Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

The full course of study occupies four years, and those who complete it receive the degree of Bachelor of Science. Three recitations, or their equivalent in lectures or literary exercises, are assigned for each day, except Saturday and Sunday, Saturday is devoted to scientific excursions and recreation. On Sunday all are required to attend church or Bible class; but in all biblical instruction the inculcation of denominational views is, as far as practicable, to be avoided.

All students are expected to engage in manual labor six hours per week when required, without compensation, for the purpose of learning the various operations of the farm and garden; and those who wish to perform additional work for wages will be allowed to do so, and receive at the rate of from ten to fifteen cents per hour.

Students wishing to be absent from any assigned duty are expected to ask permission beforehand, whenever that is practicable, and in all cases to present their excuses after an absence to any officer from whose exercises they may have been absent. A careful record is kept of the attendance, attainments, and deportment of every student, and sent to his parent or guardian at the close of each term, and only such as are faithful, successful, and gentlemanly are allowed to continue as members of the college.

Those who pursue a select course attend recitations and lectures with the regular classes; but persons properly qualified, and desiring special instruction in chemistry, civil engineering, agriculture, or horticulture, may make private arrangements with the officers having charge of those departments. Candidates for admission to the freshman class are exam. ined in writing upon the following subjects: English grammar, geography, arithmetic, and history of the United States. Candidates for higher standing are examined as above, and also in the studies gone over by the class to which they may desire admission.

No one can be admitted to the college until he is fifteen years of age, and every student is required to furnish a certificate of good character from his last pastor or teacher, and to give a satisfactory bond for the prompt payment of term bills. Tuition and room rent must be paid in advance at the beginning of each term; and bills for board, fuel, and washing at the end of every term. The regular examination for admission is held at 9 o'clock a. m. on the second Thursday of September; but candidates may be examined and admitted at any other time in the year. The first term of the academic year begins on the second Thursday of September, and continues thirteen weeks. The second term begins on the fourth Thursday of January, and continues thirteen weeks. The third term begins on the first Thursday of May, and continues thirteen weeks.

There are no free scholarships, and students from other States have the same privileges as those from Massachusetts. The expenses are as follows: Tuition, $12 per term; room rent, $5 per term; incidental expenses, $1 per term; boarding, $3 50 per week; washing, fifty cents per dozen; expenses of chemical laboratory to students of practical chemistry, $5 per term; public and private damages, including chemical apparatus, at cost. Total expenses, including fuel and books, about $250 per annum.

Most of the agricultural societies of the State pay the term bills of one or more students selected from the applicants within their respective limits. The arrangement of studies in the regular course is as folLOWS, viz:

Freshman year.–First term: Algebra, human anatomy and physiol. ogy, chemical physics. Second term: Geometry, French, chemistry. Third term : Geometry, French, botany, lectures upon hygiene, chemistry, botany, and agriculture, and exercises in orthography, elocution, and English composition during the year.

Sophomore year.–First term: German, agriculture, commercial arithmetic, and book-keeping. Second term: German, trigonometry, analyti. cal chemistry, with laboratory practice. Third term: Mensuration, surveying, analytical chemistry, zoology, drawing. Lectures upon comparative anatomy, diseases of domestic animals, organic chemistry, dairy farming, and market gardening; and exercises in English composition and declamation, during the year.

Junior year.–First term: Physics, French or German, agricultural chemistry, with practice in the laboratory and the field, drawing. Second term: Physics, rhetoric, horticulture, drawing. Third term: Astronomy, systematic botany, French or German. Lectures upon physics, mineralogy, the cultivation of the vine, of fruit and forest trees, and upon useful and injurious insects, and exercises in English composition and debate, during the year.

Senior year.-First term: Intellectual philosophy, history, physical geography. Second term: Moral philosophy, political geography, the civil polity of Massachusetts and the United States. Third term: Geology, engineering, political economy. Lectures upon stock farming, architecture, landscape gardening, rural law, geology, and English literature, and exercises in original declamation and debate, during the year.

Exercises in gymnastics, military tactics, and the various operations of the farin and garden, through the course.

The college was opened for students October 2, 1867, and has been nearly full ever since. The average age of its members is about eighteen years, and the majority are farmers. Nearly all who have entered have been desirous of remaining through the entire course, and all have performed their various duties with cheerful readiness. The manual labor has been so far performed without any manifestations of dissatisfaction, and has been regarded as an important part of the education.

