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eription REDUCED to TWO DOLLARS Par Annum in" Advance 


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Agriculture is %he nursing mother of the Arts. — Xenophon. 
Tillage and Pasturage are the two breasts of the State.— Sully. 

Ch. B. Williams, Ed. & Pro'r. 
Frank G Ruffin, Co-Editor. 

^ * New Series. 


Agricultural Department : 
High, Medium and Low Farming. 

Making Manures 

Clov<-r as a Renovating: Crop 

The Farmer— A Beautiful Work of Nature and Art. 

Knowledge is Power 

Mr. G. E. Gilmer working out his PiOblem, by F. 
The Best Farmer in the Country 

Rye for Eariy Green Food 

Relations of P;ants to their Food. 

Hint* on the Cultivation and Management of Tobacco. 

Disappointment in Swedes ami German Labor 

Fertilizers in Morth Carolina, by the State Geologist, W. C. Kerr, Esq. 

Will Lime Kill Sorrell? .- 

Cooked Food for Hogs 

Deep Ploughing in Autumn 

New Fodder Plant 

Sabbath for the Working Man 

The Effects of Gathering Clover Seed on the Fertility of the Soil, &c. 
Let us Manufacture our own Productions. 
Improvemeut of Worn»-ont Farms. 

A Steam Plough ^. 

Straight and Crooked Streams 77... 

Horticultural Department: 
Strawberry Exhibition^ the Virginia Horticultural and Pomological Society. 

Raspberries 436. Strawbprries 

Guano 437. Harvesting Navy Beans and Gathering Potato Crops. 

How to Preserve Melons from the Striped Bug 

Nut Cultu^ ....439. Must a Berry Box have Sloping Sides ?. 
■P"uniiij£ 'Tomatoes 

Household Department : 
Alsike Clover for Bee Pasturage. 
Yellow Wash for Buildings 

Editorial Department : 
The Great. Reaper and Mower Trial at Westover. 
Correspondence of Southern Planter and Farmer— Lucerne— Tobacco Stalks for 

Manure, &c 

Extermination of Sassafras. 
Editorial Notices, &c 

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New Series, vol, 3, May-Dec. 1869 
Missing: no. 6, June and no. 9, September 




Agriculture, Horticulture and the Mining, Mechanic and Household Arts. 

Agriculture is the nursing mother of the Arts„— Xenophon. 
Tillage and Pasturage are the two breasts of the State.— Sudly. 


Editor and Prope 



New Series. 


JULY, 1869. 

Vol. Ill- 

-No. 7. 

High, Medium and Low Farming. 


If you ask the moaning of these terms, I reply, reversing the 
order above: profit is what your crops give you over and above 
all costs of production. These costs are: 1. Interest on the value 
of land ; 2. Taxes, if any ; 4. Value of labor done by yourself or 
others at the time; 4. Team -work; 5. Cost of manure; 6. Wear 
and tear of implements and farm machinery; 7. Any other cost or 
costs you may think of, not included in the foregoing. 

The interest on value of land must come in as part of the cost, 
for the reason that you cannot afford to hold land and draw no in- 
terest on its value. The taxes must come in, because if your State 
tax farm land, you cannot escape paying. So of every other item — 
all must be charged to the crop, and paid by it, before you can 
begin to reckon profit. 

Keep accounts with your farm, and with each crop grown upon 
it. To farm without keeping accounts, is farming in the dark, and 
you may not ascertain whither it leads till too late. If you farm 
in the dark, you may keep on twenty years with some crop which 
loses you money every year, or may stop with some one which 
gives you handsome yearly profits, simply from not knowing which 
to continue and which to stop. Farmers are generally supposed to 
be men of sound judgment. Their employment is adapted to make 
vol. in — 25 

386 THE SOUTHERN [July, 

them such. They generally are such. The keeping of farm ac- 
counts, so as to throw light from this year's doings on the question, 
what to do next year, is not easy; but in the exercise of such a 
judgment as we heartily ascribe to farmers, you can keep them well 
enough to prevent your going blindfolded many years in courses 
leading to disaster, and wed you to those tending to prosperity. 

By the point of maximum 'profit, I mean that point in the as- 
cending scale from low to high culture, which gives the highest 
profits over all costs. This is not a fixed but a variable point, 
varying with the value of land, the price of the crop grown, the 
cost of fertilizers, distance from markets, etc. As a general rule, 
where land is dear the cultivation should be high, and of course ex- 
pensive, for no man can aiford to grow small crops on land worth 
$300 an acre. Small crops would but little more than pay interest 
on value of land. On land worth but $30 an acre, he might make 
profit, more or less, from small crops. On land worth but $10, he 
might make something from still smaller crops. Where land costs 
but little it may be cultivated cheaply and yet pay; but let a man 
undertake to cultivate an acre worth $300 cheaply, and he will in- 
evitably find it a losing experiment. Every farmer should endeavor 
to ascertain at what amount for labor and fertilizers he can grow 
crops on his land, with a better profit, than by the expenditure of 
more, or less, for the labor and fertilizers ; and that, if he can as- 
certain it, he may regard as the point of maximum profit in his 

But what is to be understood by low, medium and high farming? 
Giving your land little or nothing, and expecting little or nothing 
in return, is low farming. If all farmers worked in this way, the 
soil all round the face of mother earth would wax worse and worse, 
till it would be equal to sustaining but half the present population 
of the globe, instead of becoming able, under the hand of man, as 
God designed it, to sustain ten-fold more than its present inhabi- 
tants. Yes, God made the land and the sea such, that, by the natural 
laws he has stamped upon them, this globe must perpetually become 
better and not worse, as the abode and life-sustainer of the human 
race, till ten times its present population shall be able to nestle on 
its bosom and feed on its bounties. The progress will be slow or 
fast, as man fails of his duty or discharges it earnestly and faith- 
fully. Low farming is athwart the purpsse of the Almighty. He 
wishes the land to become better for each generation than it was 
for the last. The man who farms it in a low way, giving it little, 
taking less, not half paid for his labor, makes it worse. 


There may be cases in which a rather low grade of farming is to 
be tolerated. The owner of a large farm may have reasons of his 
own for not selling a part of his land to enable him to cultivate the 
rest better. He may have good reasons, known only to himself, 
for holding the whole a while longer. But, as a general rule, it is 
folly, not to say wickedness, to go over large extents for small re- 
turns. It affords no 'profit; it less ihan pays for the labor; it is 
the costliest way possible for obtaining the productions of the earth ; 
a wise man will not walk in it long; the man who is both wise and 
devout, will not dare persevere in it, so manifestly is it opposed to 
the will of the great and benevolent Designer, who never meant 
that the farmer should work hard, life-long, for small pay. 

Medium farming may be considered half way up the ladder from 
low to high farming. By the low farming, of which we complain, 
as against God and humanity, and most of all against the man who 
practices it; as low as 10 to 15 bushels corn per acre, and other 
crops proportionally scrimped are often obtained. By medium farm- 
ing, our idea is 50 to 60 bushels of corn and other crops in propor- 
tion. This, in large portions of our country, yet comparatively 
new, not yet densely populated, distant from markets, freights high, 
may just about tally with the point of maximum profit. You may 
perhaps say you can more cheaply win the productions of the soil 
at this state of cultivation than by one higher' or lower. At any 
rate, by such cultivation as will give you 50 to 60 bushels of corn 
and the like of other crops, your land will not be run down, and 
you "will not sin against yourself nor against posterity, for it will- 
pay you and will leave those who come after you a fair chance. 
Perhaps this is as high a cultivation as should be aimed at by the 
farmers of one-half of our cultivated land. 

But this is not high cultivation ; it should not be thought of as 
such ; it may be wise temporarily ; but as the population increases, 
it must be superseded. Where population is already dense and out- 
lets to other countries dense, and especially if land be high, larger 
crops must be obtained, or no great profit in the cost of production 
can be realized, certainly not the greatest. From 80 to 90 bushels 
of corn, and proportionably for other crops, should be the aim, un- 
der such circumstances, if the land be of good quality. If a fail- 
ure to reach this mark be attributable to divine providence, in not 
giving favorable seasons, cheerful submission to a higher power be- 
comes a duty, but if attributable to anything the farmer himself 
did or failed to do, he should not be satisfied with his own doings, 
but should try again, and keep trying, till he can grow his 80 to 90 


bushels of corn, arid other crops in proportion, in an average sea- 
son, to set off for less in seasons that are unfavorable, that the ave- 
rage yield^may be as high as above named, and gradually increas- 
ing, as the land, under a system of high cultivation, increases both 
its productiveness and its saleable value. 

Medium farming pays better than low everywhere. High farm- 
ing pays better than medium wherever the circumstances exist 
which call for it. Farming in a way that deteriorates the soil, will 
not pay, in the long run. Farming that improves the soil a little 
each year, as God made it to be improved by the brains and hands 
of man, will pay always and everywhere. Thousands of farmers, 
in all parts of our country, fail of the best rewards of farming by 
too low cultivation, for every one who fails by cultivating too highly. 
The danger of failure by going down the scale too low, is a thou- 
sand times greater than that of ascending too high. Let us strive 
to avoid the former, and not be over fearful of the latter. — Nash, 
in the Working Farmer. 

Making Manure. 

It should be a cardinal principle with every farmer to economize 
his. manure. Upon it depends his success, and, without it, his la- 
bors must to a very great extent be without profit, if not attended 
with absolute loss. If it is necessary to have the barn-yard on a 
hill-side, it is equally necessary to have the lower side of it pro- 
tected by a wall, or some arrangement by which the escape of liquid 
manure may be prevented. It is almost equally important to have 
a spout to convey rain water from the roof of the barn in some 
other direction than immediately through the barn-yard. It is bad- 
enough that the manure heap should be exposed to the rains which 
fall directly upon it, without adding to it the droppings from the 
roof of the barn. 

If such improvident farmers were to behold the actual value of 
the fertilizing material thus lost, rolling from their purses in the 
shape of dollars and cents, how energetically would they labor to 
prevent this waste. The loss of a single little gold dollar would 
stir them up to a greater activity than the direct waste of a hundred 
times that little dollar's value in the form of liquid manure. Year 
after year, silently, steadily, the golden streams are flowing from 
their purses. Tell them of their error, and they acknowledge it, 
but rarely does it happen that being reminded of it in a friendly 
manner, they make a single effort to correct it. 


How many are there who, after a lifetime of steady, unremitting 
toil, find themselves no richer in lands or money than when they 
began ! They cannot explain the reason. Other causes may have 
led to such discouraging results, but if the drain of liquid manures 
from their barn-yards had been checked when they began farming, 
very many of these unsuccessful ones would have been as prosperous 
as their more provident neighbors. 

Every farmer subscribes to this ; he knows it well ; but thinks he 
can do no better, " under the circumstances," than to let it go. He 
thinks, if he had conveniences, he would like to try the effects of 
liquid manure ; but " everything wants doing first," and it gets ne- 
glected ; or, if he had any vegetable refuse at hand which he could 
haul to soak up the waste liquid, he would do that, but such waste 
he has not. 

Now, one of the very best things to soak up manure water, and 
make into the best of manure, is common clay. It will pay any 
farmer well to haul clay to his barn-yard for its absorbing proper- 
ties. When this cannot be had, the washing of roadsides, cleaning 
of ditches, qr anything that comes to hand, may be used instead. 
There are many other more complicated ways of " making manures" 
by chemical ingredients, but this is a simple one, which every one 
can understand. All it wants is the command of labor, and this is 
the main point in which so many farmers err. Not to "employ 
much," but to do all possible one's self, and let the " rest go," is the 
general plan. The farmer forgets that when he buys a ton of 
guano he has employed sailors, ship-owners, commission merchants, 
and many others, at a rate at which another hand on his farm, em- 
ployed at nothing else but making manure, would have produced 
him immeasurably more value. It is not so much what is made, as 
what is saved, that leads to riches; and how to economise in ma- 
nure, and yet have an abundance, is one of the great secrets of be- 
coming a rich farmer. — T. Meehan, in Forney's Press. 

To be Noted. — In a cloudy morning it is a matter of impor- 
tance to the farmer to know whether it will be sunshiny or showery 
in the afternoon. If the ants have cleared their hole nicely, and 
piled the dirt up high, it seldom fails to indicate a clear day, though 
it may be cloudy until eleven o'clock in the forenoon. Spider webs 
will be very numerous about the tops of the grass and grain some 
cloudy mornings ; and fifty years observation have shown the wri- 
ter that these little weather-guessers seldom fail in their prediction 
of a fair day. 


Clover as a Renovating Crop. 

Some idea of the relative value of the manure made from clover, 
and common stable manure, the greater part of which is carbona- 
ceous matter, may be obtained from the careful experiments of Pro- 
fessor Lawes. The results of his experiments have been given to 
the world many times through the agricultural press. I had my 
attention first called to them about a year ago by an article from 
the pen of Mr. Joseph Harris, in the American Agriculturist. 
Since then I have examined the matter somewhat carefully, and 
have been, I must own, astonished at the results of repeated chemi- 
cal analysis of this plant, made for the purpose of showing its vast 
superiority over all other grasses as a hay or forage plant. 

According to Prof. Lawes, the manure from a ton of straw is 
worth about $2.60, taking the price of artificial manure as a basis. 
The manure from a ton of clover hay is worth a little over $9. 
Allowing two and one-half tons of manure to a ton of straw or hay, 
then a ton or ordinary load of manure from straw would be worth 
about $1, while a load of manure from clover hay would be worth 
about $3.50. The former would hardly be worth drawing into the 
field. Certainly not worth buying at $2 per load and draw- 
ing a long distance. The value of any manure depends upon 
the amount of potash, nitrogen and phosphoric acid it con- 
tains ; the carbonaceous or woody matter being usually in excess of 
that required by the soil. According to Prof. Lawes, a ton of com- 
mon barn-yard manure contains 8 lbs. nitrogen, 11 lbs. potash and 
soda, and 4 lbs. phosphoric acid ; while a ton of manure made from 
clover hay contains about 20 lbs. nitrogen, 16 lbs. potash and soda, 
and 5 lbs. phosphoric acid. Nitrogen being confessedly the most 
valuable element, it will be seen at once how much more valuable is 
the manure from clover than from straw or other hay. And let it 
be borne in mind that while it returns so much more to the soil, it 
takes much less from it, and that while timothy exhausts land al- 
most as much as a crop of wheat, clover actually benefits it, by ab- 
sorbing instead of dissipating ammonia. Farmers, 1 believe, do not 
generally understand this difference. Hence, in selling hay, many 
prefer to sell the clover because it is " coarse." But when men un- 
derstand that in selling a ton of clover hay they are parting with 
what if fed out would be worth $9 to them in manure alone, besides 
its value as fodder, I think they will decide to feed out their clover 
and sell some other kind of hay, if any. Perhaps farmers will not 
believe these figures; but the estimates are made from careful 


analysis, and are no doubt approximately correct. The prices, of 
course, are based upon the price of artificial manures in England. 
But let the price of these be what it will, it does not affect the 
relative value of clover and common barn-yard manure. If a load 
of the latter, a great part of which is straw, is worth $1, then a 
load of manure from clover is worth $3.50. Now the clover 
ploughed under, it would be worth a little more — as there is a loss 
of about five per cent, in feeding out, which goes to make blood, 
bone, muscle, &c, in the animal. 

