The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. SATURDAY, APRIL 23, 1881. The Cultivation of the Sun-Flower.
TOWN EDITION. [lssued at 4.30 p.m. J
It is gratifying to us to find that our efforts in the way of bringing under the notice of our readers the various fields existing for the establishment in our midst of local industries are not totally unappreciated, and it is still more pleasing to notice that amongst those who peruse the columns of Ihe Guardian there are some who, possessed of knowledge on the subject in hand, do not hesitate to bring such theories as they may be acquainted with under the public notice. Sufficient proof of this was given in the correspondence published by us in our last issue on the subject of the utility of the sun-flower and the adoption of its growth as a local industry. That the theory and opinions of our correspondent on the subject are correct we can vouch for. We, therefore, urge upon the notice of our readers the importance of its cultivation in our district. Our climate, the country at our disposal, and the small capital needed in embarking in such an enterprise, render the investment therein doubly attractive. As it is our duty to insert any really interesting matter from those of our correspondents who desire to promulgate the advancement of Ashburton and its surroundings, we hope many more of our readers will contribute towards our columns anything tending to increase the public i merest in the manufacture of 'ocal products. With reference to the s un-flower ( hclianihus) we find that there can be no doubt as to its utility and its high economic value for many purposes. 'The plant, which belongs to the order of compisita, is a very hardy one, and, as we all know, grows to a height of from six to eight feet. It was introduced originally from Peru, and has quite recently been found to possess valuable properties when manufactured. It is now grown on a large scale in Russia, Germany, India, and other countries, where the inhabitants duly appreciate the value of the industry. The seed —-like nutlets—of the plant, in their natural state, are excellent food for poultry and pigs ; when roasted they are said to be an excellent substitute for coffee ; crushed and pressed they yield an oil second in value only to olive oil, either for household purposes or as a lubricator for the delicate machinery of textile fabrics, while the residuum can be used as an oil cake to fatten cattle ; the stalks furnish a good fibre, the blossoms yield a brilliant and lasting yellow dye, and the leaves seem a valuable manure. Here, then, is a chance for some of our farmers and small capitalists, and those who are eager to establish local industries. Let the matter be thoroughly discussed by our Industrial Association. In practice as well as in theory let this convince our farmers that it will be reproductive—a difficult matter at any times with the ordinary “ cockatoo ”; and, with our correspondent, we hope the time will come when he will be thanked for having first drawn public attention to the utility of the growth of the sun-flower in Ashburton.