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SUPPLEMENT TO THE
FLORIDA QUARTERLY BULLETIN OF THE
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
Commissioner of Agriculture
Entered January 31, 1903, at Tallahassee, Florida, as second-class matter, under
Act of Congress of June, 1900. "Acceptan2e for mailing at special rate of post-
age provided for in Section 1103, Act of Oct. 3, 1917, authorized Sept. 11, 1918."
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Florida is a unit. All so-called "divisions" are arbitrary and used for
convenience only in designating different parts of the State. There are no
natural divisions of the State marked off by nature, separated by mountain
ranges and widely differing climates.
The common method of separating the State into divisions is:
West Florida, North Florida, Northeast Florida, Central Florida and
South Florida. So far as latitude and climate is concerned West, North and
Northeast Florida are all the same. North Florida is no farther north than
West Florida and Northeast Florida.
Therefore, for convenience in dealing with the products as influenced
by climate and soil conditions we have divided the State into North Florida
and South Florida. We are issuing a bulletin dealing with each of the
two divisions. They are issued by the Immigration Bureau of the Depart-
"c ment of Agriculture.
14- The North Florida division contains all north of what has been desig-
nated as Central Florida. South Florida contains the counties commonly
Designated as belonging to Central and South Florida.
The counties belonging to each section are as follows:
Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval,
Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, La-
Fayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Nassau, Okaloosa, Putnam, Santa Rosa,
St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Walton, Washington, Wakulla. Area
Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Dade, DeSoto, Flagler,
Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee,
'.-Levy, Manatee, Marion, Monroe, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm
SBeach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Lucie, Sumter, Volusia.
Area, 20,851,160 acres.
The Central Division comprises sixteen counties with an area of 9,471,
S560 acres. This division produces the bulk of the citrus fruit and the garden
Y) truck products of the State. Its shores are laved on the east by the Atlantic
i and on the west by the Gulf of Mexico, the high land ridge occupies the
It contains the splendid city of Tampa, which vies with Mobile, New
Orleans and Galveston as a Gulf shipping port. This section produces
three-fourths of the phosphate mined in the United States. It has more
natural resources than the whole states of Rhode Island and Nevada.
V, .3 WHAT AND WHEN TO PLANT IN CENTRAL FLORIDA
Asparagus-January (seed), February.
AN* Brussels Sprouts-January, February, March, September, October, No-
cu m member.
' 'RARY Beans-February, March, April, May.
Beets-January, February, March, September, October, November.
Cabbage-January, February, June (seed) ; July, August, September,
October, November (seed) ; December.
Cauliflower-January (seed) ; March, June (seed) ; July, August, Sep-
Collards-January, February, March, April, May, August, September,
Celery-June (seed) ; July (seed) ; September, October.
Cotton-February, March, April.
Corn-January (early) ; February, March, April.
Eggplant-March, April, May, June, July, August.
English Peas-February, March, April-October (McNeil pea).
Irish Potatoes-February, March, April, August, September.
Kohlrabi-March, April, August.
Kale-February, March, August, September, October, November, De-
Leeks-January, February, March, September, October, December.
Lettuce-January, February, March, April, September, October, No-
Mustard-January, February, March, April, August, September, Oc-
Onion Sets-January, February, March, April, August, September, Oc-
Oats-January, November, December.
Parsley-February, March, April, June, July.
Parsnips-February, March, April, September, October, November.
Peppers-February (seed) ; March, April, May, June, July.
Radishes-January, February, March, April.
Rutabagas-February, March. April, June, July, October.
Rape-January, February, March, August, September, October, No-
Sweet Potatoes-April, May, June, July.
Squash-March, April, May, June, July, August, September.
Strawberries-October, November, December.
Spinach-February, August, September, October, November.
Spanish Onions-January, February, March.
Tomatoes-January (seed) ; February, March, April, May, June, July,
Turnips-January, February, March, April, August, September, No-
Watermelons-May, June, July.
Bermuda Grass-March, April, May, June, July, August, September,
Carpet Grass-March, April.
Velvet Beans-April, May.
Peanuts-April, May, June, July.
Rye and Rape-January, February, March, December.
Vetch-February, March, April.
Soy Beans-April, October, November.
Beggar Weed-April, May.
Napier Grass, Meeker Grass, Gorduma Grass.
CROPS THAT CAN BE RAISED ON SAME LAND SAME YEAR
The shorter the length of time required for a crop to mature the greater
number can be grown on the same land. The following may be mentioned:
Oats, Bunch Velvet Beans.
Oats, Cowpeas, Rape.
Irish Potatoes, Corn.
Irish Potatoes, Cowpeas, Velvet Beans.
Tomatoes, Lettuce, English Peas.
A number of vegetables may be planted in the fall for winter shipping
and then followed by field crops in spring.
Silage Crops-Corn, Japanese Cane, Napier Grass.
South Florida presents the truly semi-tropical part of the United States.
It comprises fourteen counties with an area of 11,376,781 acres. It has one
of the largest inland fresh water lakes in the world. Miami, "The City
Wonderful," is on the east coast, Ft. Myers on the west and Key West at
the southern extremity of the United States, in touch with the trade of the
Citrus fruit growing, trucking and live stock raising are the principal
industries. More than five million acres of this division was originally under
shallow water-the Everglades. Since drainage and reclamation have
proved it to be of wonderful agricultural possibilities it is being turned into
ranches, field crops and trucking farms.
WHEN AND WHAT TO PLANT IN SOUTH FLORIDA
(Tampa, Orlando, Titusville and Southward)
Beans-January, February, March, April, May, June (butter) ; August
Beets-January, February, March, September, October, November.
Brussels Sprouts-January, February, March, September, October, No-
A "' -
Cucumbers-February, March, April, August, September.
Cabbage-January (seed) ; February, March, June (seed) ; July,August,
September, October, November, December.
Corn-February (early); March, April, May.
Carrots-January, February, August, September, October, November.
Cauliflower-January (seed) ; February, March, August (seed) ; Sep-
Collards-January, February, August, September, October, November,
Cantaloupes-February, March, July, August.
Eggplant-January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August.
English Peas-January, February, August, September, October.
Irish Potatoes-January, February, March, August, September.
Kale-January, February, March, August, September, October, No-
Kohlrabi-January, April, August.
Lettuce-January, February, March, April, August, September, Oc-
tober, November, December.
Mustard-January, March, August, September, October, November,
Okra-February, March, September.
Onions-January (seed) ; February, March, April, August, September,
October, November, December.
Peppers-February (seed) ; March, April, May, June, July, August.
Pumpkins-March, April, May, June, July.
Radishes-January, February, March, September, October, November,
Rape-January, February, August, September, October, November, De-
Rutabagas-August, September, October, November.
Squash-February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September.
Spinach-January, February, August, September, October, November.
Sweet Potatoes-April, May, June, July.
Sugar Cane-January, February.
Strawberries-October, November, December.
Tomatoes-January (seed) ; March, April, May, June, July, August.
Turnips-January, August, October, November.
Velvet Beans-March, April.
Watermelons-February, March, April, May.
Para grass, Natal grass, Rhodes grass, Napier grass, Bermuda grass,
carpet grass, Augustine grass, cowpeas, soy beans, velvet beans, millet, rye.
To the above list may be added a number of native wild grasses, such as
maiden cane, that has very high food values.
CROPS THAT CAN BE RAISED ON SAME LAND SAME YEAR
South Florida grows crops all the time so that the number of things
that can be grown in a year on the same land depends on the length of time
it takes to mature the crops that are planted.
Silage crops are the same as those of other parts of the State.
By FRANK WHITMAN, in Florida Grower
Indeed, if I were to ask what I think of Brevard right now I couldn't
say anything more expressive than "sensational," for I am under the spell
of its rivers, the booming ocean, its beaches, its islands set out between the
mighty Indian and Banana rivers, its glow of golden fruits, its flowers, its
superb tropical vegetation and high and rocky shorelines that here and there
along the entire length of the county jut out into picturesque, palm-studded
points and serene bays, where seafowl gather and fish leap in play. I am
sincere when I say that this district of bewitching Florida is a veritable
wonderland and my humble efforts at description seem very puerile indeed.
I want to rave but don't seem to be able to find the words. If I were under
the influence again of that most transcendent sunset I witnessed while on the
Cocoa bridge I might be able to find the words-but, alas! that is but a
memory now; withal a very pleasant one.
I have other recollections that will remain with me as long as life lasts,
too. Among them is the winding shaded roadway that runs along the shores
of the Indian River; passing for miles through and along the edges of es-
tates, groves and pretty homes. The growth is dense and tropical and at
intervals interlaces above the highway, making attractive shade. The
gorgeous hibiscus is used greatly in decorative way. Truly this is the "way of
remembrance," and I don't know of anything else, even in this glorious
State of Florida, quite so bewitching in every way. Glimpses of the river
are obtainable at intervals, the sunlight flecks through in places, and a whip-
ping breeze is just about always in evidence. It was all an entrancing ex-
perience, this drive along the Indian River in Brevard County.
FIGURES, FACTS, FANCIES
"This all looks too good to be true," said a friend I was taking with
me for a short time on this trip, "but do they grow anything around here ?"
I answered this question by showing the gentleman, and am of the opinion
that possibly this secondary phase of my article should bear on this matter of
production, if my readers are to be satisfied utterly after their "bumps of
curiosity" have been excited. And so now I am going to delve in facts,
figures and fancies, so that the prudent and cautious may know more about
the practical side of the possibilities of Brevard, taking up citrus fruits, which
is the most important of the industries of the county at present. Cocoa is the
biggest shipping point, with no less than five packing houses. Mims is
next, with two packing houses. On Merritt's Island there are quite a
few packing houses, one large one, and several smaller private places.
Most of the fruit from the island is brought across the river via the
ON THE INDIAN RIVER IN BREVARD COUNTY
bridge or on barges. Some of this is taken to the railroad, already
packed, and some go to the packing houses of Cocoa. I haven't the
figures of Mims, nor of that fruit which is brought across the river at Eau
Gallie and loaded on the railroad at that point. The record at Cocoa should
open the eyes of the most skeptical, so I am giving it here, with the informa-
tion which I consider highly important, that this is "Indian River Fruit,"
known the world over as the most delicious thing of its kind, and always
commanding a premium in the market.
CITRUS SHIPMENTS OUT OF COCOA OCTOBER, 1922, TO MAY, 1923
Solid cars from different Cocoa packing houses - - 1075 cars
Less than carload lots (16,2oo boxes) - - - - 45 cars
By express (30,000 boxes) - - - - - 85 cars
Total in carloads - - - - - - 1205 cars
One carload equals 360 boxes. 1205 carloads equal 433,899 boxes.
The season of 1922-23 shows an increase over 1920-21 of 140 cars, or 50,400
boxes. Estimating the 433,800 boxes shipped as bringing an average of
$2.50 on the tree (which is low), the entire crop shipped out of Cocoa alone
by rail brought to growers $1,084,500. The packers should have realized
over a million and a quarter dollars on the same. The increase this season
over last of 50,400 boxes shows an increase of $126,000 to the growers.
The above are figures for Cocoa shipments, as stated, but the bulk of the
production was from the county or outlying points in the county.
I have now given you "Figures, Facts." Here are the "Fancies," which
look uncommonly like "Facts" to me. The inference I am drawing is based
on the increased production and consequent money return so clearly shown
above. The county is growing, new groves are coming into bearing, and the
money return is going into building new hotels, apartments, new and im-
proved highways, civic betterment, schools, churches, parks and subdivisions.
There's my "Fancies," and I leave it to your own judgment if they are not
absolutely logical. It is not a dream but a recital of growth that according
to past performances should solidify the foundations on which Brevard
County is built. Before closing this citrus talk I want to bring out that the
growers of this section take a pride in the appearance of their fruit, they
know the game apparently from the ground up, for "Indian River oranges
and grapefruit" are famous, and a goodly percentage ship through or are
members of the Florida Citrus Exchange, a non-profit cooperative organiza-
tion of Florida growers.
Agriculturally the county is just beginning to get its start by the incep-
tion of some very pretentious drainage of those rich lands lying in the "back-
country" of the county to the west. Between the Florida East Coast Rail-
way and the small lakes and the St. Johns River, which has its source in
Lake Helen Blazes, at the southern end of the county, there is a stretch of
the finest Florida black muck land, extending north from Rockledge about
eight and one-half miles and containing many thousand acres. There is a
prairie muck, also, that is very cultivable with little working. Drainage
is now being started in these lands and the "dirt farmer" will have a real
chance, for it ought to be possible to raise as many as four crops a year on this
The wonderful beaches of Brevard have been opened to the world by
two bridges across to the ocean. At Cocoa there is a series of bridges, for
there are two rivers and some lagoons to cross. Titusville has but lately
finished a bridge, and already some fine improvements on the ocean are to be
noted. Cocoa Beach is famous for the reason that there is about 14 miles
of fine beach drive made twice a day by the Atlantic. A casino has been
erected and much activity is going on in transfer of real estate and building
along the high dunes looking out on the Atlantic.
The Grower is just about devoting all of its news pages to Brevard
County in this issue. The story is in no sense a thing of barter. Such things
cannot be bought in The Grower. Rather it is all an appreciation that ex-
presses our deep admiration for a district that goes ahead and makes the
most of its incomparable advantages-such as are mentioned in these pages.
The extensive improvements and developments in Brevard speak for them-
selves, I think, but in order that the world, or that part of it represented in
our big subscription list, should know, we are doing our bit-and it is a good
one we think. The writer, in all his experience, has never gone into a
descriptive article of such magnitude about any section of Florida before.
There must be a reason. There is a reason.
Broward County has 460,800 acres and only 6,631 in cultivation. It
produced in 1922 more than a million dollars worth of truck and field crops,
and $66,000 worth of fruits. The population in 1920 was only 5,135.
"The Southern East Coast of Florida," says P. H. Thompson, Secretary
Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, "is rapidly coming into prominence
for its opportunities in diversified farming. One of the most progressive
youngsters in Broward County, having been created, or split off, whichever
you wish to call it, in 1916, after which it proceeded to try out its
equipment for making good. So far, the demonstration has been successful,
and to one with just any old kind of vision, to say nothing of the trained eye
of a far-seeing business man, the possibilities of this section are too evident
for further doubt.
The Florida East Coast Railway mapped out a route for the subsequent
Dixie Highway, and as each mile was completed home-seekers waited to push
farther south into that part of the State where sunshine and flowers make
them forget the rigors of the north.
The advantageous location of Broward County is well worth mentioning.
Between Palm Beach and Dade counties, it can be reached by several direct
routes: The Florida East Coast Railway, Dixie Highway, East Coast Canal,
or the Inland Waterway from New York to Miami, and by New River
connecting, by canal, directly with Lake Okeechobee and the upper Ever-
glades. Hard-surfaced, oiled roads, and the county now working under a
$600,000 bond issue making new roads and bridges.
Maturing of crops is materially hastened by climate conditions, there
being a greater number of growing days with seasonable weather, which
brings produce early to market. Chilly atmosphere, tempered by south and
east winds from off the Gulf Stream, result in a delightful temperature-a
perfect blending of April and June, and to live out of doors with growing
things is a joy. Occasionally "tonic days" add a zippy touch, putting more
vim into people, and this variance of the thermometer is stimulating.
Intensely interesting is the study of the productiveness of the three kinds
of soil: sand, marl, muck. The vast stretches of sand seemed to mock any
attempt to plant with the expectation of reaping a harvest, but with intelli-
gent experimenting in fertilizer the most fanciful dreams came true in the
productive outcome of this wonderful soil. The strip of marl running along
the Dixie Highway is under a high state of cultivation, and the towns and
city of the county are situated practically in a line, beginning with Deerfield,
Pompano, Colohatchee, Ft. Lauderdale, the county seat, Dania, Hollywood
and Hallandale, with Davie west of Ft. Lauderdale. Optimistic gardeners
began to place crates of choice spring-time vegetables on the northern winter
markets, each variety carrying the message of what could be done in South
Florida. In those days, these gardeners hoped to be able to roll a whole
car of vegetables in the near future. The last three years Broward County
has been the largest shipping point of vegetables on the East Coast. Toma-
toes, peppers, beans, eggplant, cabbage, potatoes, onions, together with cel-
ery, fruits, such as avocadoes, mangoes, guavas, strawberries and other varie-
ties, which give a fresh fruit for every month in the year.
Packing houses in each town run to capacity during the winter, and the
citrus growers have lost no time in adopting the latest improved methods
for standardizing fruit, which commands the best market price.
The sturdy pioneer type at last pitched camp in the wilderness of the
unfathomable Everglades to endure the hardships of laying hold on these
wonderful muck lands so richly endowed by nature. True to type, they
have succeeded, for out of this vastness has come the little town of Davie,
lying in prairie-muck soil, ten miles west of Ft. Lauderdale, and is consid-
ered the "Demonstration Grounds of the Lower Everglades." These farms
are preparing the data which, step by step, will teach those who come after,
how to attain the highest measure of success.
How the people laughed when a notable Chicago jurist announced that
citrus could be grown on muck or Everglade soil! He only smiled in his
genial way and continued to work out his idea. When his trucks hauled
the first load of young trees to the new grove they laughed again. Each
stage of development called forth such compliments as these: "He may get
leaves, but no bloom." "Well, yes, there is some bloom, but impossible to
get fruit." "What does that little fruit amount to, for it will not carry."
True to the game, the laugh was on the other side, for after five years of
steady, undisturbed effort, he demonstrated the fact that citrus will grow
on muck soil, will yield tested fruit which is up to the standard, and that it is
a commercial success, in less time than on any other soil, for at the present
time, eight years after planting, this beautiful grove would easily pass for
twelve years of age, if in old citrus sections. Without fertilizer, except hard-
wood ashes and ground phosphate rock, with systematic drainage. This
is the first budded citrus grove in the Everglades, a monument for the next
generation, who will plant hundreds where he has planted one tree.
Another dreamer looked across the thousands of acres of rich soil and
saw corn being raised, grasses propagated and conserved for forage, and cat-
tle being made ready for market. To the public eye, he had gotten the cart
before the horse, as he put into operation plans for a meat packing and cold
storage plant, the first unit of which is nearing completion at a cost of $150,-
ooo, fully equipped in every modern device for placing 200 cattle and 200
hogs daily on the market in the most approved, up-to-date sanitary method.
This plant is located three miles north of Ft. Lauderdale and began opera-
tion in December, 1922.
Housing poultry is a matter of small expense, owing to climatic condi-
tions. This has its effect also on the extension of the laying period. Also,
the continuous green so necessary for thrifty chickens is to be had for the
trouble of sowing the seed. The demand for poultry products always ex-
ceeds the supply, and with the ever-growing markets of West Palm Beach
and Miami, the product is disposed of by truck, saving the annoyance of
handling by rail. Capons are at a premium, the local market always calling
for fresh eggs. The small demonstrations in the poultry industry indicate
wonderful development in the near future.
Work is being pushed on an inlet into the ocean from the mouth of
New River, which will give deep water, permitting the entrance of smaller
ocean-going steamers, with deep water to the Ft. Lauderdale docks. The
possibilities of this undertaking cannot be estimated, for with the agricultural
awakening within the County of Broward and the means of adequate trans-
portation of its products, progress and development is a natural sequence.
