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large his sphere of work, and cultivate fruits for the various seasons of the year, thus giving employment to a regular force of hands, who, on account of their proficiency, become indispensable on a fruit farm. Crops should be anticipated, and markets provided just as the manufacturer seeks and secures sale for his goods."
Is there over-production of fruit?-All these remarks bring up the old question as to whether there is an over-production of fruit. The probability is that there is not an absolute over-production except in special years; that is, that there is not more fruit grown than can be consumed in one way or another. It is very likely, however, that there is frequently a relative over-production,-that there is more fruit grown than can be consumed in the markets which are ordinarily at the disposal of the grower. The difficulty is probably rather more one of unequal or imperfect distribution than of absolute over-production of the commodity. The tendency of the time is to remedy this defect through more perfect means of dissemination, but it is too much to hope for a perfectly equal distribution of fruits, since the fruit areas are more or less limited in their geographical distribution, whilst the fruit consuming population is distributed far and wide. When there are heavy gluts in some markets and fruit does not pay for the freight, there are very often other places, a few hundred miles away, in which the commodity is scarce. The recent introduction of special fruit and refrigerator cars has
The Question of Over-production.
lessened the difficulties of distribution. But the reader should be reminded that these appliances are of use only to organizations, or to those growers who have a large quantity of product; or, at any rate, to those localities in which so much fruit is grown that the community of interests amounts to an organization.
There can be little doubt that fruit must tend to become cheaper rather than higher, except for special kinds and special markets, but the cost of producing it will grow less at the same time. The fruit-grower must acquire the skill to make his plantations bear in the years of least heavy crop, and thereby escape, to a large extent, the effects of over-production. This can certainly be done. The very fact that there are years of over-production and under-production shows that fruit-growers have not yet mastered the conditions which control their plantations. In orchards, at least, there are more persons who discover their crops of fruit than there are who produce them. With the cheapening of the product, the demand I will be increased. The United States now leads all countries in the extent, variety, excellence, and abundance of fruits, and our people are pronounced fruit-consumers : and this desire for fruit is very rapidly increasing. In particular fruits, as in grapes in the east, the price seems already to have fallen to the very lowest point of profitable production, and in these cases salvation seems to lie in the hunting out of special markets, in devising more secondary means of disposing of the product (as in
manufactured goods), and especially in improving the quality of the product and increasing the attractiveness of the packing.
It is a common practice to estimate the amount of fruit which will be produced at any given time in the future by multiplying the number of acres of plantation by the yield of a normal acre of that kind of fruit. The fallacy in these calculations lies in the fact that very many of the orchards which are planted in hope and expectation yield only bugs and fungi. It is probably not too much to say that fully half of the fruit plantations which have been set in the past fail to produce any crop for the market. There are numbers of people who devote their entire energies to copying their neighbors; but having no original grasp of the subject, they are likely to achieve only a haphazard success.
THE LOCATION AND ITS CLIMATE.
IT IS apparent that any advice respecting the proper place for engaging in fruit-growing must be of the most general nature, since the species of fruits are so numerous, and the elements which enter into a choice of location and soil are so various and indefinable. Yet there are certain considerations which are approximately fundamental, and to which the reader may profitably give heed. These may be found to be suggestive in improving one's practice upon his established plantation, as well as useful in aiding him in the choice of location and land.
The choice of the place in which to grow fruit, leaving aside the element of soil, is determined by the location and the site. The location is the position of the place as fixed by the map or the surveyor. It is in such and such a township, and lies along such and such a highway. It is a matter of
*The problems comprised in the selection of the proper soil must be determined for each particular fruit. They are, therefore, special questions, and must be treated in the books to be given to the different fruits, and not in a general work upon fruit-growing.
local geography; it may lie in any one of a thousand places in the general fruit zones which were outlined in the last chapter. The site is the particular or actual place, in the location or upon the farm, upon which the plantation is set. It comprises the aspect as to whether the exposure is towards the north or the south, and the consideration of the minor elevations and other topographical features of the place. To proceed, then, from the general to the specific, we may say that a certain fruit plantation. is located at Willow Creek, in New York, and that it has a high site, with a sharp eastward exposure.
In the choice of a location with reference to its geographical position, there are two chief elements to be considered, the choice with reference to market and that with reference to frosts; and to these we may now proceed.
Location with reference to market.-Time has overcome distance. Market facilities are, therefore, determined more by transportation facilities than by nearness to the market itself. To have the choice of two or more means of shipping- as by rail or water, or by more than one railroad - is a most desirable feature in the location of any fruit farm. This is not only because competitive rates may be secured, but also because more and various markets may be reached. The choicer the fruits and the greater the desire to reach personal markets, the more should the grower prize any means which shall enable him to reach a number of markets. Such a grower will desire to locate within easy reach of a