Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

through 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 varions contribute to the one which now claims onr 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 dormanı 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 aguio 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 chemical 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; bence, 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 state temperature is great, or when water is present in into a condition 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 uoder the influence them together with the hardness of a rock, and, of decomposition, promotes these changes in the when it thaws, crumbles them into a powder.- organic and the mineral matter of ihe 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 atmosthe perfection of the crop. For the accomplish- phere; it is enough for us to know the valuable inent 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 valuable 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, 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

Most soil

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 alumina. into the soil. He very judiciously remarks :- But you will observe that alumina is present in “ The aimosphere is to the farmer like the sea to each, and the only difference is that soda is the fisherman, and he who spreads bis 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 is, 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 demonagent which gathers the accumulations in tbe strate that the retention of animonia by the soil is due atmosphere, and brings them within the influence

not so much to chemical as tu physical causes.

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 the 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 drainage allows the rain to pass

An inquiry in the London Field for a recipe through it, carries into the soil its hidden treasure, which in any other case would pass away by three correspondents :

for making cream cheese was replied to as follows to some other recipient, or to the nearest streamlet. The value of its assistance to any agricultu- with half a tenspoonful of salt stirred in, and let

“We put a quart of cream into a clean jug, 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. lished in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Then pour in the cream and sprinkle a little salt

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 sufobserved that when a solution containing am

fices to turn the cream into cheese.

" 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 10 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 silicntes. A silicate is a com- eight days from the commencement of the making. pound of silica with another body-say for instance mix about a saltspoonful of salt, and the same

“Take a quart of cream, either fresh or sour, 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, bang 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."

Sandy Lands and their Improvement. be done by willing man in wresting fertility from

We have often taken occasion to disabuse the sterility, and in making, most literally, the desert minds of our readers of the very low estimate so to bloom and blossom like a rose. No contrast, commonly entertained of the value of what we indeed, can be more striking than that presented call "sandy lands." There are tracts of such to the weary wayfarer as he plods along through lands very common in Maryland and the more the wild tracts of the Campine, when he comes Southern States, the intrinsic value of which are across a little farm, the boundaries of which are entirely lost sight of, under a hereditary impres- made up of the surrounding sand, and within sion that as they have been easily sworn out," which there is a little oasis of verdure and plenty. they will poorly repay the cost of improvement. On one side of a narrow and deep furrow or ditch, We have also repudiated frequently the idea of you see a strip of rye or of colza; on the other, the so early wearing out of that which was mani- the sandy desert stretches out in its wilduess, and festly destined by Providence to last very long. you wonder at the magic which has trausformed If soils can be worn out so readily as common the glad greenness of the one from the dull drear. opinion allows, men would seem to be nomads of iness of the other. Proud thoughts possess you necessity, wandering over the face of the earth as you think of the warfare tbus kept up by man for new fields to exhaust, and to be brought ere with the desert, and you look upon the little farm long to the goal of the Macedonian warrior, with environed by the desert, the enemy, as the citadel out another world to conquer. It is not, how. which issues the mandate: “Thus far shalt thou ever, for the purpose of extended remark, or to come, and no farther;'' and from which will go suggest means of improving the class of soils forth the intelligence and the industry which will named at the head of this article, but to show ultimately gain other victories, and transform in rather by example what has been done in this

process of time the wild heathis around, level the direction, under circuinstances far more unfav- sand heaps, fill up the marshes, and make the orable than any our readers are called to deal wild desert a rich garden of deliglits, to gladden with, for we have not seen or heard of here, any the heart and please the eye of the husbandman, thing so hopeless by half, as the blowing sands Slowly, but not the less surely, is this process of of the Campine plains of Belgium. In the lesson reducing the desert to fertility going on throughconveyed, we have a striking proof of what can out the Cainpines. Farms are daily multiplying, be effected by pains-taking industry, and by a irrigation is being rapidly proceeded with, roads, careful saving and expenditure of manure, in re- canals, and large tracts of meadows are being ducing to smiling fertility tracts of land, which, formed. One of the great instruments in this from their normal condition of utter barrenness work of transformation has been the canals.and wildness, may be taken as a type of all that These have been formed on a very complete sysis sterile, and all that is most hopeless, and most tem, and at a large expense. By these canals ibe forbidding of aspect to the husbandman. We practice of irrigation is greatly aided, and they quote from Notes taken during a Tour in Belgium, forin the high roads so to speak, by which on Ilolland, and on the Rhine, by Scotch farmer : the one hand the produce of the farms is taken

