Writing /Dr. A. M. Livingston May 10,1899
Spring has come with all its hopes and anticipa¬tions , and the
disappointments of last year have faded from the mind of the farmer,
too busy preparing the soil and sowing the seed to waste precious time
in useless repining. Hope still springs eternal in the human breast,
and indeed there seems to be good grounds for hope this year as the
soil and weather are exceptionally favourable. Everything seems to give
promise of a bountiful harvest. Jack Frost was very loth to surrender
his control over our northwestern plains this year and it was only when
the warm waves of the old sun with ever increasing strength and
repeated efforts made it no longer possible for him to hold out, that
he at length loosened his grasp and retreated to his stronghold in the
far northland. In an almost incredibly short time, the crocus, first of
all our numerous wild flowers to wake from their long winter's sleep,
dotted the prairie far and wide with their beautiful blossoms. The
buttercups too, are beginning to peek forth and the surrounding prairie
is already tinged with green save where the rich brown mold betokens
the waving crop of green of a few weeks hence. Among the first to feel
the softening influence of the returning sun, is the farm of Dr. A. M.
Livingston situated on the southern slope.
Dr. Livingston's farm is situated on the southern slope of the valley
of the Souris and consequently responds more readily to this influence.
Dr. Livingston states that he usually begins sowing on the first Monday
of April and that in 1895 his was the first sample of ripe wheat in the
Like many others, Mr. Livingston came to Man¬itoba from Ontario in 1882
and settled first at Carman where he ran a livery stable. Leaving
Carman for greener pastures, he came to Melita in March 1883 and took
up a homestead where he now resides about one mile from town. Of
course, at that early date there was no town in existance here. At the
end of three months, he returned to Carman for the purpose of bringing
out his family. The journey from Carman was made with an ox team and
occupied about nine days. On arrival here the family moved into a house
which Mr. Livingston had erected during the pre¬vious three months but
which was not completed, being merely roofed with tar paper. A short
time afterwards, this work was removed by a violent storm of wind and
rain, and the members of the farm were obliged to spend the night under
the limited shelter afforded by an umbrella and a table.
However, mat¬ters were soon changed and now Mr. Livingston has a very
comfortable residence, which he put up at a cost of $1,300 and stables
which cost $1,000. During the first year, Mr. Livingston broke 15 acres
which he has since increased and now has 250 acres under cultiva¬tion.
In addition to this he has a large and excellent pasture field through
which the river runs. Mr. Livingston, in addition to the chief
occupation of wheat growing, has raised about 40 head of horses and a
considerable number of cattle and declares it as his firm opinion that
farmers in this country go too much into wheat farming and too little
into stock raising. Mr. Livingston has met with marked suc¬cess, never
having experienced hail or frost and no particularly dry seasons, until
last year. The average yield of wheat has been 20 bushels to the acre
but he has grown as high as 35 bushels to the acre.
Dr. Livingston is Dominion Veterinarian for this district and last year
issued the necessary certificates for 4.000 head of cattle exported to
the United States and has already issued certificates this year for
up¬wards of 2,000 head. Dr. Livingston has not ne¬glected the llth
commandment for the farmers of Manitoba and states that he has set out
on his farm about 1,000 trees. Most of these trees are now in a
flourishing condition and add greatly to the ap¬pearance of his
property which is particularly favoured by nature in this respect.