« AnteriorContinuar »
From the Ohio Farmer. habits and customs of a community differing esSHEPARDIA, OR BUFFALO BERRY. sentially from our own, if they lead directly to no
thing valuable, have at least a tendency to imThis interesting tree was discovered by Mr. provement. They beget a spirit of comparison: Nuttal, in the vicinity of the Rocky Mountains, we are enabled to see how others execute the in the year 1810, and introduced by him into some same, or nearly the same work, which we have of the gardens in the Atlantic States. It is per- been used to do in a different manner. Improvefectly hardy. In Winship's Nursery at Roxbury, ments are thus carried from one region of country in Massachusetts, it flourishes as well as in its na-to another with rapidity, which would have been tive soil and climate, and during the last autumn years in finding their way in the gradual advancehis trees were literally loaded with fruit, which ment of science. Peter the Great of Russia acthangs in racemes of the size and appearance of ed under these opinions, when he labored in the red currants. The fruit ripens late in the fall. I ship yards of England." is sub-acid and palatable in its natural state, and Our eastern brethren are a great way ahead of also makes an excellent preserve.
Jus in industry and skill in the labors of the farm. The tree belongs to the Linnæan class “Die-This is caused partly by the climate, which is cia,” and it is said that it is necessary to place both cool and invigorating during the heats of summer, barren and fertile plants in contiguity, in order, having by no means the same tendency to relax successfully, to raise the fruit-of this however, I and enervate the animal system, that is experienchave some doubts.
ed under the warmer sun of a more southern latiGenuemen of taste could not expend a few dol-tude, and partly by early habits of industry. lars to better advantage in ornamenting their gar- On the 20th of July, the crop of' hay was not dens, than by procuring several of those trees. Tentirely secured, and it was said to have been
much injured by fogs and wet weather, which had prevailed for some weeks. It accounted to
me for the labors of harvest being continued on REMARKS ON THE AGRICULTURE OF RHODE
Sunday, I could not fail to remark the facility ISLAND.
with which the grass was collected in wind-rows, To the Editor of the Farmers' Register.
by means of a horse rake. I am induced to heThe following remarks upon the agriculture of lieve that this rake could be beneficially used in Rhode Island, were made during a short visit of gleaning our wheat fields, where the land is free pleasure to the delightful summer retreat, New- from stumps and rocks, and where the grain is port. They were made solely for individual grat- sowed broad-cast and level. With this impresification, and may be found scarcely worthy of a sion, I will give a brief description of the impleplace in your Register. Observations upon the'ment, and subjoin a drawing of it.
It consists of a beam of sufficient size, say four to guide him properly, and another boy sometimes inches square, and from nine to ten feet in length, follows with a hand rake to collect small portions into this beam, teeth twenty inches long are nior- of the hay, which may accidentally be lett; but ticed, about three inches apart. These teeth are where the implement is skilfully used, it gets the two and a hall' inches wide where they enter the grass up perfectly clean. beam, and curve on the lower side, being at the I should think that one man and a small boy to shoulders flush with the lower side of the beam. direct the horse with this rake, would perform the In the upper part of the beam, handles are fixed work of ten men with the common hand rake. It somewhat like those of a plough, except that is probable that this implement may have been in they bend much more, so as to be conveniently use in Virginia, but I do not remember to have held, as the rake is drawn with the teeth flat upon seen it. I am convinced of its utility in collecting the ground, and going points foremost. On each hay, and I should think it useful in gleaning fields side of these handles, which are in the centre, slen- of small grain where so much is left on the ground der upright pieces are fixed in the beam about two in our slovenly mode of harvesting. Palemon feet high to retain the hay in the rake.
would here have no occasion to direct his laborers It is drawn by a horse, with long rope traces, to leave something for the lovely young Lavinia." fastened at each end of the rake, by means of an I doubt if any portion of Europe can be found anger hole through which the rope is passed and more highly cultivated than this island, if we exkpotted. When the rake is filled, it is elevated cept the immediate vicinity of London, and some by the handles and the grass deposited at given part of Tuscany. Every where the earth is made spaces, in wind-rows. A boy rides the horse useful. The fields are small, containing from five to fifteen acres, all rectilinial, and for the most part and produced the most beneficial effects. Lands enclosed by stone walls; sometimes planks and that yielded eight hundred weight of grass to the post and rails.
