The Akaroa Mail. TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 1914 FRUIT GROWING ON THE PENINSULA.
There is no doubt that the Peninsu'a in general and Akaroa, in particular are ideal places for the cultivation oi fruit. Lying as we do in such a sheltered position and close to the sea, we escape the late heavy fvasts which often spoil the crops in other] less favoured localities. At the same time our winter is severe enough to help to check pests, and to give the apples that flavour which is only obtainable in climates where frosts are experienced. It will be remembered that tbe Government planted an ex perimental plot in Aylmer's Valley last spring, and on that occasion there was a good attendance of those interested in orchard culture. The Mayor (Mr G. Armstrong) then drew attention to tbe fact that small farmers could so easily carry on fruitgrowing in addition to their dairy farming, It is in the winter that orchards need most attention, as th fi pruning and spraying need to be do De then, and farmers can thus do the bulk of their orchard work in t'^ o o ff season from milking. For jears fruit growing has been carrieo\*on in a most desultory fashion, r JKa© local market in Now Zealand haa keens very uncertain, but of late conations have improved materially. Nelson was the first district to carry on the industry in a businesslike master. Having the ♦« X " Jam Factory near by to buy up all tbe fruit pulp, growers could be assured of a certain return, and tbe rest of tbe fruit was sent over to tbe ■Wellington market. After a few years 1 results have proved very gratifying indeed!,, and Nelson orchard growers find plenty of market for their produce; with the peculiar anomaly that the Nelson public have to pay such a high price for their fruit, though so much is grown locally In Central Otago large apple orchards j and peach gardens have been grown j for years, notably in Roxburgh, and in 1 Waimate, Hastings and other parts I of the dominion tbe industry has been J 1 taken up enthusiastically. 'IheW
Government has been approached by
the Orchard Growers' Association,
and in answer to their request has endeavoured to establish a sound ex-
port market for apples. As our readers J know, great strides have been made in i -tbe last few years. Experts hnvfi been : sent to enquire in'o the maikefc in various parts of tbe world, and only a few weeks ngo Mr Thomas Horton, a well-known orchnnliet of Ilawkes Bay returned from a visit to South America, where bo bad been fo enquire into tbe market for New Zealand apples. His report was most glowing, and he announced that the New Zealand apple was held in high favour, and would easily find sale Mr Horton's remarks were very interesting indeed. He was especially against tbe trial of all the new kinds of apple. He advised those who were starting an orchard nnci could not ufiord to wait too long for a return of their outlay, 'o abide by tbe old favouiito and tiied kinds. It is interesting to note tbat
Mr Horton believes the best apple to ( grow is Jonathan, and the second best \ Cox's Orange Pepper. This is parti- ' cularly interesting to us in Akaroa, as , Mr Courtier has announced on several ( occasions that ho has seen iv Akaroa the bast specimens of the Jonathan :Ie considers Akaroa can produce the best quality of thi3 apple, and it is well known that Jonathan always ommands sale. There is great activity on the part of the Government just mw to give orchard growers every facility to get their produce on the market, and also to establish a firm market for the export of fruit. In connection with (his movercent each province has an association of fruitgrowers, and pub associations are being formed in fruit growing localities. Oj Saturday next the member 3of the Cmterbury Fruit Growers' Association are visiting Akaroa with the idea of forming a Peninsula Fruit Growers' Association. For many jears Peninsula people have lug'cc'ed the op portunity to increase the returns from fruit growing, but all should seize this chanco to establish a safe addition to their annual income. It is gratifying to note tho better condition of orchards genera 1 !) , and the bettor class of fruit pro4i!c;;ii ; but the fruit grow ing potentialities of tho district have never been exploited thoroughly. The orchard pests are fairly troublesome this year, owing no doubt to a mild winter and a wet and hot spring and summer. A patient application of sprays is the only remedy, and the proof of their effectiveness can be seen in any pest rHden orchard.