central American plantations. Guavas
are one of the largest local crops. The fruit does
not ship well and is consumed by local manufac-
turers of canned goods.
Among other fruits found here are the cit-
ron, pomegranate, sapodillo, Surinam cherry,
custard apple, Jamaica apple, loquat, Japanese
persimmon, grapes, carissa, monstera deliciosa,
egg fruit, rose apple, mammea apple, figs, Bar-
badoes cherry, dates, olives, chermoyas, Jack
fruit, cecropia, Buganot, Kaffir plum and sour
There are some coffee trees growing in the
county. Mulberries and gooseberries which
grow on trees are another novelty. Pecans and
peanuts have been successful on a small scale.
Methods of raising tomatoes are as varied as
the fish in the sea, and this is one of the most
difficult industries on which to give accurate
figures, for so many things enter into consid-
eration. Extreme wet weather or drouth will
affect the crop very quickly and the condition
of the market is so variable as to make it al-
most impossible to give statements as to what
profit the grower may expect. While the larg-
er portion of the tomato crop of Dade County is
grown on the marl prairies south of Miami,
where the frost rarely ever touches them, many
acres of sandy land have produced excellent
crops, and pine land where vegetables are often
grown among the citrus trees is considered by
some to produce a superior quality of tomato.
Like every other industry, sicess in this line
is attained by years of experie e and observa-
Seed beds are made in August and Septem-
ber and in October and November the early
crop is set out, although the planting may con-
tinue on into January. On the marl, furrows
fqr the plants are usually plowed in the raw
land, leaving the rank growth of grasses and
Vweeds to form a windbreak and support for the
heavily laden plants, although a few growers
prefer to clear the land, and some insist that
the plants do better planted in hills. On rocky
soil the clearing is done pretty thoroughly. The
grower may suit himself about purchasing his
plants or making his own seed bed.
Fertilizer cost varies with the kind used and
the amount applied-something which each
grower must determine for himself, although
an average cost of $75 per acre for the year is
a conservative figure. It may run as high as
$100. Labor costs about $25 per acre.
When the crop is made the cost of harvest-
ing and loading on the cars is from 35 cents to
45 cents per crate, averaging, with a normal
yield of 250 crates to the acre, $100 for this
item. While the selling price is indefinite, the
usual estimate made is from $1.00 to $1.50 per
According to the last agricultural census
taken by the state, tomatoes were the leading
crop in Dade County, with an acreage of 6,687
and valued at $1,811,785.
Beans rank next to tomatoes m importance
among the winter vegetables grown in Dade
County. For many years the crop has been a
staple one, for this section enjoys the distinc-
tion being the only one in the country where,
during the months of December, January, Feb-
ruary and March, the tender and succulent bean
is picked and sent to the markets of the north.
Sandy loam, or a loose muck, not too wet,
has proved, to be the most suitable soil for
growing beans. Such land may be purchased
for from $35 to 75 per acre. Either the loam or
muck will be found to be covered with native
grasses which spring up quickly during the
summer. This is mowed, allowed to dry and
then burned off. The land is plowed under and
thoroughly worked with a cutaway harrow with
a final treatment with a drag harrow to secure
the proper pulverization of the soil. This prep-
aration will cost from $8 to $10 per acre.
Planting begins October 1 and continues ev-
ery month until February 1, thus giving a con-
tinuous crop. Beans mature in six weeks. Wes-
tern trade demands the Black Valentine variety,
while for the eastern markets the Thousand-to-
One Refugee seems to meet the requirements.
Rows are laid off three feet apart. From
1200 to 1600 pounds of commercial fertilizer per
acre must be provided for the crop, and when the
rows are made half of this fertilizer is put in
them, carefully mixed with the soil and allowed
to stand for three or four days before the seeds
are plantel. When the plants are well leafed out,
or about half grown, the remainder of the ferti-
lizer is placed in little furrows on each side of
the plants and covered up well.
An average price for suitable fertilizer, tak-
ping into consideration the advance since the be-
ginning of the war, is $40 per ton, and about $30
worth is required for an acre. The cos for la-
bor in putting in this crop would avel e $10
An average conservative yield is 150 hampers
to the acre. Big crops of 300 hampers have been
harvested, but these are exceptional. Market
prices vary, but $2.00 a hamper may be taken as
a fair price.
