At the last meeting of the Farmers' Club of this city, Mr. Shelton exhibited some speci mens of the Amole or Soap Plant used by the natives for washing purposes. It resembles the onion and is propagated from off-shoots, constant use of it, however, inflames the hands. From the fibre of the plant an excel lent article ot hemp could be made. The cultivation of the onion had been attended with the most triumphant success. The same might be said of the beet, which grew to an enormous size. It would be no exaggeration to say that beets weighing one hundred pounds each could be grown in California.— In the places were. the largest beets were raised, it should be remarked that the sub soil was moist. The sycamore and button- wood trees grew with great luxuriance in all parts of the country—as also the ash and al der. But there were many varieties of trees in California unknown in the Atlantic States. He had not noticed any species of elm or su gar maple, though there was, however, a very valuable sugar- producing tree known as the sugar pine, which grew to a great size and produced good timber; in appearance it was similar to the long cone pine. The genenl planting season throughout the country was in March and April—gardening operations commencing in February as here. Rev. Mr. Fitch observed that he had dis covered, during his journeyings in California, some six varieties of gooseberries superior to any he had before seen. The blackberries and strawberries were,.much superior to any thing we had, and the latter -were even supe rior to the >English strawberry. There was also a berry of very delicious flavor, some thing between the raspberry and the black berry, which was called the salmonberry.— That name was given it by the Oregonians, who observed that the berries which fell from bushes overhanging the rivers were eagerly devoured by the salmon. The Chairman observed that he ha!d made a good deal of inquiry relative to the cultiva tion of the grape in South and North America west, and from what he ascertained on the subject, it appeared there was no grape that was worth anything cultivated in those re gions that was not of European stock. Rev. Mr. Fitch corroborated the statement, remarking at the same time that there was no native grape in California.worth cultivation.
This article was originally published with the title "Agriculture in California"