Ft. Lauderdale, with a population of 143 in 191o, now 3,oo0, is an in-
dex to what is being done at all shipping points in Broward County, the
building of homes in every district, with all business houses open every month
in the year, indicates that this section is worthy of investigation either as a
permanent residence or for investment.
The Chamber of Commerce will be glad to furnish further information.
Charlotte is one of the larger of the seven new counties created in 1921.
It includes 496,512 acres of the original DeSoto County. Charlotte Harbor,
with the extension of the broad mouth of the Peace River, extends entirely
across the county. Punta Gorda, the county seat, is on this harbor, one of
the most beautiful bays in Florida. No census having been taken since the
county was organized, it is difficult to secure definite data concerning its
population and resources.
It has to its credit in 1922: 8,915 acres in farms; produced 588 bushels
of Irish potatoes; 1,136 bushels of sweet potatoes; 2,903 gallons of syrup;
5,940 crates of peppers; 819 crates of cucumbers; I,810 crates of cabbage;
5,772 crates of tomatoes; 687 crates of squash; 3,083 fowls; 15,475 dozen
eggs; 27,583 gallons of milk; 8,765 pounds of honey; 271 crates of mangoes;
24,372 crates of grapefruit; 30,479 crates of oranges.
These are only a few of the leading products of Charlotte County.
Charlotte County is in the banana belt of Florida. This industry bids
fair to rank in Class A of the staple products of the State. It is one fruit
that bears practically every month of the year. The market is already here
as the people of the United States spend $20,ooo,ooo annually for bananas
at the water's edge. The Southern Florida counties can supply a great part
of this crop and will do so as this industry is developed.
By FREDERICK VAN Roy
Citrus County was so named because it is located in the center of the
original wild orange district on the west coast. The wild oranges grew
prolifically along the coast and were well protected by the gulf waters.
Since the invasion of the sawmills and turpentine stills these trees have
about all disappeared. There are several small orange groves scattered
about the county, but the orange industry has not been developed as rapidly
as in other counties, because it was one of the last counties to secure proper
railroad transportation, and the bulk of the land is owned by large turpen-
tine and sawmill corporations. A great portion of the county is well adapted
to the orange industry.
General farming is mostly followed by the farmers, who homestead
their places. These farms are scattered about several communities.
Inverness, the county seat, is the shipping point of most of the citrus fruits
in the county. A packing house is maintained and is also used for tomatoes.
This section has gained quite a reputation for watermelon growing, and sev-
eral hundred acres are planted every year, and this has always proved a
profitable crop. In the fall, eggplant and peppers are shipped at a handsome
Crystal River, the next largest town, has been for years the center of
cedar slats for lead pencils, turpentining and saw-milling, to the neglect of
agricultural interests and development. Recently, however, the trucking
and general farming has become attractive, so that shipments of tomatoes,
sweet potatoes, corn, hogs and cotton have reached several carloads. Oyster
farming is very extensive and oysters are shipped by express in carloads.
Homosassa is noted for its fishing and oysters, and general farming has
never developed. During the trouble between the States a large sugar mill
was maintained here to supply sugar and syrup for the Confederate soldiers.
This section is rich in history of that period. This indicates that hundreds
of acres here are most suitable for sugar cane.
Red Level is a thrifty farming section and it is noted for its reddish clay
soil suitable for all kinds of crops. Sweet potatoes and corn are the heavy
Pleasant Grove borders on Hernando County, and much of its develop-
ment is connected with Brooksville. Dairying has recently received a strong
impetus and many Jersey herds can be seen. Jersey sweet potatoes are also
planted for early fall shipments.
Floral City, in the southeast corner of the county, is in the phosphate
mining region, and most of the crops raised are for home consumption,
although the raising of chickens and the shipping of eggs has assumed quite
Photo by Fishbaugh, Miami
HOME OF W. J. BRYAN, "VILLA SERENA" AT MIAMI
I A/,", .1 -:
Lecanto, near the center of the county, can boast of the county fair every
November. This is a strictly high-class farming section. Its products are
hauled by truck to Crystal River.
Hernando and Ladonia, on the east side, are also in the phosphate mining
region, and general farming prevails.
Many parts of the county are suitable for citrus groves and truck farm-
ing as well as general farming. Lime rock is available everywhere and rock
roads prevail in all directions. Phosphate mining is extensive and furnishes
fertilizer material for domestic and export shipments. Farmers from other
States will find here an opportunity to start with a minimum expense. The
greatest need is more farmers, and land may be obtained at reasonable
A HOME IN THE LAND OF PALMS AND SUNSHINE
Dade County, Florida, the zone of palms and sunshine, has a varied and
interesting appeal for the homeseeker, whether he lives on a farm or in a city.
He may be experienced in agriculture or horticulture, and may desire a wider
opportunity upon a big scale, or the added zest of a new environment, where
the wonderful possibilities have been proven. He may seek a congenial clime
and a home in tropical surroundings, where he may enjoy to the full the
fruits 6f his years of labor, with a minimum expense and effort and a maxi-
mum of comfort and health. He may be weary of the routine of office or
store, the cramped indoor grind, and seeks to find that little bit of earth to
till that will be the home of his dreams, and permit him to build up that
nest-egg which is regarded as necessary for the declining years of life.
To these and to all others, no matter of what age or of what experience,
Dade County extends the invitation to come and see. Study the possibilities
and the opportunities that are here. Hear from their own lips the story of
hundreds of satisfied and contented residents. See their comfortable homes
and learn of the enjoyment which life in the open, the year around, brings
to them. Let them complete the details of the picture of which this booklet
is but an outline.
LOCATION AND CLIMATE
Dade County is situated at the extreme southern end of the peninsula of
Florida, in the subtropical zone. The Atlantic Ocean laves its eastern
border while its southern extremity dips into the waters of an arm of the
Gulf of Mexico. It is in the same zone as southern Egypt and southern
Burmah and India. Its nearness to the Gulf Stream, which flows off shore
about three miles, and the ever-present tempering trade winds keeps away the
freezing winds of winter and cools the heated air of summer.
The average mean temperature is 75 degrees. During the winter months
the average is 68 degrees and in the summer months it averages 81 degrees.
Twenty-five years' record shows an absolute maximum of 96 degrees and an
absolute minimum of 29 degrees. According to United States weather
officials this is the highest absolute minimum of any locality on the mainland
of the United States. During the summer of 1921 the thermometer reached
90 degrees upon one day only. The normal yearly rainfall is 59.66 inches.
Usually the most rain falls in the months of September and October. The
months of least precipitation are December, January and February.
RAILROAD SHIPPING POINTS
The Florida East Coast Railway has many important shipping points
along its line from Ojus, at the north of the county boundary, to Florida
City, where it turns to the keys and becomes the famous Overseas Railroad.
The main shipping points are Ojus, Fulford, Arch Creek, Little River,
Lemon City, Buena Vista, Miami, Coconut Grove, Larkins, Kendal, Ben-
son, Rockdale, Perrine, Peters, Goulds, Princeton, Naranja, Modello,
Homestead and Florida City. At these points are large modern packing
houses for the citrus fruits and vegetables.
LIMES AND LEMONS
The Florida keys are the natural home of the limes, and it was an easy
step to cross the few miles of water and grow them upon the mainland.
They are an all the year round bearer. The flavor of the limes in this section
cannot be equalled, and they command top price in the Northern markets.
Growing of the Persian lime has sprung into favor and Dade County
seems designed especially for its production. It is dark green, about the size
of an ordinary lemon, and has a delicate flavor.
Lemons are grown here very successfully and the flavor is of the best.
On Everglade land some of the lemons attain a remarkable size and are
heavy with juice, and find a ready market among large users of lemon juice
such as extract manufacturers and bakers.
All varieties of oranges do well in Dade County, but for commercial
purposes growers are specializing on late varieties, particularly the Valencia,
which reach the market when the price is high. The local demand for the
King orange is always greater than the supply and they find a ready sale at
o1 cents or more each. The skin of this orange is rough, it peels easily, the
sections are easily separated, and the taste is like the fabled nectar of the
gods. Tangerines are plentiful.
During the months of December, January and February, Dade
County beans, tender and succulent, find a ready market not only locally,
but in the North. Planting begins in October and continues into February,
giving a continuous crop. The yield is heavy, the beans maturing in six
and seven weeks.
Peppers are an important winter crop and many growers add an acre
or two to diversify their planting. This is practically an all the year round
crop and the quality is particularly fine. Late July and August sees the first of
these plants set out. This crop requires heavy fertilization at frequent in-
tervals. Shipment begins about the middle of November and continues until
July. An average crop is 750 half-barrel boxes to the acre and $500 to $700
per acre has been realized in profit.
Eggplant is now one of the staple crops and large quantities of very fine
quality are produced. The yield is heavy, running as high as 750 boxes per
acre. The crop is ready for shipment in November and continues until mid-
summer. The Everglade lands produce heavy crops of a very tender quality.
Another profitable midwinter crop is Irish potatoes. In some sections
of the county prolific yields have been harvested. The first crops come in
shortly after New Year's and from then on through the summer.
Squash is grown in large quantities and with very little effort. It comes
into the market the latter part of December and is rarely ever unobtainable.
Lettuce also grows abundantly.
Of all fruits that are strictly tropical and which can only be grown
safely in comparatively frostless regions, the papaya is probably the most
easily grown and the most prolific. It is not a new fruit, for it has some 400
years of history behind it, yet its culture commercially has lagged until
within the last few years. Climatically no section in the United States is as
well suited to the papaya as Dade County.
One might call them cantaloupes grown on trees, for their outer and
inner appearance and their delicate taste compares most nearly to this
product of the vine. Most every farm and grove and many back lots have
a few papayas growing. They yield fruit the year around and bear when
one year old. They respond most generously to a little care and fertilization.
Recent study, however, has demonstrated that they pay big for attention,
as there is a steady market for them at good prices, the retail price is from
Io cents to 12 cents per pound. The weight averages from two to five
pounds, although papayas have been grown that weigh thirty pounds. As a
single papaya tree during its first two years will produce a hundred fruit or
more with a total weight of 300 to 400 pounds, its value to the producer can
easily be estimated.
They are cut as a cantaloupe, the meat is from two to three inches deep
and is eaten in many ways. One of the active chemical properties of the
papaya is papain, closely akin to animal pepsin. This medicinal property for
digestive ailments makes the papaya one of the most healthy fruits grown.
In considering the wonderful variety of fruits grown in Dade County
it must be kept in mind that plant introduction here is really in its infancy.
Also that due to its geographical location, practically all of those fruits which
one associates with the ancient oriental tropical countries are grown here if
one but plants them. Botanists declare that this section of Florida is the only
spot in the United States where true tropical vegetation is to be found.
Bananas are to be found all about. Guavas are abundant and the jelly
Sis considered one of the finest flavored of any fruit that grows. The kum-
quat, with its orange-like skin and taste, makes excellent preserves. Goose-
berries, that grow on trees, are large and of fine flavor. Figs yield abundant-
Along Vistas of Beauty
ly. The following list is by no means a complete catalog of the strictly tropi-
cal fruits that are to be found here, but are cited just to demonstrate the
wonderful possibilities and the particularly varied range of exquisite deli-
cacies that can be grown here with little or no effort or expense. Citron,
pomegranate, sapodilla, Surinam cherry, custard apple, Jamaica apple,
loquat, Japanese persimmon, grapes, carissa, monstera deliciosa, eggfruit, rose
apple, mammea apple, Barbadoes cherry, dates, olives, chermoyas, Jackfruit,
cecropia, bergamot, Kaffir plum, sour sop, sapote, and others.
MIAMI, THE WONDER CITY
The county seat of Dade County, and the most important city, is Miami,
the growth and development of which reads like a fairy tale. The United
States census of 1920 showed Miami to have made an increase in population
of 440 per cent, a greater percentage of growth than any city in the Union.
Its present population is 41,815, with a winter population of 80,ooo, and it is
the livest winter resort in America and one of the most popular. It is a
modern city, with fifty miles of paved streets, beautiful homes, wonderful
hotels and apartment houses, fine schools and churches, and mercantile estab-
lishments equal to the best in the country. It has an eighteen-foot channel to
the sea (and a proposed depth of twenty-five feet), large docks, and steam-
ship lines to Jacksonville, Baltimore, Cuba and the Bahamas, with regular
passenger and freight lines in prospect to New York City and other North-
ern ports. In 1920 new buildings to the amount of $4,556,365 were erected
and 1921 has set a new record of $5,415,800. Miami has seven banks with
total deposits, April, 1921, of $20,660,482.
There is plenty of amusement in Miami, including motoring along
streets graced with royal and coconut palms and other tropical trees, speed-
boat racing, yachting, the best fishing in the world, unexcelled surf-bathing
365 days in the year, all out-of-door sports, theatres, and free band concerts
during the tourist season, December to April.
DeSoto County has 16,628 acres in cultivation. The county has 932,000
acres. Its annual output exceeds a million and a half. There are vast pos-
sibilities in the county yet undeveloped. Crops not yet widely cultivated
can be raised in this section.
Four new counties were made from DeSoto in 1921, leaving only 392,-
ooo acres from the original area of 2,402,560 acres.
SOIL AND TIMBER
The lands of this county are classed as high and low hammocks, high
pine, flatwoods, sand scrub, etc., and the high pine lands are sometimes
divided into two classes: "Choice" and "poor pine land." This distinction
has little significance, however, as both classes of pine land are frequently
embraced in a five-acre lot, and every class of land above mentioned might
be found in one quarter section. This county has every character of land to
be found in South Florida, and if the immigrant "doesn't see what he wants"
he should "ask for it."
OCEAN DRIVE, MIAMI BEACH
Now we come to briefly consider the productions of the soil, and it is
here that this county can justly claim preeminence over every other county
of the State and many other States; for, as before remarked, no country in
the world of equal size can compare with her in variety of products. So
numerous are they that only the most important can be mentioned and none
can here be described. Of the field crops we recall corn, oats, hay, barley,
teosinte, rye, millet, sorghum, Kaffir corn, rice, sugar cane, peas, peanuts,
chufas, cassava, tanyah, pumpkins, melons, arrowroot, turnips, sweet potatoes
and Irish potatoes. Sugar cane, perhaps, gives the best net returns-$Io0
to $150 per acre, and one planting suffices for six or seven years. Sweet
potatoes pay very well, too.
In the truck gardens we find tomatoes, eggplant, cauliflower, cabbage,
cucumbers, beans, beets, peas, onions, radishes, Jamacia ginger, lettuce and
about everything grown anywhere. Okra and peppers are perennial.
Gherkins grow wild. Tomatoes are the leading early vegetable crop, and
patches of ten and twenty acres each are frequently seen. They are planted
in fall and winter and net the growers from $50 to $300 per acre-sometimes
more. Eggplants are profitable, and in the lake region only require to be
planted once in three or four years. Cucumbers pay from o top $300 per
acre, depending entirely upon the presence or absence of the Aphis insect.
The fruits in cultivation in DeSoto County are almost innumerable and
comprise the choicest varieties of nearly every habitable part of the globe.
For convenience we divide them into three classes, as follows:
1. Temperate and warm-temperate climates: Peaches, pears, apricots,
nectarines, plums, grapes, Japan persimmons, strawberries, blackberries,
2. Semi-tropical fruits: Oranges, lemons, limes, pomelo or "grape-
fruit," shaddocks, figs, pomegranates, loquats, citron, kumquat, bergamot,
3. Tropical fruits: Banana, pineapple, guava, mango, avocado, sugar
apple, cheramoya, papeya, sapodilla, pepeno, granadilla, tamarind and some
others, such as the cocoanut, which are grown mostly as ornaments.
The orange still yields the sceptre as the queen of fruits, yet some others
give about as satisfactory results as viewed from a financial standpoint, and
it is almost certain that mangoes, avocadoes, and possibly sugar apples, will
be even more remunerative when we produce them in quantities sufficient to
supply the northern cities. For local markets they are twice as profitable
AN AGRICULTURAL GLIMPSE OF FLAGLER COUNTY
By L. T. MILAND, County Agent
Agriculturally Flagler County is one of the most fortunate counties in
the State. Its location on the east coast with Crescent Lake on the west
gives it a much tempered winter climate very favorable to the hardier winter
vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, English peas, and early Irish potatoes.
It offers splendid trucking possibilities, for it is about a day nearer the north-
ern markets than the southern trucking counties and it has large areas of
flat woods land of the very best quality with enough slope to permit easy
drainage. In addition to these advantages, it has the St. Johns River Route
on the west, the Florida East Coast Railway and the Dixie Highway through
the center, and the East Coast Canal on the eastern border which makes
the possibilities for easy and cheap transportation of market crops excep-
This year Flagler County planted about four thousand acres to early
Irish potatoes. Most of these were planted in the Shell Bluff, Bimini, Haw
Creek, and St. Johns Park sections. Although the spring was a fairly wet
one, a very good yield was made, running as high as eighty barrels per acre
in many cases and giving a large percentage of No. I's. Still, in spite of the
heavy production, the season was a disastrous one to many growers. The
prices dropped at an early date to between four and five dollars on the track,
and, since most growers were under contract with brokers and dealers
who furnish the capital to grow the crop, the cost of production ran too
high to net the growers a profit at these figures. High freight rates to north-
ern markets also helped to deprive the farmer of a balance on the right side
of the ledger.
An attempt was made to grow cotton on our flatwoods land following
the spring Irish potato crop. No fertilizer was used except that left by the
potatoes. Sixteen acres of both the long and short staple varieties were
planted as an experiment about the latter part of May. A fine crop of bright
cotton was made, in spite of one of the worst rainy seasons in many years,
and the average yield was about a bale to the acre. Samples of both the long
and the short staple were exhibited at the State Fair and attracted much
attention among cotton men.
Next to the trucking industry Flagler offers good opportunities to the
field crop and live-stock man. It could be made a great dairying county. Its
close connection with the east coast hotel trade gives it one of the best
markets in the United States for milk and butter during the winter. Le-
gume hays and winter oats and rye help keep up an economical production
of milk. Hogs and beef cattle can grow and fatten on home-grown corn,
cowpeas, soy beans, velvet beans, sweet potatoes, peanuts, Napier grass, and
sorghum and find a short route by water or rail to the packing houses at
During the spring and summer Flagler County organized two pure-
bred dairy bull associations in the communities of St. Johns Park and Haw
Creek where the farmers have determined to improve their milk cows. Two
pure-bred Jersey bulls were purchased and the plan is to breed up by using
these bulls on native and grade Jersey cows. Further interest in pure-bred
cattle is also evidenced by the fact that in some cases pure-bred cows have
been purchased by individual farmers. Those farmers having milk to sell
have been able to dispose of it in bulk at around fifty cents per gallon by
shipping it to Daytona and nearby towns.
More interest has also been shown in pure-bred poultry this year. During
the past winter the local bank in co-operation with the County Agent dis-
tributed fifty settings of pure-bred chicken eggs. Both egg and meat breeds
were introduced in this way and the business of furnishing the east coast
tourist towns with poultry products-a business which is always profitable-
was given a boost.
Several fine citrus groves at St. Johns Park and along the shores of
Crescent Lake will net their owners a handsome profit during the winter.