Fertilizer and labor required to bring a crop
into bearing will average $50 per acre. Hampers
cost ten cents each by the carload, and to pick,,
pack and deliver costs forty cents a hamper,
bringing the total cost of the crop up to $90 an
acre pr more, not including the original cost of
Although, as stated, the sandy loam soil is
preferable for beans, marl land which is not in-
undated too much will.make good beans by using
about one and one-half tons of good barn-yard
manure to the acre in addition to the commercial
fertilizer, applying the manure in the furrows
Peppers and Eggplants
Peppers are the one vegetable crop which may
be produced in Dade County practically the year
around, and for that reason are especially satis-
factory to raise. Light sandy soil, found in the
pine land makes an excellent crop with the prop-
er care and with irrigation, the latter providing
immunity from drbuth and from the rare frosts.
The land must be carefully cleared and the loose
rock removed with a shovel plow. Excellent
crops, however, have been grown on the low prai-
About July 20, the seed beds are made and
six weeks later the plants are transferred to the
field at the rate of 8,000 per acre. As soon as
they 're set out commercial fertilizer is sprin-
kled over the top of the soil and raked in. This
process is repeated about every three weeks until
by the middle of February about four tons of fer-
tilizer have been used.
Pepper shipments begin the middle of No-
vember and continue until July. An average
crop is 750 half-barrel boxes to the acre, and this
yield may be secured at an average cost of $350
per acre, this figure including picking, packing
and hauling. With normal conditions, a net
profit of $1.00 per box should be realized.
Peppers are prone to be attacked by insects
and frequent sprayings with Bordeaux mix-
ture are necessary.
There is slight difference between the cul-
tivation of the egg plant and pepper, and the fig-
ures for one may be taken as a fair average for
the other. Egg plants are started in the seed
beds about the first of July and are set out six
weeks later, 4,000 to the acre. There is a slight
decrease in the cost of handling, making the egg
plant crop cost about $300 to the acre.
This crop is ready for shipment in November
and continues to bear until April, by which time
an average yield of 750 boxes to the acre should
have been harvested. Prices are about the same
as those given for peppers.
This is the only section of Florida shipping
these vegetables in the middle of winter.
One of the most profitable vegetable crops
grown in this district is the Irish potato. It is
distinctly a mid-winter product here and may
follow the summer and fall forage crops with
The stretches of sandy loam on the edge of
the Everglades are particularly well adapted
to the cultivation of the potato and here they
yield prolifically, while the quality is excellent,
the product of uniform size, smooth and bright.
This sandy loam soil may be purchased for
from $50 to $500 an acre. It is cultivated and
pLepared for the seed in much the same manner
a in any other locality, and to obtain best re-
sults much time must be spent in keeping down
weeds. This preparation costs from $75 to $125
an acre, including the clearing of the raw land,
which would be reduced after the first year if
other crops are grown during the summer.
Northern grown Red Bliss Triumph is the
seed most in favor and this is planted about
December 1. Digging begins about March 1.
About a week before the planting, 2,500 pounds
of fertilizer is applied per acre. This is placed
in the drills. It costs from $75 to $125.
With good care and the usual precautions to
keep the vines free from bugs and disease, the
yield should be from 150 to 300 hampers to the
acre, which average $2.00 per hamper.
Conservatively figured, the cost of produc-
ing an acre of Irish potatoes in this county is
$150.per acre, leaving an average net profit of
close to $200 an acre.
While celery has not been grown to any ex-
tent in Dade County, the small quantity which
has been marketed has been found to be of ex-
ceptionally fine quality. The expense of grow-
ing this crop has delayed the development of the
industry, but there is every reason to believe
that it can be grown here more cheaply than in
the old celery producing sections of the state, and
this with profit, provided the grower knows his
business. The celery business requires a spe-
Both muck and marl soils seem adapted to
the crop. It is a six months crop, beginning
with the latter part of July and continuing until
January, allowing time for a crop of late winter
vegetables or a good spring crop following.
To plant, fertilize, buy boarding and grow the
first year's crop will cost about $500 for one acre,
of which sum $300 is for the boarding. This
boarding, sufficient for one acre, will in reality
serve for four acres. After the first year, the cost
of growing should amount to about $200 per
A conservative estimate of a crop is 1,000
crates to the acre, which bring from $1.00 to
$2.00 per crate.