acre, in an undressed state, would produce as much The crops cultivated are grass, corn, potatoes, as two tons if dressed in this way. The grasses onions, rye and oats—the largest portion being in used in the greatest quantities, are vulgasly known grass, the next largest in corn, potatoes, &c. I by the name of rock weed and ribbon grass. The can give you no better idea of the high cultiva- former is a narrow leafed plant with many joints, tion and consequent value of the soil, than by at which a number of small roots shoot, resembling stating the prices of land in rent and in fee. very much in appearance our wire grass, which it
A gentleinan has within a short time, purchased I mistake not is the fiorin grass of Ireland. The about forty acres of land near the town of New- latter is a large and long leaf, not unlike in shape, port, for which he gave five hundred dollars per a corn blade severed in the middle, but very thick, acre-the buildings upon this land were very or- and covered with a fine polish as if it was vardinary, and could not have been estimated at more nished. It derives its name doubtless, from its rethan 1500 dollars. The common annual rent semblance to ribbon. This grass may be found in of land, from all I could learn, varied from three to considerable quantities in the rocks on the sea ten dollars per acre. Lands adapted to the growth shore, floating in situations where I have fished of the onion rented highest, that crop yielding a for the black fish. greater profit to the acre than any other. It will The farmers preferred these marine manures to at once be supposed that lands that sell and rent the best stable manure, or the dung of animals at these prices are not permitted to lie idle: they their effects of course being greater. In addition are all under the plough, or mowed for hay. No to these marine manures of vegetable basis, they fields are seen covered with rank luxuriant and use great quantities of fish called menhaden, which pestilential weeds: the seeds of these plants which are taken in large numbers by fishermen, whose so much abound with us, and are even valued as business it is to look out for them on the sea shore. returning vegetable matter to the soil, seem here When a shoal of them appears, a boat loaded to be extirpated by cultivation carefully conducted with the rope of one end of the net, and the seine, through a series of years.
goes out beyond the fish, and the fishermen throw It surprised me, that under this aspect of the out the net, so as to encompass them: another boat country, I seldom found persons actually laboring attends with the rope, to attach it to the other end in the fields. It seemed as if some friendly fairy of the seine, and thus it is drawn to the shore. did the work by star light. This is to be account. These fish are very fat, and seemed to be the ed for, however, by the energy with which they same fish known to us, by the name of ale wife or work when actually engaged. They do not stop old wife. They are purchased on the shore at 17 to gaze at you as you pass by, and if you enter cente a barrel, and applied to the land as a top their fields and talk to them, they converse with dressing for grass, and I believe sometimes ploughpoliteness, but do not cease to labor. I should ed under. The land thus dressed produces grass think that one Rhode Island laborer would per- of a superior quality, and to use an expression of form as much work as two and a half of the a farmer'it makes it graze sweet;' stock of all southern slaves.
kinds preferring the spots thus dressed to any other Corn is here planted about the 10th of May. part of the field. From three to five stalks are permitted to grow in The only unpleasant consequence of this sort of a hill, distant from each other two feet one way, manuring is, that the nostrils of the visiter are asand three and a half the other. It produces about sailed frequently in his walks by an odor, to which fifty bushels to the acre. They plough their corn real eau de cologne is, somewhat more agreeathree times, and work it after each ploughing with ble. the hoes, the earth being drawn up to the stalks! The facts here stated, the writer received from very high. They give this hill to prevent the the laborers themselves, with many of whom be corn from being prostrated by the wind, and con- was in the habit of daily conversation, and who eider it more necessary to cultivate this small spe- were practically acquainted with every thing apcies of corn with a hill, than the larger southern pertinent to their vocation. I will here take occorn, in consequence of the size of the stalk. casion to remark, that these eastern men, are re.
