AGRICULTURE ON THE COAST BETWEEN DIXON ENTRANCE AND COOKS INLET (Historic Information)
Prof. C. C. Georgeson, whose residence stands on the history-famed site of Baranrof's Castle at Sitka, is at the head of the Department of Agriculture for Alaska, and ably performs his duty.
The Coast Range descends abruptly to the sea on the west, and there are but few deltas, gorges, or glacier morains large enough for farming or gardening. Wherever room can be found all the usual garden vegetables, grasses, berries and such grains as oates and barley may be raised successfully, and sufficient for local use.
R. W. DeArmond, of Sitka, has charge of the experimental station there; James W. Gray at Kenai, and Mr. Heideman at Copper Center.
At these stations last year we found, growing successfully, cabbage, cauliflower, parsnips, peas, carrots, beets, lettuce, parsley, onions, leek, radish, turnips, rutabaga, potatoes, rape, beans, blue grass, red top, meadow grass, timothy, wheat, barley, oats, rye, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, red and black currants, salmon berries and a cross between the salmon and raspberry, accomplished by Prof. Georgeson.
Berries wild and abundant everywhere in Alaska, and sufficient at this time to supply local needs. Beach hay, wild timothy and blue grass may be cut in large tracts without cultivation, because of the rainfall and fogs and lack of sunshine, it is deficient in sacharine and hard to cure, bruit trees do not seem to grow well, and the rains wash the polen off so that little or no fruit results. In the Copper River country, where the rain fall is slight, the grain, in fact everything, matures better, and several farmers have taken up homesteads and are farming successfully. In the summer the long hot days, and small ram-fall, may require irrigation for the best results, but the water is easily obtainable, and the yield is enormous. Cattle and horses may be found at all the villages and some of the mines and canneries, doing well on native grasses, requiring little or no winter care or feed, except shelter from the rams, and hay in case the snow covers the ground, which is not frequent. The productions of Alaska will he marvels in the sight of those who have heretofore looked upon it as an iceburg.