The Ashburton Guardian. Magna Est Veritas et Prevalebit. MONDAY, JUNE 20, 1882. The Flax Industry.
TOWN EDITION. [ Issued at 4.40 p. in. j
In a recent article we discussed the important subject of European flax culture, and laid before our readers certain facts and figures relative to the process. Since that time Mr John Davis, of Wairoa, Hawke’s Bay, who has paid considerable attention to the subject, with which he is thoroughly conversant, and has made some highly successful experiments with European flax, has visited this island, and has recently been lecturing at several places in Canterbury. In the course of his remarks at Southbridge the other evening Mr Davis went far to satisfy his hearers that by the cultivation and dressing of European flax they would establish an industry that would eventually afford remunerative employment to a large number of persons. The farmers of Rangiora have taken the matter up with great spirit, and have expressed their intention of practically testing Mr Davis’s assertions by laying down a certain area in flax, and a company has been formed in Chiistchurch, with a capital of L 10,000, with power to increase it to L 25,000, for the purpose of establishing mills wherever a sufficient quantity of flax is guaranteed. The settlers of Ellesmere possessed good water, Mr Davis told them, and he could not see why, practical farmers as they were, they should not go in for flax cultivation. The climate was better adapted for it here than at Home, and no skilled labor would be required. He knew no other industry that put so much into the pockets of the working class, and, considering the very high rate of profit, he strongly advised settlers to give the matter their serious consideration. We observe that the Southbridge District Improvement Association has taken the matter up, and has called a special meeting to consider the expediency of carrying out Mr Davis’ suggestions. The subject is deserving of the careful attention of every agricultural community in the colony. European flax thrives amazingly in New Zealand soil, is easily grown, requires no skilled labor to produce, and returns an enormous profit on the outlay involved. We trust Mr Davis will pay Ashburton a visit in the course of his travels. Were he invited to come he would doubtless do so.