Grass is produced at the rate of from two to markable for the extent and accuracy of their inthree tons to the acre, for which they receive at formation in relation to the business, in which market from seventy-five cents to one dollar per they are engaged; all the powers of their minds, hundred weight. Iwas particular in the inquiries sharpened as the intellects are by interest, are I made in relation to tlie effect produced by the brought to concentrate their force upon a single application of marine weeds as manure, which I point. have observed to be applied on this island, as a The space I have already occupied, admonishes top dressing to grass Jands. These grasses are me to conclude. probably loosened from the rocks, and the bottom
---In publica commoda peccem, of the sea, by the percussion of the waves; and in
Si longo sermone morer.particular seasons, when the wind blows in shore, they are collected in large quantities upon the beach, from which they are carefully hauled as Richmond Co., Feb. 7th, 1835. manure, and applied to most of their crops with great benefit, particularly to potatoes, corn and
Froin Martin's History of the British Colonies, grass. Upon the latter they usually put four oxcart loads to the acre, which are equal to six loads,
ATRANGLING HORSES. drawn by our oxen in eastern Virginia. This Travelling over frozen rivers orlakesis however, quantity, when thinly spread, covered the ground, not unattended with real danger; the sleigh, iis
horses and passengers, being not unfrequently in-| power on the rail road is at present inadequate for stantly engulfed, and sucked beneath the ice, there the trade and transportation on it, and the directors being no warning of the danger until the horses have therefore determined to increase it greatly sink, dragging the carriole and its inmates afier beyond its present amount, by the commencement them. In general, it is fortunate the weak or thin of the fall business." places are ot' no great extent; and when the horses are found to be sinking, the passengers instantly leap out on the strong ice, seize the ropes which, 1
ON THE DIFFERENT EFFECTS OF BURNING, with a running noose, are placed ready for such
need reads for auch AND PLOUGHING IN, ROUGH VEGETABLE
MATTER. an emergency on every sleigh-horse's neck, and, by sheer pulling, the animal is strangled in order To the Editor of the Farmers' Register. to save his life! This is absolutely a fact. If the A correspondent in your February No. page 577, horse be allowed to kick and struggle, it only serves very properly comments on the advantage and proto injure and sink him; as soon, however, as the priety of every writer for your paper signing his pronoose is drawn tight, his breathing is momentarily per name, to all communications, stating facts in agchecked, strangulation takes place, the animal be-riculture. Ilis remarks are sound, and well excomes motionless, rises to the surface, floats on one pressed. We cannot all write either with elegance side, and is then drawn out on the strong ice, or learning. But, there are few farmers that are when the noose being loosened, respiration recom- subscribers to the Register, who are unable to exmences, and the horse is on his feet carrioling press the results of their experience, in “brief away again in a few minutes as well as ever. and good phrase.” Numbers have already atThis singular and almost incredible operation has tempted it, under their own signatures, with been known to be performed two or three times a complete success, and beneficially, to the commuday on the same horse; and the Americans say nity. We ought all to be aware that your work that, like Irishmen, the animals are so used to is not intended for the display of fine writing or being hanged that they think nothing about it. book learning; and, whoever writes for it, should Often, however, horses sleigh or carriole, and pas- make his style as plain as he can, avoiding technisengers, are in a moment sunk and swept beneath calities, when it can be done, as well as quotathe ice. The traveller on the frozen rivers, but tions from the foreign or dead languages. These more especially on the frozen lakes, incurs also are but evidences of pedantry, at best, when there great danger from the large cracks or openings is a corresponding expression in our own tongue. which run from one side of the lake to the other, The sciences, connected with agriculture, have from one to six feet broad, causing, at some distance peculiar terms that cannot be well dropped; but, from the crack, a shelving up of the ice to the wherever it is possible, the common parlance mode height of several feet in proportion to the breadth of of conveying the same idea ought to be employthe fissure. The sleigh drivers, when they see ed also, that every class of readers may get the no other chance ot' passing or of escape, make meaning with the least trouble. the horses endeavor to leap the chink at full gal The correspondent alluded to, Peter De Quir, lop, with the sleigh behind them, at the imminent ought to have practised on his own rule. He adds risk of being engulfed in the lake.
a P. S. to his letter, and asks the following questions, to be answered, either by the editor, or
some of his friends: INCREASE OF TRANSPORTION ON THE "Is it ever advantageous or proper to burn land? CHARLESTON RAIL ROAD.