It has been the practice of many very good farmers in the Mid- 
dle States for many years to sow clover to plough under ; planting 
corn or potatoes on the clover sod. This method, when hay and its 
products, beef, mutton, butter and cheese were cheap, was undoubt- 
edly a good one. But with present prices and with a scarcity of 
hay throughout the country every year or two, it seems to me, that 
now it would be a wasteful practice. I believe a much better way 
is to cut the clover for hay and return the manure to the soil. 
Surely the value of the fodder will pay for curing and carting both 
ways. Or, if one objects to mowing, it may be fed off with fatten- 
ing sheep — oil cake or meal being fed to them at the same time — 
against which practice no objection can be raised, that I am aware 
of. In either case the loss would be trifling, and a good deal of 
valuable fodder would be saved. The roots, of which there are said 
to be from 20 to 40 tons to the acre, are of course subject to no 
loss at all. At present prices it seems bad policy to turn under a 
good crop of clover. If the crop be a light one, undoubtedly the 
best way is to depasture it with sheep. In this way the manure is 
distributed evenly over the ground. Sheep are also popularly sup- 
posed to manure the ?oil by simply lying upon it; imparting, it is 
said, nitrogen from the yolk in the wooL It is probable that there 
is some truth in this idea. At least the heavy rains of spring and 
fall must wash out portions of the yolk, which is well known to be 
exceedingly rich in fertilizing properties. However this may be, it 
is certain that land sown with clover and depastured with sheep be- 
comes enriched to an extent surprising to those who have not prac- 
ticed this method. This plan would also save the necessity of turn- 
ing out sheep in the mowing fields in the fall, to their very great 
injury — unless covered with an abundant rowen. 

" But," says one, " my land won't produce clover. It's of no use 
to sow it — it won't grow." 

Very true, and reason enough for it. It has been exhausted of 
the phosphates, and of potash and soda, perhaps, by long continued 



cropping with potatoes, followed with oats or barley, without ma- 
nure. At least such is the case with nine-tenths of the land that 
will not produce clover. But if it will not produce clover, it will 
not grow anything that will pay expenses of cultivating. In order 
to start clover upon such lands it will be necessary to use top dress- 
ing of some kind. On heavy clay soils lime or plaster will often 
be sufficient. These seem to disintegrate the soil and set free ele- 
ments that were before locked up and useless. Lime also acts me- 
chanically, making the soil more porous and less liable to bake; 
while plaster is supposed to absorb- ammonia from the air. Ashes, 
I believe, are the most valable top dressing for sandy land where 
barn-yard manure cannot be obtained. Sown at the rate of from 
30 to 50 bushels to the acre, ashes produce a most marked effect 
upon clover. Last spring I sowed a piece of sandy land, a portion 
of which had been top dressed with leached ashes the previous sum- 
mer, for barley, seeding with clover. No other manure was applied. 
Where the ashes were used the clover came up thick and stout, but 
where no ashes were used it could hardly be seen. 

Once get a good stand of clover, and other crops may follow. 
Perhaps a good and profitable rotation on ordinary loamy soils, 
would be: 1st, clover sown with top dressing, if needed, on in- 
verted sod ; 2d, corn or potatoes, with a heavy dressing of barn- 
yard manure ploughed under in the fall (?); 3d, wheat or barley and 
clover again. The first crop of clover might be mowed or fed off 
with, or ploughed under, according to the previous condition of the 
land. If in good condition enough to produce a fair crop of hay, 
it might be mowed one or two years before ploughing. This would 
insure a good supply of roots, and the pulverization of the soil. 
What we want is to plough the land while the clover is large and 
vigorous, in order to get the benefit of the immense weight of roots. 
There is nothing equal to a clover sod for any kind of hoed crop. 

It is evident that we must sow and grow more clover— not only 
as a hay crop, but to renovate our worn out fields. It will not do 
to crop with oats and potatoes, year after year, and then say, " It's 
of no use to talk about renovating my land with clover; it won't 
grow.''' It will grow. It may require something to start it; but 
after that, being what is called a leguminous plant, it will derive its 
chief nourishment from the air. This is one reason, probably, why 
plaster acts so beneficially as a simple top dressing, as it is well 
known that sulphate of lime "fixes" the ammonia, which is being 
constantly evolved by heat, by fermentation, and perhaps by the 
growth of plants. Clover also acta mechanically upon the soil — 


sending its long fibrous roots down into the sub-soil, and bringing 
up fertilizing matter before inaccessible as plant food. In this way 
it acts both as a disintegrator of the soil and as a conductor of fer- 
tilizing elements from the lower or sub soil to the surface. Finally, 
clover is the best and cheapest known eradicator of weeds. Sown 
liberally upon rich soil, it completely chokes out even the strongest 
and most noxious of our field weeds — and in this way saves the 
farmer an incalculable amount of labor. 

I have written upon this subject at much greater length than 
I intended when I began — for which, Messrs. Editors, and readers 
of the Farmer, I beg pardon — hoping that more experienced culti- 
vators will at some future time write upon this subject. — Young 
Farmer, in the Maine Farmer. 

South Norridgewock. 

The Farmer. 


Mr. Geo. William Curtis has given to the public the following 
beautiful picture, recently painted by him while summering at Ash- 
field, Mass. He calls it "The Farmer." It will undoubtedly be 
extensively copied throughout the country. He says : 

But the farmer stands still nearer to Nature, and she is his im- 
mediate teacher. Nature herself gives him the broad hints of his 
art. The sun warms the earth; the winds sift it and dry it; roots 
loosen it ; the dew and showers moisten it ; the dead leaves and 
birds manure it. But this is only a vague suggestion. So the 
wind draws imperfect sounds from the strings of a harp. But 
presently man, the master, comes, and sweeping the strings with 
knowledge, he pours out a melody which becomes the hymn of na- 
tions. And so the farmer, following the hint of nature, is the mas- 
ter musician who touches the landscape with skillful art, and plays 
a tune of peace and plenty all over the globe. 

Behold, then, the splendid scene of his labors. Sunrise and 
morning, the moon after the sun as the echo follows music; granite 
hills enchanted by distance into rosy clouds, drifting along the 
horizon — groves, pastures, rivers, blooming fields ; the song of a 
thousand birds, the hue of innumerable flowers ; the rustle of 
leaves, the hum of insects marking the changing months with vary- 
ing sound ; the breeze that whispers and the wind that roars ; the 
unfailing procession of the seasons circling through the heavens — 
all that is grandest and most graceful, tenderest and most terrible 

394 THE SOUTHERN [July, 

in nature are his familiar associations. He learns by experience 
•what science constantly discloses, that there is nothing useless or 
superfluous in nature. "The whole," as old George Herbert sang: 

" The whole is either his cupboard of food, 
Or cabinet of pleasure." 

But while this is the magnificence of his workshop, see .also the 
direct moral influence of his toil. The earth in which he works is 
just and honest. If the farmer sow wheat the ground does not re- 
turn him sugar-cane. If he transplant carelessly the tree, like a 
neglected child, will pine and die. If he plant potatoes and shirk 
hoeing, the weeds will shirk dying and the potatoes will shirk grow- 
ing. If he be stingy of manure, his fields will be equally stingy of 
crops. Thus the eternal sincerity of nature giving him peas for 
peas and beans for beans ; fair crops for patient industry and weeds 
for idleness, passes into his character, and he does not send his bar- 
rels of apples to market with all the large fruit on top, nor sell a 
horse wih blind staggers to a man who paid for a sound animal. 

So the necessities and fatigues of a work that can be done only 
by daylight call the farmer with the sun in the morning and the 
morning star in winter, send him early to bed and teach him regu- 
larity. Then as by his ceaseless toil he counts out, in blows of his 
arm and drops of sweat, every hundred cents in every dollar he 
earns — every penny stands for so much time and muscle, and thus 
he learns economy. With economy comes frugality and temper- 
ance, and so upon the farm grow the hardy virtues, like tough trees 
upon the rough mountain-side, and so the ideal farmer is the strong, 
robust, simple, sensible, truly conservative citizen, and as the spec- 
tator sees him standing crowned with content in the midst of his 
rural realm, he asks, as the poor clergyman asked his richer bro- 
ther, as they walked through the rich minister's magnificent estate: 
" What, Brother Dives, all this and Heaven too?" 

But look once more at a still finer spiritual result of the condi- 
tions of the farmer's life than any of these. See what pains he 
wisely takes to secure a perfect fruit. How cautiously he import 8 
and examines the stock ; how sagaciously he grafts and buds ; how 
he hides the tree from the frost and nurses it in the sun ; how he 
ponders and studies the habits and diseases of that fruit ; how he 
toils to surround himself with perfect trees, that he may walk in 
the garden of the Hesperides whenever he goes into his own orchard. 
At last he plucks the pear in triumph. It is the glory of the fair. 
The dimensions of that fruit fly round the world by telegraph, over 


the land and under the sea. It is photographed, engraved and de- 
scribed in a hundred horticultural papers and magazines ; the mouth 
of the public waters for that pear, and it bears the name of the 
happy grower forever. Is that all ? Is there nothing more ? 
Look ! Not yet has the farmer reaped all his harvest of success, 
nor tasted the finest flavor of his fruit. But when walking under 
his trees in the cool of the day, God meets him in the thoughts of 
his mind — for when a man thinks a lofty thought it is as if God 
met him — and says to him, " You are a tree in my garden of the 
world, and if you sought the sweet fruit of character and a noble 
life, as carefully as you trim and water and bud to produce a pear, 
the world would be again what it was when I walked in Eden," then 
the farmer has learned the last lesson of his calling as at all other 
human pursuits, for he perceives that as a tree produces a flower 
not for the sake of the flower, but for the seed which the flower 
covers, and which will reproduce the tree — so it is not the wheat, 
though it grew a thousand bushels to the acre, nor the pears, al- 
though a single one would feast the country, but it is the manhood 
and moral development of the farmer himself, wrought out by per- 
petual contact with the beautiful processes of nature, which is the 
crop of lasting value that grows upon his farm, a crop whose har- 
vest is human happiness. * * * New York Evening Mail. 

11 Knowledge is Power," 

The best capital with which a young man can start life is a sound 
and well cultivated mind. We hear a good deal in this utilitarian 
age about safe investments, and insurance against loss, but know- 
ledge, the wealth of a well-stored and disciplined mind, is the safest 
investment of time and money, and the wisest insurance against the 
misfortunes and difficulties which we have to encounter in the tug 
and tussle of life. But the great effort of the mass of mankind 
seems to be to secure the material blessings of life, even at the ex- 
pense of intellectual and moral nature, and to protect them against 
the disasters of change and chance by all the safeguards which the 
ingenuity of human invention can devise. Men spend toilsome 
days and nights to heap up riches for others to enjoy; to leave a 
princely dowry for profligate sons to squander in the beastly grati- 
fication of depraved tastes and appetites, or after having clutched 
and hoarded their money bags to the very last inch of time, with 
affected generosity, to rear up a monumental pile of bricks and 
mortar for the promotion of some educational or benevolent object, 


in order to gloss over the stains of a mean and niggardly^life. In 
the constant fluctuation of material values, and amid the financial 
and political shocks, which are ever and anon convulsing society, 
all mere pecuniary investments are Table to be swept away by these 
disastrous convulsions. Few indeed are the safeguards around 
property, which can stand the tide of social and political revolu- 
tion. Banks and other corporations may break and stocks become 
worthless ; bills of exchange may be protested ; men may become 
bankrupt, and private obligations be repudiated ; in fact all the 
representatives of material value, like an unsubstantial frostwork, 
may vanish under the touch of the demon change, and utter finan- 
cial ruin sweep over society ; but the man who has a mind strength- 
ened by constant exercise and filled with gems of thought, gleaned 
from the treasure-house of ages, and a will which quails before no 
opposition, has a store of wealth which is unaffected by all the mis- 
fortunes which overwhelm more sordid things, and is panoplied in 
an armor that can defy disaster, and win success amid the wreck 
and ruin of all other sources of power. Let it be the first aim, 
then, of every young man to secure a thorough education, and hay- 
ing done this, he will then be qualified to take any position which 
circumstances may offer, and thoroughly prepared to enter with 
courage the great arena of life. Knowledge is in truth the lever, 
for which the Grecian philosopher longed, by which the world is 
moved. And that father who wears out the machinery of life in 
heaping up wealth for his children, while their intellectual and 
moral culture is neglected, is sadly blind to their truest interests, 
and thoroughly insensible to all the nobler emotions of man's na- 
ture. I know no truer object of pity than the man whose pleasures 
are purely material; who has no aesthetic aspirations and joys, but 
who surrounds himself with the base and sordid things of earth, and 
seeks his enjoyment in these alone. Such a man is ill-prepared to 
breast the tide of misfortune, and when disaster comes and sweeps 
away these groveling means of enjoyment, he stands, like a blasted 
tree, stricken by the lightnings of heaven, the poorest and most 
miserable of all the sons of men, being cursed with the double pov- 
erty of mind and estate. — H., in the Deaf Mate Casket. 

A correspondent of the Rural World has a very good opinion 
of the Harrison potato. He thinks it more even in size than the 
peach blow, and that it looks better and tastes better, and is seldom 
hollow inside. He also says the potatoes lie in a bunch in the hill. 


Mr. G. C. Gilmer Working out his Problem. 

Messrs. Editors, — Your May No. contains an assurance from Mr. 
G. C. Gilmer that he is in a fair way of working out his theory of 
fanning, published in May No., and reviewed in June, 1868, by his 
"'Friend Ficklin." 

