"What we know about Moore Haven, Fla."
W. H. Culpepper of Moore Haven Says:
"This is the experience of one who has been living here just one year, and who has purchased twenty (20) acres on the edge of the elders. Most of this land was cleared during the spring of this year.
"The first crop was planted after a rough preparation the 15th of February, on a part of the land. The writer grew and matured three crops, the fourth crop was planted but owing to tardiness in planting it did not fully mature. However, the writer is satisfied that four staple crops can be safely grown on the same land in one year.
"In writing about the resources of the land around Moore Haven, the one difficulty is in so wording the facts that it will not seem overdrawn to the unacquainted. The actual fertility of the soil is so great, the truth written about what it produces would seem incredible to those who had not seen it.
"Considering the richness and depth of the soil, and adaptability for growing most of the staple crops for man and beast practically all the year, together with a reasonable certainty of a cross-state waterway and railroad facilities for shipping, nothing but gross mismanagement could keep down the town of Moore Haven and surrounding section from becoming the most important inland section of the state.
"While a large area of this land is now under cultivation and has produced most wonderful crops without fertilizer, in my opinion, it is susceptible to a very great improvement by proper handling and cultivation. After becoming better acquainted with the soil and climate conditions, some of the obstacles we have has to contend with can be overcome.
"I am entirely satisfied with my first year's results.
W. H. CULPEPPER.
Frank Zumwalt of Moore Haven Says:
"I am one of the pioneers and have witnessed the wonderful development of Moore Haven and the turning of the wilderness into fields of luxuriant crops.
"I have proven that things grow better without fertilizer here than on the East Coast with two tons of commercial fertilizer and a lot of manure to the acre; and also that a crop can be grown here without any cultivation. When a freeze comes, we have no fertilizer bills to pay and don't have to get any fertilizer to make another crop. With irrigation I could be safe and it would cost no more than fertilizer for some other place.
"There are disadvantages everywhere and when things go wrong here, we can read and hear of as bad or worse in other places.
"Poultry does extraordinarily well here. I raised a cow here that cost me nothing for feed. If there is money in hogging-down crops where fertilizer has to be used for smaller yield, then hogs are still more profitable here.
"A living can be made here as easily as anywhere. Our grocery bill is small, as we raise lots of different kinds of vegetables. I grind my corn for grits and meal; Egyptian wheat for flour and breakfast cereal, and peanuts into peanut butter. I keep potatoes and onions, dried beans and peas from one season until the next. Raise chickens for eggs and meat; kill a pig often for pork, lard and sausage; trap and shoot birds, rabbits and 'coons. Our cow furnishes milk and butter. I raise peanuts to roast, popcorn to pop and sugar cane to chew.
"Grasses and sorghum, Egyptian wheat and Kafir corn grow wonderfully well on this black muck soil and come again when cut down.
"We are proud to call the "Biggest Little City" in the state our home.
Mrs. W. F. Nall of Moore Haven Says:
"In giving a few actual figures based on our experience in farming on a small scale, we hope to show what great possibilities are stored up in our rich Moore Haven soil.
"These experiments prove that the advantages one has in raising all kinds of marketable stuff, everything for table use, grains, etc., for stock, and poultry farms, are unlimited.
"We find out soil has the greatest capacity for holding moisture. Through the hot, dry season visitors often exclaim with amazement at the green, refreshed appearance of our crops.
"Since June, we have realized from one-ninth acre of okra, $65.00 cash; gathered 85 lbs. seed, (estimated 40c lb.); dried five hampers for winter use, besides supplying what the neighbors wanted and our own table.
"One hundred and fifty tomato plants yielded $30.00 cash, supplied neighbors and table daily. One plant loaded with fruit in all stages of growth, was pulled up for examination. The tomatoes numbered 104, which filled a 12-qt. pail and weighed 25 lbs., not including a single ripe one.
"From one-eighth acre of McCaslin pole beans, planted March 20th, was harvested $80.00 worth of beans. The amount used and given away estimated $20.00. We figure that those few rows of beans netted us at least $100.00.
"Since February, we have grown on six acres, the following crops, ranging from one-ninth to three acres:
Two crops each of navy beans, lima beans, Egyptian wheat, potatoes, peanuts; one crop each of corn, onions, squash, romain, cabbage, mustard, essex rope, bush beans.
"Our soil being fertilizer itself, needs only the preparation for planting. Man sows the seed and truly God gives the increase.
MRS. W. F. NALL, Moore Haven, Fla.
Mr. W. S. Smith of Moore Haven Says:
"On June 15th, 1916, I first heard of the Everglade Muck land and Moore Haven. On July 23rd, same year, I landed in Moore Haven with six other men. We remained one day. On August 16th, the following month, I returned and have been in Moore Haven more of the time since October 7th, 1916.
"I bought ten acres and began work on same, clearing three acres for a spring crop and planted 1 1/4 acres in potatoes and 1 acre in onions. The onions did very well after being killed by frost twice. The potatoes did fine; I cleared $302.45 on the potatoes.
"I planted among other vegetables, 75 hills of tomatoes, from which I sold $34.60 worth; canned 36 qts. and two families used tomatoes off these vines. My sweet corn did extremely well.
"I have all my land cleared. I came from Ft. Ogden to Moore Haven--was the pioneer family from there. Now there are fourteen families living here from Ft. Ogden--eleven of whom have bought land.
"I can grow four crops here on the muck in nine months, by planting potatoes January 25th, with corn in every other hill; when potatoes are dug, plant beans; when beans and corn are off put in peanuts (this will be in August). The average yield per acre will be as follows:
"Potatoes, 200 bu., worth $1.50 per bu....$300.00
Corn, 300 bu., worth...45.00
Beans, 15 bu., worth $8.00 per bu....120.00
Peanuts, 50 bu., worth...100.00
1 ton peanut hay, worth...25.00
"(The above is all of the SAME acre without the use of commercial fertilizer). $100.00 will cover the cost of the seed, planting and harvesting, leaving $490.00 profit. This computation is made from actual experience.
W. S. SMITH, Sr.