Is there any kind of vegetation which grows in · The Charleston (S. C.) Patriot of the 4th inst. our fields, that it would be more profitable to burn publishes a corporative view of the receipts of this off than plough under? Will the ashes produced road for the first three months of the years 1834
thereby, compensate for the loss of vegetable mat
ter? Will not the crop be better the first year and 1835, which presents the following result:
when coarse grass or broom sedge is burnt, than 1834
it would be, if ploughed in? But will vot the land January, $4,229
be ultimately benefited in a greater degree by turnFebruary, 8,174
ing in such a cover?”
| Many years' observation on the subject of these
questions has enabled me to form an opinion on $24,391
$45,624 | them, which I think is not essentially different from Showing that the receipts of the present year the opinions of most practical farmers. That are nearly double what they were in the correspon- opinion, however, is at the service of P. D. Q. dent period of the year 1834. This is exclusive and others, who have doubts on so plain a subof the amount received for carrying the mails. Iject. The same paper further states, that the number of There are very few circumstances that can juspassengers (exclusive of those in the company's tify burning. With some men, who use small service) from the lst of April 1834 to the 1st of ploughs, and advocate shallow ploughing, it is a April 1835, has been twenty-nine thousand two custom to burn the dead vegetable matter on their hundred and forty eight--and that on the 2d inst. fields, when it is the least in the way of their 141 passengers went up in the steam car William ploughs, and particularly for corn and oats. I Aiken, yielding $607 38.
| have endeavored to reason several out of the prac"This increased business on the road has greatly tice; but was actually laughed at by them, as a exceeded the most sanguine expectations of its theoriet. I have noticed, that, if the dead matter projectors, and furnishes the best criterion of its be so thick as to impede the perfect dperation of prosperity. It has been found so highly beneficial | ploughing it under, the after tillage, if corn be the in extending the business of Charleston, that the crop, is more difficult; and when the covering the broom sedge or very coarse grass, the first crop is Those crops have been considered the most imapt to sutler, from the ground not being properly proving which either leave the most on the ground, pulverized in time. If the crop be wheat or rye, or add most to the manure heap. In the culture it is greatly helped by turning in any sort of cover. of tobacco, all other vegetation is kept entirely Grasses and weeds with their roots and sods are down quite until frost, and all the crop, save the frequently gathered into piles by the harrow, afier root and a short end of the stalk, is carried oft. bad ploughing; yet, upon these very spots the The renovating nature of the clover crop is mostly crop is almost always more luxuriant and pro- owing to the tap root of the plant being so large ductive-showing, plainly, the advantage of the and long, keeping the land light and divided, and vegetable matter thus gathered together.
lits yielding such a heavy coat of vegetable matter. Afier any heavy covering is ploughed under, It throws up successive crops of spires and leaves which is more easily done with the help of a in the same season—the earlier constantly falling weighty chain, the harrow should follow while and decaying amid the springing verdure of the the ground is mellow, and then the roller. The younger growth, until frost chills all vegetable life. harrow fills up all the cracks and breaks left by the Below the mountains the heat of summer matures plough, levels and pulverizes the soil; the roller the greater part of the first crop, and dries up that mashes it down and presses the layer of vegeta- as well as the younger shoots. But as soon as "the ble matter into a small compass. When thus dogs days" are gone, the verdure starts again. treated, fermentation and decomposition follow as Whoever examines a field that has stood in clover, soon as enough heat and moisture are supplied by will find it covered with a black fertilizing dust or the seasons. Whatever is thus turned under in mould, more or less perceptible, as the rains have the fall or winter, will be found mouldy and tender been light or heavy. Such of it as has become in the spring, and soon becomes food for plants. decomposed is apt to be partly solved by rains, Broom-sedge is the most difficult to make rot; but, and the whole to be partly mingled with the top even that rots time enough to benefit wheat. If soil. From its tender succulent nature, clover rots the unavoidable openings and seams left by the sooner than weeds or grass, and becomes nutritive plough be not filled up and pressed down, fermen- to plants. But the same process takes place, and tation will not take place soon enough, in conse- for the same wise purpose of nature, with every quence of a too free circulation of air: and the species of vegetation, from the majestic forest tree soil on top, not coming near enough to the earth down to hair-like hen's grass-converting all into below, is apt the sooner to suffer from drought. fertilizing matter. The ratio of their value is But these things are too plain to occupy more time probably unknown to the most skilful in the sciin explaining.