Accurate figures for Dade County's produc-
tion are unobtainable, owing to the limited
amount grown, but there is every reason to con-
sider it seriously in the coming industries of
Squash is probably the cheapest crop, in cost
of production, of any grown in Dade County. yet
its returns are more than satisfactory. In fact,
good money can be made from this crop, which
is scarcely able to fill the local demand.
Sand or marl, preferably the latter, should
be selected for the squash crop. The ground
should be mowed and cleaned, after which the
rows are made in the shape of two furrows
turned up together. In these furrows the seed
are placed in holes from three and one-half to
four feet apart, together with the fertilizer, which
consists of one ton of stable manure and one bag
of commercial fertilizer to the acre. When the
plants are almost ready to bloom, another appli-
cation of 800 pounds of commercial fertilizer
should be given and this should be repeated be-
fore the crop is taken off, making the total fer-
tilizer for an acre 1,700 pounds of commercial
and one ton of manure.
Planting is done in November and picking he.
gins in seventy days. The cost of producing the
crop should not be over $50 an acre all told. An
ordinary estimate of a normal yield is 200 crates
to the acre, which will bring $1.50 to $2.00 per
crate f. o. b. cars. The Scalloped White Bush
is the best variety here.
The squash worm is the only drawback to
squash growing in this district, but thorough
spraying and constant, vigilant care will over-
The Vegetable Garden.
In addition to the more staple crops mention-
ed, the agricultural census shows that nearly
every vegetable generally found in the gardens
may be grown here. The supply, however, does
not begin to meet the local demand, and the
opening of the Everglades is looked forward to
as a signal for extensive gardening operations.
In the vegetable garden here may be found
lettuce, watermelon, okra, endive, radishes, cab-
bage, peas, asparagus, onions, cauliflower, tur-
nips, carrots, rutabaga, beets, mustard, kale,
parsley, dasheens, mint, Chinese cabbage, rhu-
barb, lima beans, sweet corn, canteloupes, in fact,
almost every vegetable which is commonly used
By 'the aid of an irrigation system, home-
grown truck may be produced here the year
round with provision against drouth or frost.
An overhead sprinkling system, the style most
in vogue, costs about $350 per acre. Yields of
both fruit and vegetables have been greatly in-
creased by the use of such a system.
SNo farm or garden is complete without sweet
tatoes, which may be planted on any soil at
any season of the year. While many are grown
here, the local market takes practically all of
them. They yield from 200 to 600 bushels to the
acre, according to the attention given.
Cucumbers also make a rapid and prolific
growth, but are considered expensive to raise
because of the raids of insects and the quantity
of insecticide necessary to make the crop.
Cattle raising is no longer an experiment in
Dade County. The presence of established,
healthy herds of standard breeds demonstrates
this fact and assures the permanency of the in-
dustry, the importance of which can not be over-
estimated. No climate is better suited for the
quick development of cattle and no diseases due
to climatic conditions are found here. Dade
County enjoys absolute freedom from the cattle
tick and its attendant Texas fever, and was the
first county in the state to eradicate the pest.
Twelve months of continuous growing season
and out door living are conducive to health and
the presence of green food the year round is one
of the most important items to be considered.
The forage question is more fully dealt with
There is no doubt but that when the drain-
age operations in the Everglades are completed
that vast empire will become one of the great-
est cattle raising districts of the United States.
Nowhere may stock be maintained more econom-
ically because of the rapid and inexpensive
growth of forage crops and the consequent ne-
cessity for buying little grain, the absence of ex-
pensive barns for sheltering beasts and hay, and
the ever present supply of water.
Money invested in blooded stock is well
spent, and the old theory that only "scrubs"
could be grown here has been thoroughly dis-
proved. Holsteins, Jerseys, Dutch Belted,
Guernsey and other standard breeds are flour-
ishing in Dade County. So far owners of good
cattle have devoted most of their attention to
dairying, but the prospect for profitable busi-
ness in beef cattle is bright.
Dairying requires more of an outlay because
of the requirements for the milking sheds, cool-
ing rooms and other equipment for absolute san-
itation in handling the milk. The cost of this
may vary from a few hundred to thousands of
dollars. Milk brings fifteen cents a quart de-
livered to the customer and the demand, especial-
ly in the tourist season, far exceeds the supply.
Dairy cows must be fed concentrates in ad-
dition to liberal rations of grass, and a fair es-
timate of the cost of this feed is sixteen cents per
day per cow. Among the concentrates used are
cottonseed meal, bran, shorts, gluten, and these
combined with para hay or Japanese cane will
keep the cows in such condition that they will
yield as high as 50 pounds of milk per day.