These opinions are assuming a serious form, since they are re-as- 
serted as a whole, and liable to make converts to a theory it will 
require several years to test; and should failure ensue, it will fall 
heavily on the class of struggling farmers to whom his system is most 
applicable. He carries his eggs in too few baskets, and lets go his 
hold on mixed husbandry, avoids stock, and works but "two plough- 
men" as a regular force and other hands as "a frolic in busy sea- 
sons." Now, four hands on a six hundred acre farm is his practice, 
and to do all the work the year round. One of these hands is his 
manager, who tells his sanguine employer that "he has conquered 
the bushes, broom-straw and briars in the field on which he had at- 
tacked them, and, with his present force, in three years more he 
could bury the last member of these unsightly and unprofitable 
pests." Stick a pin here. 

Mr. G. assumes, on his own responsibility, that he will cultivate 
his 600 acres of open land better and cheaper with this force than 
he formerly did with 22 slaves ; if better, then he is wonderfully 
reconstructed and improved by new examples of industry and thrift 
around him. With this increased leverage of 4 against 22 hands, 
he proposes " to put in 10 to 15 acres in corn certainly, not over 
20," and give his four hands time "to devote to fencing, clearing 
up, ditching, picking up rocks," &c, for seeding rye and wheat in 
the fall. Why rye instead of wheat ? Mr. G. theorizes what is 
best suited to a large body of farmers, and if they adopt his policy, 
who is to raise the excess of corn needed in the country around 
him ? who to raise stock and give employment to all others than 
the few magieal hands to be had of the class he employs ? and who 
will send grist to his mill that enables him to live and raise but 
garden spots of corn ? How much ? — tell, Mr. G. And if your 
neighbors curtail in corn as you do, how much must you add to 
your crop to make up the toll from others ? 

Are you not, Mr. G., breeding from four fine mares, and had you 
not better increase your stock of cattle and sheep to assist in de- 
stroying the sassafras, sedge, briars and pests in their season, and 
some of your excess of forage in winter and early spring, as well as 
hogs to eat what excess of corn you ought to raise, since the latter 


produces bacon worth now 20 to 25 cents, equal to an average of 
15 cents for pork ? 

Lastly, Mr. G., tell us how the "100 acres in yard, barn, garden 
and truck patches" are managed "to pay," and favor us occasion- 
ally with reports how your theory is working out, and particularly 
your results from your farm, and which of the many fertilizers you 
are trying has done most towards these results. F. 



The name of the county is not material, nor would the honest, 
industrious man who is generally admitted to beat all his neighbors 
in the quantity of his crops, and the general excellence of his til- 
lage, be pleased to see his name paraded before the great public. 
He lives about twenty-five miles from Philadelphia, and the fortieth 
degree of latitude is very near his north line. His area is a little 
over 200 acres. More than a hundred years ago, when Benjamin 
Franklin was the most conspicuous citizen and the ablest editor on 
this continent, the ancestor of our hero came hither from Wales. 
In the quaintness of those colonial days he spelled his name with a 
double-f and double-o. His son took the clearing, and pushed the 
ring fence of old oak and walnut further and further from the cen- 
ter. His son succeeded, and his son and his son, to the present 
generation. Now these ancestral acres are hallowed by the labors 
of a pedigree of farmers who all followed in the footsteps of one 
general father, earning their bread and making the bread for many 
other mouths by honest sweat, and wearing to their coffins the 
bronzed face and the calloused hands. 

The soil is a light clay loam, so admixed with sand as not to hold 
water except on two or three low places that have been thoroughly 
tile-drained. There is not a stone, nor a stump, nor a log, a clump 
of bushes, or a nest of weeds on the place. The whole area comes 
under the ploughshare once in four or five years. The general sur- 
face of the region is level, but on this place are two swells, very 
moderate indeed, not worth noticing by one accustomed to hills, yet 
just sufficient to allow good drainage. We mention these details 
because there are thousands and thousands of such farms all over 
the great West — farms that could be made just as productive and 
as profitable. The average American farm is nearly 200 acres, and 
as the art of agriculture is now understood and practiced, this is 
the best size for regular tillage husbandry, such as the best 


farmer in the county carries on. As this statement will not be re- 
ceived by some, and as it is wide of the catch words, " Ten Acre3 
Enough," we will give a few reasons for the faith that is in us : 
1. Except in the vicinity of cities, where the manure of great sta- 
bles and breweries can be obtained, the profit of farming must de- 
pend on the use of yard composts. The quantity of this must de- 
pend on the number of animals kept, its strength on the quantity 
of rich food which they consume. The same attendance and labor 
will feed and fatten the animals on a two hundred acre farm that 
would be required on a hundred acre farm. 2. In the improved 
condition of all farm tools, it will not pay to use poor, old-fashioned 
implements. The progressive farmer will have the best ; they cost 
several hundred dollars, and when bought they will do the work on 
200 acres as well as 100. 3. On a large farm the fields are larger, 
the roads longer, not so many bouts, headlands, fence-corners, and 
dead furrows. 

If the farmer's methods are good and his thinking sound, it costs 
no more to spread it over a larger area. If a man can plan well 
for a good crop of wheat from 20 acres, he can plan as well for 40, 
60, or 80 acres. 

On the other hand, when a farm is much over 200 acres in area, 
there will arise a grave difficulty in harvesting grain and grass at 
precisely the right time. The more acres one has down, the more 
dependent he becomes on the weather, the more risky and specula- 
tive becomes the business of agriculture. 

This farm is divided into fields of not over fifty acres, nor none 
less than fifteen. Many interior fences he has removed, and more 
might be. His general plan is to have about fifty acres in grass. 
After cutting three or four crops, of about 2J tuns per acre, he 
turns the sod under in April and plants corn. In a few cases he 
allows corn to follow corn, but not often. The upturned sod is fur- 
ther enriched with yard manure, which is well harrowed in, the 
harrow teeth being small and short, so as not to disturb the sod. 

When the season is a good one he gets 70 bushels to an acre, and 
sometimes 80, but these are exceptions. On a rich soil like his, in 
this climate, the tendency of corn is to run to stalk, and his diffi- 
culty is never to get it to grow tall, but to make the ears corres- 
pond to the bigness of the stalk. Here is one of the unsolved prob- 
lems in our tillage. One might suppose it easy to lift an acre from 
a capacity of 60 to 80 bushels in corn by extra doses of manure, 
just as it can be raised from 40 to 60. But let the farmer try. If 


the season suits he will get corn stalks that run up like fishing rods. 
Some of the tallest will have no ears at all, others 12 or 15 feet 
high will give one nubbin eight feet from the ground. With fifty 
acres in grass and fifty in corn, our farmer has one hundred left for 
pasturage, roots and small grain. Most cultivators would allow 
thirty or forty for pasturage ; he does not. This year he has nearly 
fifty acres in wheat, fifteen in rye, and will put in fifteen acres of 
potatoes. Like Mr- Mechi, he believes in the plough, and would 
not keep wide reaches of old sod. Of wheat he raises from 18 to 
25 bushels per acre. In this great cereal we have another unsolved 
problem. Any good farmer will say that by using more manure he 
can get a ranker growth of blade and stem, but his bushels will not 
be increased in proportion ; for the crop will begin to lodge by the 
middle of June, and half of it may be flat by harvest. Are these 
difficulties with our grand cereals — the bars that so often stop the 
corn grower at 60 bushels and the wheat. grower at 25 bushels per 
acre — are they the work of climate, of shallow ploughing, of the 
unskillful application of manures, or bad sowing? Our farmer un- 
derstands potatoes, and can make an acre bring him $300. Like 
all cultivators of rich level surfaces, he has the rot to contend with. 
Of the many varieties he has found the peach blow the most popu- 
lar in market, and the best late potato. He plants about three feet 
apart each way, and cuts his seed small, so as to allow but one or 
two vines to a hill. When the shoots are fairly out of the ground 
he throws a furrow from each side so as to cover them. The potato 
is such a hardy and vigorous grower that it will push out from this 
shallow burial and so outstrip the weeds as to gain and keep posses- 
sion of the surface. He never has use for the hoe, and never ma- 
nures in the hill for potatoes. If it were not for the rot this crop 
alone would soon make him rich. He is planting the Harrison this 
year, well aware of its inferiority as a table potato, but he hopes 
with this new and vigorous variety to elude his enemy for two or 
three years. His sales have been of potatoes, hay, corn, wheat, 
rye, and rye straw, pork, and fat cattle. Experience is showing 
him the advantage of feeding out most or all of his hay and corn to 
fattening animals, and parting with no vegetable products of the 
surface but wheat and potatoes. Such is without doubt his true 
policy, and he would have been driven in that direction much sooner 
had there not been, at the edge of his farm, an inexhaustible bed 
of marl as rich in potash as wood ashes. This fertilizer he has 
used freely for twenty or thirty years, but of late the conviction is 
forced upon him that marl has made his land as rich as marl alone 


can make it. Quite likely. A highly productive soil contains 
three or four important substances, such as potash, lime, ammonia, 
phosphorus. The first of these, potash, he gets in abundance when 
he applies marl; but for the active, concentrated fertilizers, that 
make the deep green blade, the long ear, and the heavy head, he 
must look to rich stable manure, to bone dust, and to guano. White 
oak is choice timber for a cart wheel, but ten cords of the best oak 
that ever grew, without iron for the bolts and tires, would not do 
the farmer as much good as a fourth of a cord with the iron. Just 
so of potash manures. Alone they cannot carry lands to the high- 
est productiveness. 

Let us calculate how far this excellent farmer, with his 200 he- 
reditary acres, benefits society. It will illustrate the fundamental 
value and worth of the ploughman. His wheat crops made into 
flour supply 200 mouths annually with white bread. His potatoes 
feed 300 persons a year at the rate at which this tuber is usually 
consumed in families. . If the grass he grows were changed to milk, 
it would supply 300 persons; changed to beef, it would feed 60 
persons. His corn transmuted to pork would give 200 consumers 
full annual rations. Why should the man who can do this aspire to 
the . degradations of local or of national politics? Why hanker 
after the gambling uncertainties of traffic? Why rasp his temper 
between the endless chafing of other men's quarrels? — J. B. L., in 
New York Times. 

Rye fop early Green Food. 

The importance of a supply of green feed for stock in the Spring, 
is very often realized at that time, but generally overlooked at the 
proper season of preparing for it. Experienced graziers know the 
value of an early bite. Cattle, horses, and all stock thrive faster 
for an early supply of green food. Youatt says of the horse: 
" The Spring grass is the best physic that can be given to a horse. 
To a degree which no artificial aperient or diuretic can reach, ifc 
carries off every humor that may be lurking about the animal. It 
fines down the roughness of the legs, and except there be some 
bony enlargement, restores them to their original form and 
strength." To horses that cannot conveniently have a run at 
grass, it is especially important that a supply of green food be 
duly provided for. 

There is no plant which so readily offers a supply of this as rye, 
and we suggest the sowing of a lot either for early pasturage or for 
vol. m — 26 


cutting. It will afford a good cutting full two weeks before the 
clover, and so far as we know the use of it is attended with no ill 
effects. One of the most successful farmers we ever knew was in 
the habit of sowing rye in rich lots, chiefly for Spring grazing. If 
seeded in September, the plant becomes firmly rooted, and affords 
a great amount of herbage during March and April, until the clover 
is large enough to graze, and if the stock is then taken off, the 
yield of grain will be almost as good as if the crop had not been 

A light rich loam is the best soil for rye. It makes a good 
growth of straw on ground not fit to be put in wheat. But the 
richer the better of course for a good yield. We would sow not 
less than a bushel of seed, when intended chiefly for grazing or cut- 
ting. Sow early in September. — Rural Minnesotian. 

The Relations of Plants to their Food. 

The agriculturist who would obtain the largest results from a 
given expenditure of time, labor, money and material, should not 
content himself with the mere knowledge of the nature and charac- 
ter of the food required for each crop he cultivates, but should also 
make himself familiar with the physiological action of the growing 
plant itself upon the various agents presented to it by the soil, ma- 
nure, the air and the rain. Ignorance in this particular will lead 
to as ridiculous errors as that of the self-conceited correspondent of 
a British provincial newspaper, who having in some way or other 
acquired the information that nitrogenous matter was the basis of 
the formation of all the tissues of the body, immediately rushed 
into print with a furious denunciation of the extravagant habit of 
using bread and meat to support animal life. " What we want," 
said he, " is nitrogen. Why, then, adopt as the sources of nitro- 
gen, materials which are so expensive, and which contain so much 
extraneous matter?" He then went into a calculation of the 
amount of nitrogen contained in the ordinary articles of human 
food, and triumphantly contrasted it with the quantity which an 
equal weight of Peruvian guano would supply. He then calculated 
the relative cost of these two varieties of nitrogenous materials, 
and indignantly demanded why so valuable a source of supply of 
the inevitable waste of living tissue had been so long neglected ? 
He also cited numerous statistical arguments to prove the enormous 
saving which would result from feeding the inhabitants of the Brit- 


ish islands on guano soup, instead of those ancient dainties so dear 
to every British stomach, roast beef and plum pudding. 

Of course it is easy to laugh at the ignorance of this reform in 
gastronomy, and to point out the glaring errors of his theory. 
But is it any less absurd to undertake to feed a plant without know- 
ing in what form it appropriates its food, and how it disposes of it 
when once introduced into its organism ? Much has yet to be dis- 
covered in reference to this matter ; but enough is already known 
to give important practical hints to those who will master truths 
already acquired, and who will add to their number by careful ob- 
servations of their own. 

Every one knows that there is a great diversity in the appetites 
of plants, some being what are commonly termed gross feeders, 
while others are known as moderate in this respect. Much de- 
pends, of course, upon the duration of the plant's life, and upon 
the size it attains at maturity. A large, succulent, rapidly ^growing 
plant like corn or tobacco, will, of course, demand more food in a 
given time than a smaller vegetable, which takes a longer time to 
reach maturity. The existence of a plant is dependent upon the 
time it takes to form and ripen its seed, perennials being left out of 
consideration. Some of our little spring flowers shoot up, expand 
their blooms and ripen their seed within a few days. Their task in 
the world being accomplished, nothing is left them but to fade and 
perish. Others require the entire summer for their maturity, while 
others again need the influences of two seasons to complete their 

It is not our intention at present to enter into a consideration of 
the varieties of nutrition dependent upon these varying vital condi- 
tions, but rather to call attention to certain facts which bear upon 
all varieties of growth. Every one knows that the young leaf in 
the spring manifests its greatest activity during the earlier periods 
of its existence. Chemical examination shows the same fact. 
Chemical activity is always proportioned — every thing else be- 
ing equal— to the solubility of the agents reacting upon one an- 
other. In the ashes of the young leaves of the beach we find 30 
per cent, of potash, while in the same leaves withering in the au- 
tumn blasts, but 1 per cent, remains. So, too, phosphoric acid, 
which existed in the proportion of 24 per cent, in the spring, has 
fallen to 2 per cent, in the fall. The insoluble materials, on the 
other hand, greatly increase as the leaf grows larger. 

