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The Friends of “The Farmer" ! AYRSHIRE CATTLE.—There is but one thorough, Can do us a special service and favor, by making and well-bred, herd of these valuable cattle in its re-issue known, and by commending it to their Maryland, that we know of,--that of Ramsay friends, as they have opportunity. They may feel McHenry, Esq., of Harford county. Pure Berkperfectly assured that neither cost nor effort will shires, the best bacon hogs of the improved breeds, be spared, to give it the full measure of value it also, so far as we know, owe their present existhad in former years, and to insure, by suitable
ence in Maryland to the good taste, in such maiimprovements, its adaptation to the material ters, of the same gentleman. We shall be glad changes which are now going on, in the system to get information of any well-bred Ayrshires of agriculture of the Middle and Southern States. outside of Maryland.
NORMAN HORSES.-Slaughter W. Ficklin, Esq.. Correspondents.
a noted breeder of blooded stock, near CharlottesWe shall be glad to hear from our friends in ville. Va., has just imported two Norman stalall parts of the country, upon topics of agricul- lions and two mares of the same breed. tural and horticultural interest. Whether designed for publication or not, their communica- |
Southern Correspondence. tions are interesting and useful to 118. We wish | The state of affairs at the time, made it imposespecially to be kept informed as to the prospects sible for the notice which we gave of the suspenand results of the crops of the season. Hereto.
sion of "The American Farmer,” to reach our fore, we have been able to render valuable ser
Southern subscribers. Having no other means vice to our readers, by information of this sort,
of communicating with them, except so far as a gathered from all quarters.
limited correspndence could go, we have received Discussions of topics of agricultural interest,
very many letters of inquiry as to what has beunder proper restrictions, rarely fail to be useful,
come of "The Farmer," and when a renewal of and usually excite much attention. It is difficult
its visits may be expected. Most of these are to estimate the influence upon Maryland, and I long letters, written out of the fulness of the Southern agriculture, of such a discussion as that
heart, giving sad recitals of the condition of which was published many years ago, in "The
things around the writers, but without exception Farmer,'' between Cols. Capron and Carey,chiefly, in a hopeful and cheerful tone. We give a few upon the subject of land improvement in Mary- l extracts, which fairly represent the general charland, or the subsequent one, between Mr. Edmund
acter of this corrrespondence. Ruffin, Dr. P. B. Pendleton, T. G. Clawson, Esq,
A gentleman near Richmond, who for twenty and the present editor of "The Farmer,'' as to the consecutive years has held high public positions action of lime on a certain class of soils Wein- 1 in Virginia, having heard that "The Farmer'' vite our friends to such discussions; and hope to
was about to be issued again, says: enlist many of the ablest, and most intelligent "I cannot forbear the expression of my sincere agricultural writers of the day, in this, or other congratulations on the revival of "The Americ
ican forms of communication with our readers.
Farmer." I have a few scattered volumes left
me, and my delight has been to read and re-read MANUFACTURERS AND VENDERS OF AGRICULTURAL
them at leisure times.
I have no hope IMPLEMENTS AND MACHINERY, and of the many val
nor desire for public office again, and now, in the nable Fertilizers, offered for sale, we shall be glad
middle of life, with ruined fortunes, and a large 10 hear from, as to anything new and interesting
family, I have to seek a livelihood from the in their several lines of business, and to afford
ground. I confidently look to "The American them every facility for communicating with the
Fariner'' to lighten my labors, &c. The old "Faragricultural community.
mer" will be a most welcome visitor throughout Fruit GROWERS AND NURSERYMEN are especially
the length and breadth of the land, especially to invited to communicate such information as to
me and mine. It was a great favorite in my their specialties, as they deem desirable to have
household. Set me down as a subscriber, and if
it takes a cow to pay the subscription, I should brought to notice.
consider it cheap." STOCK GROWERS.--Te shall have constant in- of the present situation, he says: “I was unquiries, from the South, for every description of able to get the requisite team and seed to put in, improved stock, and wish to be properly informed even a few acres of wheat, and with everything as to the character of the flocks and berds acces- to buy and nothing to sell, the prospect is very sible to Baltimore.
