Friday, January 9, 2009

Factual Friday

I took this last Sunday from Gwynn's Island as the sun was rising. Because it was a Sunday morning, everything was dead quiet. Not a creature was stirring, not even a fiddler crab. Well, those sea gulls were stirring, but they were very quiet about it.

As I mentioned a while back, I found a 1962 USDA Soil Survey of Mathews County. (I erroneously said it was '67 because Numbers R Not Chesapeake Bay Woman's Friend. Are you still awake?) It is loaded with data and historical information on agriculture, topography, industries, climate, geology and cosmetology of Mathews County. (This is a test to see if you're actually awake and paying attention. The survey does not, in fact, talk about cosmetology, although we do have many cosmetologists in the county.)

Below is 1954 data related to the county's agriculture.

(WARNING: These government documents are *almost* as boring as your average Chesapeake Bay Woman post, although they are way more factual.)

"Both the acreage and the number of farms have been declining steadily since 1935. In 1954 there were 16,278 acres in farms in Mathews County. Of this, 7,606 acres consisted of cropland and 979 acres of pasture...."

"...In 1954 livestock and livestock products accounted for 55 percent of the cash receipts on farms, and poultry and poultry products, mostly eggs, accounted for 37 percent. The number of cattle and calves decreased from 1,049 in 1945 to 740 in 1954."

"...Horticultural specialties, mainly daffodils, accounted for 3.4 percent of the value of all farm products sold in 1944 and 8.1* percent in 1949. ..."

"...The acreage used for crops and livestock is declining in Mathews County, but the acreage in forest is increasing. Much can be done to improve the economy of the county by applying forest practices suggested by the Virginia Division of Forestry.

A favorable agricultural future in Mathews County depends on the intensive farming of small units. Apparently, the greatest possibilities are in the raising of poultry and, on well-drained soils, the growing of cut flowers (especially daffodils), nursery stock, vegetables, fruit trees (especially peach), pecans and possibly blueberries.

In addition to agricultural prospects in Mathews County, the extensive beach along the Chesapeake Bay affords the possibility of the development of commercial resorts for vacationists and sportsmen. Also, the seafood industry will likely continue to be of great economic importance. It might be said that the people of Mathews County have one foot in the water and the other on land.**"
Chesapeake Bay Woman's Two Cents
* That 8.1% figure for daffodils continued to rise in the 1960's and 1970's but sadly has tapered off. Although you can still find fields of daffodils growing each spring, very few are actually sold commercially.

**It might also be said that Chesapeake Bay Woman has one foot in dirty laundry, the other foot in stale Christmas decorations.


Unknown said...

I love old statistics, maps and government data. That being said, does global warming factor into the one foot in one foot out of the water....or laundry?

I bet you have fresh daffodils in a vase all the time.

Anonymous said...

Interesting tale of times past.

Kind of makes one wonder if there is a direction planned or if Mathews is just waiting for something to happen to it?


Anonymous said...

Another fact... Happy Birthday CBW!


Mental P Mama said...

Wait. I couldn't focus after the part about the sunRISE. Are you kidding me??

msseabreeze said...

awwww, is it your birthday today? Happy Birthday CBW!! May you have a wonderful birthday and may your daughter's team win tonight!
Today's post brings back such first "job" was picking daffodils and despite that, they are still my favorite flower. A little known fact to non-Mathews daffodil fans is that the daffodils grow in the fields along with lots of little prickly things. When picking the daffodils you ALWAYS came away with scratches. The faster you picked, the more money you made -- and the more scratches you came away with. The seasoned pickers had their own "gloves" with the tips of the fingers cut off. But oh how I looked forward to daffodil season and making my own money!!

Big Hair Envy said...

Happy Birthday! There's a little something for you over at my site:)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

It's not my birthday today....seriously. I do have one soon but not today. I am basking in my last days as a 43-year-old.

GJ - In the spring the house is loaded with daffodils, and it smells wonderful. (as opposed to the remainder of the year when it smells like feet.)

RC - There is a group that has a vision for the county. Having a vision and making it happen are two very different stories.

MMM - Facebook must be posting some strange's a few days away yet, but thank you anyway. I'm less than thrilled at this new number.

mpm - anything before noon is considered sunrise to me...what i should have said was as opposed to catching the sun as it goes down, i was catching it as it went up - it was probably 9:00 or so, not the crack of dawn, plus it was a very cloudy day, so that glimpse of sun seemed like the first of the day. No, i'm not usually up at sunrise on sundays. mondays, yes, but not sundays.

msseabreeze - I'm going to be writing a lot about daffodils as we move towards spring. i loved picking daffodils; loved driving the tractor loaded with the bushel baskets; loved packing them for shipment; loved driving them to the shipper. My grandfather used to have these little things we'd slip on the ends of our fingers to prevent those nasty scratches. Oh, and how about flower poisoning - the flower sap gets into bleeding hands. Yikes.

heather said...