"The Campine is the name given to the largest to the markets, and by which, on the other, the plain in Belgium, which extends over a great part manure is taken from the towns to the farms.of the provinces of Antwerp and of Limbourg. Such, in fact, is the whole essence of a treatise on It is impossible by words to convey any idea of Campinoise agriculture-“With the water, the the wild and apparently hopelessly unproductive grass; with the grass, the cattle; with the cattle, condition of large tracts of this plain. Sand the manure; with manure, every thing nearly every wherebuge mounds of it glistening in which one desires on a farm." diany of the the sunlight_sand so thin and fine that it runs richest gardens and the most fertile farms, in the down the sides of the heaps in rills, mored by neighborhood of the towns of the Campine, ten, the passing breeze, or driven into clouds under twenty, and thirty years ago, were tracts of the the feet of the toiling way farer; long tracts thinly most barren heath, and stretches of the dreariest corered with heath, or with marshy plants, and sand. Whenever manure has been easily obinterspersed here and there with pools of water, tained, there it has been the most carefully prepatches of stunted firs, or miserable brushwood. served, and the most prudently applied; and in But every now and then, as if to raise the spirits the history of facilities for obtaining abundant of the wanderer, otherwise too much oppressed supplies of manure, you read the history of the by the desert around him, patches of smiling ver culture of the deserts of the Campine. dure greet his eye, and, presenting a glad con “The white land--of which a large portion of trast to the barrenness beyond, show what can the Antwerp Campines is formed-is so light and

so little retentive of water, that it passes it like

Horse-Breeding. a filter, and can only be made productive by mix Remarks of L. T. Tucker, Esq; of South ing loam with it. The white sand hills are gen.

Royalton, Vermont, at the Windsor erally brought into cultivation on the large scale,

County (Ver.) Furmers' Club. by covering them with fir trees and with broorn, the cones and leaves of which, as they fall, formi The first thing to be done in breeding horses in time a richer soil, and consolidate the sand. is to select the best animals, and the first indesIn bringing in a tract of white sand on the petite pensible quality in such animals is a good conculture system, the small farmer first encloses a stitution. Without this is a foundation, all certain portion by surrounding it with a ditch. attempts to perfect a race of horses will be a Broom is sown. This grows in the very poorest failure. The animal that is selected for a breeder of soils, and its roots serve to consolidate the should have a deep chest, strong loips, gool land, and its leaves to form a vegetable mould; limbs and feet. The nervous temperament of but wlien in its third year it yields some return, the animal should by no means be overlooked. being then sold for fuel. If manure is obtainable | The eyes should be wide apart, full, and clear. in any quantity, it is applied to the soil, which at The ears should set apart, not lopped off like this stage is fit to bear potatoes, buckwheat, or those of a mule, nor pricked forward like the rye. A patch or two of clover begins to appear, rabbit's. To these points of a good constituand with the forage plants and roots come the tion and a fine nervous temperament, add all cows, with the cows manure, and with increased the symmetry you can, Make sure of good supplies of manure come increased products, and size; never take a mare weighing less than 1,000 so on in a continually increasing scale of fertility, to 1,200 pounds, and not below 15 to 16 hands until at last the sand tract is formed into a rich bigh. The fault with most of the horses now productive farm.

in Vermont is, they are too small. Though we "The preparation and saving of manures form can never compete with the South and West in un important part of the labors of the Campi- breeding large horses, we must breed such as noise. In the care with which every thing is will command the highest price in the market. saved which can act as fertilizers, those acquain- Small horses may do most of our work here ted with the country say that it exceeds the pro- among our hills, but they will not sell well. We vinces of East and West Flanders, generally ad- ought to raise those that will do our work equally mitted to be at the head of all agricultural as well as the present stock, and then sell for countries. The stable or cow-house manure, twice as much as those bring us which we now rery much decomposed, is the principal manure, have to dispose of. and that which renders the greatest services to The next requisite is blood. Having selected the agriculturist. It is composed of the branches your mare, never take any but a fixed blooded of the furze or gerse, of turf, or earth, all these stallion. Wheu you bare the qualities already being used as a litter for the stock. Straw also described, breed as much as possible for speed. very frequently forms a part of it. Rye straw is When you produce a fast horse, you will always most esteemed for this purpose, and is cut in two find a man ready to buy him, and other things in order to render it more easily spread. Buck- being equal, the greater his speed the higher wheat straw is not held in great repute. The price he will bring. management of the litter of the cow-houses while In regard to in-breeding, we must breed near forming it into manure, presents some features enough to secure the desired qualities, and when worthy of observation. Behind the cattle an ex once secured, to retain them; but we should not cavation is made, into which the litter is placed breed nearer than first cousins if we could avoid on being taken from the stalls. This is beaten it. If "in-and-in breeding" is followed more down by the passage of the animals, and of the closely than this, and persisted in, your colts workmen over it, till it is in a thoroughly com will be either stillborn, or if living, they will be pressed state. This method possesses nearly all cripples. We should never sell the best animals. the advantages of the "box-feeding' system, and when a man has disposed of his best breeding is certainly better than that adopted in East and mare, he will advance in his work on the same West Flanders, where the litter is thrown into play that the frog jumped out of the well"the court yard, and left exposed to sun, air, and one step ahead and two backward. rain."