| dark. The total destruction of my wood land and fences, prevents my attempting any more “Like the majority of farmers, I have suffered than will secure my family subsistence. My con- severely; my stock reduced to nothing, impledition is not singular by any means, I am sorry ments worn out or stolen, &c., I must start afresh. to say. The Sheriff, who called to-day to collect The incubuis of slavery, thank God, is done away the State taxes, told me that he had levied, this with forever. I feel that there has been a load inorning, distresges, on two gentlemen, whose taken from my back, as well as from others. I taxable property was assessed at $30,000. Apart superintend the operations of my farm in person; from the grain and tobacco, nothing that we could from morning until night I am with my servants, rake up, would supply our great need of money, and, I assure you, with anore zest and pleasure for if a sale could be effected, it would be at much than ever before. The negroes in this section of Velow real value, or, to secure anything like a fair the country, (Albemarle county,) have behaved price, it would be on credit."
well, all things considered. Poor creatures, --of the wheat crop, he says: "The wheat crop where you can count a dozen now, in a few years, in all this section, is simply miserable. I have you will not see one; the emigration that we may not heard of a single lot of good wheat in this expect, and which I hope will come soon, and whole region, and such is the complaint of friends largely, will gradually drive them out of the State. and acquaintances in other sections of the State. "My object in addressing you is, first, to ascerOne-third of a crop is the highest estimate I hare tain if your valuable paper is still in existence, heard. I had hoped that with the new crop of and second, to get some information in regard to wheat, I should be able to indulge in wheaten stock, grass seeds, &c. My wants are necessarily Lread," in the future--but I must hold on to numerous, while my means are correspondingly corn bread another term, I reckon."
small. My first want is “The American Farmer." Of the Freedmen's Bureau, he says: “It is, in I want grass seeds, clover, timothy, and red-top; all its ramifications, fraught with evil conse a thorough-bred bull, and one or two milch cows, quences, both to white and black, and can never Devon or Durham ; a few Southdown ewes, and le otherwise. So far as I know, we have all very one buck, &c. If I had “The Farmer," of a late kindly relations, not only to our former slaves, issue, I need not trouble you for information as but the negro generally, and he reciprocates this to these things, as I have no doubt I could get it feeling, when he is left to bimself, free from the from its pages. Glad will I be, indeed, to hear influences above referred to, and the continual that “The American Farmer" is still in existefforts of Northern emissaries, in the shape of ence, and thrice glad when I see its familiar face preachers and "school marms." Vast numbers once more." of our old slaves have died, and very many more. We add the following from one of the most will have passed away, before the year shall have prominent and estimable citizens of North Caroclosed."
lina, dated 5th of June, at Lexington : This letter was of the date of 31st of May. "I am fully in a situation to sympathize with From another, written several months earlier, we all who have suffered in the last five years; have extract as follows: "After an interval of four lost two noble sons, the last of five, except the long years, I trust my letter will find you in good eldest; one hundred and ten negroes; with the health, and prosperity:-ready, as "in days of usual depredations of three armies, camped near yore," to assist and instruct your friends in old, | me. Have saved, mostly, my horses, mules, and and, I must now say, poor Virginia, and that the cattle and sheep, and pretty flat down, trying political events of the past four years, have not contrabands to raise grains and cotton. The erased from your heart the kindly feelings, you Freedman's Bureau here is a great drawback formerly, (as I thought,) entertained for your upon us. The negro does not expect to be ruled brother farmers in this old commonwealth. by his necessities, to a system of continuous labor,
"You are aware of the prostration and exhaus- so important to the farmer; he has lost all care tion now existing within our borders, but the for himself, or others, and considers freedom to true condition of things must be scen to be une consist of an exemption of labor, care, or intederstood. In a large portion of our State, shot, rest in anything. It will take time and expeshell, and spade, have done the work of the rience to cure him of this, and necessity must plough and barrow, and a system of “frenching" teach hin self-reliance. Eno'gh of this! We has been carried on, on a grander scale than was are cheerful, poor, and hopeful, and reconciled ever contemplated, by the advocates of that means | to our condition. If we were let alone, and placed of improving land, or than treated of in agricul- under the ægis of our Federal Constitution, we tural jouruals. It was Mahan versus Von Thaer would most faithfully adhere to its provisions. and Jethro Tull.