Dairy cows are particularly fond of the para.
Beef cattle with firm, fine flavored meat may
be grown without the expenditure of a nickle for
feed. They are turned out to pasture on the
para and then finished off on Japanese cane and
velvet beans. The beans are grown in the rows
between the cane and do well there, furnishing
a combination which is exceptionally good for
the cattle and puts on flesh quicker than corn.
Corn, however, is entirely feasible, and by plant-
ing every two weeks, one may have a contiunous
supply of roasting ears the year round.
Until a very few years ago, it was believed
that hogs would not do well in this part of Flor-
ida; that they would not fatten and would be
subject to disease. Because of this theory, the
finer grades of animals were kept out. Recent
tests made by experienced hog raisers have fully
demonstrated, however, that animals of as fine
development may be raised here as anywhere
in the UnitedLStates. In fact, the future of the
hog industry Woks particularly bright because
of the favorable climatic conditions which en-
ables one to raise plenty of green: food at all
seasons of the year, and also because two and
even three litters of pigs may be raised from
each sow in a season.
The man who has a grove may grow hog-keep
among the trees at practically no expense. The
legumes are particularly adapted to this. One
tract was planted with golden pumpkins which
required no fertilizer other than that already in
the ground for the trees, and from five acres 100
tons of pumpkins were harvested. This was suf-
ficient to give a number of hogs the best possible
kind of food for several months. Velvet beans,
cow peas, sweet potatoes, etc., may be grown in a
similar manner and hogs thrive on them. Only
the sows with young pigs require mill feed, and
little of that, for a few weeks.
On muck or marl soil the forage problem is a
very simple one. During the summer the land
which has been grown to tomatoes or beans dur-
ing the winter will produce fine crops of corn,
sugar beets, carrots, sorghum, cat-tail millet, fe-
teteria or teosinte with no expense for fertilizer*
because of that left from the winter crop.
Pens, houses for brood sows and a dipping vat
are a good investment in helping the hogs to keep
well and to secure absolute freedom from dis-
ease. Such an equipment and ten hogs of any
pure blooded, cholera immune standard breed
will cost in the neighborhood of $500. Butch-
ered hogs bring an average price of from twelve
and one-half to fiften cents a pound on the local
market and it is conservatively estimated that
the cost of raising as fine pork as any that is
shipping into Florida and sold for from 18 to 25
cents a pound retail is not over three or five
cents a pound.
Two years ago the writer bought ten animals,
five Duroc Jerseys and five Poland Chinas, reg-
istered hogs, one year old, costing an average of
$50 each, delivered. Several varieties of forage
plants were grown in a grove and on a piece of
marl land, and in two years the hogs have re-
paid the original investment from sales of meat
and there are on hand about 75 or 80 that are
easily worth five times the original investment
and are constantly increasing. There was prac-
ticaly no cost for labor because of the necessity
for keeping a man in charge of the grove.
Other stock men report similar experiences
and all agree that with study and experiments
along scientific lines, this section will become
one of the biggest hog producing districts in the
A greater variety of forage crops is grown
in Dade County than in any other section of the
United States, and with the coming development
of the Everglades, the possibilities for producing
feed for immense herds of stock are unbounded.
Muck or marl soils are particularly suited for
forage crops, which, grown in proper rotation,
produce an evergreen pasture the year round
and give more feed on five acres than ten to fif-
teen acres in the north or west can produce.
Little or no fertilizer is required for these crops.
It is' a scientific fact that the green food grown
on this soil contains a much higher percentage
of nutriment than most of the grasses of the
Three yjars ago para grass was introduced
into Dade county as an experiment, but it has
proven so successful that it is generally taken
as the standard food for stock and large tracts
are being planted to it. Para furnishes both
good pasture and hay. For the latter it will
cut eight to ten tons of hay to the acre pe
year, with four or five cuttings, while as a pas-
ture it will stand close feeding with no appre-
ciable injury. Para hay brings an average of
$12 pei ton on the local market. The grass is
propagated by roots or stem cuttings. It will
grow on any soil.
Burmuda is the standard pasture grass of
Florida, is a persistent grower and furnishes
good grazing food for stock as well as hay.
