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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47

Estimated Quantity of Farming Land

Estimated Quantity of Farming Land.

Extract, condensed from 'British Colonist,' Victoria, August 7th, 1872.

"Near Victoria.—Say 100,000 acres, all occupied or owned. Some farms "can be bought or let; terms higher than in places farther from the capital.

"Saanich peninsula.—37 square miles; 64,000 acres. 200 settlers, with "farms from 50 to 1500 acres each.

"Sooke.—Out of five square miles, 3750 acres fairly good, open land; re-"mainder tolerably level wood-land.

"Cowichan.—Portions surveyed (including Shawnigan, Quamichan, So-"menos, Comiaken) 100,000 acres, of which half considered superior.

"Salt Spring Island—area, 90 square miles; 5750 acres, good. 80 settlers.

"Nanaimo district (Mountain, Cranberry, and Cedar districts). 45,000 "acres; a fair proportion superior, some light and sandy.

"Comox.—50,000 acres; none better in the world.

"The above gives sufficient area for 30,000 country people, at least, and it "is known that towards Alberni and in other directions there is land available "for settlement."

Much of the above land is covered with fine large timber. Many of the best farm-locations near existing roads—at least the best to the eye—may be expected to be already taken up or occupied; but there certainly is room yet for numerous settlers. This will be more clearly seen as communications are improved. It is said that Victoria buys a quantity of beef every year from the opposite American territory, and that butter can be imported from Montreal at a profit. The facilities for dairy farming are excellent in British page 39 Columbia. The truth is that many farms are occupied by non-practical farmers, who are merely waiting to sell their farms. The climate, scenery, and abundance of game and fish, have had the effect of making this class of land-holder rather numerous. They will give place in time to the right class—as pictured by Franklin:—

"Farmer at the plough,
Wife milking cow,
Daughters spinning yarn,
Boys thrashing in the barn,
All happy as a charm."

Land here must continue to rise in value, and the practical farmer is sure of a good yield from his farm, and a market for what he produces. The settlers are hospitable, and will give anyone a warm welcome, particularly if he is disposed to help himself.