The faculty consists of a president, who is also professor of botany and horticulture; a professor of agriculture; a professor of military science; a professor of mathematics and physics; a professor of chemistry; a professor of modern languages; and such instructors and lecturers as are required to teach in the best manner the various subjects of the regular course.

The college is generally conceded to have been thus far remarkably successful, and it is coutidently expected that the legislature of the State and the wealthy friends of progressive agriculture will furnish funds suf. ficient to place it in the foremost rank of the educational institutions of Massachusetts.

RECENT AGRICULTURAL BOOKS.

THE ELEMENTS OF AGRICULTURE: A Book for Young Farmers. By Geo. E. Warmg, jr. 12mo. 234 pages. New York: The Tribune Association.

This book teaches young farmers the first principles of their profession, and shows them in plain language what science has discovered and told in its necessarily technical terms, and what experience has proved to be of practical value. The facts promulgated lie at the groundwork of farming, and are essential to the business education of every farmer. Its teachings are based on the positive facts of chemistry and the most enlightened practice of modern agriculture. The constitution of plants, the formation and character of soils, the character and varieties of manures, the mechanical character of soils, with reference to draining, sub-soil plowing, rolling, mulching, &c., are discussed with comparative freedom from technical terms.

A scientific description of chemical and mechanical manures is followed by suggestions on their relative value, their manufacture, preservation and application; on the means of restoring deficiencies of soils; on absorbents, various organic and mineral manures, atmospheric fertilizers, leaching, &c. It is mentioned as a “singular fact concerning leaching, that water is able to carry no part of the organic constituents of vegetables to any considerable distance below the surface in a fertile soil. They would probably be carried to an unlimited depth in pure sand, as it contains nothing which is capable of arresting them; but in most soils the clay and carbon retain all of the ammonia and nearly all of the matters which go to form the ashes of plants, very near the surface of the soil. If such were not the case, the fertility of the earth must soon be destroyed, as all of those elements which the soil must supply to growing plants would be carried down out of the reach of roots, and leave the world a barren waste, its surface having lost its elements of fertility, while the downward filtration would render the water of wells and springs unfit for use. Now, however, they are all retained near the surface of the soil, and the water issues from springs comparatively pure.”

On the question of spreading manure on land for any length of time before being plowed under, Mr. Waring says: “Practice has gained a triumph over the old theory. There is no doubt that manure so spread is subject to some waste; but what is not was ed is so much better in. corporated with the soil by the water of rains, which distributes its sol. uble parts evenly among all of its particles, that the effect produced is better than if the raw manure had been immediately plowed under, necessarily somewhat irregularly and in spots. In this latter case there would be no loss of material; but some parts of the soil would receive more than was necessary, while others would be deprived of any material benefit, and the land would be less fertile than if every root were sure to find, in every part of the soil, its due proportion of the food. Ammonia is formed only during decomposition; and especially during cold weather there is very little decomposition going on in manure which is thinly spread upon the surface of the land; hence the loss from this cause is not great.

"In the case of very heavy maniring, especially with undecomposed manure on clay land, a great benefit arises from the fermentation of the dung in the soil, a chemical action producing a mechanical effect.

“Night soil, or human excrement, is the best manure within reach of the farmer. The food of man is usually much richer than that of any other animal, is of a more varied character, and richer in nitrogen, the phosphates, and other inorganic constituents; consequently his manure is made valuable by containing large quantities of these inatters. It has been used for ages in China and Japan, and is undoubtedly the secret of their success in supporting an immense population through almost countless ages, without impoverishing the soil.

“Some have supposed that manuring with night soil would give disagreeable properties to plants; this is not the case; their quality is invariably improved. The color and odor of the rose are made richer and more delicate by the use of the most offensive night soil as manure.

“It is evident that this is the case from the fact that plants have it for their direct object to make over and put together the refuse organic matter, and the gases and the minerals found in nature, for the use of animals. If there were no natural means of rendering the excrement of animals available to plants, the earth must soon be shorn of its fertility, as the elements of growth, when once consumed, would be essentially destroyod, and no soil could survive the exhaustion. There is no reason why the manure of man should be rejected by vegetation more than that of any other aniinal, and indeed it is not; ample experience has proved that there is no better manure in existence. Night soil may be so kept that there will be no loss of its valuable gases, and no offensive odor arise from it, when it can be removed and applied to crops without unpleasantness; and that is, by simply mixing with it a little charcoal dust, prepared muck, dry earth, or any other good absorbent, thus making what is called poudrette.”—(See article on earth closets, &c.)

