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About Willamette farmer. (Salem, Or.) 1869-1887 | View This Issue
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Editorial CortespoDMnCf .
THE WALLA WALLA VALLEY.
Walla Walla, July 2, 1883.
Walla Walla county docs not occupy a
largo area on the map or on the world's
surface, and the greater portion of its
acres arc not productive. Over towards
the mountains, including tho foot hills of
Umatilla county, closo by is the garden
spot of the world, or at least this part of
it. The rolling plains towards the north
and west constitute two thirds of the
county, but as yet have not becomo pro
ductive though much settlement has gone
there the two years past. To the north-
i oast, towards Grange City on Snake river,
'Si there is a Iarec area that produces heavily.
Eureka Flat, between here and Snake
river, is reaping its first good harvest the
present year. Though small in its en
tirety and not half of it become produc
tive, it is probable that no similar area in
the the Willamette turns off as much
wheat ns this county does. It was esti-
ijrnaieu in April unit me surplus ironi una
county wouiu approximate uu,vuu ions,
!pr over a million and a half of bushels.
if I 'l.n nimn( it), t tt-l mn..ntila 41. n ImiIiaI
..lifAHC iicacilb uiiuuua HUliuiito uio ui;iii;i
fpnat its exports win amount to 4u,uuu
tons, or 1,333,333 bushels. That is an
.tlmmense outnut for a country of this
JPkize, but will be greatly increased when
;he remainder ot the county is settled and
My former letter related chiefly to the
arvest prospects of Umatilla county and
in this I shall confine myself to Walla
Walla county. It does not seem possible
lat this vauey win produce as much
heat as Umatilla county but experts and
statisticians place the products of each at
the same hgure. To realize this result
,Walla Walla must have an astonishing
harvest. One point in its favor is the
fact that winter wheat is grown hero ex
clusively, or nearly so, It is already so
forward that there is no fear of sun or
wind blighting the crop, while Umatilla
county may suffer to some extent from
those causes. As I stated in my last, con
siderable injury has already been inflicted
and more may bo expected, if hot spells
occur before the grain is fully matured.
The foot hills in sight of town are in
Oregon, principally. This year the show
ers that usually occur along the foot hills
did not occur, and grain is little better
close to the mountains than on Eurka
Flat, close to the Columbia. It is won
derful to see how well the soil retains
moisture and sustains the standing grain.
This is principally duo to the nature of
the soil, which is a sandy loam. Experi
ence this season shows that all the Colum
bia river region can produce wheat relia
bly, if farming is conducted on principle.
This is a winter wheat region. From The
Dalles to the Cceur d'Aleno mountains
winter wheat is certain to bring good re
turns if the right kind of seed is sown in
September on ground plowed well and
thoroughly pulverized. In repeated in
stances I have seen that good harrowing
has made the crop. The man who farms
well needs never fear drouth in any
county in Oregon or Washington East of
the Cascades. Gardens do well on upland
without rain, if well tended and well
stirred beforehand and during the timo of
growing. Barley makes a good crop this
year ; so do potatoes and other root crops
and all sorts of vegetables, and so does
corn. The farmer who studies the situa
tion can make a crop the first year, and
every other year, if he labors with good
Walla Walla valley being the oldest
settled country east of the Cascades, farm
ers here have more experience and
thrive better. Alfalfa thrives well on the
low places ; so does timothy and so does
Kentucky blue grass. A dairy farm
near town has timothy and alfalfa grow
ing. I saw in a drive this evening some
fields of alfalfa that were furnishing an
immense quantity of green feed for stock.
& When farmer hero learn the capacity of
uio sou to produce, aim piu nuai uiej
learn into practice, it will be evident that
tho capacity o this region has never been
understood ai 1 that mixed farming can
be carried on with profit. This county
contains 750,000 acres of prairie, of which
600,000 acres is excellent wheat land, ca
pable of growing much else besides wheat
and with many inducements in favor of
mixed lnbandry. Along the mountains
for ten miles in width, there is a perfect
net work of waters. When this blessing
is made use of sufficiently it will convert
a large section of the country into an
earthly paradise. There are many charm
ing homes already, due to this natural
This season has proven that the dry
lands of this and other counties only need
proper cultivation to respond with good
harvests, fiureka iat has no running
streams but this season farms there pro
duces crops but slightly inferior to those
grown along tho base of the mountains.