Rhodes grass is another newly introduced
species of m'ich the same character as para, is
propagated by roots or seeds, grows rapidly and
covers the ground quickly.
Many consider natal grass the coming forage
crop of Dade County. It will grow on pine, sand
or marl and is considered superior to timothy in
its value as food and also in its producing qual-
ities. Natal grass cures quickly and may be
put up within an hour or two after mowing, a
feature which is of value in a land of sudden
showers. Three cuttings per year, with from
one to two tons of hay at a cutting, is the aver-
age yield. The price received is about the same
as timothy, which retails for $30 a ton. Govern-
mert reports have been especially favorable to
natal grass. It is propagated from seed, using
from ten to fourteen pounds to the acre.
Soudan grass is new, makes heavy crops and
is very nutritious. St. Lucie grass resembles
the Bermuda. St. Augustine grass covers the
ground with a rich food of which stock are fond.
Native grasses which contain much food value
are the panicum, crab grass and maiden cane,
the latter usually considered a pest, but now
found to be most valuable.
Perhaps the best forage crop grown here is
Japanese cane. Its growth is remarkable and it
may be inexpensively produced in Dade County,
as the muck or marl soil seems especially suited
to it, where it will produce thirty to thirty-five
tons to the acre.
Other forage crops are sorghum, cassava,
millets, chufas, spineless cactus, kudzu, teosinte,
common sugar cane. For grains there are Nas-
sau corn, Australian wheat corn, Egyptian corn,
Kaffir corn, feterica and rice. None of these
are extensively grown, but have been well prov-
Legumes are important and, particularly
among the citrus groves, perform the double pur-
pose of a cover crop and food for stock. Velvet
beans and cow peas are the most common of
these. Alfalfa has been experimented with and
some red clover has been grown. The common
beggar weed is claimed as one of the best of
this class to which more attention should be
Despite many assertions to the contrary,
chickens may be raised successfully in Dade
County. They wiU1 bring an average profit
fifty per cent higher than most sections of the
country, are as easily cared for, enjoy a longer
laying period each year, and with intelligent
care may be kept absolutely healthy the year
Because of there being no necessity for
warmth, the expense of poultry houses is com-
paratively slight. Rough lumber is used and a
paper roof, tight enough to keep out wind and
rain, for chickens must be kept dry to avoid
group, is essential. However, the houses may be
as elaborate or plain as one wishes, and this
first expense is a matter of taste.
White Leghorn and Rhode Island Red stock
are best suited to this climate, and of course
thoroughbreds pay in the long fn. Young chicks
are allowed to run at large where there is a
grove, but as soon as they begin to lay, they
should be put in the pens. Bran, shorts, wheat,
scratch fed and meat scraps for the laying hens,
are used, and this food will cost about one-half
cent per day per bird.
The supply of eggs and chickens never meets
the demand in the local market. With eggs
bringing an average price of 45 cents per dozen
the year around, dropping to 30 in the summer
and going up to 65 in the winter, one may count
on an average net profit of $1.50 per hen per
year. In the north an average of $1.00 per hen
is considered excellent.
Chickens bring 25 cents a pound, live weight,
on the market. Hens bring 25 cents and roasters
bring 30 cents and fryers 35 cents, direct to the
Diseases due to climatic conditions seem to
be non-existent. Care must be taken to keep
the birds dry to avoid roup. Another pest is
the "jigger" flea, which breeds in the sand. This,
however, may be kept down by the simple expe-
dient of spraying the runs with plain water. On
new ground this should be done frequently and
in older yards once a week will suffice, The flea
eggs are instantly killed by water.
Cleanliness and dryness in the houses and
roosts, and frequent spraying will keep down all
insects; and with proper attention to details
there is no reason why chicken raising should
not be one of the prominent Industries in this
Turkeys likewise seem particularly adapted
to conditions here. They lay freely and-the per-
centage of chicks is high. There is practical no
cost for their up-keep, especially for the grove
owner, for they run among the trees and more.
than pay for themselves in keeping down insects:
which might be injurious to the fruit.
Three hens and a gobbler in less than two
years have produced forty head of fine turkeys
at practically no expense after the purchase of
eggs, excepting for a little grain for special fat-
tening at market time, although the birds were
already in fine condition.
Home grown turkeys bring good prices on the
local market. The average is twenty-five cents
a pound, live weight.