The truth is, the earlier part of the existence of any plant is oc- 
cupied in preparations for the future. For example, the turnip, 


immediately after sprouting, devotes its energies for half the period 
of its growth chiefly to the production of leaves. At the end of 
sixty-seven days, the turnip crop, according to Anderson's experi- 
ments, had formed twelve thousand, seven hundred and ninety- 
three pounds of leaves, and two thousand, seven hundred and sixty- 
two pounds of roots. At the end of the next twenty days, the leaves 
weighed nineteen thousand, two hundred pounds, while the roots 
weighed fourteen thousand, four hundred pounds. In thirty-five 
days more the crop was gathered, and weighed eleven thousand, 
two hundred and eight pounds of leaves, and thirty-six thousand, 
seven hundred and ninety-two pounds of roots. Of course it will 
be understood that these figures all represent equal areas of the 
same field, cultivated in the same manner. The point to which w r e 
wish to call attention is, that during the last period of growth there 
has been a reduction of the actual weight of the leaves, due to a 
transference of already elaborated material from the leaf to the 
root. We thus see that the turnip, during the early and more vig- 
orous stages of its growth, has expended its energies in laying up 
and organizing nourishment in the leaf, which is afterward carried 
back to the root. 

This is no exceptional case. All plants have experiences more 
or less simlilar. Thus winter wheat spends much of its early vege- 
tative power in developing strong roots, at the expense of its young 
leaves. Indeed, it has been observed in the fox-hunting districts of 
England, that a field trampled by horses in the winter, so as to 
leave scarcely any wheat visible, he.s produced far more grain at 
harvest than another not subjected to so rough a system of im- 

It is plain, then, that as a general rule it is the duty of the agri- 
culturist to see that, at the beginning of their growth, his young 
crops shall be abundantly supplied with soluble plant food. There 
are, of course, some exceptions to this rule, which need not be here 
considered. The young plant needs a very full supply of food ; 
first, because, as we have already seen, it is busy for the future as 
well as for the present ; and secondly, because its roots being small 
and weak, it cannot go far in search of nutriment, but must find it 
on the very spot on which they are growing. A crop well started 
by a judicious supply of soluble manure, will grow vigorously, and 
maintain the advantage thus secured to the very end of the season. 
It is impossible to over-estimate the importance of insuring to the 
young crop a rapid and active growth at the beginning. More 
roots are formed, and they are pushed farther through the soil. 


More leaves and stem rise into the air, and consequently a far more 
energetic appropriation of the atmospheric constituents of the grow- 
ing plant becomes possible. Indeed, the strong, healthy plant is 
able to rob its weaker neighbor of the nourishment universally dis- 
tributed throughout the atmosphere itself. — Baltimore Leader, 

Hints on the Cultivation and Management of Tobacco. 

Messrs. Editors, — Some time ago I promised to give you my no- 
tion about raising Tobacco, and now proceed to fulfill my engage- 
ment. And first, I will speak of 


There is no such thing as raising tobacco profitably without early 
plants, and yet if earlier than the first of June they will be sure to 
make narrow leaf tobacco. In selecting my plant land, I prefer to 
do it in July, for the next year, and choose a valley detached from 
any field, facing the southeast, on which is a growth of whortle- 
berry and some ivy. I cut off the bushes and timber, but let the 
leaves and litter remain, and manure it heavily with the best ma- 
nure I can get. I prefer cow manure, collected in May, and piled 
under a shelter to protect it from rain. This has fewer grass 
seeds in it than any other manure. Tobacco stalks answer very 
well. A little before, or as soon after Christmas as the weather 
will permit, I take off the leaves and other litter, and if I think 
there is grass seed that has not germinated, I cover the bed with 
dry brush, if to be had, putting the leaves on the brush, and burn 
them ; then with grubbing hoes sunk in the ground as deep as pos- 
sible, giving the handle a wrench, I loosen the ground, but not 
so as to bring the clay to the top ; I then chop with sharp 
hoes, take off the rocts, and prepare for sowing the seed. I prefer 
not to sow the seed until the 25th February, and then sow about half 
the quantity of seed (a table-spoonfull is common,) on every hun- 
dred square yards ; a little before I think the seed is sprouting, I 
sow the other half spoonfull, and tread without raking. . If the first 
sowing come up well, the second does not molest the first. Thin 
sowing yields more plants than thick. I prefer to tread when some 
of the dirt will stick to the feet ; the plants grow better trod then 
than when the ground is dry. 

When the plants are large enough, I plant, but would much pre- 
fer to set them out when the land is in good order to work ; if 
set out when the land is too wet, the plants do not thrive well ; 
if set out early in the season, and they are large, or if set out in 


the evening, and there comes rain on them before they wilt or lap 
from the sun, they are apt to be narrow leafed; but this may be 
altered by running a coalter on each side, so as to make them wilt 
or lap ; then it will take a broader growth. 

When tobacco is cut and it rains on it so as to make it strut, and 
the stems turn upward, unless this be corrected the stems will rot, 
and the quality of the tobacco is, of course, much injured by it ; 
the leaf on each side of the stem loses nearly all the quality of to- 
bacco, and is hard to get soft enough to strip ; if the stem be soft 
enough not to break, the leaf is too soft. When tobacco gets in 
that state, the best remedy I know of is to re-cut it. Some years past 
I had a scaffold of tobacco strutted as above. About 12 o'clock I 
went to it and re-cut one stick; an hour after I went to it; the 
stems of what I had cut were soft and hung down straight. I then 
re-cut all on the scaffold. Before night all the stems were soft and 
tough, and it cured well, having no appearance of ever having been 
strutted. Since then I have re-cut all that were strutted with good 
result. Charles Brown. 

Albemarle, Va., June 14, 1869. 

[Our octogenarian friend, who has favored us with the above arti- 
cle, prefers to select the ground for growing his plants in this month 
for his next year's crop of tobacco. For this reason his suggestions 
are seasonable to those who may desire to adopt his plan for regu- 
lating their future practice. — Eds. S. P. & F.] 

Disappointment in Swedes and Germans as Laborers. 

Messrs. Editors, — I feel it to be a duty I owe to brother farmers 
to give, through your valuable paper, my experience with regard to 
white labor. Much has been said and written on the subject, which 
amounts to nothing more than mere opinions. I propose to give 
you naked facts, leaving the reader to draw his own inferences. 

In the Fall of 1868, through the medium of the Newberry Immi- 
gration Society, I ordered from New York three white single labo- 
rers. On the 20th November three stout red-faced Swedes arrived 
at my farm. I put them to work at once in chopping and splitting 
rails. They performed admirably ; so well, indeed, that I ordered 
a Swede family from New York. (We always have to advance 
about twenty dollars to pay traveling expenses of each emigrant 
from New York, including the continued expenses of the Society.) 
On the 30th of December I received a "splendid" Swede family, 
as the agent called them, but really as mean and degraded, es- 


pecially the woman, as the lowest order of free negroes. I kept 
them until the 3d of April, when I discharged them, after losing up- 
wards of one hundred dollars on them. The first three determined 
to go to Chicago, and on the 25th of January also left me, minus 
several dollars. 

I have never seen or heard of a people who eat so much as the 
Swedes. If a man has to feed them to the extent of their wants, 
and is not strong in purse, they would ruin him, even if he allowed 
no wages. 

I concluded next to try Germans. On the 12th of February 
three good looking specimens came on my farm. They did very well 
for a while. One of them, however, turned out to be crazy, and I 
had to send him off, losing his traveling expenses. (I have heard 
of another crazy one in our district.) The other two staid and did 
tolerably well until the sun commenced shining warm. They loved 
the shade ; would stop ploughing or hoeing, take a rail off the fence 
and put it across from one pannel to the other, and sit down, and if 
I didn't show myself they did not work near as much as the freed- 
man on the same place. I finally told them they must work better, 
or I could not pay them ten dollars per month and board, as I was 
then doing. They proposed to leave, and with my full consent they 
departed the 12th of June. While in my service, they staid in my 
own house, ate at my table, and fared as I did. 

I am now done with white labor. This Immigration Society in 
New York sends to us (down South) the offscouring of the earth — 
penitentiary birds and lunatics out of their asylums. There have 
been a great many immigrants brought to this district, very few of 
whom have been worth their board. I think this immigration busi- 
ness one of the grandest humbugs of the day. H. D. B. 

Newberry, S. C, June 14, 18G9. 

Several English gentlemen who went last September to Virgi- 
nia to spend some time in hunting in the Blue Ridge, were so de- 
lighted with the country that they purchased a large tract of land 
on the Manassas railroad, near Gainesville. A colony of English 
will settle on the land in the spring. 

A correspondent of an exchange advises American farmers to 
adopt the rule of many English farmers — that is, never to allow two 
white straw crops, such as wheat, oats, barley and rye to follow 
each other. 


Fertilizers in North Carolina. 

A committee of the State Agricultural Society of North Caro- 
lina, appointed "to investigate the subject of producing fertilizers 
in this State, for sale to the farmers of the State at fair remune- 
rating prices," addressed to the State Geologist, W. C. Kerr, Esq., 
a letter, stating that "the*object of the Society is, first, to ascertain 
"whether the materials exist out of which fertilizers can be manufac- 
tured; secondly, to ascertain whether they can be produced in such 
quantity and form as to compensate the manufacturer and remune- 
rate the farmer," and asking any information he might find leisure 
to give them on the subject. 

To this letter Mr. Kerr made the following reply : 

Raleigh, June 10, 1868. 
Geo. W. Whitfield, Esq., Eon. D. 31. Barringer, Col John L. 
Bridgers, Committee, &c.: 

Gentlemen, — I have not yet had time to give the subject of 
your communication the attention which its importance demands, 
having been wholly occupied with the survey of the Western section 
of the State. It is my purpose, in a few months, after completing 
the examination of that region, to take up, in detail, the study of 
the marls of the eastern counties, and, in connection with them, to 
discuss the whole subject of our resources of fertilization in this 
State, and the best methods of utilizing them. But it has occurred 
to me that it might be worth while, preliminarily, to call the atten- 
tion of your Committee and of the Agricultural Society to some 
general considerations which must direct and limit our investiga- 
tions and experiments in this direction. 

"Without going into the general subject of manures and the 
theory of their action upon the soil, it will be sufficient to state in 
general, that the principal problem of practical agriculture in our 
State and region is, how to restore and maintain the supply of lime 
and humus in our soils. This is so, partly because these are among 
the most important ingredients, and, at the same time, the most 
liable to exhaustion, and partly because, whatever method is adopted 
of supplying these, the other exhaustible elements are also restored 

The methods of supplying humus are mainly two : First, the 
ploughing in of green crops ; and, second, the direct addition of it in 
the form of stable manure, peat, muck, &c. 

Lime may be restored directly, as lime, or in the form of marl or 


gypsum. And, still better, either or both of these may be com- 
posted with the peat, &c. 

Since the process of improving soils by ploughing in green crops, 
however advisable, will not readily nor speedily be adopted by our 
farmers, and since the quantity of stock in our region is and must 
long remain utterly inadequate to furnish a supply of stable ma- 
nure, it is important to inquire whether there are other available 
sources of supply. The immense peat beds of our coast region 
will at once occur to you as capable of furnishing unlimited quan- 
tities for an indefinite period. In fact, there is enough to supply 
for one hundred years every acre of cultivated land within ten 
miles of a railroad or navigable river. 

As for lime, of course the marl-beds of the same region furnish 
an inexhaustible supply. The manufacture of lime for agricultural 
purposes ought to become at once a large and lucrative business. 
The soils of a very large proportion of the State being of granitic 
origin, are generally very deficient in this most important element. 
It might be supplied to a large part of the eastern and middle sec- 
tions of the State from the marls near the coast, which are often 
almost pure limestone. This is one manufacture your Society would 
do well to ecourage. 

As to the matter of transportation of peat and marl to consid- 
erable distances, I have no doubt that much might profitably be 
done in that way. Peat, air-dried, loses from § to f of its weight. 
The marls of the coast are in many places rich onough in fertilizing 
ingredients, phosphates, potash, &c, to bear transportation (and 
where they are not, they might, in some cases, be concentrated by 
simple mechanical means) over large districts, along the rivers in 
whose banks they abound, and on the line of the railroads, as is 
done so extensively in New Jersey. 

But this is not the enterprise which I propose for your considera- 
tion. It is the utilization of these materials, together with the 
waste from the fisheries of the sounds and rivers of the same sec- 
tion, for the manufacture of a manipulated manure which may be 
profitably transported over the whole State by water and rail. 
These fisheries, as you are aware, furnish thousands of tons of 
refuse and offal annually, which are now little better than thrown 

Consider the composition of these materials : The marls contain, 
besides lime, which is the principal ingredient, iron, magnesia, 
phosphate of lime and organic matter, and some of them, also, pot- 
ash and soda. 
































Here is an analysis of a stone marl near Wilmington, given by 
Mr. Emmons: Silex 20 per cent., phosphate 5, magnesia 4, carbon- 
ate of lime 72, organic matter, &c, 2. 

When the sand constitutes a large proportion of the marl, it may 
be separated by simple means, so as to concentrate the more valua- 
ble ingredients, as lime, potash, phosphates, &c. 

The composition of peat may be stated (as an average of many 
analyses) to be as follows, viz . 








Sulphuric acid, 


Phosphoric acid, 

Silex, 4.4 " " 

An analysis of the fish offal gives the following, viz : 

In 120 parts, oil, 
Other organic matter, 

Phosphoric acid, 
' Silica, 

Thus it is evident that by a judicious selection of marls and 
peats, (and the concentration of the former when necessary,) and 
the addition of fish offal, (and in some cases, if desirable, a small 
portion of guano and gypsum,) an unlimited quantity may be made 
of a fertilizer superior to most of the imported articles, at a trifling 
fraction of their cost, and capable of transportation to all parts of 
the State, — a fertilizer which, besides the principal ingredients, 
wanting in our soils, lime and humus, contains all the other ele- 
ments of stable manure, or the best guanos. Here, then, you have 
all the necessary materials in unlimited abundance, without cost, 
in immediate proximity to each other, on navigable waters, and 
connected with all parts of the State by railroad. It is not easy 

20.0 per 


78.3 " 


8.7 " 


1.6 " 


1.0 " 


7.8 " 


7 " 


1.3 " 



to see what better conditions could exist anywhere for a profitable 
enterprise of the kind you contemplate. 