Lower Umatilla produces well, as Prospect
J" arm evidences, with 3000 acres that they
claim will yield 30 bushels. Also, tho
Whelan farm, grown in "sand and sage,"
west of Umatilla river, is doing well. Dr.
Blalock says that wheat growing at the
mouth of tho John Day river in Wasco
county, is doing well and will make a
good yield. This has been a crucial year,
following the dry season of 1882, but has
proved that with proper cultivation tho
upper country is safe against disaster,
though seasons with usual rains are to bo
Garfield and Columbia counties extend
east to tho Idaho line and include a great
deal of good soil. People there have be
come accustomed to putting in sprine
wheat and will suffer this year for so doing.
The season is later there but winter wheat
is the kind they must use and if they had
used it this year they would have nothing
to complain of. I start to-morrow for a
tour through those counties and will re
port particulars as I proceed.
S. A. Clarke.
Farmers Som What to Do With Them.
Mohawk, July 5, 1883,
I spent the "Fourth in the shade
some of Webfoots" giant trees, in com
mon with nature and myself. One train
of thought led me to a retrospection of
my college days, of classmates and fellow
pupils. Nine-tenths of them were far
mers sons and daughters. These sons
had been taught to hold the plow, swing
the scythe and do other common farm
work. These daughters had been taught
to milk the cows, churn the butter make
bread and wash dishes. Nearly all these
boys come to school clad in comfortable
clothes, respectable but not showy, with
good serviceable heavy boots. Many of
them "tacked," wore colored shirts and
did their own washing. The amount
spent by them for whisky, cigars, cologno
and sucli like stuff, would have starved
out a five cent beer saloon. Tho progress
in studies, development of mind and ex
pansion of ideas' broad and liberal, were
satisfactory to the faculty. Not a case of
discipline during my stay. Surely these
boys and girls will make their mark, and
having been raised in the country, at
tended collages in a village there can be
no allurements to draw them from their
avocation that has given them rubby
cheeks, vigorous health, and well balanced
minds. Why should they? I at least
had no thought of overlooking beyond
the farm. But what are tho facts. Now
after more than a dozen years have passed
I am yet a farmer. And what of the
others? Let me see j there are the Fen
tons, Burnett, Knox, Tanner, Campbell,
Bean, Holman, Wolverton, all lawyers.
Campbell, Cole, Powell, the Harrises, doc
tors ; besides teachers, preachers, clerks,
etc. I can only recall four who are simon
pure farmers. Of the girls only one is a
farmers wife. Surprising! Do all classes
in that college furnish such a proportion
of candidates for tho professions? Do
other colleges do likewise? If so where do
our farmers come from? Necessarily from
those who never see the inside of college
walls. From those who, for lack of means
are compelled to remain at home, sacri
ficing mind culture for routine work on a
farm. From those who for lack of energy
and ability, desire nothing beyond the
present crude and imperfect system of
agriculture. From those who are by na
ture and education fitted for nothing else
but a life of drudgery, labor of body
without mind or thought. There are no
table exceptions, noble men and women,
who, fitted to grace any profession in the
land, voluntarily choose the vocation of a
farmer, and right well do they fill the po
sition, with honor and credit to themselves
and fellow men. Yet it is too true that
our farmers as a rule, are in point of cd;
ucation and preparation inferior to every
other profession. Why? It seems to me
that there is now the greatest opportunity
for young men of education broad and
liberal, to enter the field of agriculture as
a life study. Certainly nothing can be
more noble and deserving of encourage
ment, than the devotion of ones life to
tho study of the principles that govern
the production of all food substance.
It should be a calling respected above all
others, as being necessary to the support
of human and animal life. What is there
in the calling of a lawyer, doctor,
etc, to exalt them above that of a fanner?
othing I think, but tho woeful ignorance
of the farmers themselves. And we can
never hope for exaltation except through
the thorough practical education of far
mers. Speed the day when educated far
mers sons will return to the farms, when
farmers may be found competent to fill
the halls of legislation, State and national.
J. S. Cuubchill.
E0CTH OF SNAKB RIVER.
