The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945 Page: 89
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a finger of Texas reaches for the tropics. Land of towering
palms where citrus fruit and vegetable gardening now predom-
inate, the Valley is magical in the way in which it produces.
The citrus crop consists mainly of oranges and grapefruit, but
in lesser numbers are to be found also limes, lemons, tangerines,
and other varieties. The 1944 citrus crop of the Valley grossed
$53,000,000, and at about the same time the tomato crop
added yet another $18,000,000. The Valley is still a new frontier,
for it reproduces today something of the boom times of other
years. Fortunes are still made or lost almost overnight in land
speculation and development; but the processes of stabilization
are also definitely beginning. I saw something like a thousand
acres of carrots which had been plowed under and a new swift
try made with cotton. The Valley is a place which works
feverishly against deadlines. There is a deadline in irrigation,
and unless one is ready to take the water as it flows in the ir-
rigation ditches, then one loses the opportunity for the watering
of the land. The citrus crop must be got out against the dead-
line when the Mexican fruit fly puts in its appearance. And
tomatoes must be pulled green at exactly the correct time or
they lose much of their export value as they go into "ripes."
There is also the frenzied hurry in the further clearing of land.
Here the industrial revolution has come to the Valley, and the
cactus and mesquite thickets are now swiftly cleared by giant
cats and bulldozers which pull up and push out the trees and
pulverize the land to a depth of four and five feet, making it
ready for new seedling trees. And the patient Mexican labor,
which formerly grubbed out of the ground more undergrowth
than was above the topsoil, now goes into other channels.
The Valley is conscious of its opening into the Gulf, and
conversation flows as easily to tarpon, Spanish mackerel, and
flounder as does the patient river which feeds three levels of
As much as anything else the Valley proves the great di-
versity of Texas. The Valley is cosmopolitan. One is almost
overcome with the wealth of contrast between the natural
manifestations to be seen there and those that exist still around
J. Evetts Haley's JH Ranch along the Canadian in the brakes
and on the High Plains of Texas. Certainly the contrasts are
equally as sharp there as those which might be found from
east to west in Texas- as from Lufkin to El Paso.
There is a fragrance of orange and lemon which pervades
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 48, July 1944 - April, 1945, periodical, 1945; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146055/m1/93/: accessed July 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.