Friday, June 13, 2008

A Jolly Sort of Farm


Vegetables Growing at One Hand, the Products of the Sea at the Other.

"Once some years ago," said Superintendent H. T. Woodman of the city's aquarium at Castle Garden, "I went up the west coast of Florida in a sailboat on a collecting tour for shells and so on. On the north shore of Tampa bay we saw a little white house — very white indeed it was — a whiteness, as we afterward learned, that was due to whitewash made of lime from shells that the owner had burned himself. We went ashore there and were most hospitably received and invited to stay. We couldn't do that, but we were in the neighborhood for a day or two, and we ate two or three meals at his house, and subsequently I called upon him once or twice and was received in the same hospitable manner.

"No doubt there are other gardens like his, but his is the only one of the sort I ever saw — a kind of land and water garden combined. His land garden, which was about half an acre or so, was 50 or perhaps 100 feet back from the shore. He had in this garden cabbages and beans and potatoes and lettuce and garden stuff generally. His water garden was composed of three patches, each about 50 feet square, side by side and under water, close to the shore and each inclosed in a palmetto crib, which was, however, only one log high, for that was all that was needed. He could go out in a skiff at any time and catch anything that there was in any of the cribs.

"In the first patch of the water garden he kept hard clams, and he had plenty of them. The second patch he had fixed up for oysters. He had thrown in shells for the oysters to spawn on, and he had an abundant supply of oysters. The third crib he had fixed up for crustacea. He had thrown in some old stumps here and shoved in under the crib some slabs or planks that had drifted ashore to make a shelter for crawfish, which like to back in under things, as the lobster does. He had in this crib crawfish and crabs. Of course these could easily have crawled over the single log of the crib if they had wanted to, but they didn't want to. They preferred the shelters in this crib to the sandy beaches outside. In fact, the crib was an attraction to any stray crawfish or crab that might come that way. You see, he had only to step out of his house on one side for his vegetables and on the other for his sea food. He gave us oysters steamed in a big iron pot over a fire in the yard and the pick of both his gardens, land and marine, and certainly we couldn't have had anything fresher or more delightful." — New York Sun.

Making Himself Solid

"Didn't you think that was a beautiful girl with me today, Arthur?"
"What girl, my dearest?"
"Why, she was with me when you met us in front of the church!"
"Was there a girl there, dear? I didn't notice. I was looking at you." — New York Recorder.

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