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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/342

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

dren or three horses would be distinguished when I thought of them. I feel as much attachment for Puffy as I possibly could for an intelligent and faithful dog. His crippled wing has probably made him unusually docile and tractable, but, whatever may be the cause of his goodness, he certainly is a model of patience, placidity, and birdly virtue. This, in combination with pluck, which leads him to charge upon and vanquish dogs, cats, and domestic fowls, and a magnanimity which enabled him to roost for weeks alongside of an old hen, will make him worthy of owlish canonization when in good time he is gathered to his fathers.

 

ALMOND CULTURE IN CALIFORNIA.
By HENRY J. PHILPOTT.

DURING the fiscal year ending June 30, 1890, the American people imported 5,715,858 pounds of almonds, valued at $813,278. The value of all other nuts imported was $800,376. I confess my surprise at this fact, that we spend more money for almonds than for all other imported nuts put together. It would not be so surprising if this were the cheapest of our imported nuts. But, on the contrary, it is the highest priced, not only in the countries of exportation whence we draw our supplies, but still more so to the consumer in this country, on account of the higher import duty. The duty on almonds is five cents a pound if unshelled, and seven cents and a half if shelled. The highest duty on any other nut is three cents on filberts and walnuts.

The average import price of the almonds was fourteen cents and a quarter, and of the filberts and walnuts 5·7 cents. The almonds imported were almost exactly half shelled and half unshelled, which would make the duty average six cents and a quarter; and so, adding the duty to the import prices, the prices in this country, duty paid, were 20·5 cents for almonds and 8·7 cents for filberts and walnuts. Thus our preference for the almonds seems to be conclusively established, in spite of the fact that our imports by weight of filberts and walnuts were nearly double those of almonds.

The home production of all these nuts is still so small that we have no reliable statistics of it. California produces both almonds and walnuts, but in small patches only. The southern end of the State has a considerable walnut belt, but the almond orchards are widely scattered. The area suitable for almond culture is confined to small spots distributed over the whole length of the State. It is doubtful whether there is enough of it all told to supply the