II think we are the best Union men."
Cultivation and Manure as Fertili | particles which have withstood the disintegrating zing Agents.
action of the atmospheric agencies for a longer By Henry Tanner, Professor of Agriculture,
period than the other portions. But as under Queen's College, Birmingham.
The crumbling influence of the air, moisture, and [PremiumMedium Gold Medal.]
change of temperature, these become broken up
into a smaller and finer state, this gritty matur In order that a clear view may be taken of the
changes into the dormant matter of our soils, in relative value of these agencies, it is necessary
condition and appearance forming part of the that the nature of the soil should be examined,
", soil, but still insoluble, and therefore valueless and its general properties understood. Soils may
ay as food for vegetation. Such then is the matter be considered as consisting of matter in three
of the second class, or the dormant portion-viz, distinct conditiops. The first has been termed
the fincly disintegrated portions of the rocks and the active matter of soils, because it exists in a
stones, apparently available for vegetable growth, condition capable of being dissolved in water,
but still not in a condition to fulfil that expectaand consequently available for entering into the
tion. When, however, the dormant matter has circulation of plants and ministering to their
been more fully acted upon by the chemical agents growth. It has therefore received the term active,
in the rain and air, then its character alters, and :18 being ready for the immediate discharge of its
it no longer remains insoluble, but it readily duties; and in this respect it differs very mate
dissolves in water, and consequently assumes the rially from the two other portions of the soil.
active condition. Thus, each of these stages is The second portion has been named the durmant
A progressive advance,--the grit will ultimately matter of the soil, not that it is dead or useless,
become the pulverised dormunt matter, and this hut simply in a state of inactivity, being insol
will advance into the retive condition. For these luble in water, and therefore unfined for entering
reasons we may consider. into plants. It might, bowever, be said that all
The active ingredients of the soil as the portion matter which is not active must be dormant, and
ready for immediate use ; this is quite true; but for the convenience of
The dormant portion to be rendered useful by more clearly explaining the component parts of
cultivation; the soil, a further division has been found desi
The grit which is the store for future years. rable, and bence we have a third portion, or the
We have every reason to beliere that each of grit of the soil. We must, therefore, view the
these portions may be composed of mulier equally soil nut as a homogeneous mass, but as consist
valuable as fertilizing agents, but differing only ing of ingredients congregated into three classes,
in one respect--viz, the time of their being asThe active matter of the soil ;
available for use. Dr. Daubeny proposed the two
appropriate terms of "active'' and “dormunt," The dormant matter of the soil; and
for the two conditions already described, and, in The gritty portion.
| a communication to the Royal Agricultural SoBy the aid of chemical analysis, each of these ciety, has shown the extent to which this dismay be again subdivided into the several ingre- tinction exists in soils. From the analysis given, dients of which it may be composed. It will at it appears that about one-half of the alkalies, once be evident that an analysis of the entire and one-eighth of the phosphoric acid, were in mass of the soil would give information which an active form in the soils examined, and the must be looked upon with caution, and used remainder were dormant. If, therefore, a persou with discretion. If an agriculturist wishes to had estimated the powers of the soil by its full know the composition of any particular soil, it analysis, he would have anticipated the aid of is manifest that he requires, not an examination ne:urly double the quantity of alkaline matter, of the entire soil, but to know the constituents and eight times the quantity of phosphoric acid. which compose the active ingredients of the soil, which really existed in a form arailable for imfor these are the materials which influence the mediate use. immediate fertility of the soil, and regulate its I shall now proceed to show the manner in productive character.
which bodies existing in the soil in a dormant If you examine the three classes already named, condition can be rendered active, and thereby you will see that they are simply distinct stages, available for the processes of vegetation. I need through which the soil bas progressed or is pro not do more than remind you that two agencies gressing. We have the grit or stony portion are very influential in accomplishing this. These the type of the original rocks, from wbich all are rain water and changes of temperature.soils are produced and these are the fractured 'Rain water is not pure water, but as it falls tbrough the air it dissolves carbonic acid gas ex- gained consist of plowing, rolling, harrowing, isting there It also carries with it some of the &c., and these are very beneficial in increasing atmospheric air, and these gases, being conveyed the fertility of the land. In fact, we may view into the soil, perform very important duties, and them as so many means for exposing the various contribute to the one which now claims our at parts of the soil to the action of the air, rain, tention--viz: the conversion of the dormant in- frost and light. gredients of the soil into active condition.
