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matter, the clearing and draining the low lands is generally postponed until the enhanced value of land, and the wants of an increasing population make it the farmer's interest to convert the dismal swamps into verdant fields. The next step, after clearing, is draining off the redundant waters.--This is often found to be more formidable in anticipation than in practice. By the aid of a water level, to determine the place of the greatest descent, an outlet may generally be made without great labor and expense. A considerable portion of many farms lies useless by being overflowed or too wet. We frequently perceive portions covered with various kinds of low bushes unfit for fuel. In the course of time the vegetable matter has been washed from the higher lands and hills, and deposited in the bogs, swamps, and vallies below. This matter, in its decomposed state, constitutes the unctuous black loam or mud, mixed, more or less, with clay or sand. As it supplies the food, which plants require, these low lands, when reclaimed, are the richest parts of a farm. The potatoe flourishes best in such soils, when drained; and experience will probably prove that corn, wheat, and various other kinds of vegetables, may also be grown in low loamy soils to very great advantage. But draining would be profitable if for no other purpose than to enable the farmer to obtain a plentiful supply of mud to make the compost manure, in order to restore the fertility of his lands, which have become exhausted by long cropping or otherwise. The small brooks and water-courses, often originating from living springs in the high parts of farms, overflow and render waste much land below, which otherwise would be valuable, and in their natural descent empty into the bogs, swamps, &c.
Our present purpose is to invite the attention of farmers to the subject of turning such water-courses, in order to prevent the injury to the lands thus overflowed, and also to conduct the springs or brooks where they may do great benefit. What proportion of farms have the privilege of such springs we are unable to say; but farmers who have within their bounds, may derive very great advantages from turning them. This may be donc oftentimes with little labor and expense. A single furrow, made with the plough, beginning at the fountain head of a spring, and continuing the furrow in a line nearly up to the water level of the fountain, will sometimes be sufficient to carry a spring along by the side of a hill or swell to a considerable distance. Our practice has been to cut two furrows with the plough, clearing out the second with the hoe and spade; and we have met with good success in turning several springs, with little labor. We have thus caused boggy and miry places to become sufficiently dry for pasture or cultivation, and conducted the springs where they may be used for irrigation, and for watering the cattle at the barn-yard. Several hills of rising grounds intervening between the fountain and the yard, instead of cutting deep channels through in a straight line, the furrow was cut round the hills, in a serpentine course. Suppose, for instance
that the fountain head of a spring has an elevation of one foot above a distant cultivated field, and that a straight line between the fountain and the field would strike several hills or elevations higher than the fountain, lying between the fountain and the field to which the water is to be conducted in such case, instead of cutting a passage through the bills or swells, it is only necessary to run the ditch round the same in a serpentine course, keeping the whole line of the ditch very nearly up to a water level with the fountain head of the spring. Although this is as simple as it is evident, it is not always thought of. In past times, our wise roadmakers would cut the roads over the tops of hills, although the distance round the base would be the same.
Where water cannot be conducted, by its natural descent, in a ditch easily made, it may be conveyed by pipes, and carried over swells of land higher than the fountain head, provided the termination of the pipe, where it discharges, be lower than the fountain head. It is no mystery to make water "run up hill" by this method. Upon the same principle, liquids are drawn from a hogshead by using a siphon. It is believed, that should farmers turn their attention to their springs with a view to irrigation, they would derive great benefits. How many can be found, which with half a day's labor, can be turned from their natural courses into artificial channels, from which outlets may be made to moisten our mowing and cultivated fields in the dry season of the year?
Great attention is paid to the important subject of irrigation in England, although herc it seems to be generally wholly neglected. There, where water cannot be obtained at small expense, immense sums are expended. The fertilizing qualities of water in aid of vegetation, we need not attempt to explain. The fact that the farmer can get no products without it, is sufficient for us to know. No one can doubt that our mowing fields would produce more abundantly by occasionally being moistened by artificial streams, or water-courses. Wherever the water-course has the smallest elevation above the pastures or field, the latter may easily be moistened or overflowed, as occasion may require.
To make observations, and ascertain the points to which springs may be conducted, a water-level may generally be necessary. Instead of paying from five to ten dollars for such an instrument, any farmer may in a few minutes make one sufficiently correct for ordinary purposes. Take a narrow straight board, three or four feet long-plane down the centre a little to prevent the water running off at the sides—bore an augur hole at each end so as to admit two short sticks, the other ends to be stuck into the ground—then pour water into the centre of the board until part of it runs off equally at each end-and take sight upon the water's surface. As water ever preserves its uniform level, other methods may easily be adopted to take water-levels with sufficient accuracy.
We have seen but few publications in our agricultural papers upon the subject of irrigation--and our hasty suggestions are not
derived from scientific sources, but simply from common observation. They are simple enough certainly, and perhaps too much so for publication. But there are many simple facts pertaining to our farms which almost strike our sense without making any impression. A brook has been running during our lives in its natural course. The idea perhaps never occurs to us, that by diverting its course we may increase the vegetable growth. Sometimes we perceive in our portions and cultivated fields a spongy spot, covered with green, from which a little water oozes, perhaps out of a bed of clay. It seldom occurs to us that by digging down we may open a never failing spring. Two springs thus situated we acci. dentally discovered. Since removing several tons of clay and sand which obstructed the passage, there has been a copious effusion of the purest water. It is believed that by a little attention and observation, many farmers may discover and open springs of great value.