Pomeiioy, Garfield Co., July 5.
Thursday we left Walla Walla and
drove to Dayton, thirty miles, through as
bcatiful a country as the world can pro
duce. I had before traveled the middle
and lower roads from Walla Walla to
Waitsburg, but this timo we took the up
per road that lies through tho foot hill
region, or close to it, and is finely watered
and long settled. The improvements are
good and the houses of farmers all com
fortable and many of them handsome
homes. The absence of forest growth is
compensated for by avenues and groves
that have been planted. The poplar does
so well that they generally use that tree,
and they frequently stand in long lines,
pointing their dark green and slender
spires to a great hight, adding beauty to
Every foot of this route from Walla
Walla to Waitsburg, twenty miles, is
through beautiful country, with sur
rounding hills waving in grain, and the
road usually winding beside some charm
ing stream. I thought it the most at
tractive ride of twenty miles I had ever
taken. Tho whole country was in grain,
and the fields varied from the dark green
of the late sown spring wheat to the rich
golden color of the fall sowing that was
nearly ripe enough to harvest. The barley
too was white and almost ready to cut,
and tho oats, of which there is more
grown here than below, presented another
shade of ripeness. There is not and can
not be anything moro beautiful than a
rolling country, meandered by frequent
streams, covered with ripening grain
fields. Occasionally there were fields of
corn, which is a crop that is neglected be
cause it requires so much labor. Even
the settler from tho corn growing States
soon learns to seek his ease and gives up
growing corn, though this country will
raise as good harvests of corn as tho aver
age of Western btates, and it is worth
much more here than there.
At Waitsburg I met my old friend W.
N. Smith, the Postmaster, who has been
there eighteen years, and I got from him
many valuable points. Despite the
drouth he says the present crop is the
best and largest ho has ever known.
Coming down the Coppei we saw large
fields headed out but entirely green. Mr.
Smith said these were all spring sown
February and March and promised
twenty-five or thirty bushels to the acre.
Even spring grain put in in April prom
ised well, but most of the wheat was put
in before April and give the utmost
promise. Speaking for that portion of
Walla Walla county and Columbia
county near the line, extending for almost
forty miles from the foot hills of tho Blue
Mountains to Snake river, he ,said the
crop promised to bo good.
There is usually more rain near the
mountains and better crops than out on
the plains, but this year there had been
no rains since the middle of May, and the
prospect for crops was as good near
Snake river as near the mountains. This
was the report I heard all along tho line.
Tho country is newer to farming out on
the plains, and it is very evident that sev
eral years' cultivation is needed to bring
land up to its best producing capacity.
Between Walla Walla and Dayton two
thirds the wheat is fall sown and looks
well and promises a very good yield. All
that can injure it is excessive hot weathe.
and the hot wind, such as prevailed the
week before near Pendleton. Mr. Smith
thinks fall grain around there will aver
age thirty-five bushels and spring grain
twenty-five to thirty. Last year Bpring
grain was heaviest in that vicinity and
gave the largest yield, though that also
was a season of drouth. Snow lay deep
and long along the river last winter,
which was an advantage to the winter
He told mo the experience of Mr.
Storms, on Coppei. near town, who sowed
his wheat in 'July. He replowed his fal
low and sowed at that timo and the fields
sown then show much better than wheat
he sowed in September. So Mr. Smith
believes early sowing as early as June
is advisable and every farmer should have
sheep to pasture his grain.
At Dayton I met an old friend, John
Berry, cashier of First National Bank,
who always takes interest in crop pros
pects. He said the acreage in Columbia
county was the heaviest ever known and
there is a greater proportion of fall sow
ing about one-half and that sown in
spring was generally put in early.
Elias Muncy.a farmer and old resident,
earn tan wtieat should go ju bushels and
he has some wheat sown in March that
ihould go 25 bushels. One third of the
spring wheat is late sown and will go 10
to 15 bushels. This would give an aver
age of over 25 bushels for the whole crop.
Barley is over an average crop and gar
dens are fair. Oats arc a very fair crop.
Timothy hay is good on bottoms and led
clover does fino any where.
