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2 corrections, most recently by peter-macinnis - Show corrections


To-koeeow will be JSew Year's Day, when custom 'demands that we should say something of the old year, and indulge^ a litUe in the prophetic -wifii Kgard to the new: The task -retro-'

spectirely considered is not an Tin pleasant one, for the year whidt is about to expire has several features about it which will always behelfl in kindly remembrance. It is something to have secured a loan of £100,000 to wards the construction of a sail way,- to have had steam communication on our coast an accomplished fact, -and to have- been- -Messed -with_e - harvest that -may be regarded as the har binger of a bright and prosperous season 'for the farmers of the colony. The blackest cloud has erep a. lmnin.

one lining, and the cloud of misfortune which has so long orershadowed -our agricultural interest has at length shown its sunlit streaks of ~ silver. There have been few more memorable years in the annals of tie colony, few that stand ont more conspicaously as historical iMiwJtnqi-in^ few within whose limits the future philosophical ex ponents of the progress of the colony will discover in greater abundance the germs of beneficial changes, than the year that is just pasping away on its feathered feet. The agricultural and pastoral in terests seem to be returning to palmier days of prosperity, fiy suc cessive droughts, red rust, and other affictive providences during' a .series of years the development of these resources—the mainstay of the colony — had been greatly- retarded, but the year which to-day will be committed to the tomb of its predecessors closes ite existence - with indications of a more prosperous future. 'In most of the districts of the colony the yield of corn is declared : to be above the average in quantity, while the quality is £-und to be excellent. The bounty of Providence will certainly diffuse comfort and plenty, if cot affluence, over a wide surface of society. The lambing, also, has Tjoen'good, feed abundant, '& capital -clip of- wool has been obtained, and -altogether a very favorable season bas been experienced in the nabtoral . Hisbrifiis. - The mm.

mercisi .interesiC* again, which is so intimately -assocJated .with 4he«taple interests of the Colony that the con dition of the mercantile ^ community may be judged from the 'success or' Don4oeceaB of tmr principal branches' of industry — the commercial interest, J

we say; is flourishing'. ' Increased' exports have stimulated trade and. commerce. The return ofinsolvencies is a pretty mir index of the soundness of a community such as ours, and it is pleasing to be able to record that the number of adjudications of insolvency and assignments compares favorably with those of former years. This flourishing condition of trade; the general prosperity of nearly every class of the community, hare placed within most ha«^^ the means of physical enjoyment at a season when to enjoy is to obey, a season which has always, and rightly, been asso ciated with the exercise of liberality.

And, we may parenthetically remark, the selfish who, at this festive season, is undisturbed by the thought that his superfluities are a reduction from the scanty means of the rest, knows only the felicity recorded on' the tomb of the Babylonian monarch, ' I have eaten and drunk all I could, and left the rest ;' an epitaph, says Plutarch, worthy of a hog. We place on a very different category the generous man who sees around him all enjoying the festivity of the hoar, and who contributes to, while he receives from, the general stock of harmless pleasures ; and at the same

tame does nothing: which will weaken his strength, impair his reason, or in capacitate himself from retnraing to the common business of life and begin* a new year with a conscience un dented. Bnt this is a digression. On the whole the retrospect of the past year is, in its broadest features and in the main, satiefaotory- J? oising the estiniate in the scale of human affairs, it may be said that, altogether, we have had little to complain of in A. D. 1673. Let the dead past, bow ever, bury its dead. Turn we to the New Year io see what that has in store for us. Of the future we can write hopefully. With more than usual energy the colony is preparing for something' good in 1874. In addition to the renewed prosperity of our agricnltural and pastoral iudustries and the continned flourishing con dition of onr pearl and pearl shell fisheries, it may also- be said that our mineral iudustries present favorable

indications of prosperous development. Broader confidence and the infusion of a. little more capital and vigour into our mines are aloue reqnired to con vert West Australia into a flourishing colony. And these auxiliaries will not probably be wanting during the approaching year. At Champion Bay, and also to a less extent at Nickol Bay, progressive work has been done in this direction during the year which ends to-day. Have we not also a

brare band of pioneer miners engaged in prospecting districts where the rock soil is virgin to the pick, and where there is gold to be won ? Look ing, then, at the operations which are to be carried on thronghont the colony to develop oar rich and varied natural resonrces, we are justified in regarding A. D. 1874 as opening up a brighter prospect for os than any of its predecessors. With a good harvest, and so many other elements of prosperity showing; themselves in the immediate future, no cause exists to doubt the progress of the colony. J For our own part, at all events, we j shall be greatly disappointed if these

^uguuDPiuauuiio ana lud vumpieceiy j verified, and certainly very much I surprised if 1874 does nut witness any number of steps being taken to realise this end. It only remains for ns to wish onr readers, far and near, great and small, each and all, j A Happy New Yzsjr. j