We have merely glanced at the subject of irrigation. It requires the light of science to present it to us in its important points of view. Such light we may hope to receive through the medium of our agricultural papers.
From the Farmer and Gardener. THE RAISING OF POULTRY. The annual mortality among poultry is a subject of general regret; but as we believe that preventive means may be used which in a great measure will save a large majority of those which otherwise would fall a sacrifice to those diseases which usually prey upon the feathered tribe, we will briefly suggest a few rules, which, if adopted, we believe will answer the desired object.
1. All young chickens, ducks, and turkies, should be kept under cover, out of the weather, during rainy seasons.
2. Twice or thrice a week, pepper, shallots, shives or garlic, should be mixed up with their feed.
3. A small lump of assafoetida should be placed in a pan in which their water is given them to drink.
4. Whenever they manifest disease by the drooping of wings or any other outward sign of ill health a little assafædita broken into small lumps, should be mixed with their food.
5. Chickens which are kept from the dung heap while young seldom have the gapes, therefore it should be the object of those who have the charge of them so to confine the hens as to preclude their young from the range of the barn or stable yards.
6. Should any of the chickens have the gapes, mix up small portions of assafoetida, rhubarb, and pepper, in fresh butter, and give each chicken as much of the mixture as will lie upon one half the bowl of a small tea-spoon.
7. For the pip, the following treatment is judicious: Take off the indurated covering on the point of the tongue, and give twice a day, for two or three days, a piece of garlic the size of a pea. If the garlic cannot be obtained, onion, shallot, or shives will answer.
8. For the snuffles, the same remedies as for the gapes will be found highly curative; but in addition to this it will be necessary to melt a little assafoetidu in fresh butter, and to rub the chicken about the nostrils, taking care to clean them out.
9. Grown up ducks are taken off rapidly by convulsions. In such cases, 4 grs. of rhubarb, 4 grs. cayenne pepper, mixed in fresh butter, should be administered. Last year we lost several by this disease, and this year the same symptoms manifested themselves among them, but we arrested the malady without losing a single duck by giving a dose of the above medicine to such as were ill. One of the ducks was at the time paralysed, but was saved.
PREVENTION BETTER THAN CURE. When we consider the time required to renovate and render productive, land once exhausted by continual and improper cultivation, and the expense and difficulty of the operation, it seems clear that the wisest course for the farmer would be, to adopt a system that would keep his land in good heart, and prevent exhaustion, and the consequent necessity of renovation. This can be done without difficulty, if the farmer commences aright.
By the rotation of crops, by using root crops with grain crops, by alternating green crops with white ones, there is abundant evidence that a farm can be kept in a productive state, and instead of exhaustion, be growing more rich and fertile. Continual cropping will destroy the best soils. There must be change or rest; it is preposterous to talk of not understanding the reason of land growing poorer, while the suicidal course adopted by many of our farmers is persisted in.
The intervention of a growth of clover for a single year between wheat crops, though far preferable to the system of wheat after wheat, will not prevent this wearing out of the farm, or a field becoming tired of any particular crop. There must be a succession of plants that draw their nourishment from greater or lesser depths of the soil; as the tap-rooted after the fibrous; or plants that require from the earth different materials as food, such as the leguminous followed by the farinaceous. Clover is perhaps one of the best renovators of the soil; and plastered and ploughed in as a green dressing, it is one of the most valuable kinds of manure that can be applied. Some experiments shown that of well seeded clover of two years growth, the roots alone will weigh from nine to twelve tons to the acre, thus fully establishing its value, and the manner in which this plant enriches the soil. Farms properly treated from
the first will never wear out, but their productive capacities will increase rather than diminish.
Those, therefore, who have farms which have not suffered from the evils of a course of cropping that has rendered much of the soil of the old settled States comparatively sterile, should be wise in time. The haste to be rich, which has led many of the farmers of western New York, and other parts of the grain growing States, to grow a succession of white crops on the same field, should be abandoned for a more rational course of proceeding; one which combines profits with permanent fertility, and shuns alike the old fashioned notion that grass land should never be ploughed, or the modern injurious practice that condemns our fields to the plough without intermission.-Genesee Farmer.
RELATIVE VALUE OF MANURES. Since the great truth in agriculture, that manure forms the basis. of all successful farming, has been more fully developed and better understood, the attention of agriculturists, in foreign countries and in this, has been directed to the discovery of the most efficient articles for this purpose, and the best methods of applying them. So convinced have scientific, as well as practical men, on this point, become, that on their representations, the government of several European countries have ordered extensive investigations to be made, and experiments carefully instituted, to determine several questions relating to manures, upon which farmers and experimentalists were not entirely agreed.
The Prussian government, which, in every thing relating to the welfare of the people, in giving them every advantage of education, and the benefit of every improvement in agriculture, has evidently taken the lead, and in conjunction with the Saxon authorities, ap. pointed Professor Hembstadt, of Berlin, to superintend a series of experiments, and publish the results for the use of the public. The effect which the application of night soil and urine had produced on the agriculture of Flanders, where they had been most extensively used, induced the governments of Berlin and Dresden to place under the directions of the Professor, the contents of the city drains and cesspools, for the purpose of attempting the recovery of the barren and light soils in the neighborhood of those cities. Thus countenanced, this eminent agriculturist, in conjunction with other learned men and practical farmers, commenced a series of experi. ments, which were carried on for a number of years, and varied in every possible way, in order to avoid all sources of fallacy. The results of these experiments have been published by Hembstadt, and have led to extensive and successful agricultural improvements,