Make Big Money Growing Papayas 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. [left column] 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 interesting. 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 [right column] 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 income. 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.
State Library of Florida: Florida Collection, BR0103
Broadside advertising the profitability of papaya production in Florida and the health benefits of eating papaya.