Beekeeping in Dade County is a source of
much pleasure and. profit, and is generally more
successfully carried on in connection with other
agricultural pursuits, particularly poultry and
fruit growing, rather than, as a sole means of
This locality yields abundantly of several of
the principal honeys of Florida, namely, the
orange, palmetto and mangrove, which are with-
out equal for exquisite aroma and delicious,
The orange, under which title are grouped'
all varieties of citrus stock, will produce honey
in paying quantities only one year in three, but
with our extensive groves the possibilities are
attractive and promising, as orange blossom
honey is as valuable as it is rare.
The sabel or cabbage palmetto, found in pro-
fusion on all our watercourses and hammocks,
can be depended upon for a heavy yield once in
three years, while the saw or scrub palmetto,
which flourishes throughout the whole county, is
probably our most reliable honey plant.
In the black mangrove, which grows best on
the islands and keys which fringe our coast, we
have the greatest honey producer of any plant
or tree in the world, record yields being fre-
quently obtained. No finer honey is known.
These and other valuable sources of nectar
provide a flow from February until September,
giving a minimum average of 50 pounds per col-
ony, which can be readily marketed, either as
comb, extracted or chunk honey, bringing the
apiarist from $2 to $5 net per hive. The bees
forage for themselves the remaining months of
the year, no special wintering being necessary.
Pure Italian bees, in Langstroth dove-tailed
hives, have been foubd highly successful here.
Dade County offers a wide choice of locali-
ties, with an abundance of arboreal flora, capa-
ble of furnishing the finest of table honeys,
where practicable knowledge can develop a lucra-
tive business from a small beginning. Apicul-
ture, however, is still in its infancy in this sec-
tion, with all of our resources awaiting scientific
exploitation, and probably a series of out-apia-
ries would prove most profitable to those contem-
plating engaging in this fascinating industry on
a large scale. Notwithstanding these oppor-
tunities, Florida still imports considerable honey
for home consumption.
With such resources as are evident in Dade
County, a splendid field for the canning industry
seems to be opening and there is every reason to
believe that within a few years no vegetables or
fruits will, be allowed to waste and many which
in their raw state are not suitable for shipping
may be made into canned goods which will find
a ready market all over the world.
This industry, as every er one, must start
from a small beginning, and this has been made,
For some time the fruits of Dade County, espe-
cially the guavas, grapefruit and oranges, have
been put on the market in the form of jellies,
jams, marmalades and crystallized fruit. The
canning club girls in the rural schools have
done excellent work in convincing the residents
of this section that canned vegetables are profit-
able and that those made from home products
are superior in flavor to the northern brands,
and now the time seems to be ripe for launching
on a larger scale.
Lima Beans, red kidney beans, black-eyed
peas, string beans and sweet potatoes are among
the home grown vegetables which have been
successfully canned in Miami this year. In ad-
dition to. this work, and the making of jellies,
etc., mentioned above, the juice of the pineapple,
orange and grapefruit has been expressed and
bottled and the lime juice clarified.
One of the most promising phases of the in-
dustry is the canning of fish. The huge Florida
crawfish, which is really a lobster, is put up as
the Florida stone lobster in most delicious form.
while the famous king fish is fried and canned
and other varieties of fish which abound in Flor-
ida waters will be put up as fish flakes. Consid-
ering that the industry is one of the most impor-
tant in this section, with the business mounting
into many hundreds of thousands of dollars, this
field is a promising one.
In addition to the experiments along the beat-
en path, a new venture is being tested-that of
extracting the juice of the palmetto for use in
tanning leather. Tests already made indicate
that this substance gives the leather a soft,
smooth finish which is most desirable. Acres
upon acres of palmetto are burned during the
clearing process in Dade county each year, and
it is believed that all this could and will be util-
Molasses made from locally grown sugar cane
is another prodl which will soon be on, the
It is planned that all waste materials from the
canning factories may be converted into fertil-
izer and sent back to produce more fruit and
vegetables for the up-keep of the industry.
Compliments of the
Miami Chamber of Commerce
Miami, Dade County, Florida
This pamphlet has been compiled from
authentic sources and the simple truth has
been told throughout.
Miami invites homeseekers and investors
to pay a personal visit and verify for them-
selves these statements.
If you are interested we shall be pleased
to promptly reply to any inquiries.
Miami Chamber of Commerce
......~~~~~0' Av, _ -
Pratt Printing Co. 1409 Ave. D Miami.