At Dayton I also met and took notes
from the county assessor, Mr. II. Hunter,
of the firm of Hunter it Kuhn, merchants
there, who has had long experience as a
farmer. Mr. Hunter had reports from
very comiietent deputies. Ho assessed
last year and took notes that are valuable
i'l computing the average in wheat. He
says, in Columbia county, there was 18,
000 acres new soil turned last year and
sown last fall to winter wheat ; besides
this there was 8,000 acres old ground summer-fallowed
and perhaps 2,000 acres of
stubble or volunteer, so that tho area in
winter wheat is 28,000 acres ; besides this
there is 20,000 acres in early sowing of
spring wheat and 2,000 acres late sowing.
The total is 50,000 acres that should yield
25 to 30 bushels to tho aero ; taking tho
first figure there will be a million and a
quarter bushels raised. The population
of Columbia county is 0,500 souls and for
seed and bread a double allowance would
not take over 250,000 bushels, and that
would a million bushels, or 30,000 tons
for export. Mr. Hunter seems to havo a
thorough knowledge of his subject and is
a man of far more than average ability
and his conclusions deservo respect, but
they place the export product of Columbia
county far abovo common expectations.
Mr. Hunter says the present crop is the
best known in five years and may overgo
his estimate but will not fall below it.
Barley is over ave'rogo and oats do well.
There may be 3,000 acres of each in tho
county and 1,000 acres in corn ; somo
wheat will bo cut for hay. There is 3,000
acres in timothy that will average two and
a half tons per acre. Mr. James, four
miles out from Dayton, has just cut his
meadow that went four tons per acre.
Alfalfa succeeds on north and east sides
of hills. Red clover does fino whero well
put in. Blue grass takes well. Every
part of this and Garfield county promise
I havo hero given the very intelligent
report of a very competent gentleman
who has had exact means of information.
My own view is that under ordinary cir
cumstances results would equal his expee
tations, but I realize that it is now July,
that hot suns and hot winds may burn
up tho maturing fall grain and that it
will be very uncertain whether tho spring
gran can mature. Tho salvation of this
country lies in its cool nights that refresh
all nature and send moisture down into
tho soil. If there is no excessive heat tho
crops will mature, but a singlo day of hot
sun and wind may ruin every thing.
No country on tho earth has liettcr se
curity for crops than this, rail gram is
the only way to farm, early sowing is al
most suro to succeed. No wheat should
bo sown in tho spring. I assorted last
year, after traveling through this and tho
Palouse country, that they could lo cer
tain of crops if they sowed fall wheat.
Barley, oats, corn, timothy and gardens
look well, despito tho dry season.
From Dayton to Pomeroy tho appear
ance of the crops does not improve. Tho
proportion of spring wheat increases. Tho
country is somewhat newer too, and I
havo observed that thorough cultivation
is needed. Thero is a mistaken notion
that deep plowing is not necessary but
deeper working would insuro moro mois
ture. This country is a month behind
Walla Walla valley in season and tho
rains extend this season no later hero than
there, though the soil is probably heavier,
so crops suffer more from drouth here than
Pomeroy is thirty miles from Dayton
and ccnterof a magnificent farming coun
try. I met hero with J. W. Kancli, in
surance and real estate business, who
studies carefully the general interests of
this region. He places tho acerago at
00,000 in cultivation and 10,000 in crop,
of which 5,000 acres is oats aud barley,
leaving 35,000 acres in wheat. Tho fall
wheat is 12,000 acres and the remainder
is spring sown. Some complaint is made
already that wheat is burning. Many
will cut spring wheat for hay. Thero ure
many ntock men in this county who make
a market for hay, so it usually pays well
Mr. Itanch is not confident of crops
turning off well. Ho says fall wheat will
do finely and it will be a good thing if
people hero learn not to trust to spring
sowing, spring wheat may mature n
there come showers to assist it but thero is
no appearance of rain. To-day tho wind
comes from the north and farmers who
come in from the country say grain is
burning. I am of the opinion, making
a rough guess, that Garfield county can
not bo depended ori to produce for export
moro than ten thousand tons of wheat
flm that Columbia cnuntv will do well
to i,avo twenty thousand tons for exjwrt,
making a million bushels surplus for tho
I met a man, near Pomeroy ,who lives in
the Assotin country, in Garfield county,
which is on Snako river beyond Lewiston.
lie said tho grain in that vicinity was suf
fering badly mid had already burned with
the hot sun. That is a new country and
feels drouth mom tlinn liiml lnnwr in
cultivation. Back a few miles wo found
a largo bottom all in timothy, that needed
cutting, and was as good a stand as I ever
saw. I find moro timothy as I get fur
ther up Snako river. There is usually
more showorv weather in the narlv sum
mer along hero than in Walla Walla and
Umatilla counties but this season has
treated all sections alike. I am satisfied
that farmers hero can raiso prodigious
crops, without fail, if thoy farm aright.