It will give me pleasure to aid you in any manner in furthering 
such an undertaking. — W. C. Kerr, in the Sentinel. 

To Gr. W. Whitfield, Esq., Hon. D. 31. Barringer and Col. John 
L. Bridgers, Committee of the State Agricultural Society : 
Gentlemen, — By way of postscript to a recent communication 
on the subject of manures, I enclose a brief article on composts, 
which was recently prepared as a general answer to inquiries on 
this subject, which are frequently addressed to me by practical 
farmers in different parts of the State. 

With the view of promoting the manufacture of manures in a 
small way, by all our farmers, and the saving of an enormous 
amount of material which annually goes to waste for want of a lit- 
tle care and a little instruction, it is desirable to place in their 
hands a few simple compost formulae, applicable anywhere in the 
State, and calling only for such materials as are generally accessi- 

Here are two which should be prepared in summer or fall, to be 
used the following spring; the materials may be either thoroughly 
mingled and then thrown into heaps, or laid down in alternate 
strata : 

Formula 1. Peat, 1 cord. 

Ashes, 10 bush. 

For ashes may be substituted twice the quantity of marl, or of 
leached ashes. 

Formula 2. Peat, 3 cords. 

Lime, 5 bush. 

Salt, 1 " 

For peat may be substituted muck, leaf mold, pond mud, &c. 
Dissolve the salt, slake the lime with the solution, and then mix 
with the peat, &c. 

The following may be prepared in any season, and in warm wea- 
ther will be ready for use in two or three weeks ; over-heating 
should be prevented by watering and occasional turning : 

• Formula 3. Peat, 2 cords. 

Stable Manure, 1 cord. 

This will give three cords, nearly as rich as stable manure itself. 

Formula 4. „ Peat, 10 bush. 

Night-soil, 1 " 


For night-soil may be substituted the same quantity of guano 
(Peruvian), hen manure, cotton seed meal, fish, fish-offal, or any 
putrescent animal matter. A dead horse will convert 5 cords of 
peat into excellent manure, sufficient to enrich an acre of land. 

Formula 5. Straw, 3 tons. 

Ashes, 3 bush. 

Plaster, 1 " 

Night-soil, 5 " 

Salt, i " 

The result will be nearly equal to so much guano. For straw 
may be substituted leaves, weeds, potato vines, corn stalks, Chinese 
cane, &c. 

Plaster is an excellent addition to any of the above formulae. 
To any of them also may be added, with great advantage, yard 
sweepings, scrapings of hen-house, smoke-house and privy, kitchen 
and chamber slops, animal offal of all sorts, soot, ashes, waste brine, 
&c. ; all of which are turned to valuable account, instead of being 
allowed to pollute the air by their noxious exhalations, and to poison 
the wells by their teachings, as so often happens, especially in 
towns. These may seem small matters, but they are not so to those 
who look for the "causes of things/' and cannot be so regarded by 
any to whom the health and wealth of society are not also such. 

Perhaps you will not consider it an intrusion if I add a few sug- 
gestions on the subject of the revival of Agricultural Societies in 
the State, and the best means of promoting the ends which your 
Society has in view. 

I desire to call your attention to some considerations on the pro- 
priety of organizing three subordinate Agricultural Societies, cor- 
responding to the three natural divisions of the State, viz ; East- 
ern, Middle and Western. These regions are as diverse in their 
leading geographical, climatic and agricultural features as if sepa- 
rated by half a continent. The eastern division is characterized 
by the prevalence of level or slightly undulating plains, and by 
peaty, alluvial and sandy soils ; the middle, by a rolling and hilly 
surface, and clayey and gravelly granite soils ; the western, by a 
succession of lofty mountain ranges, with infinite cross-chains and 
spurs, intersected and divided by narrow valleys and elevated pla- 
teaus, with various soils, generally gravelly and open, often clayey. 
And these differences are accompanied by climatic features quite as 
distinctive, the western section being, in this respect, as strongly 
diverse from the eastern as the latter is from New York. And it 


is apparent that the agricultural products, the modes and imple- 
ments of cultivation, the means and scurces of fertilization — in a 
•word, all those matters which constitute the staple of the discussions 
of Agricultural Societies, must show a corresponding diversity. 
What interest, e. g., have the farmers of Buncombe in the discus- 
sion and experimentation of marls and peat, or in the cultivation of 
the scuppernong or cotton ? And on the other hand, why should ' 
the farmer of Edgecombe or Perquimans waste his time in studying 
the conditions of stock-raising, or the manufacture of cheese, but- 
ter, &c. ? 

The suggestion I would make is, that the leading farmers of the 
middle section of the State — Mecklenburg, Guilford, Orange, &c. — 
unite their influence and efforts to form a Society for the discussion 
and development of those points which are common to the farming 
interests of those counties, such as the proper selection and rota- 
tion of crops, the best method of renovating exhausted soils, the 
kinds, sources, manufacture, cost, transportation and modes of use 
of fertilizers, &c. ; while a similar association of farmers in the east 
take up such subjects as market-gardening, the utilization of marls, 
peat, &c, the cultivation of the vine, and other matters of special 
importance to the agriculture of this region ; while in the west they 
will naturally occupy themselves with cattle, fruit, dairy farming, 

There would remain a large residuum of subjects, whose interest 
is as wide as the limits of the State, which would belong to the pro- 
per province of the State Agricultural Society. Among these may 
be mentioned agricultural education, the Agricultural College, the 
conduct of a State Agricultural paper, the introduction of agricul- 
tural implements and machinery ; the manufacture, transportation 
and inspection of fertilizers, the whole matter of immigration and 
labor, the requisite changes in our system of farming and the like. 

You will no doubt agree with me that it is time to consider these 
matters in a practical way, with a view to immediate and effectual 
action. — W. C. Kerr, in the Raleigh Sentinel. 

Will Lime Kill Sorrell? 

Several agricultural papers have, during the past year, published 
a short and comprehensive article on the exterminating of sorrel. 
The method is to apply lime. The author of the article arrived at 
the conclusion that lime would kill sorrel, by some such syllogistic 
reasoning as this: Plants get their sustenance from the soil. Sor- 


rel contains an acid ; hence an acid is in the soil. An acid is neu- 
tralized by an alkali ; hence lime will prevent the growth of sorrel. 
The trouble about this reasoning is, that it abounds with too glaring 
generalities to be of any value. Oxalic acid, which is a peculiar 
principle found in sorrel, is not likely to be a constituent of the soil 
on which the plant grows, but is produced from other substances 
taken from the soil or air by the action of the vital force of the 
plant. It is, in short, a product of the growth of certain plants, 
sorrel among the number, just as sugar is a product of the corn 
stalk, opium of the poppy, and oil of the flax seed or the castor bean. 
If sugar, opium and oil existed in the soil, the plants that abound 
in them at certain stages of their maturity would not profit by their 
presence since they could take them up, only after they were de- 
composed. We presume, too, that sorrel would not thrive any bet- 
ter on oxalic acid than poppies would on pure opium, while castor 
beans would show as much repugnance to castor oil as invalids do. 
Nor is it probable that oxalic acid would long remain in any soil 
undecomposed, as it is one of the most unstable of compounds, and 
chemists find it very difficult to keep it from decomposing. 

A writer in the Farmers Gazette contends that the growth of 
sorrel is caused by the presence of carbonic oxide in the air, instead 
of carbonic acid. He argues this from the composition of oxalic 
acid, which is the peculiar ingredient of the sorrel plant, and from 
which it derives its scientific name. According to this theory, ex- 
cess of carbon in the soil and a disproportionate amount of oxygen 
circulating through it, would tend to develop the growth of sorrel, 
because the carbon would be imperfectly oxydized. To prevent this 
pest or to kill it out, we should then cause a free circulation of air 
through the soil by deep tilling and drainoge. The application of 
quick lime would not effect this result, as it would result in abstract- 
ing the free carbonic acid from the air, and the formation of car- 
bonate of lime. The presence of protoxyd of iron in the soil would 
also encourage its growth, since it would abstract oxygen from the 
air and become converted into the sesquioxyd or the peroxyd of 
iron. So, too, the presence of iron pyrites — sulphuret of iron — 
would tend to the same result, because both the sulphur and the 
iron would abstract oxygen from the air more readily than carbon 
does, and the two substances, becoming oxydized to different de- 
grees, would unite to form the sulphate of iron or copperas. Simi- 
lar results would take place when other sulphides are exposed to 
the action of the atmosphere. 

According to the above mentioned theory, the application of 


ashes, or any form of soda or potash, would result unfavorably to 
the killing out of sorrel ; as their first action is to absorb carbonic 
acid, and to pass either into the form of a carbonote or bi-carbon- 
ate. It is true that in time, after the carbonate of lime, soda and 
potash have been worked into the earth, the carbonic acid may be 
liberated from the bases, in consequence of the action of some 
stronger acid, like humic acid. Thus the secondary effect of the 
application of alkalies, like those we have mentioned, may be favor- 
able to the growth of sorrel, by causing a growth of better plants 
to spring up, which will respire carbonic acid from the air, and in 
turn exhale oxygen ; but it must be borne in mind that this would 
not be the direct effect of alkalies on the growth of sorrel. 

Many have the idea that oxalic acid exists in the soil, and that 
the office of lime or other caustic bases is to sweeten the soil by 
combining with it ; but nothing is farther from the fact than this. 
And even if this was the case, it would not follow that the applica- 
tion of alkalies would prevent the growth of plants containing it, 
since oxalic acid exists in sorrel, in the form of oxalate of potash, 
and in lichen it is found in combination with lime. Lichens contain 
a larger proportion of oxalic acid than does sorrel, and still it is 
not unusual to find them growing in crevices of lime-quarries, and 
it is said that the marble pillars of the ancient Pantheon at Athens 
are covered, for a considerable distance, with a growth of lichens, 
the lime of the wrought marble obviously contributing to their sus- 

It is certain then that the application of an alkali will not work 
the change that is expected of it — that it will not play the part of 
an antidote. 

Still we think there is reason to argue that the use of any alka- 
lies will greatly help to eradicate plants which contain the salts of 
oxalic acid, by encouraging the growth of useful plants. But it 
must be admitted that the way in which it operates to bring about 
this change is somewhat obscure, and that its method of action can 
not be pointed out with the precision that characterizes an ordinary 
chemical formula. 

We are not prepared to indorse or to dissent from the theory 
that plants abounding in oxalic acid owe their development to the 
presence of carbonic oxyd in the air. Chemists are by no means 
united in the opinion that this gas is produced by the natural decay 
of vegetable matter; and the majority of them are, we think, op- 
posed to the theory. There is a strong disposition in all substances 
that admit of several degrees of oxydation to pass from the lower 


to the higher forms in the presence of atmospheric air. Thus the 
protoxyd of iron will pass into the peroxyd, and sulphurous acid 
into sulphuric acid. 

It must be admitted, however, that carbonic oxyd is generated in 
large quantities in the combustion of both bituminous and anthra- 
cite coal, and to some extent in the combustion of other sorts of 
fuel. Nor do we consider it improbable that the gas may be set free 
from carbon during the operation of slow decay. 'Some time must 
necessarily elapse before this gas would take on another equivalent 
oxygen, so that it is probable that it will find its way to plants be- 
fore it is converted into carbonic acid. 

Admitting, for argument's sake, that such is the philosophy of 
the growth of sorre], lichens, and other forms of vegetation that 
contain oxalic acid, let us see if we can prevent the formation of 
the gas on which they feed. It is plain that we can accomplish 
this by oxydizing the carbon of the soil to a greater degree than is 
now done. Mechanically, we can expect much by draining, deeper 
tilling, and exposing the soil to the action of the air and light. 

But what. can we add to the soil to produce any chemical result? 
We think none of the substances that have been recommended, we 
should have greater faith in than the application of nitric acid, or 
some of the salts that are derived from it, as the nitrate of soda, 
or nitrate of ammonia. Both of these salts have been used to some 
extent in Europe for agricultural purposes, with the most happy re- 
sults. Nitric acid is a most powerful oxydizer, and is used for that 
purpose in most operations in the laboratory. These substances 
must, of course, be used very sparingly — the nitrates pulverized 
and dusted on the soil broadcast, or dissolved with much water, and 
applied with a sprinkler. The nitric acid should also be used very 
sparingly — that is, diluted with several hundred times its volume of 
water. — Prairie Farmer. 

Cooked Food for Hogs. 

My first experiment was with old corn, in three forms, viz : 
shelled and fed whole; ground and made into slop with cold water; 
and ground and thoroughly cooked. 

The pigs, five in number, were from the same litter, and were 
the produce of a good common sow crossed with a Berkshire boar. 

In each case the food was given them as fast as consumed, and 
all possible care taken to avoid any waste or irregularity of feed- 
ing ; in every case of a change of food three days were allowed be- 


fore the weighing for the experiment, in order that the effect of a 
sudden and entire change of diet might not affect the result. 

I found that five bushels of whole corn made forty-seven and 
three-fourths pounds of pork. Five bushels (less miller's toll) of 
corn, ground and made into thick slop with cold water, made fifty- 
eight and a half pounds of pork. The same amount of meal, well 
boiled and fed cold, made eighty-three and a half pounds of pork. 

With the whole corn the pigs had the slops from the kitchen (no 
milk), and for drink with the boiled mush, one or two quarts were 
thinned with cold water or slop from the house ; in each case the 
house slop was used in some form or other, but all the milk was re- 
served for small pigs. The fifteen bushels of corn cost one dollar 
and thirty cents per bushel ; and you will notice that while the 
pork made from the whole corn barely paid for the corn, that from 
the same amount of ground corn cooked paid the whole cost of the 
corn and a little more than one dollar per bushel over, and that the 
economy of grinding and making into slop will fully warrant the 
extra trouble and expense. How could it be otherwise, when the 
whole economy of profitable feeding consists in bursting or break- 
ing the indigestible hull which incloses the minute particles of food ? 

In the above experiment the data are based upon pork at four- 
teen dollars per hundred weight and corn at one dollar and thirty 
cents per bushel ; but it will apply as well to other prices. 

