Believes in Long Island for Fruit and Peach Raising

Brooklyn Eagle

June 1, 1901


. A Long Islander who agrees with Mr. Hale in the opinion that peaches and other fruits can be a successfully raised on Long Island is Joseph H. Randall of Port Jefferson, who has just returned,  from his winter home in Avon Park, Florida Mr. Randall is a self-made man and his career is well worth the study of boys who intend to make their own fortune.

Joseph H. Randall was born in Middle Island 58 years ago, educated in the district schools and at Eastman’s Business College, and until he was 27 was engaged in the wood business with his father, buying large tracts, cutting off the wood and selling it by the shipload in New York, Haverstraw and other places. At 27 he shipped on a coasting schooner and led a seafaring life for three years. Then he left it to take charge of the country store at Middle Island which had been established by his father many years before.

He was the village merchant for eighteen years, selling everything, from a hay rake to a darning needle, and at the same time conducting a large farm. In 1892, his health failing, he went to Florida, bought a large tract of land at Avon Park. Shortly after he sold his store and farm in Middle Island, but in a year or two, finding time hanging heavy on his hands, he bought another farm, about half a mile west of his former one, of one hundred and thirty six acres. This was much run down when he bought it, and it has been Mr. Randall’s care for the last four or five years to bring it into fertility again. There was not a building on it and he has erected a comfortable house, barn and outbuildings.

His specialty is vegetable and fruit growing and he is fond experimenting with new varieties. He has on the new farm five hundred peach trees and eighty apple trees, beside plum, pear and cherry trees. Six Japanese chestnut trees and the same number of Japanese walnuts have been recently set out, and Mr. Randall is watching their growth with much interest

He has also quite large tracts of raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and dewberries. The “iceberg blackberry,” a white blackberry, as Mr. Randall described it, is one of the new varieties he is experimenting with. He has a smaller orchard of about fifty peach trees four years old, from which he picked last fall seventy buckets of fine fruit, beside that consumed in his family, for which found a ready sale in Bellport, most of it at $1.40 a bucket. The trees look thrifty and Mr. Randall anticipates no difficulty in raising peaches on Long Island.

In politics Mr. Randall has been several times honored by his fellow citizens, having been assessor of his native town for four years and justice of the peace eight years. He has been for many years an elder in the Middletown Presbyterian Church in Middle Island.

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