Imágenes de páginas

Professor Schubler, the writer of the most esteemed, and certainly the most able, Treatise on Agronomia, or the best method of knowing and treating every species of land, since the death of Hembstadt, has repeated and added to the experiments of that professor, obtaining the like results in almost every instance. These he has published in a tabular form, which have since passed into the hands of all the large practical farmers of Germany, and have formed the basis of instruction on manuring, in the hands of professors of agriculture, whom many of the continental governments have with great advantage established in institutions purposely formed to disseminate useful and practical truths in the art of farming. From these tables Dr. Granville, in his report to the Thames Improvement Company, in speaking of the immense source of agricultural wealth which the sewers of London afford, but which is now worse than lost, makes the following statement of facts furnished by them.

If a given quantity of land sown, and without manure, yields three times the seed employed; then the same quantity of land will producer 5 times the quantity sown, when manured with old herbage, pu

trid grass or leaves, garden stuff, &c. 7 times when manured with cow dung, 9 times with pigeon's dung, 10 times with horse dung, 12 times with urine,

12 times with sheep's dung; and 14 times with night soil, or bullock's blood. Or in other words, an acre of land sown with two bushels of

wheat, without manure, will produce 6 bushels,

6 with vegetable manures, 14 66 with cow dung,

56 with pigeon's dung,
6 with horse dung,

" with goat's dung,
24 66 with urine,
24 " with sheep's dung, and

" with night soil, or bullock's blood. But if the land be of such quality as to produce, without manure, 5 times the sown quantity, then the horse dung will yield 14, and night soil 19 and two-thirds the sown quantity; or land that will yield without manure 10 bushels an acre, manured with horse dung will produce 28, and with night soil about 39 bushels of wheat per acre.

These results, and multitudes of recorded experiments prove that they in no case vary far from the facts, show the immense superiority of night soil, or Flemish manure, over any hitherto employed. In addition, Dr. Granville found that some crops which yield large

profits, and are so extensively cultivated in both Flanders, can only be obtained in abundance, and of the finest quality, by employing what may be emphatically termed Flemish manure in the preparation of the soil.

Another important matter in the comparative value of manures, and of essential practical interest to the farmer, has been established by the same authoritative investigations: and that is, that while night soil has produced fourteen times the quantity sown, where horse dung has yielded only ten-the proportion of the former, or Flemish manure, was, to the horse dung employed, only as 1 to 5; so that with one ton of the Flemish, a larger produce was obtained than with five tons of the best stable manure.

Dr. Granville has drawn some valuable inferences from these truths.

"In England a ton of good stable manure sells for five shillings. Now an acre of arable land in an ordinary state of cultivation in England, is manured with twenty tons of horse or stable manure every fourth year, according to Professor Coventry, and consequently entails an expenditure of £5 in that year. It then produces ten times the quantity of wheat sown. But an acre of the same land similarly sown, and manured with Flemish manure, would require only four tons of it, and which, at the price we have fixed for it, (12 shillings a ton,) would be an expense of £2 8s. It would then produce fourteen times the quantity of wheat sown on the acre. Supposing the produce of the acre manured with horse manure to be five quarters of wheat, and sell for £15, that of the acre manured with Flemish manure, will be seven quarters, and sell for £21. The result of this comparative farming operation, therefore, would


1st, a saving in manure of £2 12s. per acre.
2d, a surplus produce of 600 per acre in money.

Total in favor of night soil, £8 12s. per acre.

"Dr. Granville states, that he was assured by Mr. Smet, a great farmer in East Flanders, that a measure of wheat 'land corresponding to an English acre, manured with Flemish manure, produced last year seven and a half sacks of wheat of the best quality. The sack contains four measures, each weighing 180 pounds of 16 oz. each; consequently there grew upon the acre 5,400 pounds of wheat, or 90 bushels.”

The heaviest crop of wheat we have ever known produced in this country, was the one for which Mr. Blackmore, of this county, received the premiums, 64 bushels per acre. The capabilities of the soil, therefore, when put in the best condition, is little understood, or the amount of food an acre can produce, not generally known. The science of agriculture is yet in its infancy, however venerable and ancient the practice may be; and perhaps in no branch of it is our knowledge more defective than in that relating to manures,

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

SILK GROWING—THE CHINESE MULBERRY. It is the true policy of every people, to become as soon as possible, independent of all others, for the necessaries, comforts, and even luxuries of life. To rear at home every product which enters into the general consumption as food, and manufacture for themselves every article demanded by public necessity, or otherwise, so far as it may be done for the same amount of cost as it requires to purchase the commodity from abroad. . Our country embraces within its limits all the different varieties of soil and climate, which nature requires to produce every article of necessity or luxury, demanded by the wants or wishes of her citizens; still we remain tributary to foreign nations for many things which might be produced, and manufactured at home. This state of things however, is not a subject of reproach, as it is a necessary consequence attending a young country, which compared to the nations of Europe we may yet be well called. While we were under the government of England manufacturing was discouraged, and for a long time after we became an independent nation, the profits of agriculture and commerce, afforded a greater field for enterprise than any other occupations. And until the war of 1812, the necessity of manufacturing for ourselves had not become apparent. Since then, we have made vast progress in manufacturing, and the development of our national resources, and proved to the world that it is in our power to be truly independent as a nation. Less than thirty years since, we were wholly dependent on Europe and the East Indies, for all our cotton, woollen and silk goods, which were not manufactured in families, by the aid of the common loom and spinning wheel. Now, nearly all our cotton fabrics are manufactured in our own country, and the price has been reduced more than two thirds, and yet a living profit is secured to the manufacturer. Better muslins and stamp cottons, are now made and sold here, for, from ten to fifteen cents a yard, than could have been purchased thirty years ago for four times the same money. In consequence of our progress in woollen manufactures, the price of all the coarser kinds have declined fifty per cent. and the finer sorts are considerably lower than they otherwise would have been. And while we have thus been fast becoming a manufacturing nation, the agricultural interests have been promoted, by furnishing the farmer with a home market for his produce, which is almost the only one he has, or under any circumstances could now have had, for his surplus productions.