Grapefruit, oranges and tangerines seem to do very well here, especially
the tangerines, and these, in many cases last season, sold at fancy prices. On
every side a good deal of attention is being given to citrus and the number
of groves is constantly increasing. In one case a grove of about two hundred
acres is being planted south of Crescent Lake where water protection can
be had in case of a freeze.
Since Flagler is a county made up of communities of small farms, con-
siderable effort is being made among the farmers to co-operate in buying and
selling. Some progress has already been made in this direction. A potato
growers' association has been formed which is affiliated with the Hastings
Potato Growers' Association of St. Johns County. Through this association
the farmers hope to receive a more just profit than formerly by reducing the
cost of supplies in co-operative buying and by wider distribution of their
product when it is marketed. The cowpea seed for the county was practi-
cally all purchased co-operatively this year with the help of the County
Agent and resulted in a reduction of fifty to seventy-five cents per bushel and
a greatly increased acreage. Another saving for some of the potato growers
was also effected when four thousand barrels were purchased co-opera-
tively direct from the manufacturers and distributed at cost among eleven
farmers of the St. Johns Park district, the price being about twelve cents
per barrel less than the average one quoted.
This year Flagler County held its first annual County Fair and also
took an agricultural exhibit to the State Fair in Jacksonville. The general
good quality and variety of the products displayed at both these exhibits,
in spite of the recent rainy season, again brought out the fact that Flagler is
an excellent agricultural county and offers unusual opportunities to the
homeseeker who would join the ranks of real, live-wire farmers.
By W. G. BUCKMAN, Secretary Board of Trade, Wauchula
On April 20, 1921, the Legislature in session at Tallahassee passed a
bill permitting the creation of five new counties from the territory of DeSoto
County. Before this division DeSoto was the second largest county in the
State, containing 3,755 square miles, more territory than the State of Dela-
ware and Rhode Island combined.
Of this vast area a very small percentage was under cultivation, progress
and development being hampered by its scattered population and unwieldy
government. But a significant fact is, while Hardee County is one of the
smaller counties, DeSoto being the same size, created by this division, she
has more schools and almost as great a population as the other four counties
For several years previous to the division of DeSoto there was a small
section of the county that had become justly famous from the enormous
amount of citrus fruit and winter vegetables that was being produced in a
MOSS-DRAPED LIVE OAKS LINE MANY DRIVEWAYS
very limited area. This section of old DeSoto County was known as the
"Wauchula District." The seventeen and one-half extreme northwest town-
ships of the old county is now Hardee, and embraces practically the same
territory formerly known as the "Wauchula District."
The reason for this section showing the greatest and most progressive
development is not alone from the fact that both fruit and vegetables are
produced in such abundance, but from the singular fact, found nowhere else
in Florida, are being grown on the same land. Also from the diversified
vegetable crops produced. Almost every vegetable known commercially is
grown in a commercial way in Hardee County. This does not mean that
a few hampers are grown, but that carloads are produced and shipped each
Quoting from an article written by Mr. L. W. Traer, of the Farmer
and Stockman, on Hardee County, Mr. Traer said: "I merely want to
describe a section of Florida that, in my opinion, offers more advantages
for the production of diversified crops, and the development of a profitable
live-stock industry, than any other section in the State which I have visited."
Trucking, or the growing of vegetables for the northern markets, has
perhaps been the greatest factor in creating the enviable reputation of Hardee
County. As has been said, practically all vegetables are grown here. Cucum-
bers may be said to be the "specialty," with string beans a close second.
The Wauchula station, and there are several other shipping points in the
county, ships more cucumbers than all other points combined on the Atlantic
Coast Line Railway from Fort Myers to Jacksonville. From thirty to
forty cars go out daily through the height of the shipping season. It is not
unusual for the grower to realize $1,000 from an acre of cucumbers, the
returns being greater from cucumbers than any other crop, except peppers
and strawberries. Other vegetables, of which large crops are planted, and
bring the grower good returns, are tomatoes, eggplant, squash, cabbage,
English peas, Irish potatoes and lettuce.
Hardee County also grows hundreds of acres of watermelons. It is a
crop that pays well, from the fact that usually the first melons of the season
are shipped from this county.
The growing of strawberries is a new industry for Hardee County.
About forty acres were set to berries last season. The soil and climate prov-
ing ideal for the growing of this luscious fruit, one grower shipping more
than 9,000 quarts from a single acre. Florida has the longest shipping season
on strawberries of any State in the Union, the season here in Hardee County
lasting from December to June. It is estimated that berries will be shipped
this season from at least three hundred acres in the county, and the growing
of strawberries bids fair to be one of the leading industries.
This is the natural home of the orange. There are as fine orange groves
in Hardee County as can be found in the State. Some of the seedling groves,
from sixty to seventy years old, are still vigorous and bearing fruit, the trees
showing no signs of ever having been hurt by cold. Citrus fruits of all kinds
produced in Hardee County are unsurpassed in quality and flavor. The trees
are unusually free from scale and other insects. There are now eighteen
large packing houses for citrus fruit in the county. Each season sees many
additional acres set to citrus fruit trees, and the erection of additional
packing houses to take care of the ever-increasing production.
The ultimate goal of everyone who contemplates a future home in Flor-
ida is an orange grove. A great majority of these cannot afford to pay $,ooo0
or more per acre for a bearing grove, nor have they the necessary means to
enable them to buy land, set out a grove and wait five or six years before
their trees are producing paying crops. But here in Hardee County the
wonderful soil enables the man of even moderate means to gratify his am-
bition to own a grove. It is estimated that it costs only about half as much
to bring a grove into bearing on this fertile soil as compared to the sand
ridge land which has a growth of scrub or black jack oak, and known as
"Citrus Fruit Land." For the same reason, the cost of fruit production is
far less. But the greatest advantage that Hardee County has over any other
section of the State is in the peculiar adaptability of the soil to grow diversi-
fied crops-soil that will grow both citrus fruits, farm crops and vegetables.
For lack of a better name, it is called Combination Soil. This is how the
owner, even of moderate means, of Combination Soil, can become a grove
owner. After the trees are set, winter vegetables are planted between the
rows. These vegetables are ready for market within sixty to ninety days
from date of planting, and two crops are grown each season. The revenue
derived from the sale of vegetables, thus grown between the tree rows, will
not only pay the expense of the grove until it reaches a paying bearing stage,
but will also furnish a good living for the owner and his family, and, as in
many cases, leave a credit balance in the bank. This is not what may be done,
but what has been done, is being done here today, and it is the way in which
hundreds will become the proud owners of Hardee County orange groves in
While the returns from trucking and citrus fruit production makes them
easily the leading sources of income for the growers of Hardee County, yet
general farming, live stock and poultry raising are engaged in to such an ex-
tent and with such success that each are well worthy of attention. All field
crops, with the exception of some of the small grains, flourish. Cowpeas,
beggarweed and velvet beans will produce two or three tons of hay per
acre. Carpet grass and Bermuda, while importations, show by their luxuri-
ant growth that they are perfectly at home. Both of these grasses rank as
high in food value as any pasture grass of the Northern States, with the pos-
sible exception of blue grass. Both dairying and the raising of pure-bred hogs
have proven successful. Some of the pure-bred hogs seen on the farms of
Hardee County today demonstrate the fact that no better quality can be
produced anywhere. Many of the new people who have come to make their
home here have turned their attention to the raising-of poultry and have
found it a most profitable industry.
Perhaps there is no consideration of more importance to one contem-
plating settling in a new community than that of health. In this respect
Hardee County is peculiarly blessed, holding rank with the most healthful
communities of the world. There are no swamps for the breeding of mosqui-
toes, and there are very few flies and other insects. Peace River flows
through the very heart of the county. This, with its tributaries of small
creeks and branches, and the rolling lay of the land, affords the best of
natural drainage. The water is clear, soft and pure, and is found at a depth
of from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet. An artesian flow can be secured,
in most sections of the county, from 100oo to 300 feet. It contains some
sulphur and is very healthful.
There is no spot in the United States with a better climate than Hardee
County. Situated 235 miles south of Jacksonville, in the very heart of South
Florida, there is very little danger from a damaging frost. The elevation is
good, and being only 45 miles from the Gulf, and about twice that distance
from the ocean, insures cool breezes at all times. The summers are never
hot and sultry. The average annual mean temperature is 72.8 degrees, and
the summer temperature has never been known to reach Ioo degrees.
The average annual rainfall is 52.28 inches. The greatest amount of
precipitation generally occurs in June. However, there is seldom a month
in the year that there is not some rainfall, and it is generally so well dis-
tributed throughout the year that no artificial irrigation is necessary.
Hardee County has never been very active in catering to the winter
tourist, but on the contrary has encouraged development along the more
substantial line of diversified agriculture. The homeseeker will find that,
with the ideal climate, combination soil, a God-fearing, law-abiding people,
good schools and churches, that Hardee County offers the best surroundings
for the ideal home of any place in South Florida.
While only a very small per cent of the land of Hardee County is now
in cultivation, yet it is producing more than a million and a half dollars
worth of vegetables in a single season, and more than another million is
being realized from the citrus fruit. No man can foretell the future of this
wonderful county when all of her natural resources have been developed.
The development of recent years has not only been wonderful, but substan-
tial. The future of this, one of Florida's newest counties, is bright. It is a
question of a short time when the thousands of acres of her fertile soil, now
covered with virgin forest, will be converted into orange groves and truck
fields. During the past few years, the period of greatest development, the
land has tripled in value. Yet this land is now selling at a very low figure,
when the enormous revenue derived from an acre of this land in a single
season is taken into consideration.
By FRANK WHITMAN
The County of Hillsborough furnishes a home for the farmer, fruit
grower, stock and poultry raiser, truck farmer, and grower of deciduous
fruits. The stranger to Florida and Florida conditions might think that
this is a rather large contract-that of furnishing soil types for the different
lines of endeavor mentioned, but this county can do it. Like all of Florida,
our lands run from rich muck and hammock lands to the high pine and
lighter sandy soils. All are good for something and will well repay the effort
of clearing and draining, if necessary. Here and there are timbered lands,
and in these cases clearing is easy and inexpensive. The rich hammock lands
are the most expensive to clear, but when this is done it is almost like finding
a treasure of gold. We have some muck lands, drained and otherwise. In
A SCENE IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
many instances the mere digging of ditches will render the lands that are
termed "muck" available, and which are practically always the beds of "flat-
wood ponds" and lands that are subject to overflow during the rainy season.
There is an abundance of good, yet uncultivated, lands which are cheap
compared with lands of other States. The Hillsborough County farm, right-
ly conducted, will produce a large proportion of the food consumed in the
home, probably averaging around 80 per cent. The soils as a rule have
sufficient sand to make them easy to cultivate when dry or when wet, thus
making it possible to keep both men and teams busy on productive work.
The topography of the county is generally level or very gently rolling, sim-
plifying the care of large fields by the use of tractors and other labor-saving
machinery-thus insuring larger crops. The humus and nitrogen supply of
our soils may be maintained or increased easily, due to the heavy growth of
vegetation during the rainy season. Our lands may be kept growing crops
practically all the year, thus preventing leaching or erosion. Our climate
is unsurpassed. That fact is too well known to admit of any argument. The
rainfall will average from 50 to 60 inches during the year, which is not ex-
cessive, owing to the porous nature of our soils. The rainfall is plentiful, too,
although some farmers play safe by providing for irrigation. This latter is
an easy matter, owing to the fact that water is easy to obtain, quite often
through the medium of flowing wells, when irrigation by gravitation can be
done. The windmill and water tank is the next best thing and is often ad-
visable, for it enables the farmer to put water right in the house.
Florida is noted for its wonderful variety of crops, its forage grasses
and its well-nigh perfect adaptation for different lines of endeavor connected
with the soil. Hillsborough County is like the rest of the State in this re-
spect, also, with this difference-and this often spells the variation between
success and failure- we have markets and the roads that lead to them. The
City of Tampa, with its vast commercial interests, is a huge power plant for
the agricultural interests of the county, and its "fuel" consumption is great.
There are certain sections of the county that have become literally fa-
mous in certain lines of growing or endeavor. If these lines appeal to you,
you should settle in these districts, for the reason that a large output attracts
buyers and makes the organization of co-operative associations. These
conditions invariably create a competition that reacts favorably upon prices.
Then, again, this enables growers to study each other's methods to distinct
advantage, buy fertilizer in a co-operative way and save money all around.
It is not necessary to start on land located at a prohibitive distance away from
the markets. This would be pretty hard to do in this county, owing to our
fine highway system and the number of railroads that traverse the districts.
GROWING OF CITRUS FRUITS
It would hardly be in keeping with a description of this county unless
one dwelt rather exhaustively on the citrus fruit industry. Deeply implanted
in the hearts of practically all newcomers is a picture of an orange or grape-
fruit grove. This line of fruit growing has but lately taken an added im-
petus, although we have some very old groves in the county. Really, the
county's chief asset has always been its business interests, and this phase has
caused less planting than probably some other sections of the State have done.
The proper lands are here, however, and the thousands of acres of groves that
RIVERSIDE DRIVE, TEMPLE TERRACES, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
have reached a bearing stage are thriving splendidly, producing fruit of the
highest color and quality.
GROWING OF TRUCK AND FIELD CROPS
To the truck grower in this county nature has been most kind in provid-
ing suitable lands and a kindly climate through the winter months that will
enable him to grow and market his crops in winter when prices are high, for
the reason that his only competition is the hothouse crops of the north, which
are not of much volume. Strawberries are not unknown here at Thanks-
giving time and during the holidays the crop begins to be quite extensive.
Cucumbers, while rather susceptible to frost, can easily be protected by "A"
troughs, should the weather be threatening. They can be grown all through
the winter months, although the March crop seems to be the most lucrative,
for the reason that at this time Florida cukess" have practically no compe-
tition from anywhere. Celery is always in demand, and the celery lands of
Hillsborough County are not excelled anywhere.
Other staple truck crops are lettuce, cabbage, potatoes and beans. The
commercial growing of these here are essayed with the best of success, for we
can get them to the markets of the North when demand is greatest and prices
the best. This sort of growing should appeal to the man who has farmed in
other States, for it is just the kind he has always been used to. This line does
best on well-drained, semi-high lands, of which we have plenty, but will do
splendidly on well-drained "hammock" or "muck" lands. Vegetable grow-
ing is considered the most lucrative, for the reason that three or more crops
can be produced on the same land during the year.
CATTLE RAISING AND POULTRY FARMING
Cattle raising has taken on an added interest and volume in the past ten
years. The introduction of pure-bred stock has been responsible for most
of this, of course, but the ease with which feed can be raised has played no
unimportant part in the making of what is now one of the most important
industries. There are quite a few silos in the county and nearly all our big
dairies have them, where the pasturage is not sufficient to furnish feed the
year around. There is a state cattle association and a state swine growers' as-
sociation. Both organizations are active and doing much good for the in-
dustry. For the physical well-being of the stock in the county we have made
ample provision, not alone through our county agricultural advisor, but
through the State Experiment Station at Gainesville, through its department
of animal husbandry.
In this county you can grow something every month in the year for
poultry feed. Contrast this condition with that of the less happier communi-
ties, and then look over this section for your likely place. We assure you
there are plenty of them. It is a well-known fact that the size of the feed
bill has appalled many an experienced poultryman and placed his figures on
the wrong side of his ledger. Here it is easily possible to raise practically all
the feed, and the green stuff which plays so important a part in the produc-
tion of eggs and the making of poultry health is always possible to secure on
the place, such is the advantage of the climate.
FOREST OF PALMS IN HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY WELCOMES YOU
Although we have already constructed a system of good roads leading
to the farthermost points in the county, we are not content-we are expend-
ing $3,000,000 more in the immediate future. Our highways have already
become famous, and with the contemplated additions we will have one of
the finest highway systems in the entire south. Our rural schools are plenti-
ful and the best. With the new highways will come quick transportation
to all points and thus our growers will be able to reach the beaches, the
amusements, the higher schools and colleges, with a minimum of effort and
time. All things are being made available for our truckers, our farmers, our
stock and poultrymen. Progress is the word to apply to Hillsborough
County. The location is supreme on the West Coast of Florida.
Glades County was created in 1921 from DeSoto County. There has
been no census taken since the formation of the county nor has there been
an agricultural enumeration taken. There are 453,888 acres in the county.
The center of population is at Moorehaven. Though bordering Lake Okee-
chobee it has very little of the Everglades within its borders. A canal lead-
ing from the lake to the Caloosahatchee River furnishes drainage and small
craft water transportation to this section. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
extends to Moorehaven and the Moorehaven and Cleweston extends from
Moorehaven to Clewiston in Hendry County.
HENDRY AND COLLIER COUNTIES
Hendry and Collier counties were formed in 1923 from Lee County.
They include all of the eastern and southern parts of the original county.
These two counties are almost totally undeveloped. Clewiston is the only
town of any size in Hendry, and Collier has Everglade, the county seat, and
Caxambas as its principal towns. Both Collier and Hendry extend for a short
distance into the Everglades District on the east. By far the greatest part of
these counties is made up of a vast plain, totally undeveloped. The Tamiami
Trail, which is to extend from Fort Myers to Miami, will go through these
counties. An extension of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad from Immokalee
to Deep Lake-across three townships-would complete rail service across
both counties north and south. Thus making rail connections from the Gulf
north to New York. Quite extensive development projects are being planned
by large capitalists in this section.
There is no more favorable location in Florida for the development of
citrus growth than in Highlands County. It lies in the highland region of
the central peninsula, just south of the splendid fruit belt of Polk County.
There is no part of the State freer from frost and better adapted to the de-
velopment of the citrus fruit industry on a large scale. Trucking will also be
a leader in this section as it is settled and brought under cultivation. This is
one of the four new counties cut from DeSoto in 1921. Sebring, the county
seat, is at the southern border of that "scenic highlands" country beginning
near Haines City and extending southward, of which so much has been writ-
ten and which has attracted so many looking for an ideal place to make a
Practically anything that can be raised in Florida can be grown in High-
lands County. The banana and the Australian blackberry are destined to be-
come large industries in this county. When good roads lead to the railroads
and travel is as easy as it is now in the neighbor county to the north, values
are going to rise as they have done in other counties as they came through
the developing period.
Lake Istokpoga, near the center of the county, is one of the large lakes
of the noted lake region. Bounded on the east by the Kissimmee River, it
has water transportation for small crafts to Lake Okeechobee and thence by
canals to the cities of the East Coast. The Atlantic Coast Line Railroad
traverses the county north and south, leading direct to the eastern markets.
By C. H. FREAS, Secretary Chamber of Commerce
The possession of an orange, grapefruit and tangerine grove near Brooks-
ville is something to excite the ambition of the well-to-do or the man of
wealth. No other real estate investment offers such large legitimate returns,
or is less subject to destruction or depreciation in value. Citrus fruit raising
is the most pleasant and fascinating of all forms of husbandry or agriculture,
besides being very remunerative. In fact, a good citrus grove, when properly
cared for, is almost a gold mine.