It is poor policy to go to the city and buy a It is proposed in Charleston, S. C., to

broken down mare, thinking to make a breeder convert the square of the burut district into a of her. In a great majority of cases you will public garden.

only breed defective animals. Men should be

(Areful about breeding from too old stallions. No had previously been feed two months six quarts matter how famous a horse has been, and what corn meal each, twice a day; they gained two his stock has prored, if he has lost his vitality, pounds each per day. Changed to feed of rye, let him go-he will only work mischief in your corn and oats, increasing gradually, two weeks, herd if you try him.

until I had got up to one and a half bushels to In this business no one point demands more the pair per day, and roots twice a week to keep attention than the kind of a stallion with which their appetite good. They gained three pounds the young mare is first coupled, as there can be cach per day for six weeks, at which time they but little if any doubt now, but that the first were taken to market. Had they been kept six union will in a great measure influence all the weeks longer, they would not; upon same feed, uiter progeny. After a mare has been coupled, have gained over two and a half pounds. she should be kept from bad company-away My experience is that a little grain increases from horses that are badly marked, with a big the appetite for hay, which must be of the best Waze in the face, a "wall-eye," or "white-stock- quality, while an excess lessens it, and part of ings"_and she should always have the kindest the grain passes off undigested. Where grain treatment. Mares transmit more of their good is cheap, worth less than good hay proportionally, qualities to the male offspring. You seldom if more grain would be economical, as in some ever knew of a first rate stallion out of a poor portions of the West. There, undoubtedly, the mare.

amount of grain mentioned above, will look But after you have exercised the best judgment small, but here in the old Bay State we have in selecting your animals and coupling them, learned to make good beef on hay alone, and you will make but little progress in your work with a little grain, some mammoth oxen.- Counwithout the best of care. To raise first class try Gentleman.

8. M. C. horses, they must have "care first, care last, care North Stockbridge, Mass. in the midst of all things, and care without end."

Erion.

Cattle for Feeding. Winter Feeding Cattle for Beef. There is much good sense in the following ex

L. TUCKER & Son-Noticing in your last issue tract from a recent writer on this subject : an inquiry as to how many pounds of beef can To ensure success in feeding for the butcher, be made with one hundred pounds of corn meal the great essentials to be provided are shelter, and and good hay, I will state what little experience a regular and plentiful supply of nourishing I bave had in that direction. I feed usually from food. There is, however, another important two to three hundred bushels of grain to fatten. matter to be attended to, and that is the selection ing cattle every winter. My plan is to buy good, of the animals themselves, as, without the most thrifty three and four years old steers and oxen, careful attention, and the cautious and cool er. ibat are well startedfeed lightly at first, after-ercise of mature judgment, it will be useless lo wards from two to eight quarts. Feed twice a attempt the fattening of cattle with the reasonable day, according to size of animal--a fifteen hun hope of being able to realize r handsome profit. dred steer or ox four quarts each feed, giving the shelter may be very inadequate, and the them the best of care, to wit: good hay, fed at food not nearly so good as it should be, and yet short intervals during the day, well carded once the beasts will thrive, do well, and leave a profit, at least, and watered twice in the twenty-four if they are well bred and moderately good spebours; stables kept clean and warm, but well cimens of the breed they represent. On the ventilated. My feed is usually corn, rye (or other hand, if they are badly bred—that is to harley) and oats--equal parts by measure, well say, too much crossed, and more particularly if mised and ground fine. Think I have never they are the offspring of a cross-bred bull-bitter failed of one and a half pounds live weight, disappointment will almost invariably be the equal to one pound dressed weight, per day, with result. Place such animals in the best stalls that four quarts each feed, and have frequently done can possibly be constructed for accommodation inuch better. Much depends upon the animal, and warmth, and pamper them with every conand as much upon the care given them. I do not ceivable variety of food ; yet they will scarcely advocate very heavy feeding for profit. You can attain to such a state of ripeness in six months as make more beef at less expense by taking longer well-bred animals, (which, although they may still time. All the undigested food is wasted. be crossed, are the produce of a thorough-bred

As an experiment, I last winter took a pair of bull,) will do in little over half tbat time. four years old steers, weighing 3550 lbs.; they

Eng. Paper.

« AnteriorContinuar »