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profit in a period of from seven to ten years ; that the production will gradually and annually increase for some ten, fifteen or twenty years; and that then he may have a matured and full grown orchard, bearing the choicest and richest fruits, and promising its annual treasures for generations even to come, he is not deterred from present expenditure from the remoteness of the return. What is a thrifty appletree worth, of twenty years' growth, bearing choice fruit ? (and it is just as easy to have such fruit as that which is of inferior quality.) What will it then annually produce in money? It would not be an extravagant estimate, to consider a fair average production of such a tree, at from seven to ten bushels of marketable fruit, worth from five to eight dollars, on an average of prices for the last eight or ten years. Some trees, in particular seasons, yield much more than this. I was informed by one of the trustees of our society, that two apple-trees, known to be over a hundred years of age, produced, in one year a net income of about forty dollars.
It is well known, that apple, as well as pear-trees, with proper care, live to a very great age. Take then a tree, in good bearing condition, producing any of the choice varieties of fruit, of fifteen or twenty years' growth, and what is it worth? If such a tree is taken by a railroad company, or by the public for a highway, the owner then considers it of real and substantial value, and can prove, that it is worth from sixty to an hundred dollars. Suppose, however, the real value of such a tree to be but fifty dollars, is it not obvious, that a farmer, who is willing to forego present or immediate profit, may by a small investment in the outset, lay the foundation for very greatly enhancing the annual productive value of his farm in the course of a few years? He may, in this way alone, double the real and intrinsic value of his estate. There are, in this county, examples of eminent success in this course of husbandry. It is true, there are risks from the elements, and other
causes, but if one tree fails, another may grow in its place; and with proper skill and care, the actual value of production, taking a series of years, may remain without much variation.
It is believed, that the cultivation of all the choice fruits, to which our climate and soil are adapted, may be very greatly extended with a certain prospect fof abundant remunerating profits. A distinguished cultivator, in a neighboring county, informed me that the net income, arising from the sale of his Isabella grapes alone, three years ago, exceeded that of his whole farm of one hundred and fifty acres. Another farmer, who has paid particular attention to the cultivation of peaches, informed me a few weeks ago, that his sale of peaches in the Salem market, the present season, amounted in one week to the sum of one hundred and twenty dollars; and that his peach-trees, for a series of years, have yielded him an annual income of between four and five hundred dollars. It is to be considered, that the Essex farmer finds a great and constantly increasing demand for all the choice productions of the earth. He is in the midst of the most densely populated region in this country
He has a cash market almost at his own door for every contribution that he can bring to it; and as the facilities of intercommunication are constantly increasing, by the operation of that great power of modern times, steam, which is effecting a revolution, in the condition and relations of the whole civilized world, the only means by which an Essex farmer especially can successfully withstand the active competition and conflict which these discoveries are adapted to produce, are improved modes of cultivation, with particular reference always to the production of the Best article for the market, whatever it may be. Our husbandry must be a model husbandry. We must make up in fertility of skill, expedients and useful devices, what we lack in the natural fertility of the soil. In this way, and by these means, Essex husbandry, which has a cash
market on her own soil, constantly increasing and craving all her rich and choice productions, may successfully maintain her rightful superiority at home, and by a gradual and certain extension and development of her own inherent resources, preserve it in all time to come.
One of the principal instrumentalities of effecting this great and most desirable change and improvement in the condition of our husbandry, is the society, whose organ I have the honor to be on the present occasion. That this society has already accomplished much good, no one can doubt, who is conversant with the comparative condition of the agriculture of the county now, and at the time of its establishment, twenty two years ago.
But it is quite as apparent that our society is yet in the infancy of its usefulness. It may be made to wield a vastly greater influence than it has hitherto done, by more diligence, zeal and activity on the part of its members. In the first place, every farmer, not now a member, and all other citizens, who feel an interest in promoting its objects, should enrol their names among its friends and supporters. This is common ground, on which we may all meet, and cultivate that mutual confidence and respect, which the division and animosities of party and political strife, are too much adapted to interrupt and impair. We can here cherish a common brotherhood of interest, as well as of mutual regard and esteem. In this way the social and moral influence of our society may, continue to be, as it now is, highly salutary. Important as this consideration may be, it was not this sort of influence, as a direct object, to which I referred in the remark just made. This is one of the incidental benefits of our organization.
The direct and main object of our union, under the form of a society, is to improve, and extend, as far as may be, the agricultural resources and wealth of the county.
This object cannot be fully accomplished, until all its members, and especially the
practical farmers, consider it a personal and imperative duty to bring out, and place upon record in our annual publication, all the valuable results of their experience. In this way our 66 transactions" will exhibit a transcript, as it were, of the agricultural mind and heart of the county, and thus true 'knowledge, founded on experience, may be multiplied and diffused. The wisdom of the world is founded on the
experience of the world. This is emphatically true of the art, which it is our design to promote. Every farmer, who pursues his calling with that zeal, enterprize and intelligence, which all men should endeavor to bring to the prosecution of their lawful business, whatever it may be, will learn something every year, which it is important that others should know. That something should be communicated for the common benefit. It should be found in our records, so as to be known and read of all men. The lights of experience and true knowledge should not be suffered to expire in one's own breast, but should shine forth on our published records in all their richness and variety of coloring, for the illumination of the general mind.
To this end, let every farmer who has good reason to believe that in any one thing he is wiser this year than he was the last, bring up here a brief narrative of the matter, to whatever branch of husbandry it may relate; and if this duty should be fully discharged by our intelligent yeomanry, abstracts might be prepared for publication, from such narratives, which would be of invaluable service in advancing the agricultural interests of the county. Essays and treatises on the different branches of husbandry may be made exceedingly useful, and should occupy more or less space in our annual volume; but if our farmers, while they avail themselves to the fullest extent of all the sources of information at their command, will bring out to the public view, from time to time, the results of their own expe
rience, the boundaries of knowledge will be enlarged,
I am not calling on you, my friends, to become