ence of chemical analysis. But I did not take up Some of the largest corn crops ever produced my pen to write an essay on manures. in the United States, were made on land, in good That ashes are stimulating to plants, or rather, heart, that was covered over with a thick sod and aid in the process of feeding them, is well known, coat of vegetable matter. It was well manured, and they are highly valued by every good husbroad cast; whirled completely over, harrowed and bandman. But I have never seen any vegetable pressed down with the roller. But the after growing in pure ashes, and infer that their action tillage was not more than three inches deep; neither is in combination with earth and putrescent matbreaking nor turning up the sod again. I am in- ter. The quantity of asbes left on land afterburnclined to think that all vegetable matter put below ing, is so small, compared with the quantity of the operation of tillage and pressed down, must unquestionable food for plants that would be creagreatly improve the land, and if not disturbed, en-ted by the decomposition of the same covering, farge the crop growing, during the process of de- that the loss by burning must be manifest. Let composition. The stratum will not be thick: it any one burn a portion of hay, straw, grass, or freely admits and retains moisture, and as soon as weeds in such a way as to save all the ashes. He the mould commences to rot, supplies abundant will be surprised at the smallness of the quantity. food to the roots that are spreading out in every Let him spread it on a plot of ground, and then direction in search of food.
spread the same weight of the material burnt, on The tobacco planter's mode of cleaning new another plot of the same size, and either plough ground, by raking up the leaves and trash and in or not. The mere contemplation of what would half decayed vegetable matter, and then burning be the result, it seems to me, will decide the quesit all, is a wasteful operation. These materials, if tion. If not, I am egregiously mistaken in my spread on exhausted spots in the fields, and plough-notions, and ashes are worth more than their ed in, would impart life enough to throw up such / weight in silver ! a crop of rye, or oats and clover, as to make it It is sometimes necessary and "advantageous” easy afterwards to restore them to their original to burn meadows when they begin to be overrun fertility. The use of wheat straw, chaff, or leaves with broomsedge; for the three-fold purpose of dewill result in the same benefit. It is contended by stroying the seeds of the sedge-giving the grass some of the best farmers, that top dressings of a chance to rise and cover the ground in the spring straw and chaff is the best mode of using them before the later growth of sedge puts up-and enafor improving land.
bling the mower to cut the grass clean. When it He that advocates burning, will be convinced of is not convenient to plough up and re-seed the its rapidly impoverishing effects, by taking an acre meadow, burning will make it hold out against the of his best soil, cultivating it in his usual way- encroachments of wild growth two years, and carrying off' all the crop, and after small grain, sometimes more, beyond the time at which, withburning off the stubble, and then the grass in the out burning, the hay would hardly be worth cutfall and burning the grass also in the fall, after ting. for. This process will entirely exhaust the vegeta- Wire grass and its roots should always be burnt; ble natter in the soil, and render it literally steril. I and so ought thistles. Fire is the surest destroyer
of these pests. Briers are easily cut down with With Galen's communication, I was, upon the knives made for the purpose, and they form a valu- whole, much pleased; although I must say, that able covering over galled spois, or add to the ma- he delivers his opinions-however important the nure bank. When not in patches the plough subject, rather 100 abruptly. For instance, he assufficiently masters them. Annual burning tends serts—without the slightest doubt or qualification, to impoverish and harden the soil of even the that, as to plants, “the earths afford no real nourrichest wood land.
ishment themselves, but act entirely as exciting I have, Mr. Editor, in a lame, and I fear, tedious agents.” Now, do not all agriculturists admit that manner, endeavored to answer your correspon- there is such a thing as the food of plants, and dent, Peter De Quir. Since he did not act on that it is supplied either by the earths, or by water, his own recommendation to others, he cannot com- or by both? Will they not also admit, that "explain that his queries have not been responded to citing agents” cannot, with any propriety, be called in propria nomine. But, if he does, he has only suppliers of food? Where then is Galen's authorito adopt the Arabic mode, and read backwards. ty for assuming that as a fact universally admitted,
| in support of which, he offers nothing, but his ipse
dixit? His concluding sentence surnishes another REMARKS ON THE PAPERS CONTAINED IN
instance of a highly important assertion, entirely No. 9 OF THE FARMERS' REGISTER.
