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2-096 (Raw)

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author,male,Irwin, F.C:,un addressee
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Clark, 1977
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2-096-raw.txt — 5 KB

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With a view of showing what can be done by a single energetic mind, it may be useful to give a slight sketch of what Edwards has accomplished. One of the first things he set about was, to prepare materials for a substantial house, for which purpose he made and burnt bricks and tiles out of the clay required to be removed to clear the foundation of the house, thereby saving the expense and labour of carriage. He had to explore the country to ascertain where the best lime could be procured. This he found, at the time, no nearer than in one of the bays of Melville Water, below Perth; whence, after burning, he brought it up in boats. The timber, which was mahogany, cut down on the estate, was sawn and prepared by his son, the carpenter, with the assistance of another man; while he himself was the bricklayer and builder. The house is double, consisting of two stories, and is one of the largest in the colony.
In the farm-yard he has many ingenious contrivances to meet the wants and habits of its various tribes. His geese and ducks are provided with ample ponds, in the sides of which he has constructed dwellings suitable to them, where they find protection from the heat, and security from the native dog, the only animal they have to fear. His cattle and pigs are kept in fine order.
In the improvement of the gardens he takes peculiar delight, and is very successful; having a good knowledge of horticulture, acquired by serving an apprenticeship to a market gardener. The spot he fixed upon for his first one was a somewhat elevated morass, on sloping ground, separated from the house by a ravine, and covered with rank vegetation, owing to latent springs. These, after burning off the surface, he dug out, and formed into circular wells of close and substantial brick-work, rising several layers above the surface: from these wells, at different elevations, he is enabled to conduct the water in channels to almost every part of the garden. [401] When the last accounts left, he was constructing earthen pipes for the purpose of completing his plans of irrigation, and also for conveying water across the ravine to the height on which the house is situated. In this garden, and in another larger one, hereafter to be noticed, almost every kind of vegetable, and as many sorts of fruit-trees as have been introduced from tropical and extra-tropical countries, are found to flourish. Among the former was the mangel-wurzel, already mentioned as having a root six feet in circumference; the tomato grows here luxuriantly, weighed down with the load of its beautiful fruit, which gives so fine a flavour to sauces, soups, &c. Among the fruit-trees, he has raised many hundred almonds and Cape-gooseberries, the latter a delicious fruit, producing every month; and also figs and vines in abundance, the latter bearing grapes of a fine and rich flavour.
In front of the house are about two hundred acres of rich meadow, encircled nearly by the river. The situation of a part of this meadow attracted his notice, from its being inclosed between the river, and a natural moat of a semicircular form. This moat he dug out, to a considerable depth and breadth, throwing the soil of the inner banks of the inclosure, which he faced with a firm wall of green turf, and made to slope down gradually on the inner side. Along the whole extent of this sloping bank, which is of the finest alluvial soil, are planted in profusion vegetables and fruit-trees. The bank shelves down to a walk made all round within the inclosure, an area of about thirty acres. Most of the interior is now under cultivation, bearing crops of wheat, oats, and barley. He intends, both here and in the garden before mentioned, to shelter some of the walks from the Sun by trellised vines. There is also, adjoining this latter garden, and separated from the house by the ravine fore alluded to, a small rocky hill, favourable for vines, and which he has marked out for a vineyard. In addition to the above, is laid out - in front of the house, and on the slope of the hill, where there are no springs - a winter garden, in which he has displayed considerable ingenuity and taste. His two smaller gardens are from one to two acres each.
In his agricultural pursuits Edwards has been equally successful. He seems to have acquired his knowledge of farming, while following his trade of a master-brickmaker in Gloucestershire, in consequence of having purchased a few acres of the Forest of Dean, which he reclaimed and made into a farm. At times when the necessaries of life have been very scarce and dear in the colony, he has provided for his family in abundance; and has added to their comforts within the last two years by availing himself of his knowledge of malting and brewing. [402] This indefatigable man has found time for performing the location duties on an adjoining estate, the half of which, amounting to from two to three thousand acres, he obtained as a return from the owner, himself a merchant at Fremantle. He also made the bricks, and constructed the walls, of a dwelling-house recently erected by Mr. Bull, who resides within a mile of him. The writer has occupied a much larger space than he intended with these minute details, partly to do justice to a faithful and valuable Servant, and principally with a view of conveying some useful instruction to those who may have yet to learn what are the requisites for a successful colonist.