The second experiment was exclusively with new corn, in two 
forms, viz : on the ear, and shelled and ground before boiling; and 
all in each case was what we know as " nubbins" or soft corn. The 
best of this class of corn was reserved for the pigs and the worst 
fed to the cattle. Ten bushels on the cob made twenty-nine and a 
half pounds of pork, fed in the usual way, on the ground. The 
same amount shelled, ground by horse-power, and well boiled, made 
sixty-four pounds of pork. Of course a portion of that fed on the 
ear was wasted ; but it is the common plan, and forms but a fair 
test of the comparative merits of cooked food. I have made no ex- 
periment with sound, new corn, but may have a favorable opportu- 
nity before the season is past ; but would suppose my experiment 
with old corn would form a good criterion to judge by. 

I have found that there is economy in allowing the food to be- 
come thoroughly cold before it is fed ; that in this state a larger 
amount will be eaten, with more apparent good appetite ; that while 
scalding is beneficial, thorough and prolonged cooking under pres- 
sure is more economical. In more than one case I fastened the 
lids of the barrels down until the pressure was as high as five 
vol. m — 27 


pounds per square inch in the barrel and steamer, and an examina- 
tion into the condition of the food convinced me that its globules 
were thoroughly burst, and it was all, or nearly all, rendered avail- 
able. During a given time, the same pigs will consume rather more 
corn cooked than uncooked. — Practical Farmer. 

Deep Ploughing in Autumn. 

There is, probably, no one of the labors of the farm, about which 
there is so much controversy and such diversity of opinion, as that 
of ploughing. We believe that if the question were asked to-day 
of ten farmers, which method of ploughing, whether deep or shal- 
low, in autumn or spring, they believed to be most desirable, not 
three of them would agree on any particular system, but each would 
furnish a theory of his own, that would, in some cases, be entirely 
opposed to those of some of the others ; and this goes to show that 
ploughing is a labor entirely dependent upon circumstances of soil 
and crop, and that no arbitrary rule can be made to apply to all 
cases. We believe that the weight of opinion is, that in autumn, 
on a majority of soils, deep ploughing is preferable to shallow ; and 
in spring that six inches is in most cases the greatest depth advisa- 
ble ; and when we look carefully into the matter, we readily dis- 
cover why this should be. 

Frost is a well known disintegrator and ripener of soils, and 
when they have been exposed to its action, its beneficial effect upon 
them has always been apparent. On all qualities of soil has this 
been noticeable. * 

Now if we have a green sward overlaying a heavy clay subsoil, 
if the latter were not broken, we can easily see that, acting as it 
does, as a perfect water shed, entirely unabsorbent, the falling 
moisture must, of necessity, remain collected in the upper soil, the 
effect of which would be to render it cold and sour ; but if the clay 
be broken in fall by a judicious deep ploughing, (even subsoiling, if 
it is broken in its place, and not thrown to the surface,) Ave can see 
that, as clay when broken is very absorbent, the effect must be to 
warm and mellow the upper soil, and even deepen it, the frost me- 
chanically amalgamating the strata to a considerable extent. 

We do not, of course, wish to be understood as recommending 
deep ploughing on all heavy lands, for when they are not thoroughly 
drained it is undesirable, and even to be avoided ; but where tho- 
rough drainage has been attained, we believe that the heavy, clayey 


subsoil should be broken, and the whole exposed to the action of the 
winter's frosts. 

At the meeting of the State Board of Agriculture at Concord, 
last winter, this matter of fall ploughing was fully discussed, and 
the weight of opinion decidedly seemed in favor of deep ploughing 
of heavy lands. Mr. Hubbard, of Brimfield, found in his expe- 
rience in the cultivation of certain crops, that the fall is the best 
time to plough the ground ; he thought that all will concede the 
fact, that the land, if it is heavy, clayey soil, can be worked much 
earlier in the spring by putting the manure on, and ploughing it in 
the fall. He did not care how soon it is put on after the crop is 
taken off; his advice was to "spread it on, plough it in ; and so far 
as my experience goes, I have got a better crop in that way than 
by allowing the land to remain until spring, and then putting the 
manure on and ploughing it in." 

Mr. Ward, of Monson, thought that much depends upon the 
ground to be ploughed, whether it is ploughed in the fall. " If 
you have a tough, hard piece of ground that jou. desire to break 
up, it is better to plough in the fall ; the frost has considerable ef- 
fect upon the hard soil, and I do not think there is any very great 
loss by the wind blowing off the surface soil. I think a light soil 
may as well be ploughed in the spring as in the fall." 

Mr. Thatcher, of Lee, in speaking of deep ploughing, in describ- 
ing a subsoil attachment for a plough, said ; " We are now using in 
southern Berkshire, a plough which turns over the sod from six. to 
seven inches, with a subsoil attachment running from two to four 
inches, which still does not lift the virgin soil the first year to the 
surface. This attachment running behind the mould board to the 
depth of four inches, usually stirs the whole width of the furrow to 
that depth after we have turned over the sod. 

"Our'idea is, that by loosening the subsoil by this attachment 
we enable the rains to soak down through, which they would not 
do, our subsoil being clay, (which will not take in water unless the 
earth was loosened,) and our corn root's" run down there to get their 
moisture. The effect of the manure is felt there ; and the second 
year, when we come to plough up again after this stirring of the 
subsoil, we drop our plows down and throw up part of it. I think 
we certainly in our northern country derive a benefit by stirring 
the soil the first year, and very great benefit without lifting it to 
the surface, and then lifting it to the surface, and mixing it in the 
succeeding ploughing. I have in my mind now a six acre piece, 
which would not half feed a cow through the season. We could 


not get more than four or five inches of soil before we came to a 
hard clay subsoil, that retained the water upon it, making the land 
cold, backward and sour. After ditching that land, and putting in 
some under-drains, (which, of course, benetted it, without plough- 
ing,) we commenced ploughing this land in this way to get a deeper 
soil ; not using the subsoil attachment that time, because we did 
not have it, but using a common plough, following the furrow after- 
wards, and lifting one or two inches at a time. I am speaking 
within bounds when I say that the second year the crop of corn 
paid twice over for the labor of ditching and double ploughing. It 
is as good a piece of land now, I think, as can be found in the town 
of Lee." 

Deep ploughing of heavy lands, then, with clayey subsoils, is to 
be recommended in autumn, and a plough which turns the sod and 
lifts and breaks the subsoil, permitting it to fall back into its place, 
without bringing it to the surface, is the implement which seems 
most desirable. 

Sward land with a gravelly subsoil may also be broken up in 
autumn, and it is even to be recommended ; but it does not seem so 
essential to us as with the other. 

Stirring the subsoil is also in this case desirable, although it 
should not be brought to the surface. It is well known that lands 
with a sandy or gravelly subsoil lose their moisture sooner than 
others, and vegetation, though languishing for the want of it, can- 
not send down through the hard firm stratum its tender roots suffi- 
ciently deep to be supplied. If it is stirred and loosened to the 
depth of five or six inches below the sward the result must be ap- 

We believe that the matter of subsoil ploughing has not been 
properly understood, or has too often been conducted in a careless, 
unsystematic manner, so that when in some cases it has produced 
unfavorable results, it has been condemned for all others ; burying 
the upper matured soil, and bringing up the cold, raw subsoil to the 
surface, seems to us to be the* great evil which has resulted from in- 
judicious deep ploughing. If this is guarded against in the manner 
recommended above, we cannot see any objection against, and can 
see many recommendations for its practice. — Mass. Ploughman. 

The time is fast coming when landed proprietors will be esteemed 
for the condition of their acres rather than for the extent of ter- 


New Fodder Plant. 

M. Laslier, of Boston, has introduced and is cultivating a plant 
which he is confident will prove to be a great acquisition to the fod- 
der plants now commonly grown in this country. This is the Galega 
officinalis of the botanist, a native of Spain, and first introduced 
into England in the latter part of the 16th century. It belongs to 
a genus of hardy, ornamental, perennial-rooted, herbaceous plants, 
of the lotus division of the composite order. The roots consist of 
many strong fibres, frequently jointed, stems numerous, hollow, 
erect, from three to six feet high. Its flowers are produced in loose 
spikes from the top of the stem, and bloom from June to Septem- 
ber. The pods are erect, nearly cylindrical, from five to eight 
seeded, and swollen out with air. The color of the flowers is light 
blue, or light purple, white, or variegated. The variety with which 
M. Laslier is experimenting is white, we believe. 

The plant was cultivated many years ago in gardens for medici- 
nal purposes, but it has of late years been recommended as a forage 
plant for cattle. It yields a large bulk of produce. Cattle do not 
appear to relish it at first, and will eat it but sparingly ; but, like 
many other feeding substances, it is thought they will soon learn to 
like it. At any rate, its composition shows it to possess a high nu- 
tritive value, being nearly two to one as compared with good hay; 
1.92 as compared with lucerne. A distinguished chemist, Prof. 
Gaucheron, of Orleans, France, says 412,000 pounds of the Galega 
officinalis are quite equal in nutritive value to 200,000 pounds of 
good hay. The plant grows readily in most soils. It maybe man- 
ufactured into paper. 

M. Laslier showed us plants that had come up from seeds sown 
in the open air in October last. They were about four inches high, 
and looked not very unlike young clover plants. — Massachusetts 

Sabbath for the Working Man. 

The Sabbath is God's special present to the working man, and 
one of its chief objects is to prolong his life and preserve efficient 
his working tone. In the vital system it acts like a compensation- 
pond; it replenishes the spirits, the elasticity, and vigor which the 
last six days have drained away, and supplies the force which is to 
fill the six days succeeding ; and in the economy of existence, it 
answers the same purpose as, in the economy of income, is answered 
by a savings' bank. The frugal man who puts aside a pound to- 


day and another pound next month, and who, in a quiet way, is al- 
ways putting by his stated pound from time to time, when he grows 
old and frail, gets not only the same pounds back again, but a good 
many pounds besides. * And the conscientious man, who husbands 
one day of existence every week, who, instead of allowing the Sab- 
bath to he trampled and torn in the hurry and scramble of life, 
treasures it devoutly up — the Lord of the Sabbath keeps it for him, 
and in length of days and a hale old age gives it back with usury. 
The savings' bank of human existence is the weekly Sabbath. — 
North British Review. 

The Effects of Gathering Clover Seed on the Fertility of the Soil 
Shown— Value of Oil Cake. 

I planted potatoes this year on clover sod. The clover last year 
was cut for hay, and afterwards for seed. This is running the land 
pretty hard, but as nothing is exported from the farm except the 
seed, and as a bushel of oil-cake meal, which costs about $1.50, 
contains more fertilizing ingredients than a bushel of clover seed, 
the farm is benefitted by exchanging the clover seed for oil-cake. 
But unless some such plan as this is adopted, growing clover seed 
impoverishes your land. Last fall, in cutting the clover seed, a 
strip about the width of the machine was skipped, and you can now 
see the effect on the potatoes. They are far better than on the 
rest of the field. I should not be surprised if the yield was one- 
third or ono-half greater, and this will a good deal more than pay 
for the clover seed. With such effects it is not surprising that 
many good farmers object to raising clover seed. But I think it is 
nevertheless true that if the money obtained for the seed is ex- 
pended in oil-cake, and the manure returned to the land, there is a 
decided gain. You do not see the effect, however, quite so soon as 
if the clover was pastured with sheep, or ploughed under. — Walks 
and Talks on the Farm, in American Agriculturist. 

Let us Manufacture our own Productions. 

The nation that exports its crude products or raw material for 
manufacturing purposes, and imports the fabrics manufactured out 
of them, as a general rule, never grows rich. 

The true secret of national wealth is, for the nation to manufac- 
ture its own productions, thereby impressing upon them additional 
value by every manufacturing process through which they pa3s, and 
retaining the profits to herself, her wealth and capital increasing in 
proportion to the profits realized, both in the growth and manufac- 
ture of its productions. ■ W. 


Improvement of Worn-out Farms. 


" I wish to say a few words in regard to a class of men who have 
done as much, if not more, to promote the agricultural interests of 
this country than any other, and yet, since my earliest recollection, 
they have been sneeringly called Fancy Farmers! They are gen- 
erally mechanics, manufacturers, or merchants who have been suc- 
cessful in their vocations, and who have invested the first money 
they could spare from their business in land, and in making im- 
provements upon it. They may occasionally have a ditch dug, and 
find that the water runs the wrong way, but this hurts nobody, and 
gives employment to those who need it for the support of their fami- 
lies. They do not watch the almanac, and discharge their work- 
men when the days become short, but employ the poor when the 
weather and the hours for work do not admit of a compensating re- 
turn, which the man who has no other mean* of support than the 
product of his farm cannot afford to do. These men are to be 
found in almost every part of our country, and may be known by 
the houses for their workmen, their land, and their out-buildings 
being in better order than any others in their neighborhood. They 
are the first to buy what is called improved agricultural machinery 
and implements, which do not always prove so. Not being depen- 
dent upon their farms, they can afford to experiment; sometimes 
they are successful, sometimes not; but when they are, every farmer 
gets a benefit from their outlay. It is largely to such persons that 
we are indebted for many of the improvements in husbandry, and 
still they are sneeringly called Fancy Farmers!" — [Address of 
Thomas H. Faile, President of the New York State Agricultural 
Societ}', delivered at Albany in February, 1869. 

Mr. Faile brings prominently out, in the foregoing extract from 
his valedictory address, an important point for the consideration of 
those of us who have spent all our lives on farms, working hard to 
improve the soil, and to lay up a competence for old age. 

The merely practical man may be an adept in the handling of 
tools, and he may become highly skilled in the application of labor, 
so as to produce great results with comparatively small means, and 
thus plume himself on a supposed superiority over his neighbor, who 
makes farming a recreation and a pleasure rather than a business. 
He is prone to judge his neighbor by his own standards, and to for- 
get that in one case farming has been the life struggle against pov- 


erty, and that in the other it is the reward of successful industry 
in some more exciting and perilous business. I once asked a suc- 
cessful farmer who in very early life had been a successful sailor, 
■why he left the sea, with all its tempting excitements, and settled 
down to the cultivation of the soil. The answer was, " T6 own and 
cultivate a piece of solid earth is the dream and hope of most men 
who follow the seas, and I took the earliest time that my savings 
would allow to gratify this desire." This feeling is not confined to 
sailors, but is to be found in every branch of active business. Be- 
sides those named by Mr. Faile, editors, lawyers, clergymen, and 
all who live lives of active mental labor, are apt to cast longing 
eyes to green fields and lowing herds, and to covet the bracing air 
of country life. When the very few of these men that ai;e able to 
carry out this desire plant themselves on farms, and turn those same 
mighty energies that conquered success in the other walks of life to 
the less exciting but still more important business of cultivating the 
earth, they are very apt not only to succeed, but to become models 
and exemplars in their new calling. 

