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good cultivation, which tobacco demands, edu- sioner means to convey. The words ho uses, and cates the most careless farmer into good habits. | the kindred expression "worn out," convey a Whatever the condition of the farm otherwise, lesson that is inconsistent with the teachings of there is always before him, in the tobacco field, science. These terms grew, naturally enough, an example of good cultivation, which has its out of the common opinion of times past, that influence on the general management. It cannot “soil” meant only a few inches of surface earth, He said of such a crop that, well cultivated, it is mixed with the vegetable remains of the forest, destructive of the soil. On the contrary, the ne and of the plants that had perished on it, and cessary manuring, the careful husbandry, the that these constituted its chief, if not its only, excellent preparation it makes for the cheap im- value. This vegetable mould was the measure provement by clover and the grasses, has made of fertility; if it abounded, the soil was rich-if it a conservative element in our system of crop- deficient, it was poor. It was proper that those ping.
who held that opinion, should say, wben these But“unskillful tobacco cultivation" is the lan- original surface recumulatious of vegetable maguage of the Report; and, paradoxical as it may terial were consumed, that ihe soil was "exhausseem, the remark is as little true of unskillful as ted," or "destroyed,' or 'worn out.” That was of skillful cultivation. In the early history of onr indeed worn out, which, in their opinion, made tobacco growing, when the present well known the soil. The expressions were the outgrowth of means of maintaining fertility were little known, an erroneous notion, and being so, they repreand less practised, it was the very want of skill sent, and uphold, and teach that error still; and which characterized it, that preserved the soil.- that, we maintain, the Commissioner of AgriculSkill enables the cultivator to take the largest ture, least of all, has a right to do. possible crops, and to continue their production Modern science teaches that the earthy elements the longest time. The greater the skill, the greater are as necessary, at least, as the atmospheric, and the draft upon the essential elements of the soil. as the latter abound and super-ahound outside of Wanting this, there was a necessity for resorting the soil, and when consumed are readily replaced, continually to new surfaces, where the overlying we are taught to estimate a soil, by the variety, mould would substitute thorough and skilful the proportion, and the condition of its inorganic working; and so while the old lands were not elements. Well constituted as regards these, it ruined, new lands were constantly opened to cul- is a good soil, otherwise a poor one, without retivation. The harm done was the skimming of ference to the quantity of vegetable mould which the surface soil, the good, the subjection of the may happen to be present. The point we make forest lands to the plough.
is, that there is no evidence that any such soil As to the point, that "the finest portion of her has ever, since the world began, been worn out. territory" has been destroyed, as the Report has its original proportions may have been somewhat it, it does not need discussion. So far as the de- altered, by the draft of certain crops on certain struction went, such lands gave way fastest, as elements, and the original balance somewhat diswere least capable of withstanding the treatment turbed of the presently available portions of these they received, and these were certainly, not the elements, but that this is not destruction, thoufinest. Or if it be maintained, that the best were sands of familiar instances of restored fertility. first opened, and longest subjected to hard usage, are the proof. It is a present disability, which the answer is, that it is contrary to all experience the intelligence and skill of the cultivator is called that the most fertile lands of a new country are on to eorrect. In some cases, and with the infeopened first. The settler brings first into culti. rior class of soils, he will find occasion to feed vation such lands as offer least resistance to his his crops, as he would his animals, with food fit axe, and these are not the richest. But the facts for them—special applications to meet special despeak for thcinselves. Some of the finest lands mands; but in well constituted soils, he must which the world knows almost, are tbose which bring to bear chiefly, the art and appliances of for four years past have been devastated by con- skillful cultivation, not because the soil has been tending armies, within the limits of Virginia.- destroyed, but because of its indestructibility.She owns them still, and if she has had any bet- He needs to break up combinations, and to set ter, destroyed by tobacco cultivation, we do not free, and make available, to bis crops, the eleknow of it.
ments which the earth locks up too closely. Be Now, as to the other and most important point, must dig as for hid treasure; there must be hard that of "the destruction of the soil :" We deny knocks before the door will be opened. All this that there is any destruction, or any material is inconsistent with the rapid wearing out which approach to it, in the sense which the Commis- the other opinion teaches, and only shows that
the wearing is not fast enough, to meet the wants animal in large numbers, in a district, might deof cultivation. We might fear the result of these termine, through their intervention, first of mice, operations, if there were reason to think that and then of bees, the frequency of certain flowers there was any material difference between those in that district." portions of the soil fit for plant food, and those This gives us a somewhat striking impression not fit, except as to their present availability:
of the singular complication in the relations of That surface skimming of the soil, of all the natural objects, which we look upon geperally as old States, -of Virginia, no more than any other, having a very remote connection, and makes us has been more the consequence of sparseness of think there was a little philosophy, may be, in population, and scarcity of labor, than any other the old nursery story, showing liow the cat helped
It was more convenient, and thought to the old woman to get an obstinate pig over the be more profitable, to open new lands, than to bridge— "the cat began to kill the rat, the rat renew the old"; and, finally, more profitable still began to gnaw the rope, the rope began to hang to transport the laboring population to the weal- the butcher," and so on to the interesting conthy cotton and sugar lands of the Southwestern summation, when, we are told, " piggy began States.