Brooksville is located in a demonstrated citrus district which has for years
been shipping large quantities of the brightest and highest priced fruit. What
is known as the citrus belt in Florida extends many miles north of Brooks-
Brooksville has two large, well-equipped packing houses, operated by ex-
perienced packers and shippers, accessible to both the Atlantic Coast Line
Railroad and the Seaboard Air Line Railroad, one conducted by the Florida
Citrus Exchange and the other by the American Fruit Growers' Associa-
tion, thus insuring the grower of every advantage of the highest prices and
the best shipping facilities. The Hernando County Citrus Fruit Grower
never need hunt for a market, for the buyers swarm here long before the crop
is made, take an estimate of the amount of boxes your grove will have the
coming shipping season and offer you part cash, mostly a big part, with an
agreement to pay the balance on every box produced as they are being
shipped. That is your experience here annually, not intermittently.
Dairying in Hernando County is one of the greatest opportunities in
Florida. Why? Because the beautiful rolling hills and dales of Hernando
County, Florida, high and healthful, covered with fertile soils of sandy loam,
underlaid with clay, supplied with good water from either wells dug in the
clay or drilled through the rocks beneath, produce native pasture grasses and
abundant crops the whole year with which to fill granaries, silos, haymows
and supply soilage and grazing almost every month.
Because in Hernando County, Florida, you will find a successful, pros-
perous group of dairy farmers, producing for an established and successful
creamery and milk shipping plant at Brooksville, who began about two years
ago as a co-operative association, and whose business has grown and developed
since so as to necessitate the building of a new and modern plant this year,
containing the best in refrigerating, butter and milk handling equipment,
with a daily capacity of 500 gallons pasteurized milk, 800 pounds butter,
Ioo gallons ice cream and a ton of ice for dairy patrons. Cream routes radia-
ting from Brooksville into outlying farming districts will supply the foun-
dation for good creamery butter, for which the demand is unlimited. Nearby
patrons can apply themselves to producing strictly high-grade sanitary milk
for shipping, if desired. Common stock in the Hernando County Dairy, Inc.,
par value $50 per share, can be bought by producers, two to ten shares each,
and will entitle them to prorata in the net profits, based on their shipments to
the plant for six months.
Tampa is only forty-nine miles from Brooksville, and, being a large
jobbing center, offers a big market, not only for eggs but countless other
farm products. In addition to the poultry market offered by Tampa and the
Cuban trade, it may be added that a large portion of the regular Florida
demand, and the requirements of the big winter tourists hotels is today sup-
plied by poultry products imported from as far away as Iowa. Brooksville
farmers can supply at least a portion of this large demand and keep this
money at home.
Hernando County, some years ago, organized an "egg circle," which
under the management of Mrs. C. M. Emerson, has had a phenomenal
growth in membership and business. The organization obtains top prices for
eggs and poultry products, not taken by the local markets, throughout the
entire year, thereby furnishing a cash income for all who are in the business.
GENERAL FARMING AND TRUCKING
"Go West, young man," was all right in the days of Horace Greeley,
and the people followed that advice until the West has been right well ex-
ploited. Go to Florida, everybody who desires a change of business, climate
or diversion, has taken the place of the Greelyism. All parts of our country
have been deluged with literature from Florida advising the tourist of
places in Florida where they specialize on this, that or the other fruit, farm
staple or vegetable, but for Hernando County we claim that our location,
topography, diversity of soil, elevation and natural resources entitles the
place to the consideration of all who enter the State. Undeniably located
within the "Land of Sunshine and Flowers," portion of the Great Peninsula,
there are here found every type of land elevation, soil and facility found in
In view of these proven facts it is reasonable to claim for Hernando, the
County Par Excellence for general farming and trucking. After the pro-
spective new settler has read literature about all the places in Florida where
specializing in one or two branches of agriculture is the vogue, and there
are sections where wonders are being accomplished, let him come into the
county of diversified elevation of soils.
UNCLE SAM FARMS
The United States Government has established a foreign plant introduc-
tion station at Brooksville, thereby placing the stamp of its approval on the
land in this vicinity. This action on the part of the National Government
is of great importance not only to Brooksville, but to the entire State. There
are only four other similar stations in the whole United States.
Hernando County farmers thus possess a great advantage in being close
at hand to watch the work of the station and profit from the experiments in
raising new crops and in discovering better methods for handling old ones.
They also have the opportunity of personal consultation with the gov-
ernment employes and experts, who are always glad to give advice on any
agricultural problems that may arise.
Among the introductions of the Government that promise rich rewards
to Brooksville farmers aire dasheens, a substitute for potatoes, that yield from
400 to 700 bushels per acre. Chayotes, a substitute for squash or any similar
vegetable, that will produce from two to three thousand Chayotes to the
arbor per year. Chinese and Japanese bamboo, for baskets and many varie-
ties of furniture, and numberless kinds of fruits, vegetables, grains and plants
grown in foreign countries with climate similar to that of Hernando County.
In the manufacture of lumber no other county in the State cah compare
with Hprnando in variety and quality. Modern mills have manufactured
and marketed millions of feet of pine and cypress and there are still more
millions of pine, sweet gum and all kinds of hardwood in the high hammock
sections of the county. To the northwest of Brooksville is a tract of some
20,000 acres covered with more than fifty varieties of hardwood, some of
which are furnishing thousands of baseball bats for the markets all over the
country, some timber for crate and veneer mills in Brooksville and through-
out the State and many thousands of feet are shipped in blocks to the mills
of the East.
Local sawmills, because of the introduction of good roads and motor
trucks, can establish a mill at any point of vantage where lumber is desired
and manufacture lumber at a minimum expense. Local contractors thus are
enabled to secure the timber, bring it to Brooksville on motor trucks, saw
and cure economically, use as the market demands and find a ready market in
nearby towns for any surplus.
All of Florida's great crops leave the State in crates or hampers and since
the supply of timber is rapidly decreasing in other counties it requires only
a slight stretch of the imagination to foretell that her lumber resources are
becoming more valuable with each season.
The area of Lake County is 1,128 square miles or 721,920 acres, of
which the estimated lake area is I25,ooo acres. The elevation of Lake Coun-
ty runs from 65 feet above sea level to 360 feet, east of Clermont, and 312
feet on Table Mountain of the "Apopka Mountain" ranges, of which there
are three between Astatula and Minneola. There are other high elevations
of 300 feet about Fruitland Park, Grand Island, Paisley section, Umatilla,
Montverde, Minneola, Emeralda, Mt. Dora, Eustis, Sorrento, Leesburg-
in fact, all of Lake County is rolling and beautiful views can be had from the
hill tops in every corner of the county.
Naturally one will smile when we refer to "mountains" 300 feet high,
and yet the word "hill" is just as pedantic.
Lake County is the center of what is classed in sectional Florida as the
Central Lake Region-to distinguish it from the East Coast or the West
Coast or South Florida sections.
Lake County is located on what is termed the "Backbone of Florida."
That this is true is evidenced by the fact that Helena Run, between Lees-
burg and Okahumpka, flows at times to the Gulf and at other times to the
Atlantic. Thus is fixed the most wonderful watershed in the United States.
The waters of Lake flow north through the waters of the Oklawaha
and St. Johns rivers to the Atlantic Ocean.
To the south through Lake Okechobee to the Atlantic Ocean.
To the west through the Withlacoochee River to the Gulf of Mexico.
Thus the friable and fertile soils are insured perfect drainage for all
SCENIC OR ALPINE FLORIDA
The scenic beauty of Lake County is enhanced by its very unexpected-
ness. The visitor does not come prepared to look for hills and heavily tim-
bered slopes. He has been led to believe that Florida is flat woods, or great
low mesa of stunted palmettos and wiry grass; of interminable miles of
blazed pine trees turning their wounded side's to one's gaze; of lazy, clotted,
But, by train or auto, as the beauties of Lake County are unfolded, the
visitor, surprised by the revelation, exclaims, "This is the most beautiful
country I have ever seen!"
True, the mountains, or hills, if you please, are not as stupendous as those
of the Blue Ridge or the Alleghanies-not as awe-inspiring, forbidding,
majestic, but they are more beautiful, with qualities that delight the sense
of the mind. Here nature seems to rest in raptured contemplation of her
own rich and varied charms. Here, in kindest mood, reposeful in her fair
estate, she meditates upon a scene
"Where the tints of the earth and the hues of the sky
In color, though varied, in beauty may vie."
The scenery of Lake County has inspired the song of the poet, and many
gifted writers have tried to paint a prose picture that would do justice to
"Scenic Lake," but no writer ever admitted that he succeeded to his own
Would you think it possible to throw your auto out of gear and coast a
mile and a half in Florida? Would you think that in Florida your six-
cylinder car would struggle up hills where the road was as smooth as velvet?
Can you stretch your imagination to think that you could stand on a hill-top
and look over lakes and, a valley for 25 miles ? Can you picture 65 spring-fed
lakes within a day's walk? Can you visualize deep valleys where a lake mir-
rors in deepest purple the towering hillsides? Can you imagine the grandeur
of a sunset where water and sky meet, repeating each tracery of the clouds,
and the varying moods of the colors, and linger until the dark clouds draw
the veil over the enchanting scene ?
This is all yours in Lake County to be seen and enjoyed.
Lake County stands alone in the great commonwealth in the beauty
and variety of scenery, from the riot of tropical vegetation along the shores
of the rivers and canals, to the imposing views from the hill-tops, with the
landscapes studded with lakes of diamond, lakes of turquoise, lakes of em-
DAIRYING, TRUCKING AND GENERAL FARMING
The total annual production in Lake County of all fruits, berries, farm
products, forage crops, honey, poultry, milk, eggs, butter, beeswax, is far
in excess of $6,000,000 annually. The citrus crop leads in valuation fol-
lowed by the watermelon crop, of which 4,500 acres were planted last year,
the first cars selling for $900 cash at the station.
The marketing of most products is very simple. The citrus crop is either
marketed through the Florida Citrus Exchange and its packing houses, or
through independent houses, or sold to buyers who ship in field boxes to
plants outside the county, or engage local houses to pack for them. The
grower does not, as a rule, pick his fruit, and oftimes sells it on the tree.
Watermelons and truck stuff is bought by buyers on delivery at plat-
forms. Eggs, poultry and honey and many other articles are sold to local
stores or to commission house local agencies.
FARMING AND TRUCKING
This question is so comprehensive in all its ramifications that in itself
it would take many pages to set clear.
This county raises many watermelons, the crop being very profitable
as buyers are on the ground early in the season paying as high as $1,ooo a
car for them, price declining as the supply begins to stock the markets.
A conservative estimate of the net profits per acre on vegetables is:
Lettuce, $355; cabbage, $225; celery, $340; cucumbers, $335; peppers,
$150; tomatoes, $175; strawberries, $370; Irish potatoes, $125; sweet pota-
toes, $346; onions, $270; squash, $100; eggplant, $275; string beans, $Ioo;
English peas, $160.
These are not exceptional yields. We could quote individual profits as
high as $2,392.33 from one acre of celery, yields of other vegetables as great.
The Florida Department of Agriculture, pages 340 to 341, authenticates
returns from acreages of onions at $900; potatoes, $230; squash, $518; cu-
cumbers, $400; beets, $387; rice, $177; tobacco, $1,ooo; cotton, $120; let-
tuce, $422; peppers, $655; tomatoes, $4oo; eggplant, $1,350; watermelons,
$1,074; English peas, $366; beans, $410; sugar cane, $259; cabbage,
Practically all of the truck farmers utilize their truck fields for farm
crops after the vegetables are off, securing large yields of corn, Irish or sweet
potatoes, or hay, velvet beans and the hay that can be gathered after the
beans are picked and threshed; cowpeas and other legumes are used, not only
paying a profit but enriching the land for the next vegetable crop.
Lake County is the home of Natal hay, being the first to grow and
standardize the crop and give it a position in the hay markets a close second
to timothy and alfalfa.
Lake County maintains a county agricultural expert in conjunction with
the State Experiment Station and Department of Agriculture at Washing-
ton who assists the newcomer in doing things as they should be done, and is
at beck and call of any farmer or grower in the county. Also the general
office has thousands of bulletins on every conceivable subject which are free
to callers at the Tavares office or mailed on request.
Lake County also maintains a lady demonstrator who helps the farm
wife in her work, and encourages the girls to do canning, dairying, etc., as
well as to look after the health of school children.
DAIRYING AND STOCK RAISING
There is no end of possibilities in the dairying industry of Lake County,
and the reason that it has not developed beyond the local demands is that
there is less work and more profit in the citrus industry. In truth, this is the
answer to the every-day industry: "Why haven't you more of your arable
land under cultivation?"
The Northern farmer who endeavors to make a living off of 160 to 640
acres of land marvels that a man with a Io-acre grove in Florida is making
more money with less energy and capital than he is with his square mile of
land under cultivation, and occasionally more money off one acre than if he
cultivated four square miles.
But Florida wants diversified farming, and year by year, we are en-
larging the scope of our activities on field and farm.
The subject of hogs, cattle, poultry, is a big one, and needs not the space
in this book as citrus culture, for the Northern farmer understands all of
these different classes of husbandry.
All that is necessary to say is that if you have made a success with stock
or poultry dairying in the North you can make twice the success in Lake
County, where we have no winters to contend with and have green food
all the year round.
Lake County has access to the waters of the world by a chain of canals
connecting its lakes, the Oklawaha and St. Johns rivers to the Atlantic.
Lake County is reached by the Seaboard and Atlantic Coast Line Rail-
Lake County stands second in citrus production in the State, and has two
of the largest nurseries and seven ferneries, with a million or so of capital in-
Lake County is free from malaria, and is very healthful.
. .*-~- .. ..
ONE OF LAKE COUNTY'S NUMEROUS LAKES
Its recreative facilities appeal to the hunter, the fisherman, the golfer,
and kindred sports.
Lake County has 400 miles of good roads, and is the radiating point
between the east and west coasts.
Lake County's schools and churches are the pride of its own people.
Located in center of peninsula of Florida, forty miles from the Gulf of
Mexico and forty miles from the Atlantic Ocean.
Population, 1920, I2,744-increase of 34 per cent over previous census.
Area, 1,128 square miles, or 721,920 acres.
1,400 lakes, with an area of water of 125,000 acres.
Elevation 65 feet above sea level to 360 feet.
Country rolling, soil underlaid with clay.
Acres in farms, 120,000-400,000 acres of arable lands yet to be placed
Boxes of citrus fruit shipped last season, 8oo,ooo, with a value of ap-
Watermelon shipments, 2,000 cars, value of $800,000.
Other farm and grove products make a grand total of $5,ooo,ooo.
LAKE COUNTY CLAIMS
It has the only school fair building in the United States.
Had the first Nelson traveling teacher in Florida.
Had the first agricultural advisor in the State.
Had the first Parent-Teacher organization in Florida.
First county in Florida to adopt a school standard.
First Co-operative Poultry and Egg Society in Florida.
Was the first county in the State to employ a farm doctor.
Had the first white Industrial School in the State.
First with sand-asphalt roads.
First with sand-clay roads.
First to establish compulsory dipping vats.
Largest per capital bank deposits in State.
Has 500,000 acres of arable lands yet uncultivated.
First in corn production per acre.
Raises entire range of staple crops.
First in production of Natal hay.
Best soils, some running three per cent in nitrogen.
A close second in citrus production.
Led for years in mileage of good roads.
Leads in good road mileage per capital.
Has 33 postoffices and 2o hamlets-no pioneering in Lake.
More lakes than any other county in the State.
More navigable rivers, streams and canals than any other county.
Lake County fishermen lead entire south in winning prizes for largest
Many bear, deer and other large game, as well as birds.
Hub of Florida's good road system.
Practically immune from malaria.
No sulphur in drinking water.
Has two largest kaolin plants in South.
Has more public improvements and public utilities than any county in
the State per capital.
Lowest taxation of any county in the State measured by public improve-
First in the world to make paper of saw grass.
First county to wage war against bill boards.
First with a County Park Commission.
First county with a commercial club with a paid secretary.
Largest peach orchard in the State.
Only county in peninsula entirely underlaid with clay.
Is doing more building today per capital of any county in the State.
Its towns are laying more pavement per capital than other towns in State.
Leads in watermelon acreage in the State.
Has largest sour orange nursery in world.
Has more ferneries than all other ferneries in State combined.
By FRANK WHITMAN, in Florida Grower
Lee County has lately been carved up to some extent by the creation of
Collier and Hendry counties, but I believe I can safely say that the portion
left is capable of production to the last inch. The center of population still
lies in Fort Myers, and the center of the very finest and largest volume of
production undoubtedly is reserved to the older county. The lands are fer-
tile and susceptible to fruit and vegetable production to a degree that is
almost unbelievable. I know, and you would know, after just a casual visit.
Being so very tropical lots of fruits are grown here that are highly impor-
tant in commercial way. I saw "a world of mangoes" in the county and
believe that those grown right in the city limits would fill a score of cars, at
least. These delicious fruits were in the local markets while I was there.
Avocadoes seem to have found their true home here. They grow splendidly
in lots and in dooryards all over the county, and some quite pretentious acre-
ages have been started. I saw them-so can you-trees that seem to tower
into the skies, loaded with this greatest of real food fruit. Maybe you know
them as "alligator pears?"
Now a little more general talk about the county and we will hop into
the car or on a boat and take in the sights and interesting spots of the county
-and there are many of them, I assure you. I have spoken of production
and the county really has it. Just outside of the city limits lies the big work
of the Fort Myers Grove Co. A citrus acreage that boasts of trees still in
their babyhood giving up fine crops. It seems to me there must be some
square miles in this grove, and a drainage system is being installed that will
care for all emergencies. Artesian wells are available for irrigation, and a
leviathan "stump harvester" is paving the way to preparation of additional
lands for possible settlers. These lands are suitable for citrus growing and
trucking-or both. This is not advertising. I consider it an appreciation.
The vegetable production of the county runs up yearly into many car-
loads. Peppers, eggplant, tomatoes is probably the order of their importance.
About all the other kinds are grown successfully here. There have been
some fortunes made in peppers, to my certain knowledge. West and south
of Fort Myers lie the vegetable fields in most part. The lands look like
vegetable lands of the best quality and they are just that. There is a vege-
table growers' association in which the members buy and ship cooperatively.
I can't go into details about the lines of production. The Chamber of Com-
merce will be glad to reply to your inquiries on this subject. Write to them
or it and then let's ride again.
Now we are rolling west, on McGregor Boulevard, a memorial high-
way built by a fine lady of that name, in memory of her husband. Right
quickly we pass the homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford, two men you
probably know of. Oh, yes, they are the original gentlemen of those names,
and they spend some time here during the course of the Northern winter.
Both homes are unpretentious. We are struck with the flowers and fruits
we see along the way. Soon we roll in sight of some homes along the river-
front that are literal palaces, with lagoons constructed that hold the family
yacht or motorboat. There are also some superfine groves-notably "Twin
Palms." This latter is planted to flowers along walks that run through and
down to a finely parked riverfront. Such a place is possible only in Florida.
Our objective is Punta Rassa, made famous during the war with Spain for
the reason that the news of Dewey's victory at Manila was first flashed
here on the submarine cable. There is a station here at Punta Rassa, the
buildings of the cable company and a few nice homes. Here we may look
out over the salt waters and see a number of big islands. On the way down
we have passed the little town of lona, famous in history as a producer of
fine vegetables. These vegetable lands might be equalled somewhere, but
somehow I can't seem to remember just where. There is a postoffice, a store,
and some nice looking farm homes. This little town is rich in its soil and
consequent vegetable production. There are also a few old and young groves.