"William Chamberlain, of Red Hook, Dutchess county, is one of 
these men. At 16 years of age he left his native hills in Vermont, 
and in due time became a great merchant, having ship* on many 
seas. Industry, integrity, economy, and sagacity,, in due time, 
reaped its harvest of wealth. The time came when his love of the 
country and the farm could be gratified ; and about the year 1840 
he went to Red Hook, and in the Winter, when snow covered the 
ground, he bought a large farm. His eye told him that the surface 
was gently rolling, and those of whom he inquired told him that 
the land was good. The place was near enough the city of New 
York to be reached in a reasonable time, while he should continue 
in business in that city, so he purchased what proved to be an old 
Worn-out Farm, that had been producing hay for New York until 
it had arrived at that condition of things that its principal produc- 
tion was sorrel. 

The year 1841 revealed to the new owner the true condition of 
things. The 440 acres, less 60 acres of wood land, leaving 380 
acres under what was called cultivation, yielded seventeen (17) 
loads of hay. Forty acres of rye gave 10 bushels to the acre; 25 
acres of corn gave 20 bushels to the acre ; 20 acres of oats gave 15 
bushels to the acre. The remainder of the farm was in what was 
dignified by the name of pasture, which proved adequate to the 
grazing of one span of horses, two pairs of oxen, and one cow. Not 
to put too fine a point on the matter, our friend discovered that 


mid-Winter was a bad time for judging of the quality or condition 
of land. 

For a more perfect understanding of this case, it is necessary to 
add to what has been said of the farm by way of description, that 
the soil is generally a sandy loam, sand strongly predominating. 
There was a swamp of many acres made by a small brook and some 
springs nearly in the middle of the farm, that had not been drained, 
and that was so miry that a yearling steer could not cross it. 
There is so little lime in the soil that the springs and wells give 
what is called soft water — such as will answer for washing clothes. 
This farm lies about 200 feet above the Hudson river, its center 
about a mile and a half distant from the wharf at Barrytown, and 
is part of a beautiful plain of several miles in width and length, of 
gently varying surface, and on which stands the pleasant little vil- 
lage of Red Hook. 

According to the standards of the farmers of Livingston county, 
or of Ohio, this land never was first-rate. There is too much sand, 
too much ground up granite rock, and too little lime in it to place 
it in the rank of the best lands ; and a miserable system of farm- 
ing, or rather skinning, had taken from it, by 1841, all that it ori- 
ginally L had of fertility. It was so poor that it would not bear 

We can imagine Mr. Chamberlain's disappointment on finding 
out the real state and condition of his purchase. Those who know 
the man will not be surprised to learn that he did not surrender, 
but that he addressed himself to the work of reconstruction with the 
same energy that had made him successful as an importing mer- 
chant; and that he has succeeded in making this worn-out farm so 
to re-create itself, and pay its own way, that now it is entitled to 
rank in productive power with the best lands in this State. I will 
now describe the process, and give the result. 


A few sheep were purchased. Leaves from the wood lands were 
put in the sheds, and the sheep fed and kept on these leaves. Thus 
all the manure was saved. The swamp required draining as the 
first movement toward reclaiming it. Ditches were dug, and the 
muck thrown from them was drawn into the sheds, and, like the 
leaves, saved the manure of the sheep. Before investing much la- 
bor in handling muck, a simple but conclusive experiment was made 
to test the question of its value. A single cart-load that in the 
Spring had been thrown out of a ditch, was drawn, when dry, and 


spread over four rods of ground then prepared for a crop of rye. 
This load, being at the rate of 40 to the acre, produced a very 
marked effect on the clover that was sown the next Spring, causing 
it to head out before harvest, while all around there was little to be 

The manure from the sheep sheds was piled in the Spring, mixing it 
thoroughly with the leaves and muck. The straw, corn-stalks, and 
whatever got under the feet of the sheep was also put into the 
heap, and composted and made as fine as practicable by the time 
the land for rye was ready. So much of this manure as was fine 
enough not to clog the harrow, was put on the land just before the 
rye was sown, and mixed with the surface by the same process that 
covered the seed. The coarsest part of the manure pile was ploughed 
in at the last ploughing. Four quarts of timothy seed to the acre 
was sown on the rye in the Fall, and the next Spring six quarts of 
cloverseed was put on an acre, and the last of May or the first of 
June one and a half bushels of Nova Scotia gypsum was sown on 
an acre. The manure was applied in light dressings, so as to cover 
as many acres as it was thought it would answer to secure the 
growth of the clover and grass. 

For ten years the owner, being absorbed in his business in New 
York, could give but little personal attention to the farm. A hired 
man was kept on it, who acted under general instructions, and the 
process was but slowly going on, when, about 1850, improvement 
really commenced its rapid march. From that time till now Mr. 
Chamberlain has lived on the farm and given it his personal atten- 
tion. On land not manured clover would not grow. Thus the ma- 
nure question became, from the start, the important one. Mr. C. 
pays, in a letter before me : "By drawing leaves, weeds, and every 
thing that would make manure, I managed to have a nice little pile 
to top-dress my Fall-sown grain, and was delighted to find I could 
raise clover, and then I found improvement of the soil quite easy. 
I have purchased very little manure ; have tried guano and phos- 
phate, but was dissatisfied with both ; purchased two canal-boat 
loads of ashes at Syracuse, and found them good for clover; but 
now depend for my manure on the farm supply, and calculate to 
give to all the land I plough a small supply when I seed it down." 

In personal interviews I have learned that guanos and super- 
phosphates have been fully tested, not merely by the observation of 
the eye, but by measuring products. Super-phosphates gave corn 
a great start, so that in early July it was very promising ; but at 
harvest it was found by measurement to have added nothing to the 


grain, or from appearances to the stalks. One-half of the field had 
the super-phosphate applied, the other half did not have it. 

As to guano, he says in a wet season it did great good, but that 
in a dry season it did injury. 

The ashes made from wood burned in the manufacture of salt at 
Syracuse had considerable salt and much of the impurities, such as 
sulphate of lime, that are taken from the water, mixed among them, 
In all, 25 or 30 acres of land have had these ashes applied, at the 
rate of about 50 bushels to the acre. This is but a very small part 
of the whole farm, so that in truth farm -made manure has done the 
work. Purchased manures have only had their value tested, and 
excepting gypsum, have really performed no other part than to 
show either their worthlessness or that they cost too much. Gyp- 
sum has, as in many other places, proved its great value in increas- 
ing the growth of clover; and the time has come when it is thought 
to give too much rankness to clover on this farm to make first-rate 
hay for sheep. 


The Spanish proverb that says that where the sheep treads he 
produces gold, has been acted upon, and proven to be true, by Mr. 
Chamberlain. He has fed the produce of his farm principally to 
sheep, selling the increase and the wool and the mutton produced, 
rather than the food that produced it. The sheep have, in the 
strictest use of language, been used as machines to manufacture 
grain, hay, corn-stalks, straw, swamp-muck, leaves and weeds into 
material to recuperate 1 his once exhausted and worn-out farm ; and 
the system has been followed with an unwavering tenacity, until the 
result has been fully secured, and the time has come when a large 
surplus is produced" that, when the market is high, finds its way 
to it. 

How Mr. Chamberlain came to know that sheep were, of all ani- 
mals, by far the best adapted to carry out his determination to re- 
create this farm, I do not know ; but, in some way, he found this 
out at a very early day. 

In the first years he was forced to use the common sheep of this 
country ; but, desirous to have something better, he employed what 
was, and still is, supposed to have been a competent person to se- 
lect a flock of sheep in Spain, and imported in 1849 from Estrema- 
dura, forty in number. These sheep, though every effort had been 
made to procure the best, did not give satisfaction, and after trial, 
were condemned and sent to the butcher. This satisfied Mr. Cham- 


berlain that Spain, though the original home of the Merino, was no 
longer the place from which to procure the basis of a first-rate 
flock of fine-wooled sheep. He then visited Europe in person, 
and made a thorough examination of the best flocks in the great 
wool-producing countries ; visiting, among others, the royal flocks 
of the Kingdom of Naples. In Calabria he studied the manage- 
ment of the flocks of Merinoes that King Bomba had cared for, as 
one of the important matters of State. In one place he saw 600 
lambs, none of them two days old. From this, some idea may be 
formed of the vastness of the flocks. He also visited the Merino 
flocks of France and Prussia, purchasing some in both countries. 

From time to time further importations have been made of sheep 
selected from what Mr. Chamberlain believes to be the best flocks 
in Europe. The French sheep have all been disposed of, and the 
flock now consists entirely of sheep that have, by common consent, 
received the name of Silesians. 

I shall not attempt, at^this time, any minute description of this 
somewhat famous flock of sheep, nor go into the detail of the man- 
agement. It must suffice for me to say that the earlier importa- 
tions were a cross ^between the Infantado and Negretti families, 
with pedigrees that had been carefully kept, and reached back to 
Spain, whence they were imported in 1811, and before the destruc- 
tion of the Spanish flocks had been completed by contending. ar- 
mies. Two hundred and forty-six sheep were imported by 1856, 
all coming from two flocks that had the same origin. Other impor- 
tations have been made — one the last year. The later importations 
have all been pure and unmixed Negretti, Mr. Chamberlain's ma- 
tured judgment leading him to give the preference to this branch 
of the Merino family over all others. 

During the season of grass, the sheep are turned into the pas- 
tures after the grass has become dry in the morning, and before 
much dew has fallen at night they are brought into the yards. Of 
course they are housed during all storms, and are under cover dur- 
ing night time. 

The flock is under the immediate charge and management of Mr. 
Carl Ileyne, who was regularly trained and educated as a shepherd 
in Silesia, his native country. Very likely Mr. Heyne has no su- 
perior as a flock master on this continent or any other. Mr. Cham- 
berlain has so much confidence in this shepherd's judgment, that he 
has several times sent him to Germany to select and bring out 
sheep. The best proof of great skill in management is the flock 
itself. No diseases have ever attacked it, and the sheep live to a 


great age, preserving health and vigor beyond anything that has 
elsewhere come under my notice. I have seen in February more 
than 100 lambs, from a few hours to six weeks old, in a single 
sheep-house with their mothers. None had died from the whole 
number, except one unfortunate who happened to have some de- 
formity, for which he had been killed, as not suitable to raise. The 
death of a lamb is a very rare event under Mr. Heyne's manage- 
ment, and one of the largest and best formed sheep I have seen in 
the flock was yeaned by a mother 13 years old. 

At ni^ht the sheep are fed hay and straw, and again in the 
morning. Straw, or other litter, is always on the floors of the 
sheep-houses in sufficient quantities to absorb all the manure, and is 
by the sheep itself converted into manure. 

This system of feeding dry food at night, has the advantage of 
promoting health, and, as all experienced feeders of farm stock 
know, it suits the appetite of the animals, especially when grass is 
fresh — and the great point of working straw, leaves, weeds, and all 
the refuse stuff into manure, is satisfactorily accomplished. Much 
pasture is saved by allowing the grass to grow undisturbed during 
so great a portion of the time; and thus one of the important 
points of soiling is, at least in part, gained. 

By this system 15 acres of pasture is made to carry 300 sheep, 
until after wheat, &c, has been harvested. 

Mr. Chamberlain is a believer in deep ploughing, and often re- 
news his grass — seldom allowing a piece of land to be pastured 
more than three years from the seeding; and whenever a piece of 
land is put into a crop, it is intended to put on it manure, so as to 
improve it. 


In 1853, twenty acres of this farm was treated to lime, at the 
rate of 50 bushels to the acre, applied in the Spring on inverted 
sod. The first crop was not improved, but ever since the land has 
been better ; but Mr. C. says the cost was too great for the benefit 

To sum up all his experience — Mr. Chamberlain says that rather 
than purchase special manures, except gypsum, and he had no muck 
on his farm, he wonld go to the road sides and pare off the turf 
and compost it with his barn-yard manure. In regard to swamp 
muck, he says that so much as comes from near the surface, only 
requires to dry and have the sun of one Summer, while that which 
is dug from some considerable depth should be composted with yard 


In regard to housing the sheep at night, the question may be 
asked, Is not this too much trouble, and does it not cost too much? 
Having observed this management for some years, I am ready to 
say that, all things taken into account, there is no system whatever 
that gives so satisfactory results, and that really pays so well. To 
give my reasons for this opinion would require too much space to 
be taken now. 

The plan of having the lambs yeaned during December, January 
and February, may not meet the approval of all flock managers* 
but Mr. Heyne has his reasons, and to my mind they are abun- 
dantly sufficient to sustain the wisdom of his methods. 

I have now made the way clear to state the 


Wheat is yet an uncertain crop, but 800 bushels have been pro- 
duced in a single crop on 20 acres of land — an average of 40 bush- 
els to the acre ; but this was his fortunate crop, and is the excep- 

Let us take the year 18G6. This year he cut 800 loads of hay, 
which he and his men believe would weigh 600 tons. Hud his 
whole cultivated land been in one grand meadow, consisting of 
about 37G acres, he would have cut one ton and six-tenths to the 
acre, which is much above the average yield of the meadows of this 
State. But his farm was not all meadow. He had that year about 
40 acres of Indian corn, that was estimated to yield about 50 bush- 
els to the acre. He had 30 acres of wheat, that gave 15 bushels 
to the acre; 30 acres of oats and eight acres of roots; and he 
summered over 300 sheep. 

Making reasonable allowances for land used for orchards, gar- 
dens, yards and buildings — the particulars in regard to which I 
have not obtained — we shall find that the productions of this once 
worn-out farm have, by skillful management, been raised to a stan- 
dard that would probably satisfy a farmer of the famed Scotia Val- 
ley in Ohio. 

The stock carried through last winter was 300 sheep purchased 
for feeding. They paid $1 each of profit over and above the mar- 
ket value of the feed, and left their pile of manure in addition; 
He also fed 35 steers, three and four years old, and 12 oxen, and 
also wintered his flock of Silesians, 300 in number, his teams, 
young cattle and cows. 


