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to be his helpers in his work, numerous offspring are no cause for complaint or misery, as in our civilized countries; and rather the pride of the parents’ old age. Given these conditions, the Regency should make the sertao (backlands) of Contendas an example for education, in every way. The land richly compensates the labor of the crop, producing mainly excellent corn in quantity. It is preferably planted in the soil of thin muddy black earth, which is called here as in Bahia, massa pe. Corn is planted in October and harvested in April. In various regions, a small variety, called cathete, is cultivated twice a year. The different qualities, which differ only in color and grain size, are: red corn, closed or red; less closed red; Big yellow and round yellow.


Cassava thrives throughout the countryside, but easily rots on sandy soil, which is why it is harvested once a year; growing longer it becomes too big. Very dry land, however, is not favorable either. Among the various qualities of this plant are mainly twig cassava, needled sutinga, saracura white, and tiriciri. The roots of the meek varieties, - called cassava, and which do not have the poisonous acrid juice, - roasted over embers, are constantly served at the backcountry table. Cotton produces abundantly, and is comparable in quality to that of Minas Novas. A load of cotton, totaling six arrobas, is sold at $ 20,000 to $ 21,000, and goes from Salgado down the Sao Francisco River and lands in Bahia. Not without reason, the countrymen say that the limestone soil of their region is very suitable for the cultivation of the vine, because the grape ripens here twice a year, in July and November. Also other fruits such as orange,

Anona squamosa, sugar-apple (top left)

pine cone (Anona squamosa, L.), jackfruit (Artocarpus integrifolia L.), molasses and watermelon thrive here excellently.

Artocarpus integrifolia, the Jackfruit tree

Undoubtedly, the dry, constant climate of the sertao contributes to this, as well as the fertile limestone soil. The two seasons of the year, the dry and wet months, occur most regularly. It rains without interruption from December to May, and during that season the winds blow in the northern quadrant; However, the east wind predominates in the highlands. The northwest wind almost always brings rain to benefit the vegetation, but the northeast is bearer of bad weather, cold and storms. Even more unfavorable are the southwest, south and southeast winds; they come with violent rainless thunderstorms, sometimes true typhoons, that tear out trees, devastate the farms, and kill many animals. Wind sickness has not been observed here.