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Reclaiming a Wilderness.

A fairly successful date farm is said to have been established m the Sahara desert a quarter of a century ago, and the project of further colonising this immense waste has since been a favorite one with French engineers. A company was organised some years ago to work the region of Oued Rir', an Algerian valley some fourteen miles wide, and now owns five oases—-the largest containing 800 acres—on which are planted date palms. Since 1882 this company has created three oases and three villages, has secured ;i water supply of about 5000 gallons per minute by sinking nine artesian Avells, and has reclaimed and put under cultivation over 900 acres of land and planted 50,000 date palms. This, with the construction of irrigation onnals and houses for workmen, has cost £30,000. Other plants are cultivated m addition to the dat« palm, henna, and madder being

found to thrive with but little attention, cotton, flax, and tobacco, with vines and cereals, being grown experimentally. Grass for the cattle and vegetables for the workmen are produced m the shade of the date palms. The largest of the oases is about 80 feet below sea level and the underground water is some 230 feet below the surface.

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Bibliographic details

Reclaiming a Wilderness., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2472, 23 July 1890

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Reclaiming a Wilderness. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2472, 23 July 1890

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