Deep plowing and fall seeding will insuro
success. Even this year and last, which
are exceptional for drouth, tho fall grain
does well and barley and oats sown early
in spring will return a heavy yield. Gar
dens look well though deep plowing will
make them look tetter. I was told at
Walla Walla of a farmer named Chris
Myer, who lives near town, who has 400
acres. Ho fallows 200 acres and nuts in
200 acres every year and docs it well : as
a result ho has averaced. for many years.
40 bushels to tho acre. Hero is n samplo
of what thoroueh work will accomplish
and all-over this country good farming is
all that is necessary to insuro eood returns.
Orchards suffered badly last winter. I
think there must have been warm weather
to keep tho sap up latoand tho sovcro cold
caught orchards in that condition. Peaches
are all killed and many cherries, plums
and pears. It is pitiful to seo hundreds
of dead trees standing whero last year
was a thrifty orchard that had received
many years of care and becomo a source
of profit, -8.-A. Clarkk.
Weath'r Report for Jane, 1883.
During Juno, 1883, thero was one day
during which rain fell, and .05 inches of
water ; 23 clear and 7 cloudy days.
The mean temperature for tho month
was 02.27 deg.
Highest daily mean temperature for
tho month, 72 deg. on tho22d.
Lowest eaily mean temperature for tho
month, 54 deg. on tho 17th.
Mean temperature for tho month at
2 o'clock P. M., 71.73 dog.
Highest temperature for tho month, 80
dog. at 2 P. M. on tho 1st, 5th, Cth and
Lowest temperature for tho month, 51
deg. at 7 A. M. on tho 2d.
The prevailing winds for tho month
were from tho north during 25 days,
south 2 days, southwest 2 days.
During Juno, 1882, thero were 4 days
during which rain fell and .91 inches of
water ; 17 clear and 9 cloudy days.
Mean temperature for tho month,
Highest daily mean temperature for
tho month, 78 deg. on tho 2d.
Lowost daily mean temperature for
tho month, 50 deg. on tho 9th.
Eola, July 2, 1883.
Hotel by tbe Wayilde.
Stafford, Or., July 7, 1883.
Editor Willamette Farmer
In accordance with promise I drop you
a few notes in regard to grango work.
Pursuant to agreement, on Juno 22d, I
drove to Tualatin Plains in Washington
Co., where I was pleasantly entertained
for the night, by Brother Imbrie and
On tho morning of tho 23d, in com
pany with a party of grangers, wo visited
tho Farmington Grange, which had a pub
lic picnic on that day. It was well at
tended and a very enjoyable occasion.
In my remarks I dwelt upon thoso sult
jects which are of tho greatest imortanco
to farmers, which seemed to meet tho ap
proval of all in attendance. Worthy
Master CariM'iiter and many of tho mem
tiers upjKiur to Iks arousid to a realization
of the necessity of co-operation in grango
organizations. Brothers Hare ami
Tongue, from Ilillslioro were in attend
ance and made very interesting and able
remarks. It U gratifying that thero are
inemlien of tho legal profession who m
tho necessity of our organization und the
justice of its principles, who are willing to
stand by tho people, giving their aid to
ward the elevation of the masses.
The grain in Tualatin Plains has not
suffered so severely from the drouth as
some localities that I have visited, and
what generally looks very well, consider
ing tho "feeze out" of last winter,
tin my return I visted some members
of tho Butte Grange, which thoy roport
in a flourishing condition.
On the 29th, I started for Washington
Territory, and arrivod at Washougal tho
30th, where tho grango held its meeting
at 10 o'clock. An hour later tho doors
were opened, per notice, to tho public.
