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Growing Castor Beans

Categories: Vegetable Growing

Give information on the castor oil bean; the kind of bean best to plant,

when to plant and harvest, the best soil, and where one can market them.

Castor bean growing has been undertaken from time to time since 1860 in

various parts of California. There is no difficulty about getting a

satisfactory growth of the plant in parts of the State where moisture

enough can be depended upon. Although the growing of beans is eas

enough, the harvesting is a difficult proposition, because in California

the clusters ripen from time to time, have to be gathered by hand, to be

put in the sun to dry, and finally threshed when they are popping

properly. The low price, in connection with the amount of hand work

which has to be done upon the crop, has removed all the attractions for

California growers. There is also, some years, an excess of production

in the central West, which causes prices to fall and makes it still more

impracticable to make money from the crop with the ordinary rates of

labor. The oil cannot be economically extracted except by the aid of the

most effective machinery and a well equipped establishment. Oil-making

in the rude way in which it is conducted in India would certainly not be

profitable here.