Page:Australia, from Port Macquarie to Moreton Bay.djvu/26

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5
RICHNESS OF THE SOIL.

inextricable confusion, bind and weave together the trees almost to their summits, and hang in rich and elegant flowering festoons from the highest branches. The luxuriant and vigorous character of the brush, on alluvial land, in the northern part of the territory of New South Wales, cannot be surpassed in any tropical region. When this brush land is cleared, and cultivated, its fertility seems inexhaustible. For even in the old settled parts of the colony, near Sydney, the productiveness of the thickly wooded alluvial flats is most wonderful; thus, on the banks of the Hawkesbury, there is some land of this description, which has now been cultivated for forty years, without intermission, and without any renovating application to the soil; and it has been observed by Mr. Wentworth, the present member for Sydney, in the New Legislative Council, that, on the banks of that river, the same acre of ground has been known to produce, in the course of the same year, fifty bushels of wheat, and a hundred bushels of maize, and yet the settlers have never any occasion for manure.[1] I have also been informed of fourteen successive crops of wheat having been reaped off the same piece of ground at Illawarra, without manure, and on ground, too, out of the reach of flood.

  1. Notwithstanding the richness of the alluvial soil on some parts of the hanks of the Hawkesbury, it is not a good agricultural district, as the settlers there frequently suffer from the two opposite evils of successive droughts, and destructive floods.