Much interest was manifested in tho ad
dress of tho State Lecturer, in which he
laid before his hearers, as concisely as pos
sible, tho present fraudulent system by
which tho people are controlled and the"
advantages which would accrue from A
thorough investigation of tho financial,
social and educational condition of our
country in general, and tho noccssity of
organization among tho laboring classes.
About 1 o'clock tho meeting adjourned
and tho good sisters, as is usual on such
occasions, prepared a sumptuous feast,
fitted for tho sovereigns of tho land, to
which every ono did amplo justice Din
nor finished tho Grango came to order and
conferred tho 4th degree on a class of four
members, with six applications for mem'
After spouding tho night with Brother
Yeomans at his beautiful prairio home,
wo took a ramble over his placo, and find
that tho portion of tho territory between
tho Washougal and Columbia rivers con
sists of rolling land with timber in tho
ravines, with scenery as picturesque as
the eye could desire.
Thence wont to Mount Ploasant, where
I found Brother and Sister Sampson,
Brother and Sister Turk and Brother and
Sister Marble, all active members of our
order. Found hero a voiy neat church,
erected through tho influenco of Dr. At
kinson, of Portland. Tho peoplo hero are
interested in stock and dairying. Spent
the night of tho 30th with Brother and
Sister Russell, who own a largo dairy and
a good farm situated on tho bank of the
Tho grain and grass crop is generally
light, although wo saw somo that were
Tho peoplo have learned tho valuo of
clover and are turning their attention to
tho different grasses. Thoy also raiso lafgo
quantities of potatoes, as between the
hours of morning and ovening dairy work
thoy have amplo time for thoir cultiva
tion, which thoy find quite remunerative.
Yours Fraternally, II. E. Hayes.
Town of Dufur, Waioo County.
Tho editor of tho Wasco Sun, who has
been traveling south of The Dalles, says :
Tho approach to Dufur was a surprise
to us. Wo were delighted with its situa
tion in a snug valley of tho Fifteen Mile
creek, whose merry waters mado music
and spread vigor upon tho wholo bottom.
Tho view from some points was very fino.
Its fine carpet of green grain and gross
divided by tho fences of tho various es
tates upon tho surfaco mado us sigh for
such a homo. This snug placo was named
for and is tho home of several members of
tho Dufur family, so long identified, and
particularly through tho elder Dufur,
with most of tho substantial industrial in
tcrests of Oregon. Mr. Andrew Dufur
lives on tho south side of the creek in a
pleasant homo. His bottom lands about
tho hou so were very desirable, and wo no
ticed that ho had taken a ditch across his
lands from tho creek upon tho west side
of tho county road in order to irrigato
his lauds to the south of his residence.
Wo visited Mr. Dufur and his wife whilo
dinner was being got ready at the hotel,
and were very cordially received. Mr.
Harrison Dufur, our representative to tho
lust legislature, lives about three miles up
the vulley,and, like his brother, is engaged
in sheep and wool raising. The town has
a first-rate blacksmith. The school-house,
Odd Fellows' Hall and neat looking cot
tages and houses showed what can bo
done in a short time on good lands by
pluck and go ahead.
Bucceiifol Timber Culture.
Tho Wusco Sun says: Wo wish to
call the attention of the public to ono
problem which has puzzled many a Wasco
farmer and that is, how to effectually, with
the least expense, make tho Timber Cul
ture Act of value upon the high, open
hills and plains of this region. Many
kinds of heed hao been tried, with no
satisfactory result, and it bus discouraged
many farmers from trying to benefit by
this grant Act of the government. Mr.
Thompson has been trying the California
walnut uikjii a high, dry piece of ground
west of his residence with great success.
Wo have referred to his effort before, but
wo do no now at tho request of Mr, Frank
lluot, who has had success with walnut
seed introduced by Mr. Thompson, after
repeated failure with other kinds, Mr.
lluot says that he eel the seed on the 1st
of April of this year, and that on the 1th
of June one thousand plants were shew
ing abovo ground. The bitter hark of this
tap root tree is a sure preventive against
the depredation of gophers, crickets or
grasshoppers. It is to be hoped that every
farmer in Wasco will persevere in muk
ing a timber claim that he can hold.