without qualification, or illustrative argument to
sustain it. I subjoin his own words: “There is a wonTo the Editor of the Farmers' Register.
dertul similarity between the vegetable and ani
mal world; they are both governed by the same Presuming that the chief motive of all who
laws—the various agents that act upon them are write for your paper, is, a sincere desire to benefit
similar,” (to both these assertions there are nuthe cause of agriculture, I shall take it for granted
merous and striking exceptions,) "their organithat none will be displeased by the expression of
"zation in many respects the same, and they both any doubts or objections to which their communi
| possess motion, sensation, and life.” This last cations may give rise-provided there be nothing
i assertion also, is much too broad; for, not to cavil at blameable in the temper or manner of doing it.
I the term, “possess motion," instead of the power Nearly as much good inay sometimes be done in:
of motion, the motion and sensation ascribed to this way, as in any other. Influenced by this belief, I shall proceed without
vegetables are as really unlike the motion and sen
sation of animals, as any two things can fpossibly farther preface, to offer such remarks as have sug- ! |
9. be, betweer, which any sort of resemblance has gesied themselves to my mind in perusing your February No. They will be presented without
been supposed to exist. Such fanciful analogies
may do very well as ornaments of style, but not connection, and without regarding any thing but the order in which the several articles commented
for scientific agriculture. upon, follow each other in your paper.
Your correspondent N. E. Read, in bis valuaWhat is meant by the terms—"brakes" and ble communication, has stated many interesting (peat-moss" in Mr. James Hale's premium disser- facts. Few of your friends, probably, have furtation? The first is a provincialism not understood nished more within the same compass. His genein middle Virginia, and the second is not generally ral remarks, before he comes to specifications, are believed to exist in the United States-if what particularly good. As to his “new method of preis so called in England, Scotland, and Ireland can serving sweet potatoes,” I have no doubt of it bebe found in them at all.
ing good; but if an old, a cheaper, and safer mode Mr. Hale's plan for collecting and making ma- will answer perfectly as well, why change it? nure by a compost heap,” I like much, saving such a method has been followed in my part of the location which he recommends; since I am the country, as far back as I can remeniber, and perfectly sure that no farmer with a Virginia-nose has been practised with entire success. It is to could possibly be prevailed upon to concoct such put them away in dry sand—as I see also recom"a rank compound of villainous smells,” (as Fal- mended in your February No. Thus preserved, staff said by the buck basket,) "not far distant I have often eat them late in April perfectly sound; from the back part of his house.”
and this mode has the advantage over Mr. Read's Is it a fact so well established as to justify his in keeping the roots under lock and key, in a celunqualified assertion of it, that "farm-yard ma- lar, where they are safe from the depredations of nure" should be suffered to remain from spring our slaves, who have quite as "sweet a tooth" for and summer, 'till the next fall, when, together sweet potatoes as we ourselves have. with the dung and urine of cattle, with which it is of his plan for preserving dried peaches, apmixed, it makes an excellent manure, and should ples, &c., I can say, probatum est. be carted out and laid in large heaps, for the pur- His remarks headed “Tar, Pine-tree, wood for pose of being placed in the hills of Indian corn or fuel," appear to me of so much value, that I potatoes the ensuing spring?” Is it another fact should rejoice to see them in some of our newspaalso so indisputably settled as to require no proof, perf-taking place of the miserable party poliiics that, "stable-dung and animal manure ought to wiih which they are so incessantly gorging and be spread on tillage-land designed for corn or po- disgusting all true, honest lovers of their country, tatoes the spring after it is made, and well mixed all who really prefer its peace, harmony, and hapwith the soil by the harrow first, and then the piness to all other political considerations whateplough?” Has he ever made fáir comparative ver. As fire dispels noxious and fætid miasmata trials of any different plan, or seen others make from the natural atmosphere, so might such publithem, where the manure was applied on the sur- cations-treating as the latter part of Mr. Read's face, and in a much fresher state? If he has not, does, of a most important branch of rural economy can he be called a competent judge?
1-dispel from our political party-papers, by their