I have already stated that the carbonic acid Chemical research has proved that carbonic and oxygen carried into the soil promote the acid and oxygen co-operate in carrying on a slow chemical changes which awaken the dorinant and almost imperceptible action upon the ingre- ingredients of the soil, and bring them into dients of the soil, thereby changing the insoluble active exercise. In like manner, those parts of gritty matter of our soils intu dormant matter, the soil which are upon the surface are exposed This again into the more complete and active to these chemical changes, and thus a ceaseless state, and then they assist in the final appropria- | action appears to be going on between them. tion of it by the crop. Thus, the same agents This change is one by which the mineral matter co-operate throughout the entire change, and of the soil is acted upon, but, in addition to this, enable matter to assume these new forms. This we have other changes produced--viz, the decay action is of a cheinical character, but it is pow- of the organic matter of the soil-for the ait and erfully promoted by the mechanical assistance moisture promote changes in its character, and rendered by changes of temperature. The influ- thus render it valuable for promoting vegetable ence of this is to be traced to the fact that bodies nutrition. It is, however, worthy of note that, when they are hot occupy more space than when whilst the organic matter of the soil is underwhen they are cold; hence, by rendering a body going decay or decomposition, this change favors hot and cold, you weaken its cohesive power | and promotes the conversion of the mineral matThis is especially observable when the change of ter of the soil from a comparatively useless stale temperature is great, or when water is present in into a conditlon suited for the wants of our the soil. All have noticed the effects of frost upon crops. Any process or operation which stirs the the clods of soil in our fields,-how the frost binds soil, and brings fresh portions under the influence them together with the hardness of a rock, and, of decomposition, promotes these changes in the wben it thaws, crumbles them into a powder.- organic and the mineral matter of the soil, thereThis same action takes place in the particles of the by rendering them available for the nutrition soil, in a greater or less degree, according as they | of our crops. may be more or less exposed to the influence, and In this manner the stores of the soil are opened this breaking up of the soil exposes fresh portions up and rendered useful; but I have now to show to the action of the chemical agents spoken of. that tillage operations not only accomplish this Thus the combined action of these very simple desirable result, but they also prepare the soil agents accomplishes, by slow but steady action, for abstracting from the atmosphere fertilizing very material changes in the soil, rendering its matter. The value of ammonia as a manure is fertilizing ingredients available for use, and un- well known, and upon its action the beneficial locking the stores which nature has made for our character of many of our manures is based. It present and future requirements. This is a very is an expensive manure, but still its judicious use basty sketch of the materials which we have to is remunerative in a very high degree. We send deal with ; but we must go on to show in what many thousands of miles for a large portion of manner the processes of cultivation render the our supplies, yet it is found in the atmosphere soil more fertile by the development of its own floating around us, and is there present in a conresources.
dition available for the use of vegetation. It is The tillage of the land is designed to prepare not necessary or desirable for me to refer to the it for the germination of the seed, and finally, sources from whence it is supplied to the atinosthe perfection of the crop. For the accomplish phere; it is enough for us to know the valuable ment of the former, the land has to be brought fact that there are abundant stores prepared for into a state favorable for the germination of the the cultivator who is ready to receive a supply seed, or, in more general terms, I should say, therefrom. It is with great pleasure that I refer into that free and loose condition which is known to a very raluable contribution to our knowledge to be so necessary a preparation for sowing. This of the principles which regulate agricultural condition, which is favorable for the first growth, 1 practice by Professor Way. It will be found in is equally so for the subsequent perfection of the the sixteenth volume of the Royal Agricultural crop. The operations by which this result is' Society's Journal. He there proves the presence
of nitric acid and ammonia in the atmosphere; with two bodies : for example, there is the douthat these bodies are removed from the air in two ble silicate of soda and alumina; the double ways-by the absorptive powers of the soil, and silicate of lime and alumina; and a third, which by the rain dissolving them and carrying them is the double silicate of amonia and alumins. into the soil. He very judiciously remarks :- But you will observe that alumina is present in "The atmosphere is to the farmer like the sea to each, and the only difference is that soda is the fisherman, and he who spreads his net the present in the first, lime is present in the second, widest will catch the most." It is not that all and ammonia in the third. In most soils we land derives equal advantage from this magazine find these double silicates present, but their value of wealth, but land receives and profits just in varies very considerably. We may now obserre proportion as the industry and intelligence of the difference in their character and mode of man renders it capable of drinking in these fer- action. The double silicate of soda and the tilizing matters.
