The Ashburton Guardian. Magna est Veritas et Prævalebit. MONDAY, APRIL 8,1889. THE RIGHT SORT OF SETTLER.
We often hear complaints of hard times and of the difficulty of making a living, and although it is doubtless only too true that misfortune attends upon some people do what they will, yet it is on the other hand undeniable that many of those who complain most loudly make their own troubles, and many more could orercome all the difficulties m their way if they would only — as an Englishman would phrase it " put their shoulder to the wheel" or as a Scotchman would say " set a stoot heart tae a steep brae." And it is perfectly astonishiog what may be accomplished by energy and perseverance even under apparently unpromising conditions and we have to thank the Christchurch "Telegraph" for 'an instance, which it gives us genuine pleasure to place before our readers. It is that of an energetic settler who, nine' months ago took up twenty acres of land at Sumner, and who, m that Bhorfc space of time has done wonders with it by his labor and skill. Our contemporary says " While the * unemployed' were agitating round i the lamp-post on Cathedral square last winter, and clamoring for work, and journals and politicians were half applauding those men who shook the dust of this played-out country from their feet, this man evidently thought that New Zealand was not such a bad place after all. He had his eyes open, and his wits about him. Instead of pestering the Government for work, he resolved to find employment for himself. At the back of the Deaf and Dumb Asylum, at the foot of the hills at Sumner, he found a piece of untilled land out of which he thought he could see his way to get a living. He leased the land, employed a man to help him, and started to work. He ploughed the ground, put m seed, built two or three hot-houses, and the result of his labor and enterprise Is that the wild grass, which nine months ago covered the ground, is now replaced by abundant crops of vegetables. His tomatoes and potatoes were among the first and finest m the market. He has realised good prices for both. Indeed, all his vegetables command a ready sale, as it is said that the close proximity of the land to the sea imparts especially wholesome properties, to the vegetables, the slightly salt flavor of the tomatoes being especially perceptible. Loads of seaweed have been carted np from the beach, and are now lying upon the land, to be used next season for manure. There are about twenty acres altogether taken up m this garden, but at present the whole area is not all under cultivation, for owing to the somewhat limited means of the proprietor, who could not afford to employ many hands, and the difficulties attendant upon working new ground he deemed it advisable to feel his way m making his new venture instead of attempting too much at once. He is quite satisfied now that there is money m it, and m the near future intends extending his gardening operations. He sold twelve tons of potatoes while, the prices were high ? and he calculates that at the, end of the tomato season he will have sold about twenty tons of tomatoes St an average of £20 or £21 per ton. Of course, besides these he has raised other vegetables, such as . cabbages, turnips, etc. Cucumbers he found to be very profitable, too. On the slopes of the hill he has planted apple and other fruit trees. The situation is so perfectly sheltered and the climatic influences are so favorable that m a short time he expects to have grapes growing upon the hillside. He will have large strawberry beds, and m time hopes to make his garden an attractive pleasure resort to sojourners at this charmIng little &ea-side village. There is little doubt but tfre industry and enterprise, which have done so much m so short a space, will accomplish all this. And it is hoped that this man's pluck will meet with its dge reward. Already with Oamaru, Timara and other southern towns he doeg a brisk trade with his tomatoes, which, large, red and ' fleshy, 1 were being packed into cases by bis assistant, to be sent away. The moral, of coarse, to be drawn from this man's undertaking is, that it is easy for men to make a living, and not only a living but an independence, m Now Zealand if they go tba right way about it, and use thoir hands and their brains. Had this man hung on to the apron strings of t>ho Government fop work, and loitered about the street corners waiting for employers to drop from the clouds m search of him, he would be poor and dependent , till the end of the chapter, and- would no doubt m a little tj»*e h^ve learned to curse the country as roundly as any N ' unemployed ' agitator m it. This mode of precedurc m a now colony was not to his taste. He brought an independent spirit and a good stock of courago with him from his Kentish home, and hp struck out for himself, and will almost of a certainty work his way to an independent position. He will not bo one of those whg will have to bemoan his lack of • luck/ which is seldom found to desert those who work as he does. This man was no bloated capitalist. When he landed m the colony three or four years ago be had two half crowns and a threepenny piece m his pocket. What he has done others can do if they will,
The sheltered nook between the hills o Sumner is not tha only spot m New Zealand where money can be made if people only had grit enough to put their shoulder to the wheel as this Sumner gardener did. Though the gold fever is past there are still fortunes m the fertile lands of New Zealand for those who know how to seek them properly. If they do not find them it is their own fault."