Monday, September 19, 2011

Christmas Trees Help Pay for Medical School, 1946

By F.H. Jeter, Extension Editor, N.C. State College, Raleigh, from the Feb. 4, 1946 issue of the Wilmington Star

Dewitt Kornegay, now a young medical student and once a 4-H club boy of the Seven Springs Club in Wayne County, is still getting results from the cedar trees that he planted years ago as a club member. He completed his fourth season of marketing Christmas trees this past December when he sold 408 trees for $461.04. During the four years of selling these young cedar trees, Dewitt has sold $1,814.33 worth. His original investment was the small sum of $4 for which he bought 2,000 seedling trees that he planted on a one and four-tenths acre plot. C.S. Mintz, farm agent in Wayne, says the income from the trees since that time has been one reason why Dewitt could continue his studies to become a doctor of medicine.

John Holden of Franklin County is another person who thinks well of having a fruit orchard on his farm. John is in the army but he is looking to the future. When he had his furlough at Christmas, he spent most of the time pruning and spraying his one-acre apple orchard now just coming into production. He said it was all right to have a good time while he was at home but he felt that his orchard will mean something to him when he finally gets out of the service. He looks for no returns from his spraying in 1946 but if he can keep his trees in first-class shape, the acre of apple trees will mean something some day and John is looking forward to that day.

The movement for more fruit for the farm home is gaining steady momentum over the state, H.C. Scott writes that the 4-H club members of Edgecombe County are getting their second cooperative order for fruit trees this winter and this time, they are ordering apples, peaches, pears, cherries, plums, apricots, pecans, and grapes. That means that the folks of Edgecombe plan to use some of the vacant land about the farmstead to have a supply of healthful food which can be grown without constant attention. In the Edgecombe orders, the varieties of peaches and apples are being so divided as to have a few trees ripening in succession through the season so as to have a constant supply. All the orders will be completed by Feb. 10 and the trees set before the sap starts rising in the spring.

Tree-setting seems to be a contagious thing. W.H. Evans of the Christian Harbor Section of Hereford County is setting pine seedlings on three acres of his land and says he will cover seven more acres with kudzu to prevent erosion on some land that is not now being seeded to row crops. In other words, North Carolina farmers are finding that trees of all kinds are valuable and that there is no need to allow waste land to wash away when either trees, kudzu or pasture sods will hold the soil and allow it to be used for a useful and profitable purpose.

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