It is proposed with the coming year] to add another feature to the IitquireA by devoting a portion of its colb«nns weekly to a, series of original articles,) compiled expressly for this paper, \ treating upon gardening, farming, stock and station management, cattie, poultry, &c, &c ; specially applicable to the colony and the reqniremente of its cultivators, .farmers, and 6quatters ; and replete with .matters of .-interest to . tiie pnblic at large. - It is not intended that these uuibk

shall be a mere routine of instruction, as .how to prone vines, sow ; sweet peas,, -.or dig potatoes, .but, .while sup*, plying all needful information of workf to be done as the seasons progress, a, .higher object shall, be .aimed at-r tiie .results of ; practical experiments with various .crops .aad 'different «oils detailed ; the actual -yield, ..with 'various modes of tillage set forth; and' by these and likcmeans, data obtained from which to estimate the productive powers 'of the soil, and -fire —most economical' and remunerative . 6vstems of cultivation/ It is obvious that from such fesulte will be shown what ihe colony is capableof yielding, and how .the cultivator may best at each period of the year get . some crops from his land. It is not too much to' assert that this can be done, «nd that there is not. an acre in the colony which, under ' suitable management, may not be turned to remunerative account By showing what -can be done by systematic cultivation it is but reasonable to assume that the attention of intending emigrants will be directed to the country, and much be done in the way of its settlement by occupiers who will seek their livelihood by the cultivation of the soil, and the many industries which may hem he fwrtnrT An *n rnnnu^nn

? — — .* i — ? .... *.« -, — ??nry-ir^rnrn tf itb it It is a matter of fair question if there is not more of good cultivable land in this colony than in all the others- It .is not s sterile waste, or barren sand hill, nor are the patches at good land scattered, far.. apart. They are everywhere ; and -whether sand, clay, or loam, are, summer, or winter, able to jield food for man or beast. How to make iiiem thus yield, to show how it is to be dene, will be one of the objects aimed -at in. the forthcoming . series of papers ; *'*r'*g note also of what ias been done, and what is doing, in varions localities, and by pointing out what more may De done, thattheJabpurpf our cultivators maybe made more and more pro fitable, will be ano&er feature, and yet another -will be in directing attention to industrial pursuits, which, in con nection /with . * improved cultivation, mayjbe ?successfully carried on. -. As another feature also, it 4s proposea to .convey .information -on -fanning, ; gar— dening, and kindred. subjeds, by , way of answers -to correspondents, pro pounding inquiries on 6ncE~snbjecis,

-46 - make this department of the In quirer interesting, aiseful, and -popular. ?

What _ to- a lobster . salad ? Having several times recently called attention to tho desirabili tjr of- intro ducing tiuu (to us) gastronomic legend —the edible ojfster, and shown that^ from what is {being done in other countries, ostroo-cnUure has now- be come aa art rathier than an operation of natent and tbat there is no reason why—we-aboulft not do as others do and utilise some of the muddy creeks and estuaries on die coast for the propagation of this delicious' mollusc, we will now mention another i .dnsby ~ which might easily be developed. The crayfish, which abounds on the reefs and islands . from the A??????     southward, is the only representative,     we believe, of the lobster species indigenous to our waters, ex- cept the fresh-water jilgy or goon- ack, but neither of them can compare in flavor with its European     congener the lobster proper. We have little doubt that, were a trial made, we should find that the latter Crustacea would live here as well as their less worthy relatives, to the great delight of all who can appreciate a fresh lobster salad. In America we

find that our cousins have begun to construct lobster farms. One upon the coast of Massachusetts, we are told, covers an area of thirty acres of flats in an arm ol the sea, and is enclosed   by a dyke, having a gateway for the ingress and egress of the tide, and a   railing across to prevent the escape of the fish. A huge number of lobeters in various stages of development were caught and pnt into the enclosure, and fed with refuse from -the fish . market. This year an great was the rate of increase, that no less than 15,000 male lobsters were taken ont and sold, all the females being returned for breeding purposes. At this rate, once a lobster farm 'were established, _ ft is evident that not alone-' (he Wante T of onr colony could .be supplied, lhtiV *? we conld export largely the preserved lobster in tins to ncie-blum*;.,.. ^--

ketk, now dependent ou supplies from England. The cost of a dyke on 'iX small scale should not be . verj great, 4 and we suppose the ' progured from Eogland without much difficulty. At all events, having' thrown out die ' hint, we shall be gratified if some enterprising indi viduals will inquire into die matter, and, while conferring' a boonTp^West- ,' era Australia, U-y. the fbnndataon of a Incentive and p^hnaneut'ihdnstry.