Make big money growing papayas, win freedom from wage slavery

Make big money growing papayas, win freedom from wage slavery

Published Date

  • ca. 1943

Geographic Term

  • De Soto City, Sebring, Highlands County.


Make Big Money Growing
Win Freedom From Wage Slavery
"Golden Tree of Life" offers Golden Profits to growers as production
problems are solved, says Bert Livingston in the Florida Grower for April.

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From the article are taken the following excerpts:
A crop that offers conservative yield of $1,200 to $1,500
per acre is always worth talking about. When this crop
probably is possible only in Florida, it becomes even more

One of the first commercial applications of papayas-
was described by Ponce de Leon in telling Spanish royalty
about his discovery of Florida. His story reveals how
Indians tenderized cuts of meat before cooking by drapping [sic]
it in leaves of a strange tree that produces delicious melons,
and was called "Vanti," which he later found means
"keep well."

Significant is the fact that first civilized knowledge of
a tropical food should in every instance carry immediate
mention of Health and Long Life. Facts known and ac-
cepted without reason centuries ago by simple aborigines,
are being given scientific substance.
Stories of near-miraculous cures, through papaya, of
every ailment from insect bites, burns, and cuts, to gastritis,
stomach ulcers, digestive disturbances, and serious func-
tional disorders, sifted back to Europe and the new Ameri-
cans periodically from colonial governors, medical men and
commercial pioneers in the tropics.

Production (of papayas) in the United States, other
than Florida, is strictly limited, California production can
be accomplished, say investigators, only under glass and at
a market price of sixty cents per pound. The area of Texas
in which production is possible requires expensive irriga-
tion and, due to climatic conditions, is most undersirable
to human existence.

No definite soil has been determined yet as best suited
to papaya cultivation. Plants thrive in Florida on all soil
types from light muck to rich sandy loam, to clean sand
and shell compositions. Drainage is necessary, for papaya
roots cannot stand in water longer than 24 hours without
starting to rot.

Land should be completely cleared, as sunshine is
essential. In especially wet soils, growers find shallow ditch-
ing of advantage.

Definitely programs of fertilization for papaya growing
have not been determined yet. It seems that a minimum
of fertilization would be required, as the plant derives the
greater portion of its nourishment from the air.
In seven to nine months after planting, a papaya ma-
turers and bears a full crop of fruit. From this time the
plant is ever-bearing, producing a crop every seven to nine
months. While various authorities and growers set the
crop yield at from 200 to 400 pounds of fruit per tree, 100
pounds per tree is a fair and conservative expectation. At

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a processor's price to the grower of three cents per pound,
an acre of fruit, though marketable only for processing,
would yield from $1,200 to $1,500. Other sources of profit
and marketing of fresh fruit increase this already splendid

Marketing fresh papaya fruit is the most desirable and
profitable outlet. At an average price to the grower of 10
cents per pound, his fruit would bring a profit of $4,000 to
$5,000 per acre.

Local markets have increased far more rapidly than
supply. One Manatee county grower easily disposes of two
truckloads of fruit weekly in Tampa alone, and plans a
five-to 10-acre expansion.

A papaya grower at Bradenton has been shipping fruit
successfully to Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. He
reports a net return of 15 cents per pound.
Hospitals throughout the country are showing an ever-
increasing demand for papayas. Demand for fresh fruit is
likewise developing rapidly in areas were processed papaya
foods are being marketed. in March a representative of
seven New York distributors made a trip to Tampa for
the purpose of locating, if possible, a reliable and steady
papaya supply.

Note: Send 10c to Florida Grower, Tampa, Fla., for
their April issue and read the whole Papaya story.
The papaya is a tropical tree that cannot stand much
cold. it grows from the seed, and is not budded nor grafted.
It has no limbs, bearing the fruit on its trunk. It may be
planted from 4 to 8 feet apart. Some set the trees 6 feet
apart in the row and 8 feet between rows. Set 6x6 feet
apart each way, it takes 1200 trees to set one acre.
Papayas grow well in Highlands county, Florida, but
have received so little attention that the largest grove in
the county that we know of, is less than half an acre at
De Soto City, some five miles northwest of Lake Istokpoga.
There is a growing demand for papayas, and overpro-
duction seems impossible in this country, since south Florida
appears as the only section with winters warm enough for
the trees.

This is just another reason why tropical Florida offers
such advantages, opportunities and possibilities as are not
found elsewhere. To persons searching for healthful cli-
mate and economic security, tropical Florida surely offers
the best in the country.

We have good papaya land in our Lake Istokpoga
health settlement, and our people plan on making this fruit
their main money-crop.- Dr. G.R. Clements, Box 366,
Sebring, Florida.