The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79
Fruit Growing Proved Highly Successful
Fruit Growing Proved Highly Successful.
From the first it was recognised that on soil of this character the most suitable cultural industry would probably be fruit-growing. Accordingly plantations were made for testing purposes of different varieties of apples, pears, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries, etc., on well-worked land after a certain amount of open ditch and underground draining had been done. This was about ten years ago, and this season we saw these first-planted trees, close to the homestead, in most unpromising-looking soil, yet healthy and sturdy in growth, and carrying large crops of splendid fruit. The cherries were over, most of them devoured by bird-thieves, but we were assured they bore heavy crops of fruit. We were agreeably surprised to see more than one variety of apricot in full bearing, the first of them just ripe and delicious eating. The general experience has been that this fruit is seldom successfully grown in the Auckland district except in certain favoured spots, such as the Thames
Peaches and plums were carrying plenty of good fruit, some of the latter were a sight to see in their prolific bearing. Apples do remarkably well, the fruit being of good keeping quality from the proper varieties, and remarkably well coloured wherever colour is a characteristic of the variety. Pears were coming into good bearing in many cases, although as most people know, pear trees require age before they come into full bearing. The success of the vines planted has already been referred to. At the time of the writer's visit in January the vineyard, now covering about 20 acres, and trained on the espalier system, was looking remarkably flourishing, although the rainy season and low summer temperature of this year have not been conducive to a heavy crop of grapes.