In illustrating the benefits of sub-soil plowing, the author remarks: “ If plants will grow better on a soil six inches deep than on one of three inches, there is no reason why they should not be benefited in proportion by disturbing the soil to the whole depth to which roots will travel, even to a depth of two feet. The minute rootlets of corn and most other plants will, if allowed by cultivation, occupy the soil to a greater depth than this, having a fiber in nearly every cubic inch of the soil for the whole distance. There are very few cultivated plants whose roots would not travel to a depth of thirty inches or more. Even the onion sends its roots to the depth of eighteen inches when the soil is well cultivated.

"The object of loosening the soil is to admit roots to a sufficient depth to hold the plant in its position; to obtain the nutriment necessary to its growth; to receive moisture from the lower portion of the soil; and, if it be a bulb, tuber, or tap, to assume the form requisite for its largest development. It must be evident, also, that roots penetrating the soil to a depth of two feet, anchor the plant with greater stability than those which are spread more thinly near the surface.”

The chapters on under-draining, plowing, mulching, and weeding, are valuable, but in a compact style scarcely adınitting abridgment.

How Crors Grow: A Treatise on the Chemical Composition, Structure, and Life of

the Plant, for all students of Agriculture, with numerous Illustrations and Tables of Analyses. By Samuel W. Johnson, A. M., professor of analytical and agricultural chemistry in the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale College, &c. 12mo. 394 pages. New York: Orange Judd & Co. 1888.

Professor Johnson has delivered an aunual course of lectures to the scientific school of Yale College for several years, and this work is the

result of studies undertaken in preparing these lectures. It considers plants from three distinct, yet closely related, stand-points, viz: their chemical composition, their structure, and the offices of their organs, and the conditions of their life and growth-the author keeping his eye steadily fixed upon the practical aspects of the subject. “It must not be forgotten," he says, “that a valuable principle is often arrived at from the study of facts, which, considered singly, have no visible con. nection with a practical result. Statements are made which may appear far more curious than useful, and that have at present a simply speculative interest, no mode being apparent by which the farmer can increase his crops or diminish his labors by help of his acquaintance with them. Such facts are not, however, for this reason to be ignored. It is just such curious and seemingly useless facts that are often the seeds of vast advances in industry and the arts."

In the introduction, the objections sometimes made to theoretical agri. eulture are met: “In all cases, thought goes before work, and the intel. ligent workman always has a theory upon which his practice is planned. No farm was ever conducted without physiology, chemistry, and physics, any more than an aqueduct or a railway was built without mathematics and mechanics. Every successful farmer is, to some extent, a scientific man. Let him throw away the knowledge of facts and the knowledge of principles which constitute his science, and he has lost the elements of success. Other qualifications being equal, the more advanced and complete the theory of which the farmer is the master, the more successful must be his farming. The more he knows, the more he can do. The more deeply, comprehensively, and clearly he can think, the more economically and advantageously can he work.

“ There is no opposition or conflict between science and art, between theory and practice. If they appear to jar, it is because we have something false or incomplete in what we call our science or our art; or else we do not perceive correctly, but are misled by the narrowness and aberrations of our vision. It is often said of a machine, that it was good in theory but failed in practice. This is as untrue as untrue can be. If a machine has failed in practice it is because it was imperfect in theory. It should be said of such a failure, 'the machine was good, judged by the best theory known to its inventor, but its incapacity to work demonstrates that the theory had a flaw.'

“The progress of agriculture is the joint work of theory and practice. In many departments great advances have been made during the last hundred years; especially is this true in all that relates to implements and machines, and to the improvement of domestic animals. It is, however, in just these departments that an improved theory has had sway. More recent is the development of agriculture in its chemical and physi. ological aspects. In these directions, the present century, or, we might almost say, the last thirty years, has seen more accomplished than all previous time. * * * * It is, in fact, during the last thirty years that agricultural chemistry has come to rest on sure foundations. Our knowledge of the structure and physiology of plants is of like recent development. What immense practical benefit the farmer has gathered from this advance of science! The dense population of Great Britain, Belgium, Holland, and Saxony can attest the fact. Chemistry has ascertained what vegetation absolutely demands for its growth, and points out a multitude of sources whence the requisite materials for crops can be derived. To be sure, Cato and Columella knew that ashes, bones, bird-dung, and green manuring, as well as drainage and aëration of the soil, were good for the crops; but that carbonic acid, potash, phosphate

« AnteriorContinuar »