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Fruit-drying and Canning

Mr Darvall, the secretary of the Victorian Chamber of Manufactures, has received a letter from Mr E. Steinfeld, an ex-president of that body, and who is now in America, in which the writer discourses in an inteiesting way on fruit-drying and canning in California. From Mr Steinfeld's letter we make the following extracts :—" One of the most profitable industries in California is fruit culture. It expands itself year by year, and it is the most attractive form in which agriculture presents itself, not only for its being so, but because it is also the most profitable, The number of fruit trees planted in 1888 is calculated at not less than two million, making altogether in the State to date ten million. The total value of the fruit produced in the State for the past three years is thus given :—IBB6, 9,000,000dol; 1887, H.OOO.OOOdol; 1888, 1G,000,000d01. Ihe industry is divided into three branches —(1) green fruit; (2) canned fruit; (3) dried fruit. The green fruit is, of course, mostly intended for the home market and Bent eastward ; whilst canned and dried fruit again are intended for shipment. The process of canning and drying fruit is so very simple that any farmer can do, and in many instances does, the canning and drying on his own farm. The great advantage of fruit-drying is that it is essentially a home industry. Any farmer can utilise his own time and that of his wife and children in drying his own fruit; for while it is a difficult operation in some respects, it is simple in the main, and there is no large investment of capital required. No orchard is too small to support a drier, and it is a business that can never be taken out of the hands of the private owner by large manufactories conducting the business on an extensive scale. That our farmers cultivate cereals is essential and necessary, but it certainly would prove to them a source of wealth if they would follow the example of the Californian farmers and employ themselves also with fruit culture. Our soil and climato are especially suited to fruit production. Concerning beet sugar, Mr Claus Spreckels, president of the Californian Sugar Refinery, and the great slavarian sugarmonopolist, felt convinced that the soil of California is well adapted for sugar beet. He therefore proceeded to Germany and there studied the subject in all its details, and after having fully mastered it he ordered a large quantity of machinery, the best and latest improved; also twenty-five tons of the best beet seed. On his return, with the object of inducing the farmer to enter into beet growing, he offered large premiums for beets containing the highest percentage of saccharine matter. He further agreed to take all the beet at 4dol per ton, and return to the cultivator the remaining pulp, which is not required for sugar purposes. Thousands of acres have since been brought under beet cultivation, aud the result of last year's (1888) sugar production was 4,280,0001b. The sugar made is known as gran.ilated, and realises full prices. In the process of fruit-drying the fruit is laid out in trays exposed to the sun, and within two weeks the work is done. But when the sun is not so kindly disposed, evaporators are called to the assistance of Nature. The term * evaporated ' has become well established in the markets for fruit prepared by artificial heat,

Evaporated fruit, being dried rapidly, has no time to become changed and partly soured, and, being dried in the dark, remains beautifully white instead of turning brown, like that exposed to the sun."

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Bibliographic details

Fruit-drying and Canning, Issue 8055, 4 November 1889

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Fruit-drying and Canning Issue 8055, 4 November 1889

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