Back a ways from Punta Rassa we turn to the south over a new-made
road. It will lead us to the bridge that has been built from the mainland to
the north end of Estero Island. This is the beach resort so frequented by
visitors from Fort Myers and other points, owing to its beach drive and
splendid bathing and boating facilities. This place is new, although I saw
one quite old estate that had been established here before there was any kind
of transportation other than water. The island is high in places and some
very old shell mounds are noticeable. Out of one mound was dug some
skeletons of men that ranged well over six feet in length, one and all. No
one seems to know who or what they were.
Crescent Beach is a coming resort, if I am any judge. Its present
popularity is attested by the number of really fine cottages already in evi-
dence, its hotel, pavilions, and other things. I believe if I was going along
the Tamiami Trail in just a leisurely way-or any other way-I would
make the forty- or fifty-minute drive to Crescent Beach. It is rather a beach
of the first class that shows a lot of promise for the future. It can be reached
by auto from Fort Myers in the time mentioned. Fishing is fine off the
bridge-I vouch for it. Didn't I feed some of those big ones three dollars
worth of wooden minnows in about twenty minutes. Sure I did. It was
great fun, though.
BOCA GRANDE AND THE ISLANDS
Boca Grande is a nice little, white little, town on Gasparilla Island, the
lower part of which lies in Lee County. If you haven't heard of Boca
Grande, why haven't you? It is a fishing resort for sportsmen of the world
who come here for the tarpon and other big fish. I can't tell you much about
the tarpon fishing in this space. Boca Grande is the principal town on the
island, is reached by railroad as well as by boat, has some nice hotels, a col-
lection of fine business buildings, and is a favorite resort for some very dis-
cerning people, I assure you. South of the island is Boca Grande Pass, a
deep-water inlet, and it is here that the tarpon flock by hundreds of thou-
sands to feed with each outgoing tide. The beach on the Gulf side is a very
attractive place to bathe, and with the Gulf on one side and Charlotte
Harbor on the other I should say that Boca Grande is happily situated. At
the lower end of the island is South Boca Grande, with some big phosphate
elevators, a store and a collection of houses. There is deep water here, for
true ocean-going steamers touch at the long docks taking away cargoes of
phosphate. The island is well worth a visit, even if you don't fish-but I'll
bet you will, if you should be lucky enough to land here.
Beginning in the western part, along the Suwannee River, the lands are
mixed hammock and pine.
Several large, clear springs break out along the river, notably the Fort
Fannin and Manatee Springs, either of which supports a goodly sized river,
which add much to its beauty and attractiveness. From the Suwannee to the
Wacassassa it is a high, rolling fine country. These lands are underlaid with
limestone, clay, and marl. About the center of the ridge iron is found in
abundance and of the finest quality. The ore is a brown hematite, very
ductile, and assays 75 to 85 per cent. This ore crops out all through the
county, covering an area of four to ten miles. The Wacassassa valley is what
is termed a "flatwoods" country. The land, however, that is high enough
for cultivation, is very productive. Along this river are large beds of gypsum,
marl and phosphate. East of the Wacassassa valley is a scope of high, rolling,
fine country that is rather below the average of the county in fertility.
On the eastern side of the county is the Williston and Stafford's Pond
valley, which is the most thrifty agricultural part of the county. Thousands
of crates of vegetables are annually shipped from this section, the product
being pronounced among the finest that goes to northern markets. This is
a high pine country, rich lands underlaid with limestone, marl and clay, and
altogether one of the best sections in the State.
In the southern part of the county lies the famous Gulf hammock, ex-
tending for thirty miles along the Gulf coast, by eight to ten miles wide.
This is the largest body of dense hardwood lands in the peninsular part of
the State. It contains all the hardwoods peculiar to Florida, and still con-
siderable growth of red cedar; abounds in game, such as bear, deer, turkeys,
squirrels, etc., with an occasional panther. This is truly the sportsman's
paradise. Game and fish abound.
Peaches, plums and figs thrive here. Strawberries, vegetables, potatoes,
(white and sweet), peanuts, cowpeas, corn, cotton and sugar cane are among
the staple crops.
Marion County, Florida, was organized in 1844 from the counties
of Alachua, Hillsborough and Mosquito. (The last-named was changed to
Orange in 1845.) The size of Marion County is apparent when it is stated
that it has an area of 1,640 square miles and Rhode Island has 1,067 square
miles of land.
The assessed valuation of all property in the county in 1922 was $8,947,-
376. The population in 1920 was 24,000.
The number of acres in farms in 1922 was 165,291 and the number of
acres in cultivation was 82,192. On these cultivated acres were grown twen-
ty-one different kinds of crops that brought $2,419,970.
SThe citrus crop of 1922-3 was $I,900,000.
The vegetable crop of 1923 was worth $2,500,000.
The peaches, guavas and pecans were worth $40,000 in 1922.
A new creamery had an output of $60,000 worth the first year-1922.
The value of live stock on hand July, 1922, was $1,144,257.
The manufacturing industries' output was placed at $2,000,000.
The farms had 81 stationary gas engines; o1 electric power plants; 23
tractors; 9 waterworks and 36 silos.
Marion, therefore, offers as splendid opportunities as may be found for
combining citrus culture with diversified agriculture, dairying, live stock
and general farming. By reason of its diversified crops this county enjoys
enviable advantages for meeting the contingencies of the markets and
weather conditions. The United States Bureau of Markets sends out its
field market reports from Ocala during the melon-shipping season.
Marion County was a pioneer in the introduction of pure-bred live
stock into Florida and it has since won many grand championships with its
hogs, cattle, horses and mules. This is a wonderful hog county, having
won grand championships at the State fairs and in the Southeast; a Poland-
China sow from this county was the first Florida hog to win a grand cham-
pionship at the International Live Stock Show in Chicago.
Lime to the value of $860,ooo is mined annually.
For road material, 600,000 tons;
For agriculture, 9,000 tons;
For constructing asphalt roads, 12,00ooo tons.
For barreled lime (hydrated), 20,ooo tons.
For rock-road building, 4,400 tons.
The county has 300 miles of hard-surfaced roads.
Two lines of the Seaboard Air Line; four of the Atlantic Coast Line,
run through this county. Through trains run from Jacksonville to Tampa
The altitude of the county is from 50 to 200 feet.
Marion County has some wonderful springs: Silver Springs, the largest
in the world, with a flow of 368,913 gallons per minute. Blue Springs,
Silver Glenn Springs and Orange Springs are wonderful each in its way.
Beauty spots like Lake Weir and a number of driveways, as well as the won-
derland along the Silver and Oklawaha rivers are worthwhile to any lover
of natural beauties. The Silver River is navigable from its headwaters
at Silver Springs. It flows into the Oklawaha, a tributary to the St. Johns
River, so that a boat can start from Silver Springs and land at Jacksonville
or proceed into the Atlantic Ocean.
MANATEE AND SARASOTA COUNTIES
FROM S. A. L. BOOKLET
NOTE: All that is said about Manatee applies to Sarasota, as this county
was cut off from Manatee in 1921.
The fact that in Northern Florida the temperature in winter some-
times falls below the freezing point has had an important part in the develop-
ment of this State, for it has marked the section where oranges and other
citrus fruits can be grown with safety. Previous to the historic winter of
1894-5 oranges were supposed to be a sure crop in almost every section of
Florida and were extensively planted over a wide range of territory. During
that winter, however, the mercury fell below freezing far down through
the State; thousands of orange trees were put out of commission, and a new
horticultural map had to be made of the State.
This county became prominent after this freeze on account of the fact
that its citrus crop was unharmed. That season it furnished 33,000 of the
50,000 boxes of oranges shipped from the entire State. People then began
to investigate to see what had protected the orange trees planted there.
During the two other freezes which occurred in the State, neither of
which began to equal the one before referred to, this county came through
practically untouched. This emphasizes the advantages possessed by the
Manatee County is on the west coast of Florida, well below the central
part of the State from north to south, in the center of what is known as
The county takes its name from the Manatee River, one of the most
beautiful streams in America, which, towards its mouth, where it empties
into Tampa Bay, is one and one-half to two miles wide.
This section is so situated that winds from the north, northwest, west,
southwest, and south come from off water surfaces. The county lies between
Tampa Bay on the north and Charlotte Harbor on the south. On its fifty
miles of western shore line is Sarasota Bay, Little Sarasota Bay, Palma Sola
Bay and a part of Tampa Bay. The Gulf of Mexico, the warmest body of
water bordering the United States, reaching around the string of outlying
keys, touches the county on the southwest, as does also Lemon Bay. Manatee
River penetrates the interior as a navigable stream for 25 miles. Braden
River from the southeast empties into it. Myakka River flows to the south
and enters Charlotte Harbor. Innumerable smaller streams, inlets and lakes
add greatly to the water area of the county.
These enormous bodies of water prevent sudden changes of temperature,
temper the winter winds, and cause cool breezes for the summer, thus serv-
ing as a regulator of the climate, having an important part in protecting
orange trees from the frost, for there has been no injury, nor is there likely
to be any injury, therefrom, in the land of Manatee.
The Gulf, from the waters of which the warm Gulf Stream is made up,
here touches or is only a few miles from shore. The incoming tide from it
brings warm water, thereby increasing the winter temperature several
THE SOILS OF MANATEE
There are four kinds of soil in the county quite distinct in some respects.
These are the muck, hammock, pine and prairie lands.
The muck lands, while considerable, are least in extent, generally con-
tiguous to creeks, and are, therefore, readily drained. Usually the virgin
muck is a coarse substance mixed with sand and silt, which, after cultivation
has taken place for several seasons, becomes a fine-grained soil of almost
"Hammock" is a local term applied to a peculiar soil or body of land
which is largely composed of vegetable mold, or particles of lime, sand and
clay underlaid with a marl or clay, and covered with -a dense growth of
cedar, hickory, magnolia, palm, oak, cabbage palmetto, vines and bushes.
The high hammocks, usually first-rate, are light; the low hammocks black,
and vary in depth from two to ten feet. These lands are especially adapted
to the cultivation of mid-winter vegetables. In practice hammock lands are
fertilized for best results, especially in view of the long seasons permitting
several crops to be grown in one year.
The pine lands are higher in elevation, more or less sandy, and some are
quite fertile. Many of the finest groves in the county are grown on these.
While they are more easily cleared than the hammock lands, but not so
rich, there is a feeling that citrus trees planted on them will live to greater
age than those on a richer soil, which induces a more vigorous growth of the
ORANGE GROVE IN TURNBULL HAMMOCK
Prairie lands are more or less level and almost, if not entirely, free from
trees. They have been, and are now, largely used for cattle ranges. The soil,
when adequately drained, sweetened, and correctly handled, produces abun-
dantly-quite equal to the hammock. These lands are suitable for all crops
grown on the hammocks. Some successful truckers say the ease of clearing,
handling and cultivating the pine and prairie lands offset many of the
advantages of the richer hammock lands. Certainly crops are grown with
equal success on all of these lands described.
ARTESIAN WELLS FURNISH AN ABUNDANCE OF WATER
Another thing which gives Manatee County an advantage in growing
vegetable crops is the pure and abundant water supply to be had at slight
expense. Artesian wells are easily obtained and furnish a flow of water strong
enough to convey it wherever needed. There are seasons when rainfall is
unevenly distributed, and growing crops suffer unless means are not at hand
for applying water artificially. Every farm and orange grove of importance
is supplied with these wells-the truckers using them as an insurance against
dry periods; thus every chance of losing a crop is removed. One 6-inch well
is considered sufficient for 20 acres of vegetables or one 42-inch well for
These deep wells are believed to enter the Vicksburg Limestone. The
more shallow wells terminate in the sands and clays before reaching this
Flowing artesian wells are obtained along the coast, and far inland,
along the Manatee, Braden and Myakka rivers and other streams. A great
number have been drilled, the depth varying from 200 to 600 feet, and the
size from 3 to 12 inches. At Sarasota Bay, flowing water is obtained at 360
feet, and in the Sugar Loaf section at 450 feet. In and near Bradentown
it is reached at from 410 to 528 feet. The water from these wells will rise
about thirteen feet above the surface, equivalent to a head of about twenty-
nine feet above sea level.
VEGETABLES FOR NORTHERN MARKETS
While oranges and grapefruit occupy a prominent place among the
products of the county, the growing of vegetables is a most important
industry, and one which is yearly growing in importance.
This industry is an old one in Manatee County, because the section has
long been known to be so well located. Prior to the coming of the railroad,
truck crops were shipped by steamer to Tampa, and there transferred to the
railway lines to find their way to the northern markets. Since the Seaboard
Air Line built into the county in 1902, its trains have carried the crops to
market in increasing volume every year.
The richest lands are not planted to oranges or grapefruit, but to vege-
table crops of various kinds.
Velvet beans, beggar-weed, cowpeas, rice and sorghum are the best for
summer forage or cover crops to follow vegetables, for they make luxuriant
growth which protects the land from sun in summer, produce excellent hay,
or, if turned under, add great fertility to the soil. Some growers plant corn
alone, others vary their program with one or two crops of hay instead, and
other areas are planted in sweet potatoes, which can be produced every month
in the year in this section. This shows the progression of crops, which yield
returns as high as $1,000 to $1,500 per acre.
It is surprising what crops are grown .on Manatee County soils. New
land is usually cleared in autumn and early winter, and some crop, preferably
velvet beans, planted as soon as possible to put the land in good tilth for any
other crop. Handled in this way the land is productive from the start.
MANATEE'S GROWING SEASON
Planting time is every month in the year. The growing season runs 345
to 365 days, and evidences are plentiful of the ability to produce a continuous
line of crops. A large grower of Palmetto says:
"To show what can be produced on a given acreage in twelve months,
on November Ist, the land was planted to lettuce, and the crop marketed
during January and February. In February cucumbers were planted be-
tween the lettuce rows. This crop was marketed during March and April.
In March I planted peppers between the cucumber rows, and harvested
through May and June. After these crops corn was planted and produced
without additional fertilizer, reaching maturity before time for planting of
SOILS FOR VEGETABLES
Drainage is the first thing considered and is never overlooked. It is
secured naturally by ditches or by the use of tile, which are also used for
sub-irrigation whenever necessary.
It is noticed that practically all truck farmers locate their fields as near
the railroad or hard-surfaced road as possible, because the vegetables them-
selves are heavy to haul, and the crop is always abundant. Motor trucks are
used almost entirely in transporting to iced refrigerator cars which carry the
crop by special trains on passenger schedule to market. Since these motors
have come into use market gardening is carried on several miles farther from
the roads than ever before.
All grades of soil are used for growing truck crops, because profitable
methods of handling have been worked out.
Hammock lands are generally considered the very best, but are the most
difficult to clear of trees and undergrowth.
Prairie soils, if they can be easily drained, are excellent and constantly
gaining favor because easily cleared and handled.
The pine lands are easily brought into cultivation, respond quickly to
proper treatment and, while the poorest in original fertility, are made to
produce remarkably large and early maturing cops.
Muck lands are perhaps the most fertile, therefore require less fertilizer,
but are more liable to frost damage, and drainage is more costly.
"What soils are best for truck?" we asked a successful truck grower of
twenty years' experience. He replied, "All our soils are suited for vegetables
of one kind or another, but require different treatment. The muck and ham-
mock call for less fertilizer, but are harder to work, so I can't see much
difference. I like to have more than one particular soil so more kinds of crops
can be grown.
"A new grower should never at first try to specialize, but grow several
crops to be safe, even should one not turn out well or the market be poor."
"But," we insisted, going back to the soil, "what kind for subsoil do you
like for vegetables ?" He quickly answered, "One with a clay, marl or harder
layer twenty or thirty inches under the surface, so it will hold the water up
long enough for sub-irrigation. If we don't have this we always have to
"Do you ever surface irrigate when you have tile for that purpose?"
"Yes, if the weather report indicates frost, many of us turn the artesian wells
into the rows or ditches around our field to keep the air warmer. You know,
the water from our wells is 72 degrees all the year."
VEGETABLES WHICH ARE GROWN
All kinds of vegetables grow well here. The most profitable crops are
lettuce, celery, tomatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant and peppers. In
addition to these, beans, beets, carrots, cucumbers, melons, okra, onions, peas,
potatoes, squash, etc., are shipped north very profitably.
Growers count on securing annually from $500oo to $i,ooo worth of
vegetables per acre at least. Many of these make their land net even more
than this. It is not an uncommon thing for growers to net as much as $1,000
per acre on individual crops. Celery produces a gross of $i,8oo and often
Some idea of the extent of the winter market gardening business in
certain crops is obtained from the following average shipments for eight years
from the section:
Cabbage ................ 372 cars Irish Potatoes ..... 25 cars
Cauliflower ............. 31 cars Lettuce.......... 789 cars
Celery.................. 744 cars Peppers .......... 122 cars
Cucumbers .............. 45 cars Tomatoes ........ 983 cars
Eggplant ................ 97 cars
Other crops successfully and profitably shipped are beans, beets, carrots,
melons, okra, peas, squash and sweet potatoes.
While growers, some years, produce profitable crops without drainage
or irrigation, experience has demonstrated that these systems are really
needed. The annual rainfall is heavy, around 50 inches, but it is not always
distributed just right. At times it is so heavy that drainage is needed to
carry away the surplus water, and at other times it is rather infrequent, so
that the growing crops may suffer.
It is the part of wisdom, therefore, to prepare for these contingencies.
The county is particularly fortunate in having its abundant flow of artesian
water. The water is shut off when not needed.
Some truck farms are irrigated by furrows, on others irrigation and
drainage systems are combined by using tile drains. These drains are laid
twelve to twenty feet apart, as though they were to be used for drainage
only, but connected with a main from the well. In case of heavy rainfall the
drains, assisted by ditches at the edge of the fields, carry away the surplus
water. When needed the water is turned into these mains and tiles, the out-
lets plugged and the whole tract sub-irrigated. This system, while more
expensive, is more satisfactory than furrow irrigation where there is a heavier
sub-stratum to prevent the water from sinking too rapidly.
CITRUS FRUIT GROWING IN MANATEE COUNTY
Oranges and grapefruit do especially well and are very profitable in the
Land of Manatee. The soil and climate are right, and with the protection,
as has been explained, exceptional advantages are offered for the growing of
these tender fruits. The quality of the fruit produced is not surpassed
anywhere. Shipping and picking begin the last days of September and end the
first four days of May, touching nine months.
The oldest orange trees in the county are perhaps fifty-five years old.
These trees still bearing show that Manatee County is especially adapted to
Many grapefruit trees 50 to 75 years old yield profitable crops, which
proves the persistence of this fruit. Florida has practically a monopoly on
SOILS FOR CITRUS FRUIT
Practically all the soils in the entire county, except the low vegetable
lands, are growing citrus fruit successfully. There are many thousand acres
of good citrus soil yet unutilized. These trees make a good growth each
year, are long-lived and bear abundant crops. Good drainage is absolutely
essential on any soil.
To secure the best results the land is planted for perhaps two years to
truck, then oranges or grapefruit trees are planted. A heavy crop of velvet
beans is found to be of distinct advantage. Many growers have planted the
raw land to trees, but it has been found that little time is gained by so doing.