But Mr. Darwin makes an extreme statement Cats and Clover.
in favor of the bees and the cats, for he overlooks By what manner of con-cat-enation cats and
the fact that both the clovers referred to are frecloser are bronght into conjunction, many of our readers will wonder. If we make a farmer proboscis than bees, and also by certain day-fly
quented by butterflies, which have a much longer believe that his crop of clover depends somewhat on the life of his cat, will he not begin to
ing moths; and, as fertilization in these clovers felicitate himself that the cat has nine lives, and the pollen thus pushed on to the stigmatic surface,
seems to depend on the corolla being moved, and take more care that they be not needlessly de
their comparatively tranquil visits may suffice stroyed ?
for this purpose, as well as the bustling activity Mr. Darwin, in his work on "Species in our
of the restless bees. Domesticated Animals and Cultivated Plants," records some interesting observations and facts,
Humble-bees seem also indispensable to the feron the fertilizing of plants, by the agency of in- tilization of the violet, and Mr. Darwin dreads it sects. The tubes of the corollas of the common
similar fate for it, if these insects should be dered and incarnate clovers, (trifolium pratense and
stroyed. The existence of natural objects, bowincarnatum,) do not appear, at a hasty glance, ever, has seldom been left to so uncertain continto differ much in length; yet the hive-bee can
gencies. When one mode of propagation fails, easily suck the nectar out of the incurnate clover,
another frequently comes into operation, and the but not out of the common red clover. The hive violet would increase from off-shoots, even if it bee, accordingly, visits the former; and these
scarcely ever ripeneil a seed; just as mice, esperisiis, it appears, from experiments recently made,
cially field mice, would be kept in check by raare necessary for the fertilization of the plant.
pacious birds and weasels, even if cats were tu The common red clover is visited by humble-bees
fail throughout the land. alone, and Mr. Darwin thinks that if the whole genus of humbles became extinct, or very rare,
Fruit Cultivation. the red clover would also become very rare, or
Being quite satisfied that the cultivation of wholly disappear. The number of humble-bees fruit is a growing, and, destined soon to be, it in any district depends, in a great degree, on the great interest, in Maryland especially, we shall number of field-mice, which destroy their combs give greater attention, in future, to this departand nests; and Mr. H. Newman, who has long at
ment of "The Farmer,'' and hope to have it well tended to the habits of humble-bees, believes that
furnished with original matter from reliable and more than two-thirds of them are thus destroyed competent sources. all over England. Now the number of mice is Mr. Daniel Barker, of the Maryland Agricullargely dependent, as every one knows, on the tural College, a horticulturist of long experience number of cats; and Mr. Newman says: "Near in England, and this country, we are indebted villages, and small towns, I have found the nests to, for our monthly notes for the Fruit, Flower, of humüle-bees more numerous than elsewhere, and Vegetable Garden. Hereafter, with such which I attribute to the number of cats, which oiber, thoroughly competent assistants as may destroy the mice." "Hence," says Mr. Darwin, be needed, we shall enlarge this whole depart"'it is quite credible that the presence of a feline / ment, and give it increased value and interest.
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, hy 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 meang 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 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- 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- 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 American 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 valnable Fertilizers, offered for sale, we shall be glad middle of life, with ruined fortunes, and a large
nor desire for public office again, and now, in the 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 dcem desirable to have household. Set me down as a subscriber, and if brought to notice.
it takes a cow to pay the subscription, I should
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 eren a few acres of wheat, and with everything as to the character of the flocks and herds 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, wlio called to-day to collect The incubus 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 morning, distresses, on two gentlemen, whose taken from my back, as well as from others. I taxable property was assessed at $30,000. A part 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, ruke up, would supply our great need of money, and, I assure you, with more zest and pleasure for if a sale could be effected, it would be at much than ever before. The negroes in this section of below 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 wlieat crop where you can count a dozen now, in a few years, in all this section, is simply uniserable. 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 have 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 Durbam; a few Southdown ewes, and be 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 himself, 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
opee more." of our old slaves have died, and very many more We add the following from one of the most will bave 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, 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 farizers 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 seen to be un 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 plougb and barrow, and a system of “frenching' teach him self-reliance. Enough 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 Vou Thaer would most faithfully adhere to its provisions.and Jethro Tull.
I 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 [ Premium-Medium 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 valueles: and its general properties understood. Soils may
as food for vegetation. Such then is the matter be considered as cousisting of matter in three of the second class, or the dormant portion-riz, distinct conditions. The first bas 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 :s 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 matter of the soil, not that it is dead or useless, become the pulverised dormunt matter, and this
a progressive advance, the grit will ultimately but 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, however, be said that all
The active ingredients of the soil as the portion inatter wbich 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 hy more clearly explaining the component parts of
cultiration; 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 soil nut as a homogeneous mass, but as consist these portions may be composed of mulier equally ing of ingredients congregated into three classes, in one respect-viz, the time of their being
valuable as fertilizing agents, but differing only
available for use. Dr. Daubeny proposed the two The active matter of the soil ;
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 Agricoltural 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 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 nearly 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 available 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 has 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 tractured 'Rain water is not pure water, but as it falls