Happy Birthday! :) Hope it was a good one!

Big Hair sent me here! In case you were wondering how in the heck I knew it was your birthday. :)

Unknown said...


Cool Breeze said...

I wasn't bored at all, you must know that I like that kinda crap.

Happy early Birthday!

I need some clarification. You have mentioned that one of your sisters skipped a grade in school.
Your birthday is exactly one day before mine, yet you graduated in '82. Did someone else skip grade too? I'm just askin'.

nativedevil said...

When I come back to Mathews to visit now, one of the things that upsets me is how the local forests have been rampaged. Don't get me wrong: I'm no tree-hugger. It's not so much that the trees have been cut down (though even that bothers me) But what really digusts me is that most of the land where the trees are cut are left full of brush, stumps, left-over logs, and never end up being cleaned up. It just looks terrible, and really has ruined the beauty of much of the county. If you need to sell the timber, I understand> But at least clean it up when you are done, so that an beautiful forest is left as an eyesore!
Mathews doesneed to open up to visitors more. There are not eally many places for visitors to stay, and we need more than Food Lion!

nativedevil said...

OF COURSE, I meant DON'T leave it as an eyesore!

Unknown said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Big Hair Envy sent me over here to wish you all the best with daffodils and wine.

I know, I know, it's really on I'll be back.

You are the same age as my oldest daughter.....waaaaaaaah!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Heather - Thank you so much ....

MMRIS - It is beautiful here and very unique. It's a wonderful place to be a kid and an older adult...those in between years, a person could get a little antsy.

Cool Breeze - You are scary with mother stuck me in school a year early. I guess she couldn't stand me any longer. I was always the youngest in my class and probably could have used an extra year to mature - I would have really liked to have had another year of high school track, I could have used it, but whatever. C'est la vie.

ND - I agree. It seems here lately that many places have been logged. The trees always comes back but until it does, it is a tad hard on the eye.

There is so much here for a visitor to see...I wonder if I could open up a little Mathews tour business. Gather up some facts (ugh), grab a mike, load people up in the car, and drive them all over the place showing them the high points, of which there are surprisingly many if one knows how to package it. And remember, we do have more than Food Lion, there's Best Value and Dollar General.... :)

littletoesandcheerios said...

HAPPY B-DAY! Any friend of BHE is a friend of mine! Hope you have a great day.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Early Birthday Wishes! It's OK to sneak me a piece of cake on Monday if there is any left. I wont tell the other dieters~promise!
Have a super Birthday!


tj said...

...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzz... ZZZZzzzzzzzz... ZZZZzzz... ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... ;o)

...Blessings...(hee,hee) :o)

Icey said...

And I have one foot at the computer and one foot in the bathroom monitoring various emissions from Christina who i had to pick up early from school. I am pretty sure I will have both feet on the couch soon "nursing her back to health" in front of the tv. So much for chores -- happy Friday!

Icey said...

PS Wait a minute - I thought your bday was Jan 11? Senility confirmed. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

(Sometimes!) Serendipitous Girl said...

Happy EARLY Birthday ; ) And I love your photos!

Unknown said...

Happy, Happy Birthday to you!

Even if it is early...

I will be 45 on Feb 21.

Loved reading your post....missed you!


Busy Bee Suz said...

Very interesting....especially about the flowers.
My feet are both in the same place as yours too...gotta get a move on. :)
Happy Early Birthday!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Icey, I do believe that January 11 is CBW'S BIRTHDAY. That would be this Sunday. Will your kids be making you a special dinner ala their Wii Cooking game? I could go for some of the shrimp fried rice they made, or the chicken satay (cooked thoroughly of course). Anyway, I'm not much for statistics, but I did enjoy hearing about old time Mathews. That book was written in the year of my birth, which means something but heck if I know what. Oh, and I absolutely love the sunrise picture you posted. So calming and serene. Happy early birthday, dear one.

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry for the mistake about your birthday. So, is it Jan 11th? Everyone wants to know.


Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

MMM - Yeeeeees. Now let's just move on to something more interesting.

Just for letting the cat out of the bag, you have to write another guest post (I still have your other one, need to work that in here soon, probably in bits and pieces, but this assumes I will remember....) Anyway, what about telling your version of the exploding hamburger?

Golden To Silver Val said...

Come visit me, I have something for you. (I'm into bribes). Its meant from the h'ear't, cause I just love how you write. Honest. Pass it on.

Ellen said...

Is it your birthday? It's mine today too. Happy birthday.

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I can't thank y'all enough for all the comments and Happy B-days. I truly appreciate it, and a big thank you to Ms. Big Hair Envy for her lovely bouquet of roses.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Chesapeake Bay Woman
Happy birthday to you.

(Keep in mind it's off key!)