By JOSEPH Y. PORTER, President Key West Chamber of Commerce
A familiar complaint when discussing the Florida Keys is that there is
very little agricultural development owing to the nature of the soil "or rather
the lack of it." Were this a fact, it would be a most serious complaint, but
that it is not true has been for years the contention of the four hundred or
more farmers who live on these same Keys, and rail opportunity does exist
in farming lands on them.
For years the Florida Keys were farmed in a most primitive manner,
and as a result failure met the efforts of the farmers. Quite a few of the
former Key farmers tried to make a living from farming in Dade County,
this State, with the same result, and today hundreds of farmers in Dade
County are succeeding where the Key farmer failed-evidence that the fault
was with the man and not with the soil. For a long time the most advanced
method of raising vegetables and fruits on the Keys was to put the seed or
the tree in the ground and then take a comfortable position in the shade or
go fishing and wait for it to grow. Naturally but one result is obtainable
under such conditions.
A careful selection of the piece of soil, a correct summing up of the situa-
tion that confronts the venturer, and intelligent effort applied will get larger
results on the Florida Keys than are procurable from farming lands in any
other section of this State, and the obstacles that at first seemed impossible
are the very easiest things imaginable to eradicate.
These Keys are of nearly pure carbonate of lime, the rocks so soft that
you can drill them with a carpenter's auger, and are little else than undi-
gested plant food. The soil is composed of humas, that is to say rottening
vegetable matter of plants, leaves, roots, etc.
The climate is ideal-never too hot, never too cold. There is always a
cool breeze in summer and in winter the days and nights are like the first
delightful days of autumn. The Keys are below the frost line, and crops can
be planted and harvested three or four times a year.
The lowest temperature ever recorded on the Keys was 41 degrees which
occurred January 12, 1886, and the highest recorded in twenty-five years was
93 degrees, occurring only twice-August IIth and September 2d, 1903.
While the cold wave in January, 1886, brought freezing conditions as far
south as Cape Sable, there was no frost on the Keys.
The prevailing wind direction is easterly, inasmuch as this section is in
the belt of the easterly trades, as an evidence of the easterly direction of the
winds it will be noticed that the cocoanut trees and those of other kinds
always bend and grow towards the west. As a rule the breezes are fresh and
calms are very rare.
The wet and dry seasons are fairly well defined, the wet season extending
from May to November, inclusive, and the dry season from December to
The average normal temperature, as shown by the records of the Weather
Bureau is, for each month of the year, as follows: January, 68.8; February,
70.8; March, 72.8; April, 75.5; May, 79.0; June, 82.2; July, 83.8; Septem-
ber, 82.5; October, 78.7; November, 74.3; December, 70.1. Average, 76.9.
The average normal rainfall, as shown by the records of the Weather
Bureau, is, for each month of the year, as follows: January, 1.98; February,
1.64; March, 1.48; April, 1.30; May, 3.36; June, 4.25; July, 3.59; August,
4.69; September, 6.79; October, 5.38; November, 2.36 December, 1.84.
The county is the most healthful in the United States. Surrounded by
the sea, every breeze is laden with health-giving ocean salts. The nights are
always cool, there are no floods, never a fog, no fresh water swamps, malaria
is impossible and heat prostrations are unknown. Malaria is impossible
because no malarial mosquitoes exist here and as a consequence persons coming
to this section with malaria in their systems under proper treatment of
quinine will not only be cured, but not run the risk of inflicting others with
Citrus fruits, especially limes, grow unusually well. The limes of the
Keys are not the usual small green limes of commerce. The limes grown
here are almost as large as lemons, thin-skinned and of a particularly delicate
CASA MARINA (HOUSE BY THE SEA), KEY WEST
flavor, and yet very acid. Housewives, once using the Key limes in their
cooking, are never satisfied to go back to lemons.
The quality rivals anything California has ever produced, and the crop
can be landed in the Northern markets two months ahead of the California
crop. Four-year-old grape vines will bear as many as two hundred bunches
of grapes, and the fruit begins to ripen in May. Dwellers on the Keys claim
that grapes represent the big future of the section.
Mangoes and avocado pears and nearly all kinds of tropical fruit, papayas,
grapefruit, oranges, guavas, tangerines, bananas, sapodillas, sugar apples, and
nearly every other fruit that grows has its season here, being the first to ripen
and can be first in Northern markets and get the highest prices.
Asparagus grows so like a weed that it is diligently hoed out of existence.
Shoots of this vegetable are frequently cut two feet long with no fibrous sub-
stance the entire length. And, an asparagus bed once started is an endless
source of revenue.
Untold fortunes await the truck farmer, in growing tomatoes, sweet
potatoes, sweet peppers, onions, squash and pumpkins. Two hundred and
fifty acres planted in tomatoes on Key Largo this past season yielded a return
of $250,ooo.oo. Pepper plants three years old bear endless crops.
There are immense groves of bearing cocoanuts. The cocoanut is said to
produce a nut each day in the year. Eight nuts will make one pound of
table butter. The cocoanuts have to be ground, covered with scalding water,
put into a bag and hung up to drip. The resulting liquid is a rich white
milk upon which cream will rise and this churned produces the butter.
The inside sheltered bay waters are comparatively shallow, and the
Gulf Stream's warmth make typical breeding places for fish where they
have the shelter required. When the outside Atlantic waters are wind-
whipped and rough, the two sets of barriers, one a magnificent reef and the
other a chain of islands, serve to separate wind and water on the side opposite
the Atlantic to the extent that the inside waters are calm and safe and present
ideal fishing grounds when the Atlantic is still rough. When the Atlantic is
smooth the reef fishing is wonderful. During one period of three months
from December Ist to February Ist more than 3,450,000 pounds of fish
were caught in this vicinity, carried to Key West and shipped to Northern
The sponge beds about the Keys are among the best in the world, and
sponge gathered here is considered to be especially desirable. Diving suits are
unnecessary as the water is so shallow and clear. The catches amount to thou-
sands of dollars a year and would amount to much more if a good market
for the sponges could again be established. At Chase, sixteen miles north of
Key West, a sponge farm was established and flourished for several years,
and it was found that the cultivated article is in every way superior to those
of natural growth. -It has therefore been demonstrated that Monroe County
is the only one in the world in which sponge farming can be carried on with
safety, due to the shallow waters over the reef and the fact that frost never
comes this far south.
CLUB HOUSE AT GOLF COURSE, KISSIMMEE
Osceola County has 6,300 acres in cultivation. The county contains 915,-
840. acres. Its population in 1920 was 7,195. Its output of crops and live
stock in 1922 was over a million dollars.
The County of Osceola, called thus in honor of the great Seminole war-
rior by that name, was laid off from Orange and Brevard Counties in 1887.
It lies between parallels about 27 degrees 15 minutes on its southern
boundary and 28 degrees 20 minutes on its northern boundary, and because
of its geographical position it enjoys a delightful climate all the year round.
Its mean summer temperature is 81.9. Its mean winter temperature is 61.4.
The annual rainfall is 53.82.
The surface of the country is level, relieved and is adorned here and
there by ponds and lakes of varying sizes, shimmering from shore to center
with the sparkle of crystal waters. The timber is chiefly pine; though small,
rich hammocks of oak and hickory are not rare. Much of the land of the
county is prairie, affording fine pasturage for the thousands of cattle ranging
The leading industries are:
I. The raising of cattle and sheep-The shipments of the former from
Kissimmee to Cuba since the Spanish War have been very heavy; but ex-
tensive herds of cows still roam through the woods and over the plains of
Osceola. The profits of sheep-raising are said to be inviting, and the business
is growing year by year. Sheep, like cattle, are left entirely to the bounty
of nature for sustenance, winter as well as summer.
2. Raising fruits and vegetables-These products of the grove and the
garden are shipped, in their seasons, in large quantities. Oranges, grapefruit,
peaches, melons, squash, cabbage, tomatoes, beans, peas, beets, eggplant,
sweet and Irish potatoes, and other fruits and vegetables thrive here under
proper attention. Corn does well, but cotton is not grown in the county.
3. The distillation of spirits of turpentine is an important industry of
the county; and to that purpose many of the pine lands are now devoted
which formerly afforded only pasturage for cattle. Some of these lands are
now doing double duty-feeding the cattle and filling the stills.
Okeechobee County lies just north of the lake of the same name, and
the county seat bears the same cognomen. The Florida East Coast Railway
traverses it north and south. It is bounded on the west by the Kissimmee
River. This county bears the distinction of being the first to prove the
adaptability of gorduma grass to Florida. This promises to be a great asset
to the forage production of the great ranch sections of the Statt.
Many rare trees are being introduced in Southern Florida and forests
of pine may be substituted in certain sections by casuarina, rubber, balsa,
candle nut, chaulmoogra, and other valuable trees as well as shrubs and
ROAD IN ORANGE COUNTY, LAKE OLA
Okeechobee has a tourist camp furnished with running water, electric
lights, shower baths, toilet facilities, place for washing cars. No charge for
camp or lights. One block from business section; capacity four acres; super-
vision of Chamber of Commerce.
ORANGE COUNTY-IN THE HEART OF FLORIDA
By KARL LEHMAN
Orange County is in the heart of Florida in every sense of the word, and
that means much to this great section of this great State.
Orange County is in the exact geographical center of Florida midway be-
tween the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico giving it a mild, delight-
ful climate with refreshing breezes blowing off its 1,500 fresh water lakes
on the warmest day in midsummer and in the winter these bodies of water,
including Lake Apopka, 31 miles long, afford an excellent frost protection
for grove and garden.
Orange County is the largest shipping center for citrus fruits in Florida,
all but one of the great fruit marketing agencies have their headquarters
in this county. Last season 735,ooo boxes of oranges, grapefruit and tanger-
ines raised in Orange County were packed and shipped from our packing
houses bringing more than $2,000,000.00 into this county for that crop alone
and in addition to that nearly I,ooo,ooo boxes of citrus fruit raised in other
counties was packed and shipped in Orange County packing houses because
of the excellent facilities of these houses. Nearly one-seventh of the entire
crop of citrus fruit shipped out of Florida was packed and shipped from
Orange County. Orange County has nearly 20,000 acres of groves and
nearly 3,000 additional being set this year. This county is rapidly forging
into first place among the citrus producing counties of Florida.
Orange County is a great producing section for melons and vegetables.
Some 400 acres of melons in west Orange and 745 acres of cabbage, 836
acres of tomatoes, 150 acres of beans, 787 acres of lettuce and 1,875 acres
of cucumbers, tell something of this county as a vegetable growing center.
During the cucumber shipping season an average of 45 cars a day move out
from the section about Winter Garden and at the height of the season,
Winter Garden, Ocoee, Tildenville and Oakland ship an average of 56 cars
a day or enough to make two solid trainloads of 28 cars each loaded with
cucumbers which bring a fancy price in the waiting markets. The cucumber
crop alone brings more than a million dollars a year into Orange County.
The lettuce and tomatoes from this section always bring a premium in every
market in the country because of the superior product and packing for which
Orange County is famous.
Orange County is the home of the original Temple orange tree which
has furnished the bud wood for the Temple orange trees of Florida, "the
"SPOUTING WELL," FAIRVILLA, NEAR ORLANDO
$1o a box fruit." The largest producers of bananas in Florida are in the Pine
Castle section of the county.
Orange County excells in the production of thoroughbred, prize-winning
poultry. This year stock shipped from within the bounds of Orange County
has won the highest honors, taking all first premiums in their class at the
following poultry shows: Berryville, Va.; Petersburg, Va.; Norfolk, Va.;
Woodstock, Pa.; Roanoke, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Marion, Va.; and at the
1922 Florida State Fair in Jacksonville. S. D. Hardaway, of Orange
County, had two sweepstake birds in the show and was awarded honors for
the best cock and best bird, and also the best pullet in the show. Birds from
Orange County shown at the Coliseum Show, Chicago, won first prize with
nine other states competing.
Orange County is the center of the good roads system of Florida, with
663 miles of improved roads built and building, a $3,000,000 bond issue
for good roads carried with a large majority. These roads are now being
built, connecting every part of the state with every other section, bringing
the county within two hours' drive over excellent roads to the finest ocean
beaches in the country.
Orange County has fine towns, churches and schools and this year has
built nearly $350,000 worth of new school houses and improved many others.
No county excells Orange in the educational opportunities if offers, running
from excellent elementary schools up to Rollins College, at Winter Park,
Florida's oldest institution of higher learning.
Orange County has half a million acres that can be bought at from $50
to $Ioo an acre, land that is fine for raising oranges and grapefruit, gardens
and trucking. Improved farms and groves can be had at prices varying from
$1,ooo to $3,000 an acre and highly developed property brings higher prices.
Orange County offers many attractions to the tourist as well as the
settler. Fine fishing in hundreds of clear, sparkling lakes, boating, swimming
and golf every month of the year. Amusements of the finest sort abound,
the best music of the country is heard during the year in Orlando and other
centers of the county.
Orange County has 156,000 head of cattle, including some 6,000 pure-
bred, first-class stock, some of the finest in the State.
Orange County has the best organized public health service of any county
in Florida. Every assistance is given to making and keeping Orange County
a healthful place in which to live.
Orange County has a great county seat city, Orlando, the city that has
grown in ten years from a population of 3,892 in 1910, to 9,282 in 1920, to
16,000 in 1923 and bids fair to become a city of 30,000 by 1930. Orlando's
building permits far exceeded $3,000,000.00 in 1922.
Orange County has a progressive, far-seeing and hard-working people.
They believe in this great "Inland Empire" of Florida, they love its climate,
its soil and its opportunities. They have come from all parts of America and
other portions of the world; here they are working side by side in the
finest possible spirit of co-operation and enthusiastic boosting to make this
the greatest county in the greatest State in the country and the world.
Orange County has plenty of room for all who will come and work and
grow with us. There is room for all of the right spirit and purpose. Come
and see this county and you will want to buy land and build here with the
rest of us. If you are the right kind of an American you will like Orange
County and her people and we will like you. You are welcome. Come and
grow with growing Orange County.
ORANGE COUNTY BANKS
The wealth and prosperity of Orange County is manifested in the
excellent reports of the eleven banks as shown on November 15. The con-
solidated statement of these banks is as follows:
Loans and discounts ................................. $4,883,987.35
Banking house and fixtures ............................ 233,931.65
O verdrafts ........................................ 3,o80.13
Stocks and bonds ................................... 1,538,394.30
Cash and due from banks ........................... 2,726,224.39
Capital ........................................... $ 605,00o.o0
Surplus and profits ................................. 281,050.62
,Bills payable............. ... ..................... 48,118.45
Re-discounts ........................................ 209,221.53
Deposits ........................................... 8,321,501.30
Based on estimated population in Orange County of 24,000 of all ages,
white and colored, the per capital of money in circulation in the United
States on June 30, 1922, was $39-84, showing that the per capital deposits
in the banks of Orange County was more than eight times as large as the per
capital of money in circulation in the United States.
Orange County is one of the most prosperous and progressive counties in
Florida, and in fact, the whole South.
By FRANK G. MERRIN, County Agent
"Peerless Pasco" is a term having a euphonious sound and is distinctly
applicable to that- section of Florida lying within the bounds of Pasco
County, on the West Coast of Florida. It is a section of the State where
hardwood seems to abound and as this sort of growth seems to preponderate,
the term "Beautiful and Rolling" can be used to the best advantage in
describing the natural scenery and description of the county. As certain
sections of the State lying along the backbone of the citrus belt, about which
so much has been written, a great deal of the descriptive matter can be passed
up without mention. You must take for granted that typical Florida climate
and conditions connected with the handiwork of nature have made Pasco
County an enviable place in which to live.
It is an extremely healthful section, for the reason of its hills and pure
water, its sea coast, natural drainage and enjoyable climatic conditions. The
extreme elevation of some of the hills affords most picturesque views of soft
green valleys and other hills and presents a view of nature that is hard to
equal in any locality and causes the "newcomer" to sometimes wonder if he
is in Florida or back in his northern state. On the west the county is bounded
by the Gulf of Mexico, with its sky-blue waters, bathing beaches where bath-
ing is enjoyable every month in the year and where fishing is always good.
Tropical palms and shrubs with magnolias and flowers are found along the
SOILS OF THE COUNTY
The soils of the county are as numerous as the colors were in Joseph's
coat. Taking the yellowish sandy loam with a clay subsoil some three feet
in depth as the one best suited to citrus fruits, found on the many hills and
slopes of the county, to the chocolate loams, the bottom lands, the hammock
lands and to the muck lands all of which are well adapted for general
farming, fruit growing and for trucking. One need not have to go far in
this county to find just the type and character of soil he wants for most
any purpose. The subsoils are various in texture, running from clay or marl
to the highly yellowish and deep-gray or black, most suited to general
Lots of people who have come from cities of the North with little
experience in farming are making quite successful attempts at general farm-
ing and fruit growing here. Many young groves are being set out and the
county will soon rank with the largest orange-producing section of the State.
It is a general opinion amongst the orange producers that fruits raised in a
higher altitude have a much better flavor and carrying qualities than fruits
raised in lower regions, and the same is true with the citrus fruits of Pasco
County as found by experience during the past years. The small farmer
who takes up about forty acres making thereof a grove of about ten or
fifteen acres, one or two acres for home fruits, five acres to a vineyard, and
the rest of the forty devoted to general farming, poultry or a live stock unit,
with some trucking as his heart may desire, ought to have about the ideal
That Pasco County is, however, a county of general and diversified
crops, can be shown by the fact that it was awarded grand prize for the past
years at the South Florida Fair at Tampa in.competition with 21 of Florida's
leading counties, winning second award three years ago. Among the numer-
ous agricultural products on display in the Pasco County booth, which
totalled 815 varieties of farm and home products, were:
105 varieties of small grain and forage.
35 varieties of home-cured meats and meat products.
16 varieties of sugar cane.
5 varieties of cotton.
3 varieties of wool.
Io varieties of syrup.
60 varieties of citrus fruits.
55 varieties of vegetables.
12 varieties of fresh fruits other than citrus.
42 varieties of palmetto products.
8 brands of cigars.
15 varieties of the finest Florida tobacco.
248 varieties of home-canned products.
7 varieties of potatoes.
S1 varieties of stock feed.
12 varieties of sponges.
93 varieties of manufactured products.
13 different minerals.
16 different varieties of wool.
And numerous other products of the county, artistically arranged and
displayed to bear out the statement that "Peerless Pasco is the Grand Prize
County of Florida." Among the premiums won aside from the grand
award were others such as, second award for best display of small grains
and forage; best display of vegetables; best display of home-cured meats.
First awards on best display of syrup; best display of canned pork products;
best display of home canned meats; best display of fish. Third for best dis-
play of citrus fruits by a county. Outside of winning some hundred ribbons,
Pasco exhibitors came home with a check for $1,543 cash received from
various premiums won.
Live stock and poultry have their places in Pasco County and their
presence is generally known. Many pure-bred herds of hogs and cattle are
found within the county and amongst them a few of the old original razor-
backs, but their days are fast passing, being replaced with pure-bred animals.
With an ever-increasing demand for eggs and poultry products, this type
of farming offers to any homeseeker a substantial income. There are many
poultry ranches over the county with all the various breeds represented.
