While most of the 49ers came to California in search of gold, others soon learned what a fertile land it is and began farming. Many crops thrive in the rich soil of the Central Valley.
Orchards are successful here, too. Early settlers planted numerous kinds of fruit trees, including apples, oranges, and pears. After just one generation, the trees were producing well and providing fruit for the state’s growing population as well as for export.
The 1869 report of the U.S. Secretary of the Interior (page 76) listed crop statistics by state. Included for California were the actual numbers of apple, orange, and pear trees.
Which of these three types of trees do you think were most plentiful in California in 1869? You can leave your guess in a comment.
I’ll update the post over the weekend to include the answer, so you could check back Monday. I’ll also provide a link to this post at the end of next Friday’s quiz. If you view that post, you’ll be able to click the link and see the answer.
• • •
Update and Answer
Of the three types of trees listed in the post, apple trees were the most abundant in 1869. There were 1,694,986 apple trees, 482,477 pear trees, but only 11,284 orange trees. While California is known for our orange trees these days, orchardists hadn’t yet begun to plant large numbers of orange trees in the early days. Things began to change after the tasty, seedless navel orange was introduced in 1873.
• • •
I’ve updated the Friday Fun post from last week. Click this link to see the answer.