—: (from a correspondent.) In acknowledging receipt of your valuable paper, I have to congratulate you on its appearance in the new form and improved print, and os 1 have not much else to attend to for the present, I will try to give you a little information as to how things are looking, and what is being done in this district, and fqr tire information of your readers, I might give you a little of its history. Springston is a village situated three miles westward of Lincoln, it has two churches, a minister's residence, a general store, post office, and blacksmith’s shop and carpenter’s shop, with about 10 other houses. About 10 years since, when a few of us came to settle in the district, it might have been called a waste howlingwilderness, with nothing but swamps and niggerheads, on the one side, and tussock plain on the other, for many a mile. It formed part of the well known Springs Station Run, formerly the property and residence of Mr, Fitzgerald, which derived its name from having a great many large spring-holes, some of them wide and deep enough to float a large vessel, and some of them about the size of a man's leg. When the country was in its rough state these holes were hid from the traveller’s eye, and many a plunge have I, with others, had into one or other of these holes. So when the first buildings in the village were, put up, the question arose what it should
be called. I suggested that it should be something iu connection with the springs, otherwise it would not be known in what direction it lay. Hence the name Springaton was given to it, which is now well known as a post town, and from this your readers will know its history. Being situated just between the wet and dry land, most of the farmers have managed to get a little of each, hence they share in the benefits of both dry and wet seasons ; but I have no doubt most of them would like, if they could, to have such a season as the present every year. The crops are looking remarkably well everywhere, notwithstanding the very wet season. I have not seen but very few crops laid or injured, even in the richest soils, except where the water lay on the surface during the heavy rains we had in the winter. There the crop has, died off, and become ve\y patchy. By the way, I would suggest to those farmers holding such land an easy remedy, by adopting a cheap mode of thorough surface draining, by cutting one main drain along in the lowest part, and then at right angles open up small ones, about 18 inches deep, and from 30 to 60 feet apart, according to the requirements. Then lay clown any kind of brushwood in the bottom of these small drains. Manuka scrub will apt well, or gorse sticks. Then fill in -with all that has been taken out. The main drain should be laid with pipes sufficiently large to carry the water which may come from the others. I have seen this done in heavy clay land, with good effect. It is rather remarkable this year that the very early sown crops, as well as the very late, have not done well; either blight or rust, and in some cases both, have greatly injured the early crops of wheat and oats, and late barley. There is one paddock of wheat belonging to Mr. Gammack which I have taken great interest in. It was in wheat last year : it was ploughed, and sown down to grass seed early in March. There was a good deal of wheat shaken out, lying on the stubble, which came up' with the grass seed and made a fine show all through the winter, but being rather damp land, it -was not fit to put stock on until the spring, when the wheat was so high that Mr. G. decided to let it go for a crop. It looked remarkably well and come out in ear early in November, but was not ready to cut until last week, although it was tusoan, being from seven to ten weeks in ear, which is longer than I ever knew, but now the result is nothing but chicken wheat. The heaviest and best crops of wheat will be from the middle sowing. A very large quantity of hay and grass seed has been saved in good condition this season. The grass paddocks are everywhere looking fresh and green, which is rather remarkable to be seen on the plains at this time of the year. There is a very large breadth of turnips grown this season, and looking well. If you think these few remarks worthy of a place in the “Guardian” I may on some future occasion venture to give you a little of my experience, being an old English farmer.
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Ashburton Guardian, Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 48, 15 January 1880
SPRINGSTON. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 48, 15 January 1880
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