M. C. Mohr, the Egg King of Florida, going over the lands of Pasco Coun-
ty, said, "This firm, fertile, well-drained land is the ideal type for poultry."
The county is well proud of the fact that Dr. N. W. Sanborn, Poultry
Specialist of the University of Florida, has chosen Pasco County as a place
to invest his finances in a poultry plant and spend his days here when he is
not teaching at the University.
The county boasts of some fine, growing towns and the evident prosperity
of them all is undoubtedly based on that greatest of all foundations, agri-
Dade City, the county seat, is a finely shaded "homey" place with business
activities all seasons of the year. It has all the conveniences of the modern
city, is situated on the main line of the Seaboard Railroad and on the Atlantic
Coast Line Railroad, Waycross Division. It is easily within driving distance
of Tampa and affords many advantages to its inhabitants. San Antonio,
Zephyrhills, Richland, Trilby, Blanton and a score or more of other towns,
each having advantages peculiar to its locality, contain people from many
states and localities, who are always congenial amongst themselves and to
those that might choose their locality as a future home.
On the west coast is Elfers, New Port Richey and Hudson, all of which
are surrounded with citrus groves of great value. New Port Richey has all
the ear-marks of a budding winter resort and each season is crowded to
capacity by visitors who like those things that make Florida such a desired
Pasco County has bonded for 150 miles of hard-surfaced roads, has sold
the bonds amounting to a million and a quarter dollars, at a premium. Con-
tracts have been let and work is under construction on a greater part of this
mileage. The lack of good roads alone has held land values at a low price
in the past and it is not too late yet for prospective farmers to get in on the
great boom that is bound to come in the near future. An agricultural county,
with diversification of crops, enables every farmer or fruit grower to follow
some phase of agriculture should times of depression fall on any one
There are literally dozens of agricultural resources that could be men-
tioned if time and space permitted. A summing up of the varieties of
general farm crops would be a staggering thing, but in general it can be
said that farm crops of all varieties known to Florida and many others are
found within the boundary of Pasco County. Hogs and cattle play a great
part in the resources of the county and feed of every known kind can be
raised on the lands of the county. With a constant market for poultry
products and a longer growing season (for feeds) that pertain to Florida
is a decided advantage enjoyed by no other section.
At no time has Pasco County been quoted as one of those places where
you can get rich quick or live without working. The soil, climatic condi-
tions and so on tend a great deal towards eliminating many vexations and
hard problems that confront the northern farmer and newcomer, but dollars
are not literally turned over with the plow-you have to go after them with
painstaking efforts and conscientious care, or they are just as fleeting here as
any other place. There are lots of nice people to be met in Pasco County
and many opportunities untouched. The county is doing its part to meet the
newcomer and offer him a permanent home in its bounds and there are many
that have realized the possibilities of Pasco and settled there to make it their
PALM BEACH COUNTY
The land area of the county is 1,720,320 acres. Palm Beach is the largest
county in the State. In addition to the land area there are the 468,860 acres
covered by Lake Okeechobee, the second largest fresh-water lake wholly in
the United States. Only 4 per cent of the land area of the county is in culti-
vation. The yield per acre is abnormally heavy, due to the nature of the
V ? I
DAYTONA WINTER RESIDENCE OF RICHARD EDMONDS, EDITOR MANUFACTURERS' RECORD
%a~ ~ a~m"
The percentage of increase in Palm Beach County's population 1910-
1920 was 234, which was exceeded by only five other counties in the United
States, two of the five being in Florida. In 1920 Palm Beach was sixteenth
in population of Florida counties. It will be ninth in population in 1930.
The county's population is evenly balanced between urban and rural. The
percentage of native white is 61.1, of foreign-born white, 8.8, and of
Production of Fruits and Winter Vegetables-County Agent J. A. Dew
estimates that the shipments of vegetables from Palm Beach County in the
winter and spring of 1922 yielded growers $1,339,822.
Lumber and Naval Stores-These are industries established in 1922 and
for which production figures are not available. Fishing is another industry
and is a contributor to the income of 500 families.
Pay Rolls in Public Works and General Construction-Six million dol-
for the erection of buildings in the West Palm Beach territory in the two and
a half years from January I, 1921, to June 30, 1923. At least one-half of
this was for labor.
Pay Rolls in Public Works and General Construction-Six million dol-
lars is estimated by the officials of the road as the cost of an extension of the
Okeechobee branch of the Florida East Coast Railway. Half of the distance
of the extension is in Palm Beach County. Trustees of the Everglades
drainage district spend $1,200,000 a year in Palm Beach County in prosecut-
ing the plan of land reclamation. The county's appropriation for construc-
tion and maintenance of motor roads for the fiscal year 1923-24 is $260,000;
special road and bridge districts have arranged to spend $753,000 from bond
General Agriculture-Palm Beach County is free from infestation by
the Texas fever ticks, as a consequence of which it has fourteen dairies and
two creameries. Of the two certified dairies in the State, one is in Palm
Beach County. No cotton is produced in Palm Beach County, hence no loss
is suffered from boll weevil.
Estimating the population of West Palm Beach at 12,500, the per capital
savings deposits in the four banks of West Palm Beach on the date of the
last call for statements of conditions was $143.50. This was in mid-summer,
the dullest part of the year. The total deposits in the eleven banks of the
county, June 30, 1923, amounted to $9,390,364.91, as compared with
$7,758,520 on June 30, 1922, and $6,566,330 June 30, 1921.
The federal census of 1920 reported the population of Palm Beach
County as 18,645; the present estimated population is 25,500. The per
capital general deposits on this basis, as distinguished from the savings deposits
in West Palm Beach alone, are $375.60.
The Commissioners of the Everglades Drainage District spent an average
of $200,000 a month ($1,200,000) on reclamation work in Palm Beach
County in 1922. Two contracts for work on West Palm Beach canal to
be executed between July 15, 1923, and December 31, 1923, are for $600,-
ooo. The total expenditures by the Commissioners in Palm Beach County
in 1923 will exceed the total expenditures made here in 1922.
Exclusive of the expenditures in the Everglades division of the county,
sub-drainage districts, road districts, school districts and municipalities in
Palm Beach County will spend $4,350,ooo for public works in 1923.
SOURCES FROM WHICH RESIDENTS OF PALM BEACH COUNTY GET SPENDING
Entertainment of Tourists-Tourists paid two and a half million dol-
lars for hotel accommodations in Palm Beach in the season of 1923 and
double that amount for sporting goods, wearing apparel, souvenirs,
music, pleasure trips and entertainment. An equal amount was paid in West
Palm Beach for the same purposes. About one million dollars is put out for
these purposes in the other towns of the county.
Sale of Real Estate-The increasing vogue of the east coast of Florida
as a place of winter residence and resort has made the sale of real estate an
industry. It is estimated that tourists spend more money for real estate than
for all other things.
When the Florida East Coast Railroad applied for a "certificate of neces-
sity" for the construction of a 60-mile extension of the Okeechobee branch,
it reported to the Interstate Commerce Commission that the expenditure
would be more than six million dollars. The certificate was issued and con-
struction of the extension is under way. One-half the distance of the exten-
sion is in Palm Beach County. More than half of the six million dollars
will be spent on the section of the railroad in Palm Beach County.
Hon. William J. Conners, of Buffalo, N. Y., Great Lakes boat owner
and publisher, is building Conner's Highway through the Palm Beach
County division of the Florida Everglades to a connection with the West
Coast. The estimate of the cost of Conner's Highway is one million dollars.
William A. Otis, of Chicago and Colorado Springs, Colo., has taken an
issue of $300,ooo.oo bonds of the Florida Sugar and Food Products Com-
pany. The operation of this sugar mill have demonstrated the practicability
of manufacturing sugar from Palm Beach County sugar cane.
Brown and Company, of Portland, Maine, have bought 62,ooo acres of
land in the southern part of Palm Beach County on which to grow peanuts
for the production of a cooking oil.
These and other larger-scale developments in West Palm Beach's "back
country" are brought about by the progress made in the reclamation of
Florida Everglades under a State Board. The area of the Everglades Drain-
age District is four million acres, embracing parts of five counties.
By WM. GOMME, County Agent
Polk County is situated about the center of the peninsula of Florida.
It has a population of about 50,000 and is one of the largest counties in the
State, with an area of 1,907 square miles. That it is a progressive county
will be easily believed because of the increase of population since the last
Federal census shows that the population has been almost doubled and is
A good system of railways giving convenient and adequate transporta-
tion, as well as a magnificent network of improved roads reaching every
town and village in the county, have made this section of Florida famous.
Homeseekers want good transportation facilities as well as good lands, and
Polk County has both.
Beyond peradventure, the chief thing which has placed the name of
Florida high in the halls of fame has been the exceptionally fine citrus fruits
which it sends forth to all parts of the United States-even to California,
where the Pullman diners feature on their menus "Florida Grapefruit."
To a greater extent than may be commonly known the credit for this
distinctive fame belongs to Polk County. Away back in 1850 the first settlers
in this county started the first groves in what is now known as Polk County;
and some of the original groves are still in good condition, though seventy
years have since passed into history. Just what is the span of life of a citrus
tree is not yet determined.
Even before the first railroad was built into the county, which was in
1884, citrus fruit was produced in quantities sufficient to justify hauling
it fifty to seventy-five miles to Tampa, in wagons laboriously pulled across the
sandy trails by oxen. From Tampa it was then shipped by boat.
With the coming of the first railroad in 1884 the industry received a new
impetus and from that time to the present day has been always on the
increase. During the years from 1890 to 1895 the increase in acreage planted
to fruit was much more rapid than it formerly had been. The severe winter
of 1895 had the effect of checking planting and it again assumed a lethargy
from which it was not aroused until 1908 to 1910. During the interim the
knowledge had gained circulation that there had been apparently less damage
done to Polk by the cold than in any other portion of the citrus belt, and as
a result of this experience and most satisfactory observation the development
of the industry and its growth through new plantings has gone forward by
great strides. Since its awakening in 1910 the plantings in the county have
increased year after year until now there can be no doubt that Polk leads the
State not only in the number of acres set to groves, but also in the number
of boxes of fruit shipped annually. As a matter of fact, we make bold to
venture the belief that we have twice the acreage in groves of any county
in the State. The figures on shipments for the past year show that the State
shipped (actually) 13,182,665 boxes of citrus fruits, of which 8,082,665
boxes were oranges and 5,Ioo,ooo grapefruit. Of this number 2,500,00ooo
boxes, or a little over one-fifth of the State's output, was shipped from Polk
The plantings for the past ten years has been about 40 per cent grape-
fruit, 35 per cent Valencia oranges, Io per cent Pineapple and other early
oranges, and o1 per cent Tangerines. The question of the supply becoming
equal to the demand for these fine fruits has never become one worthy of
serious consideration because the population of the country, which is the
consumer, is increasing faster than the production of our fruits; this more
especially with regard to the oranges and tangerines the tastes of which are
known to countless thousands who never yet have been introduced to that
finest of all breakfast fruits and appetizer-the grapefruit.
There was received by the grower approximately ten million dollars for
the crop of fruit shipped from the county during the season of 1921-1922,
and one organization alone that shipped for the growers 2,000,000 boxes can
show by its record that it received for this fruit a little over seven million
Polk County is well equipped for taking care of the fruit in the way of
up-to-date packing houses and has in the county more than one million dollars
invested in packing house facilities which are owned by the growers, and
there are also some well equipped houses in the county that are owned by
private companies with the addition of one or two cold storage plants. So
it is impossible for anyone to plant a citrus grove in this county that will not
be near good packing-house facilities, which is a very important feature,
because when a man raises fruit he wants to know that he will have the best
facilities for getting it packed and shipped.
Polk County has a large area that is admirably adapted to the growing
of truck and staple crops such as corn, cane, sweet potatoes, tobacco, cassava,
rice, velvet beans, etc. Fortunately the lands of this type are distributed
well over the county, making it practicable to grow these crops in almost
For combination trucking and staple crop growing perhaps no county in
South Florida is better suited than Polk, from the fact that we are far enough
south to enable us to be reasonably safe from damaging frosts on such crops as
we grow in winter, viz: cabbage, lettuce, strawberries, celery, beets,
The weather in winter is ideal for growing head lettuce, and nowhere
in the world can it be grown finer. Tender crops such as beans, tomatoes,
etc., of course cannot be safely grown here in the winter, but these crops
are planted early in the spring after cabbage, lettuce, etc., and produce large
yields due to the unusual fertility of our lands, and as usually quite profitable.
If one does not wish to follow the winter crop of vegetables with the other
vegetables, he can plant corn, sweet potatoes, rice, velvet beans, etc. Corn
usually produces forty to fifty bushels per acre without additional fertilizer
when succeeding winter vegetable crops. Thus it can be readily seen that
this type of farming offers to the farmer something that is comparatively
safe. Vegetables are hazardous to a certain degree, so are all other things
that show a big profit. However, one rarely fails to realize a profit on vege-
tables here if ordinary intelligence, judgment and energy are shown in the
growing of the crop. Should there be only a small profit, or none in the
vegetable crop, the staple crops following are sure to give fair remuneration
and usually make up for any short profits on the preceding crop. Sweet
potatoes, when grown following winter vegetables, generally produce 300 to
500 bushels per acre. On such lands as we have scattered over Polk County
one may easily produce 400 gallons of sugar-cane syrup per acre. The excel-
lent natural drainage of this county made possible by the Peace River which
flows not far from its center going south, and the rolling nature of the land
solve the drainage problem. Several thousand acres of muck land at Opre,
Davenport, Peace River Valley and Winter Haven afford vast opportunities
for extensive operations in trucking.
POLK COUNTY'S ROAD SYSTEM
Residents of Polk County take pardonable pride in the magnificent system
of hard-surfaced roads which gridiron the county. Every town in the county
is thus connected with every other town in the county. An official of the
American Automobile Association is authority for the statement that ours
is the only county in the United States of which this is true.
To date something more than $3,500,000 has been expended upon the
building of the Polk County road system. We have a total of slightly movie
than 346 miles of asphalt-surfaced roads covering the county like a gigantic
spider web. At this writing some $200,000 has been made available for the
building of additional asphalt roads in certain sections of the county, and
the work is to go forward upon these as promptly as possible. Our improved
roads are all asphalt-surfaced. Our roads are smooth and free from dust at
all seasons, and we have no mud.
The main highway system of Polk County comprises a total of 346 miles
of asphalt roads built at an expense of $3,000,000. The money was raised
by bond issue, voted by people of the county after some educational work on
the part of progressive citizens, to acquaint the county with the value of such
roads. It was determined to give Polk County a system of highways which
would be a fitting adjunct to the foremost county in the State in the point of
agricultural and natural resources. Developments of the various industries in
Polk County in certain sections has reached a very high point. It remained
for this magnificent system of highways to round out the advantages of which
Polk County is possessed.
Polk County contains the most valuable deposits of pebble phosphate in
the world. The first shipments from the county were made in 1891, and
since that date the yearly production has increased to such an extent that now
the pebble-phosphate tonnage shipped from the county amounts to over
2,000,000 tons per annum, and has a valuation of $10,ooo,ooo.
There are twelve active operating companies and several new properties
are being developed and construction of plants started. The number of men
employed directly in the mines, is between three and four thousand, repre-
senting an annual pay-roll of four or five million dollars.
Phosphate rock is the basis for all commercial fertilizers and at least
90 per cent of the tonnage mined is used for this purpose. Manufacturers
of dyes, chemicals, medicines, munitions, etc., also use phosphate rock in the
preparation of their products.
Mining phosphate rock and overburden is carried on by the open-pit
method; water, under high pressure, is used to break down the overburden
and rock stratas. The overburden must be removed before the bed of phos-
phate rock is available.
BANANAS GROWN IN PINELLAS COUNTY
On the peninsula west of Tampa Bay is the, location of Pinellas
County. Clearwater, near the Gulf of Mexico, is the county seat but St.
Petersburg, on Tampa Bay, is the largest city and one of the most popular
tourist cities of the State. Both the Seaboard Air Line and the Atlantic
Coast Line Railroads reach St. Petersburg. The Gandy Bridge nearing com-
pletion, will connect Tampa and St. Petersburg by automobile road. Hither-
to all public road travel had to go a circuitous route around Tampa Bay.
Ocean-shipping facilities furnish ocean-rate, transportation to the Eastern
markets, and railroads give rates based on waterway competition. St. Peters-
burg led all the cities of Florida in building during 1923.
Truck farming, banana and grape growing bid fair to be the leading
soil crops. Citrus fruit is also grown. Manufacturing is carried on in a sub-
stantial way. At Oldsmar are located plants owned by men of means who
made a success industrially in the North.
ST. LUCIE COUNTY
By FRANK WHITMAN, in Florida Grower
Now indeed would I have my pen of gold and dipped in honey! For,
there is a tide in the affairs of men-friends, meet St. Lucie County. Take in
if you can the whole length and breadth of one of Florida's most beautiful and
productive sections. I'll go right along with you, unfolding one after the
other leaves of history, romance and achievement, explaining to the best of
my ability the different phases of cause and effect. I have heard the district
called many euphonious and fitting things, but never before have I heard any-
thing so peculiarly fitting as the one-"The Riviera of America." The
author I know not, nor does it signify, for this beautiful county of St. Lucie
slipped into the nomenclature with never a jar-just like a mother unfold-
ing her arms and clasping her prattling babe to her bosom.
If you shouldn't understand the reason for my enthusiastic acceptance of
the term I will explain to you that those miles and miles of riverfront drive
naturally called the term into being. And I am quite certain that nowhere
on this broad earth is there anything superior to this "Riviera" of St. Lucie.
I might almost say that there is nothing equal to it, if I didn't avoid superla-
tives. Lest you would think that we, you and I, are sailing around on a
cloud-bank, looking at things through the rosy mist of a sunrise, I will say that
it is all a very real land, with a mighty river (the Indian) running through
it, on whose banks the "Riviera" is located. Clustered along the rocky shore-
lines are tropical growths, pisturesque, colorful, gaudy, brilliant, sepia-toned,
and all the shades of green. When you consider that all this has a replica in
the river at certain times of the day, you surely have something to think
about, a picture to conjure with-what say?
There is an old saying about beauty being skin-deep that doesn't apply
to this district in any sense of the word. St. Lucie County beauty goes
away down deep; speaking of soil values. I wandered around over the
county until I almost got on speaking terms with all the livestock that
grazed so fat and contentedly, and while I didn't carry either a shovel or
a soil auger I got the best kind of slant on the soils just looking along the
ditches in the drainage system. I saw soil, folks, if I am any judge, and you
must surely give me a little credit. To my great surprise I noted quite a
bit of red clay. You must know what this means, for it accounts for the
vigorous growth of the pinelands, the luxurious upspringing of all vegetation
in the hammocks, and the deep greens of the grasses. Yes, you are right in
your surmises-this is a dairy and stock country.
I am trying to impress you now with the thought that "Florida sand"
isn't so much in evidence in St. Lucie as it is in-well, other places. In fact,
I am willing to go on record that there is a wide and fertile strip not so far
back from the river the equal of any land anywhere. This land is capable
of unbelievable production in just about any line you care to mention, or
that might appeal to you as a grower. A very pretentious drainage program
is just about completed, and, though the growing of vegetables has been
going on now for a long time, much more clearing and planting now will be
done. In the Grower we have from time to time given production figures of
these lands of St. Lucie, and while I haven't the figures by me now, I know
the tomato shipments were something enormous. These same lands are oc-
cupied in places, chiefly the hammocks, by groves of surpassing splendor.
