Roumania Past and Present eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 315 pages of information about Roumania Past and Present.

[Footnote 57:  The Gotha Almanack of 1882 (p. 904), which receives its information from official sources, gives the exports of cereals and cattle in 1880 in the proportion of 167 to 12; whilst the Times correspondent (loc. cit.) gives the proportions for 1872 respectively as 117 (cereals) against (animals) 19.  Obedenare (p. 147) gives the number of horned cattle in 1860 as 2,751,168 as against 1,886,990 in 1873, a great falling off; but the Times correspondent says there are now 3,000,000 head in the country.]

[Footnote 58:  In 1875 we imported a considerable quantity of wool from Roumania, but for the last few years the imports are returned as nil.  For further details on all these matters the reader is referred to Aurelian, Notices (chap. v.), Obedenare (chap. v.), British Consular Reports, Report of M. Jooris, Times correspondence.  The figures would not sufficiently interest our readers to justify their insertion here.]

II.

No doubt the recent appointment of a Minister of Agriculture in Roumania will impart a considerable stimulus to the most important branch of national industry, but that is a question of the future.  At present the only important aids to progress are the agricultural schools; for although there are small autumnal shows of grain and farm products, there has been only one agricultural exhibition, and that, we believe, was far from being a success.  Committees are, however, formed in fifteen different districts on a somewhat similar basis to those of our science and art classes, to provide instruction in farming, and the fountain-head and centre of those is now the Agricultural and Sylvicultural College at Ferestreu, about two miles from Bucarest.  This institution is well worth a visit, and the stranger is sure of a cordial reception from the director, M. Aurelian, to whose published works we have already made frequent reference.  The work is carried on in a handsome building, which stands in extensive grounds not far from the termination of the Chaussee, or promenade, mentioned in our description of Bucarest, and the arrangements and appliances are admirable.

First as to the grounds.  These are divided into sections, in which experiments are proceeding in the growth of every tree or plant which the Roumanian soil is capable, or is believed to be capable, of supporting.  Besides extensive plots for all kinds of cereals there are small beds and plantations for named plants, flowers, and vegetables.  Considerable space is devoted to vine-culture, where, besides many other kinds, we found Californian grapes flourishing; and in addition there are numerous orchards and collections of fruit trees, the variety of which testifies to the richness and productiveness of the soil.  Apiaries are not wanting, but no cattle is reared on the grounds.

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