These observations are made, preparatory to introducing the main subject upon which we purpose to treat-namely the growing and manufacture of silk. This business, until within a very few years, has been wholly neglected in our country. Of late years however, the people of some of our eastern States have turned their attention to it, and succeeded to admiration, although until recently, they had no better food for the silk worm than the Italian or common mulberry. The introduction of the Morus Multicaulis, has given a new impulse to the enterprise, as by the use of its leaves, the labor of feeding the worms is decreased more than one half, and the profits proportionably increased. The eastern States are entitled to great credit for establishing this business among us, and they have made great profit from it; but they must always labor under great disadvantages on account of their northern climate, when compared with our own State; principally arising from the fact that the Chinese mulberry cannot live and grow there with the certainty it can with us. There, it is said, it must be produced from year to year, by every season replanting the trees; here, there is no doubt but the Chinese mulberry may be naturalized; for the variety among us was brought from the same parallel of latitude in China, and from a country on the sea board, presenting about the same exposure to its influence. Again, the silk worm is liable to many diseases of climate, and thrives best in one that is neither too cold or damp, or too hot and dry; and ours is supposed to furnish the proper medium. England, in consequence of its humid climate never can be a silk growing country, neither can those countries situated in high southern latitudes, for the opposite reason.

Italy, which is perhaps the best silk country of Europe, lies in the same latitude as Delaware, and perhaps has no advantage in point of climate over our State. Indeed, from our own observation of the silk worms in this State for several years, we can speak knowingly, that they have uniformly been healthy; and that there is scarcely one in twenty but what lives and spins. All we want then is plenty of the proper kind of food, and from present appearances, this will soon be iurnished in great abundance.

There is no fear that the raising and manufacturing of silk, will for many years be carried to excess. Some silk companies, even in the eastern States, (where as we have before said they have not so many natural advantages for the busincss as we possess,) have divided larger profits on the capital invested, than during the same time has been made by the pursuit of any other branch of manufacturing, or any other regular occupation. But the growing of silk need not be confined to companies; indeed we are inclined to the opinion, that much more profit may be made from individual enterprise in its production. It seems to be no more necessary to form companies for the growing of silk, than it is for any other agricultural pursuit. The salaries of officers and agents may be saved, by every individual concerned in the business, acting for himself. The process of feeding the worms is quite as simple as feeding chickens; and by the use of the improved machinery for reeling and spinning the silk, this part of the work may be done by any one of common understanding, without difficulty.

Before closing this article, we think it proper to notice the high excitement now existing among the people in relation to the raising as an article of speculation the Morus Multicaulis, and its probable result. Last year these trees sold for twenty cents-now they

have been selling as high as seventy-five cents! On three-quarters of an acre of land, at St. George's, Dr. William Gemmel has the present season, raised trees to the value of ten thousand dollars! clear of all the expense of plants and cultivation. He has sold to the amount of 6,700 dollars at 62} cents a tree, and intends keeping the remainder, which he could sell at the same rate, to plant for another year. We might notice several other cases where great profit has been made, but this will suffice as a sample of the whole. There appears to be a perfect rage for Chinese mulberry trees; and yet we hear of no one taking any care to obtain or increase the stock of silk worms. What then has so greatly enhanced the price? Nothing we fear but the mere spirit of speculation. There are many thousands in the market, and we like to see them sold and distributed throughout the country; but they are selling beyond their value. If it were not for the avidity of the purchasers, the producers of them would be glad to receive for each tree filteen or twenty cents, and then they would make a noble profit on the money and labor expended. We shall be agreeably disap-, pointed if some of the speculators in these trees, do not find their golden expectations end in a “South sea dream.


“The bud of a tree is a small body, most generally of a conical figure, and is usually produced in the course of the summer upon those parts of the stock, which will afford it the most secure protection. It is commonly found in the axilla of the leaves, but in the plane tree Platanus accidentallis, it is found in the base of the leaf stalk. On the exterior surface of buds we observe a number of scales, convex on one side, and concave on the other; like the bowl of a spoon, and laid over each other like the tiles or shingles of a house. These scales are often covered and sometimes lined with hair, wool, or other species of pubescence; and are fixed into the inner plates of the bark of the branches. The scales of many plants are sealed together by a viscous, adhesive, or resinous se-, cretions, which very much magnifies the protecting powers that these scales afford to the delicate little vegetable within. After the internal parts of the bud have been expanded in the spring, by the increase of vegetative action, the scales, being no longer needed, fall to the ground.

There appears no question concerning the use or final cause of the scales, resinous secretions, &c. They are evidently to preserve the delicate embryon plant, from the severity of the cold, and 0 defend it from the injuries of storms, and other accidents. The mode in which the bud is constructed is very intricate, and well adapted to excite the admiration of the inquiring naturalist. It

« AnteriorContinuar »