double silicate of lime are each capable of sepaThus, you observe, there are two channels rating ammonia when it is dissolved in water, through which the nitric acid and ammonia of but the double silicate of lime alone has the the atmosphere become introduced into the soil power of separating ammonia from the air; the -the one by the direct absorptive powers of the double silicate of lime ie, therefore, decidedly the soil, and the other by the intervention of rain more valuable salt of the two. The double silibringing fresh stores within reach of the soil. cate of soda is readily converted into the double With regard to the former of them, I may say, silicate of lime when lime is added to the soil, that although it does not come properly within consequently the addition of lime to the soil renthe limits of the subject under our notice, still ders it competent to absorb more ammonia from the practical connection is so manifest that I shall the atmostphere, and thereby gives it greater not refrain from going into some brief notice of powers of acquiring fertilizing matter than it it; þut before doing so, I shall notice the agency preriously possessed. * of rain. This must be viewed as an assistant
* The more recent researches of others seem to demon. agent which gathers the accumulations in tbe strate that the retention of animonia by the soil is due
not so much to chemical as to physical causes. Most soil atmospbere, and brings them within the influence
can so far retain pure ammonia, but it is only those which of the absorptive powers of the soil If, there contain lime that can first decompose the salts of ammo
nia and afterwards allow surface attraction betwixt thie fore, such rain passes away on the surface with two to act. ---Ed. out entering into the soil, it is manifest that its
[TO BE CONTINUED.] services are lost. Hence land which by natural
Cream Cheese. or artificial draijage allows the rain to pass
An inquiry in the London Field for a recipe through it, carries into the soil its hidden trea
for making cream cheese was replied to as follows sure, which in any other case would pass away
by three correspondents : to some other recipient, or to the nearest stream
“We put a quart of cream into a clean jug, let. The value of its assistance to any agricultu
with half a teaspoonful of salt stirred in, and let rist simply depends upon its services being
it stand a day or two, till thickish. Then we accepted and turned to some useful account, or
fold an ordinary grass cloth about six or eight else rejected, and its agency wasted.
times and sprinkle it with salt, then lay it in a We may now notice the absorbent powers of sieve about eight inches in diameter. The sides our soils. The researches of Professor Way (pub- of the cloth should come up well over the sides.
Then pour in the cream and sprinkle a little salt lisbed in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural
on it. Change the cloth as often as it becomes Society, volume 15) are of the deepest importance moist, and as the cheese dries press it with the to agriculturists. I will, therefore, briefly bring cloth and sieve. In about a week or nine days it before you the results of these researches. It was
will be prime and fit to eat. The air alone suf
fices to turn the cream into cheese. observed that when a solution containing am
"Take about a half pint of cream, tie it up in monia (or other alkaline salts) was passed through a piece of thin muslin and suspend 'it in a cool a portion of soil, the soil separated the ammonia place After five or six days take it out of the from the liquid, preserving it from being again
muslin and put it between two plates, with a
small weight on the upper one. This will make washed out of the soil; and this action was
it a good shape for the table, and also help to finally traced to the presence of bodies in the soil, ripen the cheese, which will be fit to use in about known as the double silicates. A silicate is a com eight days from the commencement of the making. pound of silica with another body-say for instance
"Take a quart of cream, either fresh or sour,
mix about a saltspoonful of salt, and the same silica and soda produce a silicate of soda—but quantity of sugar. Put it in a cloth with a net the double silicates are very peculiar, for in these outside, hang it up and change the cloth every we have silica combining not with one body but other day; in ten days it will be fit for use."