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Oranges and Dried Fruit 132

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ORANGES AND DRIED FRUIT 132. Orange growing.—The orange box at the store has on it the address of the man who sent it to market. It is almost sure to have been sent from a place in Florida or in California (Fig. 194), because these two states have the warm winters needed by the orange tree. The orange tree does not drop its leaves and sleep all winter as many trees do. It stays green all the year with flowers, green fruit, and ripe fruit on it all at the same time. These trees need much care in their feeding and cultivation. Sometimes tents are put over the trees and filled with poisonous gas to kill the insects that bother the trees.

A warm climate is needed by the orange tree. Southern California is warm enough but it lacks rain, as no rain falls from April to November. The orange growers build irrigation ditches, but they also pump water to the orchards from wells which they dig. Irrigation costs a great deal of money, but as a result of it, one may find wide valleys filled with beautiful orchards as far as the eye can see. Many lemons are grown here also, as lemons need the same climate as oranges.

When the fruit is ripe, everybody is busy picking, sorting, and packing it for market. The boys and girls help; so do the women. Many Chinese and Japanese also work in the orchards and packing houses.

133. CoOperation.—The growers often work together and do things they could not do if working alone. The orange growers of a neighborhood form themselves into an association to pack their fruit and sell it and buy supplies together. This plan we call cc operation.

134. Dried fruits.—While the climate of California is too dry for oranges unless the land is irrigated, it is just suited to the drying of fruits. If you look at the boxes of dried prunes, dried apricots, dried peaches, and raisins (dried grapes) in the stores, you will find many California addresses, but no Florida addresses, even though much fruit is grown there. In Florida there is so much rain that one cannot dry fruit as easily as in California. Because of the rainless California summers, the people who have orchards of prune trees or peach trees, or vineyards of raisin grapes, can pick fruit by the wagonload and lay it on trays on the ground to dry in the hot sun. In a few days this will be dried fruit that can be kept all winter.

When dry, the fruit is packed in boxes and sold. It goes to people who live three thousand miles away at the other side of the United States, or six thousand . miles away in Europe. Many thousand carloads of oranges, lemons, plums, pears, grapes, and dried fruit go every year from Cali fornia to other states. In return the people

of sunshiny California get carloads of auto mobiles, clothes, books, and other things made in eastern factories, and sent out to them to pay for the fruit that their sun shiny state has produced.

135. Why the winter on the Pacific Coast is is a fine thing for the people of the United States that we have this Pacific Coast region where, in the warm winters and dry summers, so much fruit can be grown for people in the other states. Do you wonder why this region is so much warmer in winter than the states to the east of it? The reason is that on the Pacific Coast the winds blow from the west and southwest. On their to the coast they have become very warm, because in this latitude the ocean is warm all winter. Thus they bring warm air to the orange groves. At Pasa dena, Los Angeles, and San Diego, in the southern California fruit district, roses are often in bloom when Chicago lies deep under snow, and when the Michigan lum berman is hauling logs on his sled. When the boys and girls of New York and Penn sylvania are coasting and skating on their way to school, the children of California are picking flowers and gathering oranges.

136. Old World fruit wonderful fruit-growing districts of ours are not the only ones in the world. In every continent there is a place like Cali fornia where fruit is grown and dried.

Europe has the largest fruit district and fruit industry of the world. Along the Mediterranean Sea several countries have the same warm winters and rainless sum mers as California. Turn to Fig. 315 and name three countries that reach into the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the vines and trees used in starting our California fruit industry came from Southern Europe. For hundreds of years, the people in these old countries have had orchards of oranges and lemons and other fruits. At the end of their dry summer, these European people ship boxes of dried apricots, dried prunes, and raisins to England, to Norway, and to other countries where the winters are too cold to grow such fruits.

Steamships for the fruit trade call at port cities in Palestine (Fig. 444), Asia Minor, Greece, Sicily, Spain, and Portugal. (Fig. 315.) These steamships do for the fruit growers on the Mediterranean the same things our freight trains do for the fruit growers on our Pacific Coast. They take the crop to market in the colder countries of Europe, and bring back from factory towns the goods the fruit grower wants in his home and in his orchard.

Before the railroads had given California