More planting is going on all the time, and'those celebrated Indian River
oranges and grapefruit keep the railroad pretty busy during the long ship-
The outstanding fact as to the quality of St. Lucie County's citrus crop
is emphasized by the record the county has made in the past, five years
at the big fairs of the State. In 1918, 1919 and 1920 this county's citrus
exhibit was awarded the grand citrus prize at the State Fair at Jacksonville.
In 1922 and 1923 this county was awarded the same honors at the South
Florida Fair and Gasparilla Carnival, at Tampa, thus winning in five con-
secutive exhibits this high award over all competition. This is an achievement
that perhaps no other county in the country has ever reached in an exhibition
of any principal product, and one for which St. Lucie County is entitled
to the merited credit which has been awarded her. These repeated successes
are convincing evidences that the Indian River section produces fruit of the
highest quality, and the successive winning of highest awards is no accident.
Some of the Californians, who visited Florida and the Tampa Fair last
winter, said they considered the St. Lucie County citrus exhibit the finest of
its kind they had ever seen. The people of St. Lucie County may justly feel
proud of the position they have achieved.
So you see, my contention about Indian River fruit as raised in St. Lucie
is about as correct as any statement ever made. This is a citrus county if ever
there was one. There are some fine packing houses-certainly, there must be
to take care of the volume of fruit, citrus fruit, alone. There are other fruits,
of course, and these will be taken care of on another page in this issue. The
vegetable and field crop production is looming up strongly, and it shouldn't
be very long before the county is shipping something every month in the
year. Certainly the soils will permit of it, and the climate and rainfall-to
be sure. There is no doubt but what every possible condition expected of
nature in an ideal place is present here at all seasons of the year.
According to figures furnished by the county engineer, St. Lucie County
contains 50 oo00 miles of the Florida East Coast Dixie Highway, running
from the county lines north and south, which are marked by the Sebastian
River on the north and the St. Lucie on the south. Both these are navigable
streams, but the latter forms an inlet leading direct to the Atlantic that
could easily harbor this country's navy-and then some. The inlet will not
permit of the passage of large battleships as yet, however. Seventeen and
one-half miles of highway leading to the west and Central Florida are now
under construction. More than 7 miles of the highway leading to the Okee-
chobee County line is already completed, and when finished this will be a
25-mile stretch of rock-based and surfaced roadway.
This west road is one that a great deal of Central Florida is vitally
interested in, for it will mean a direct and wide outlet for the produce
raised north of Lake Okeechobee, as well as a means of communication with
a vast and well-populated district. The completion of the present con-
struction will give the county I 19 miles of standard rock roads, in addition
to about 150 miles of marl and graded roads, and about 400 miles of graded
roads. The county does all its road work with its own equipment, of which
there is about $125,ooo worth. It maintains its own central garage and
repair plant at Fort Pierce, by which means a considerable saving of public
funds have been made in the past two years. I saw a regular train of trailers
being hauled by one of the county trucks, and am showing a picture on one of
these pages. There is without doubt a very efficient maintenance organiza-
tion, and all roads are being built rapidly.
I regret that I haven't the space to give all the figures on production in
this, my allotted space. You can easily get them, however, with any other de-
tails you might desire, by addressing the Chambers of Commerce of Vero or
Fort Pierce. I have a printed list before me, but as it is copyrighted I hesitate
to use it. Briefly, citrus fruits ran in volume to nearly i,8oo cars. Express and
mail packages must have built up these figures considerably. The value of car
shipments alone was well over $I,600,000. Pineapples, over 34 cars, brought
in about $44,000. In garden truck, which includes only tomatoes, string
beans, potatoes, peppers, and eggplant, the monetary return ran well over
$515,ooo. This is carlot shipments only, also, and does not take into consid-
eration the mail and express packages.
I suppose that fish shipments should also be taken into consideration here,
but these figures have been pretty hard to get. From what I heard at differ-
ent shipping points I have no hesitancy in placing the value of the fish taken
from the rivers and ocean adjacent to the inlet at $15o,ooo. This is my
estimate, please understand, and it is in no sense authoritative. All these
figures indicate the extreme importance of the county in all sorts of pro-
duction. In lumber and naval stores the place has long been a heavy shipping
and production point. The East Coast Lumber and Supply Company,
located at Fort Pierce and other points along the East Coast, is a very
important factor in building materials of all sorts. The mill at Fort Pierce
is a busy place in all seasons, manufacturing from raw material about every-
thing needed in the building line.
INDIAN RIVER SCENE, ANKONA
By R. W. PEARMAN, JR.
The name Seminole is very commonly used throughout Florida. It was
originally borne by a tribe of Indians whose warring proclivities were such
that in order to subdue them the Federal Government was forced to use an
army of thirty thousand men and expend over forty million dollars.
In view of the fact that the name of this tribe has been adopted by hotels,
business concerns, communities, organizations, etc., it would be rather un-
usual if someone of the important counties of the State, at the time of its
creation as such by the Legislature, did not take unto itself the name of that
famous tribe who figured so prominently in the early history of Florida. It
was not until 1913, however, that the name and fame of Florida's aborigines
was properly perpetuated by the creation of Seminole County from an area
which had originally been known as Orange County. Since its creation Sem-
inole County has kept the name as prominently before the State as did the fol-
lowers of Osceola. It has taken its place as one of the most progressive coun-
ties, and without any attempt to use superlatives, no other county in Florida
can boast the intensive agricultural development that is found in the confines
of Seminole County. No other single section in the United States produces
and ships the amount of celery as does Seminole County. During the ship-
ping season 1921-22 over six thousand cars of perishable products were
shipped from Seminole County, returning a revenue of over four million
dollars to the growers who have taken advantage of its fertile area.
Seminole County, despite the richness of its agricultural development,
is one of the smallest in the State. The 1920 census showed it is having a
population of but ten thousand.
Its assessed valuation is $5,300,000, which figure represents about fifty
per cent of its real valuation.
The total deposits in the four banks of the county are over three million
dollars, giving the county a per capital deposit of $300.00, which figure is in
excess of the per capital deposits in the United States and will more readily
give an idea of the individual wealth of the county. Sanford, beside being
the county seat, is the principal city, with a population of 5,558, which
figure is also based on the 1920 census.
It is in a center where the agricultural development of the area surround-
ing it has been greater than that of the city. This substantial back-country
is an enormous revenue producing area and there are but a few cities in the
United States that can boast such a development. Sanford is particularly
favored in the matter of geographical location, being half way between
Jacksonville and Tampa on the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line Rail-
road. This city is also the terminal point for the Clyde Line river steamers
which ply from Jacksonville to Sanford and Lake Monroe, upon which it is
located, is the headwater of navigation of the St. Johns River.
These natural advantages, together with that of a most favorable climate,
are now being utilized to develop the tourist possibilities of the city. The
efforts of its citizens in the past have resulted in developing its wonderful
agricultural back-country, but are now being expended along lines that will
eventually make it one of the most prominent tourist resorts of Florida.
It has successfully passed a bond issue containing a progressive program,
which, when completed, will place Sanford in the front ranks of the progres-
sive cities of the State. The fact that it is not a tourist resort and its real
estate values are not inflated affords an opportunity of making remunerative
investments to those who are interested in Florida.
There are a number of other smaller communities in Seminole County.
Oviedo is the second city of Seminole County in size and importance, situated
on the south shore of Lake Jessup in the center of an exceedingly rich fruit
and vegetable section. What is known as Black Hammock lands lying con-
tiguous to the town of Oviedo, has an area of about six thousand acres, the
soil of which is a black, sandy loam. It is unsurpassed by anything in the
State for its richness and adaptability to the growing of all kinds of Florida
winter vegetables, such as celery, lettuce, pepper, tomatoes, peas, beans and
many others too numerous to mention. It is equally good for staples such as
sugar cane, rice, corn, etc. The Seaboard Air Line and the Atlantic Coast
Line Railroads give Oviedo good shipping facilities. The Seaboard Air Line
is now at work building a loop from Oviedo through the farming district,
and expects to have trains running in time for spring movement of crops.
Good schools, a bank, lumber mills, many fruit packing houses
and other industries besides the farming industry help to make the com-
Geneva is situated in the northeastern part of Seminole County along
the beautiful inland lakes and near the broad expanse of water known as
Lake Harney. Geneva offers much to the tourist and the homeseeker who
would raise citrus fruits and general farm products. Geneva is on the East
Coast Railway and has several large packing houses for citrus fruits, one
for canning and preserving of fruits, stores and a good school, and is a
prosperous community made up of excellent people. A good brick road con-
nects Geneva with Sanford and it is also on the Fort Mims-Titusville branch
of the Dixie Highway. The Geneva House has excellent accommodations
for visitors to Geneva.
Longwood is situated about twelve miles southwest of Sanford, connected
with brick road and on the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad.
Located in the heart of the piney woods and breathing health to the tourist,
the Longwood Hotel offers good accommodations to the visitors. The
Longwood section is noted for citrus fruits and general farming.
Altamonte is south of Longwood on the Sanford and Orlando brick road
and about eighteen miles from Sanford, nestling amid the pines and beautiful
clear-water lakes. Altamonte is also one of the citrus fruit sections of the
county and the fine homes are surrounded by fruit trees and ornamentals.
Chuluota, of Indian name and beautiful to look upon, is becoming famous
as a resort for tourists and homeseekers. On the East Coast Railway,
Chuluota was one of the oldest towns in the county, but a few years ago it
was placed on the map in large red letters by the land department of the
East Coast Railway, a new fireproof hotel was built, new store buildings
erected and many changes made that brought new people in to build homes
and spend the winters in one of the beauty spots of Seminole County. The
new hotel, Chuluota Inn, will surprise the tourists and visitors with the fine
accommodations and perfect service. General farming and citrus fruit and
stock raising are the chief assets of this section.
Lake Monroe is a thriving community situated about five miles west
from Sanford on the main line of the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and in
the flowing-well district that spells prosperity for growers of winter vege-
tables. Monroe is an important shipping point in the county, surrounded by
vegetable farms. The citizens are prosperous farmers, many from other
states, attracted here by the fine climate and chance to make good in the
winter vegetable business.
Lake Mary is situated on the fine sheet of clear water of the same name
in the heart of the high pine lands and about five miles from Sanford on the
Atlantic Coast Line Railroad, and connected with the county seat by good
roads. Lake Mary is in the citrus section and has many fine orange groves
and fine homes. Lake Mary has a store and post office.
Paola is one of the most healthful locations surrounded by lakes, orange
groves and farms, in the midst of winter homes of people who love the great
outdoors of Florida's climate. About six miles from Sanford on the Atlantic
Coast Line Railroad, and has a store and post office.
Forest City derives its name from the stately oaks that abound in this
beautiful part of Seminole County and is becoming famous for orange groves,
fine farms, stock raising, etc. On the Trilby branch of the Atlantic Coast
Line Railroad and having good roads connecting with the brick roads at
Altamonte, Forest City appeals to winter visitors and investors alike. Near
the famous Wekiwa and Palm Springs and a beautiful rolling country.
Though the name Seminole is no longer dependent upon the Redskin
to add glory to it, the county which now bears that name will add a far
greater lustre and prominence as its great possibilities are recognized by the
prospective capitalist, homeseeker and farmer.
By CLARENCE E. WOODS, Secretary Chamber of Commerce
Sumter County, like Florida among the States of the Union, is one of
the oldest and yet among the newest, due to retarded development, due to
inaccessibility when means of travel were scarce and other counties were in
the line of least resistance. However, the good roads bee began to buzz
in the bonnets of the more progressive element of the obscure county of
"natural abundance," as Sumter is called, and then commenced the era that
now ushers in the dawn of a marvelous development. To be supreme in any
one thing is honor enough. To lead in two or more particulars, is unusual;
but to rank so high in production as to win three firsts and other ribbons in
the race for agricultural supremacy confers upon such a champion the envi-
able distinction which it were unjust to deny it when the truth supports such
For instance, Sumter County (Center Hill) ranks first in the whole
United States in the production of string beans; Sumter County (Coleman)
ranks first in the South as a cabbage producer. Sumter County (Webster
and Bushnell) ranks first in the State as a producer of cucumbers. Sumter
County (Oxford) shipped one-fourth of all the cantaloupes of the State
of Florida. Sumter County, third smallest county in Peninsular Florida,
shipped one-twentieth of the vegetables and melons of Florida last season.
There are sixty-three counties in the State. One-twentieth of the State's
tomatoes came out of Sumter, and one-fourth of her cucumbers.
The largest old bearing grove in Florida is in Sumter (Wildwood).
Here is the home of the famous King orange. Sumter is the birth-place
(Webster) of the Parson Brown orange, the sweetest of the early oranges
marketed. And yet orange culture lagged for the past quarter of a century,
attention focusing on vegetables. Solid train loads moved during the fall and
spring seasons, buyers remaining on the depot grounds to compete for the
famed products of Sumter.
A million-dollar highway runs along the Seaboard Air Line Railway
from the north to the south end of Sumter; other bonded hard roads inter-
sect this at right-angles, and all afford transportation fast and effective, for
business or pleasure. The Atlantic Coast Line also operates a main line across
the county, in the fertile section around St. Catherine, Linden, Webster and
Center Hill, where good roads abound.
Owing to the belated development of roadways, the county is just
awakening to its limitless possibilities; lands are yet cheap though, of priceless
fertility when they shall have drawn hither the settlers seeking certain crops
in abundance and variety unrivaled in the State.
Hard road building material in abundance is found all over the county.
Fishing is superb in the rivers and lakes and "sinks." There is a chain of the
latter that are veritable "meat houses," one bearing that cognomen, Lake
Panasoffkee, attracting sportsmen from distant cities. One great "sink"
known as the Wall Sink, is fathomless and full of fish. Its vertical walls
of stone rise forty feet sheer upward from the water whose bottom is un-
known. This vast natural malformation is a wonder akin to Mammoth
Cave, its current disappearing to rise miles away, supplying fish in abundance.
Deer. turkeys, quail, squirrels, ducks and other game abound.
Sumter is distinctly a county of farming, diversified and abundant. Every
vegetable and fruit grows here. Melons and grapes afford revenue as well
as prize hogs and beef cattle, sheep and poultry.
VERSATILE VOLUSIA COUNTY
By Roy R. JOHNSON, County Agent
Because of the remarkable variety and fine quality of the products Volusia
County has justly been designated Versatile Volusia, a name truly descriptive
of her powers as well as beauty. Located somewhat above the center of Flor-
ida, north and south; Volusia, with the coast line of the Atlantic Ocean on
her east side and the St. Johns River with the large lakes it connects on her
west and southwest, has a water boundary that serves to temper her climate
greatly, and makes possible the great range in products that has made her
famous. Not only does the great "Nile of the South," as the St. Johns River
is often called, serve to modify the climate of this productive section, but
the river itself furnishes a waterway for moving the ever increasing volume
of exports for the Northern markets.
The steamship line plying up the river from Jacksonville finds its head of
navigation at Enterprise in the extreme southeast of the county, and the low
freight rates of the river carriers compel a lower rate from the railroads
competing for freight transportation, which helps the producer realize
Good roads play an important part in the activities of an agricultural
community or county. The Million-Dollar Triangle connecting Daytona,
New Smyrna and DeLand is a fine hard-surfaced road and a part of the
Dixie Highway along the East Coast. The St. Johns Scenic Highway from
Jacksonville to Sanford passes through Volusia on the length of her west
side, and is one of the most beautiful hard-surfaced highways in the State.
It is now under construction and approaching completion. All out-lying
communities and small towns are fast being connected with the main high-
ways by hard-surfaced roads.
The difficulties of obtaining an education in the rural districts are being
met very successfully by a system of consolidated schools and free bus trans-
Buildings and equipment are of the most modern kind, and instructors
are the best obtainable.
The Stetson University is located at DeLand, the county seat, and is
considered one of the best seats of learning in the country.
On the north the county is joined by Flagler and Putnam counties, the
Northwest junction being famous for its output of tangerines. While Volusia
may not be the native home of this much desired member of the citrus group,
it has become a home by adaption, being especially adapted to its culture, for
nowhere does the tangerine grow and flourish to better advantage than here.
On the west side of Volusia are Marion and Lake Counties, on the south-
west is Seminole, while on the south it joins Brevard in a land of wonderful
honey production on both sides of the boundary line. Here also grows the
famous Indian River Orange.
The soils of Volusia are as varied as its crops, being chiefly of the Norfolk,
Marlboro, Portsmouth, St. Johns, Dunbar and Blanton series. It is of a
sandy loam nature underlaid with clay and marl. Some of the finest trucking
land in the State will be made available when the drainage project now under
construction, is completed. In this tract of land lying just back from the East
Coast there is some unusual opportunities for those who seek a home in the
best all-year-round climate in the world.
Not only is Volusia a land of honey; it is rapidly becoming a land of milk
as well. An agricultural survey of the county recently completed reveals an
increase of one-third more cows since 1920, with an increase of sixty thou-
sand dollars in dairy products for the past year.
Poultry has increased over fifty per cent, now numbering I31,350, the
increase chiefly is in blooded and better graded stock. This increase is largely
due to the energetic work for more and better poultry, by the Division of
Extension workers in the county.
In citrus production the increase has made an approximate gain of one
hundred per cent since 1919. The crop of 1921 was 706,400 boxes, valued
at $1,794,815.oo. The increase in price is due to better marketing, better
disease control and more intelligent culture and care in handling the crop.
MOTOR BOAT RACING ON LAKE BERESFORD, NEAR DELAND
Among other things a source of revenue for the county is the growing of
ferns. There are one hundred and fifty-eight ferneries in the county, a great
part of which has been newly planted and not yet bringing an income. The
income of 1921 was about $135,000.00.
On the well-drained, rolling lands of the county the very best type of soil
for grape growing is found, and this luscious fruit is attracting much atten-
tion among fruit growers.
On the one thousand farms in the county there was planted this past
year 5,782 acres of corn, 658 acres of sweet potatoes, 174 acres of sugar
cane, 840 acres of chufas, 1,057 acres of Irish potatoes, 120 acres of cabbage,
Ioo acres of tomatoes, and 470 acres of watermelons. These are only a few
of the many crops grown the past year. Plans are being made and land
prepared for an increased acreage of all these crops, and many others for
the coming year.
While the citrus crop is the all-important crop of the county at the
present time, the value of the truck and other farm crops total a very desir-
able sum. The truck crops of 1919 were valued at $307,790; fruits, other
than citrus and nuts, $865,762; cereal crops, $3,651. The total valua-
tion of production of the I,ooo farms of the county in 1922, including horti-
culture, agriculture, live-stock, poultry, green-houses, etc., $4,572,940; an
increase over 1919 of $1,356,278.
There is in the county 533 industrial establishments, with a pay roll in
1921 of $1,966,820. These factories furnish a very convenient source of
income for farm laborers during slack periods on the farms.
The full significance of the title Versatile Volusia can not be realized
until you have visited her farms, caught fish from her many lakes, drank
from her wells the purest of water, of which Volusia is justly proud, and
viewed her beautiful cities.