I think I have now fulfilled a promise made in a former article, 


by showing how an old worn-out farm has been made to bring itself 
to more than its pristine fertility. I have used an example to show 
the force and truth of Mr. Failes' position taken in his address. 

Mr. Chamberlain has fairly conquered his position, so that the 
words "fancy farmer" are probably no longer applied to him, by 
even- the most inveterate followers of ancient routine that the town 
of Red Hook can now show. They see the once miry swamp now 
thoroughly drained and solid ground, bearing the weight of heavy 
crops of grass or grain, and the sandy uplands fruitful as a garden. 
But has all this paid? Yes, whether we consider the investment as 
one merely looking to a return of seven per cent, on cost, or in the 
great pleasure such a victory must give. It pays again in the en- 
hanced value given the farm, if we consider it a thing to be some 
day sold. 

The example that I have thus held up for farmers is of a value 
that I shall not attempt to compute. The personal gratification 
that this man has a right to feel can be imagined. He who once 
sent out his fleets of thirty vessels to gather or distribute the mer- 
chandise of the ends of the earth, now in a green old age contem- 
plates the work of his hands as a farmer with a serenity, and dis- 
courses of it to those w r ho, though to the "manner born," come 
around him for advice with a modesty that becomes greatness. — 
Fairmount, -ZV". Y. 9 June 7, 1869. — New York Tribune. 

A Steam Plough, 

The steam plough and accompanying apparatus, imported by Col. 
Win. E. Patterson, from Leeds, England, was put in operation on 
Tuesday last, on the recent purchase of that gentleman at Atsion, 
New Jersey. 

Col. Patterson's large tract of land in that locality is to be de- 
voted to the culture of sugar beet. As the soil is a sandy loam, 
closely akin to that in which the French have been so successful in 
the sugar beet culture, Col. Patterson sees no reason why a profit 
cannot be realized in this country in the same direction. 

The test of this steam plough was made in the presence of a 
considerable congregation of people, including Gen. Capron of the 
United States Agricultural Bureau at Washington. 

The machinery is by no means complicated. At opposite sites of 
the space to be ploughed are two steam engines upon wheels. On 
the trial on Tuesday they, stood three hundred yards apart. The 


plough has six shares. It is a distinct piece of mechanism, and is 
fastened to a steel wire cable extending between the two locomotives 
across the ground to be turned over. It is literally a shuttlecock 
between two steam battledores. It moves at the speed of a hun- 
dred yards a minute, turning six furrows a foot each in width, and 
eight inches in depth. Its average work, therefore, is twenty acres 
per day. The locomotives are sriug machines, capable of being 
applied to many useful purposes independent of duty as steam- 

A man rides on the plough as it crosses the soil. 

A digging machine accompanies the plough, intended for use in 
soils where roots and stones are obstacles to the course of the 
ploughshare. This is a wonderful apparatus. It so triturates the 
stiffest soil that a Yankee might put it into bladders and vend it as 
a substitute for snuff. 

To work it costs extremely little. Anything answers as fuel, and 
at the rate of twenty acres per day a large estate is soon put under 
cultivation. The locomotives are, then, ready for ordinary duty as 
steam engines, either to grind or thresh, saw or mash. — Philadel- 
phia North American, 

Straight and Crooked Streams. 

"When doctors disagree, who shall decide?" 

Messrs, Editors, — Having been interested with the perusal of 
the recent discussion in the Southern Planter and Farmer, relative 
to the merits of straight and crooked streams, suffer me to make a 
few remarks relative thereto. 

The question at issue is, are not the small streams, in their origi- 
nal state, governed by the same natural laws as are the rivers ? If 
so, crooked streams are in accordance with the general laws of na- 
ture. This position has not been disproved, nor indeed can it be. 
Art has been called to the assistance of nature as applied to this 
subject, but with what effect let the present state of our bottom 
lands testify. Facts are stubborn things, and cannot be invalidated 
by either preconceived opinions or theoretical disquisitions. 

Respectfully, R. W. 

Prince Edward Co., June 22, 18C9. 

Some one estimates, we do not know from what data, that there 
are 37,000,000 hogs in the United States. 


iortieultaral Department. 

JOHN M. ALLAN, Editor. 

Strawberry Exhibition of the Horticultural and Pomological Society. 

We append the report of the Committee of Examination, upon 
the strawberries exhibited on the 27th of May at St. Alban's Hall. 
As we said in our last issue, the exhibition was a complete success, 
and the Society, as well as the public, are under obligations to the 
committee under whose care it was gotten up and so successfully 
conducted ; and without detracting from the merit of the other gen- 
tlemen upon the committee, it is but just to mention Messrs. Cham- 
berlain, Stansberry and Morton as prominently and especially ac- 
tive in its arrangement and management. A speech from Major 
Sutherlin, practical and useful as his speeches always are, and ex- 
cellent music, added to the pleasure of the evening. - 

As will be seen by reference to another page, there is some di- 
versity of opinion concerning the correctness of the conclusions ar- 
rived at by the Committee of Examination, as to the merits of 
various varieties ; but it must be borne in mind that the committee 
could only judge by appearances which are often deceptive, and 
thus they may have erred in some respects, such as the fitness for 
shipping, the general usefulness, and kindred matters, which cannot 
well be determined save by experience in growing. Then again, tastes 
differ so, that it is hard to decide so as to suit every one concern- 
ing flavor. As proof of this, we once heard a grower (never but 
one, it is true,) say that the Wilson was a good flavored berry. So, 
after all, each one must decide for himself what best suits, and the 
experience of our correspondent and the report of the committee 
will both be useful in directing our readers : 

The Committee of Examination of Fruits and Flowers, appointed 
on the 24th instant by the Executive Committee of the Horticultu- 
ral and Pomological Society of Virginia, met at St. Alban's Hall 
on Thursday evening, the 27th of May, for the inspection more es- 
VOL. in — 28 

434 THE SOUTHERN [July, 

pecially of the many varieties of strawberries that the now nume- 
rous growers in the immediate vicinity of Richmond had been soli- 
cited to exhibit. In entering upon the discharge of the duties 
assigned to it, the committee was animated by an earnest desire to 
do full and impartial justice to every exhibitor on so interesting an 

Previous to the examination it had been decided that the report 
should embrace the following points, viz. : 

First. — Best shipping berries. 

Second. — Be3t berries for home market. 

Third. — Best flavored berries. 

Fourth. — Best berries for family use. 

Fifth. — Largest berries. 

Sixth. — Best berries combining all, or the largest number, of 
these qualities. 

Seventh. — Best collection of berries exhibited. 

In reply to the first inquiry, the committee decided upon the 
Wilson's Albany, the Triomphe de Gand, and Russell's Prolific. 

To the second. — Same as above. 

To the third. — Golden Queen, Empress Eugenie, and Lenning's 

To the fourth. — Wilson's Albany, Empress Eugenie, Golden 
Queen, Lenning's White, and Napoleon. 

To the 5th. — Wilson's Albany and Golden Queen. 

To the sixth.— Wilson's Albany. 

The largest collections, and embracing the greatest varieties and 
of fine quality, were exhibited by Messrs. Franklin Davis & Co. 
and Messrs. Allan & Johnson — the former furnishing no less than 
eighteen, and the latter twelve, most of them of the most approved 
kinds, and all having their peculiar merits. The "Napoleon," fur- 
nished by the latter firm, was a splendid berry. Mr. J. E. Stans- 
berry exhibited a seedling bearing his name, a fine berry, and repre- 
sented as very prolific ; some fine specimens of the " Hovey Cross " 
and u McEvoy Superior"; likewise a beautiful vine known as the 
"Alpine," growing very erect, bearing small but beautiful scarlet 
berries, and in every stage of growth from bloom to maturity. 

Mr. L. Chamberlain exhibited a small but very showy collec- 
tion, numbering among them the M Golden Queen," a beautiful 
berry and of delicious flavor. The attention of the committee was 
especially called to the collection of Mr. William M. Ledley, 
through the agency of his gardener, Mr. W. J. Hendrick, who ex- 
hibited some splendid specimens of " Wilson's Albany," " Russell's 


Prolific," and " Jucunda." There was also a remarkably fine speci- 
men exhibited by Mr. W. L. Harrison, of Henrico, no name, but 
very large and sweet. Mr. W. W. Turner also furnished a box 
containing a very agreeable arrangement of flowers, interspersed 
■with some gigantic specimens of "Russell's Prolific," "Agricultu- 
rist," a variety called "Philadelphia," and some very large "Ju- 
cunda." The collection of " Wilson's Albany," exhibited by Mr. A. 
M. Morris, was remarkably fine — equal, we think, to Mr. Ledley's. 
The same may be said of those furnished by Mr. William Coulling. 
Mr. J. W. Lewellen presented a specimen of " Russell's Prolific " 
— very large in size and fine flavor. Mr. Channing Robinson, a cu- 
rious variety called "Lady's Finger" — sweet and of an agreeable 
flavor. Late in the evening Dr. J. G. Beattie sent in some very 
fine specimens of "Russell" and "Agriculturist." Many of the 
berries were so large that it seemed as if three or tour were rolled 
into one. 

To Messrs. Allan & Johnson, and Mr. John Morton, the So- 
ciety is much indebted for the rare and beautiful display of green- 
house plants and Jowers, which added so much to the embellish- 
ment of the halL And we cannot let the occasion pass without re- 
turning the thanks of the Society to Miss Isabella Webb for the 
beautiful bouquet, as large as an ordinary-sized centre-table ; and 
the very many sent by Mrs. Judge Clopton, of Manchester, em- 
bracing every variety of the most beautiful flowers we have ever 
seen at this season of the year. 

The exhibition was a complete success, and we cannot close this 
report without tendering our congratulations to the President and 
members of the Society under whose auspices it was gotten up. 

William H. Haxall, Chairman; 

I. S. Tower, 

S. P. Moore, 

C. B. Williams, % 

J. C. Shields, 

J. P. Brock, 

H. K. Ellyson, 

Joseph R. Rennie. 

The Hartford Prolific Grape does better on clay than on sandy 
and gravelly soils. The great objection to this grape is its ten- 
dency to drop its berries as soon as they are ripe. On clay land, it 
retains the berries better than on light, warm soils. 

436 THE SOUTHERN [July, 


The difficulty in the Northern States is to get a variety of rasp- 
berry that will stand the winter ; here it is to get one that will en- 
dure the summer. This season has only increased the record of 
failures. Notwithstanding the fact that we have had a more than 
usually cool and moist spring and summer, yet we have had no suc- 
cess with any of the red raspberries except the Philadelphia, and 
only partial with that variety. All save the Philadelphia died be- 
fore maturing; and while that matured a good proportion of its 
fruit, still it was by no means prolific. Its flavor, however, we 
think is decidedly better here than farther North. The Clarke was 
not fairly tested, and we still hope it will prove useful. 

The Black Caps succeed admirably, bear enormously, ripen well, 
and are highly flavored. It will be prudent for our growers to rely 
mainly upon these, at least until the Philadelphia and Clarke have 
been more fully tested. 

Why do not our fruit growers give us more raspberries ? There 
were none in market this season, and yet the Black Caps are well 
adapted to this climate, and are prolific enough to be very profi- 


Messrs. Editors, — For the last two years I have been giving you 
the results of my experiments with leading varieties of strawberries, 
and hope a continuation may not be unprofitable. 

Last year the varieties under culture were Wilson, Hovey, Rus- 
sell, Jucunda, Triomphe de Gand, Peabody, Agriculturist, and Na- 
poleon ; this year the same, with Austin, Hooker, Early Scarlet, 
and Empress Eugenie added (the latter a new variety originated by 
Mr. Lemosy, near Portsmouth, Va.) They ripened in the follow- 
ing order, commencing May 17th : Early Scarlet, Russell, Hooker, 
Wilson, Agriculturist, Peabody, Hovey, Triomphe de Gand, Em- 
press Eugenie, Jucunda, Austin, Napoleon, the last not maturing 
until June 1st. In size the order was as follows : Empress Euge- 
nie, Russell, Jucunda, Agriculturist, Austin, Wilson, Napoleon, 
Triomphe de Gand, Hovey, Peabody, Hooker, Early Scarlet. In 
yield : Russell, Empress Eugenie, Wilson, Agriculturist, Triomphe 
de Gand, Napoleon, Jucunda, Austin, Hovey, Peabody, Hooker, 
Early Scarlet. In flavor: Russell, Triomphe de Gand, Agricul- 
turist, Hovey, Peabody, Early Scarlet, Napoleon, Jucunda, Em- 
press Eugenie, Hooker, Austin, Wilson. In firmness and other 


shipping qualities, I found the following to be the only useful ones, 
and they ranked in the order they are stated : Wilson, Russell, 
Napoleon. For all purposes, save shipping, the Russell has again 
proven itself to be by far the best variety, and it bears transporta- 
tion very well, though it is not equal to the Wilson in this respect. 
This season it ripened several days before the Wilson, and during 
the entire season commanded higher prices. The Empress Eugenie 
proved to be a very large, handsome and prolific berry, but not 
highly flavored. The Jucunda did well, but ripening, as it does, at 
the middle of the season, is valueless as a market berry. The Aus- 
tin and Napoleon are both valuable because of their late maturity ; 
the latter is very prolific and well flavored ; both are large sized. 

If I may be permitted to differ with the committee of the Horti- 
cultural and Pomological Society, I would say for the best early 
shipping berries, take Wilson and Russell. For home market, Rus- 
sell, Empress Eugenie, Triomphe de Gand, Agriculturist, and Na- 
poleon. For best flavored, Russell, Triomphe de Gand, Agricul- 
turist, and Hovey. For family use, Russell, Empress Eugenie, Ju- 
cunda, and Napoleon. For largest berries, Russell and Empress 
Eugenie. For the most generally useful variety, Russell. All of 
the above rank in the order they are named. Empress Eugenie 
and Golden Queen are claimed by some to be synonymous. I do 
not think they are the same, but they very closely resemble each 
other, and air that I have said of the one is true of the other, with 
a slight advantage, in size, in favor of the Golden Queen. How the 
Triomphe de Gand can be put down as good for shipping purposes 
is a mystery to me. Of all soft berries, it is the softest ; and 
though highly flavored, of good size, and moderately prolific, it will 
hardly bear transportation beyond the spot where grown. "M." 

Guano. — Some experienced cultivators have given us instances of 
the use of guano on fruit trees with beneficial results. Although the 
trees seemed to wither up and become sickly looking the first year, 
nevertheless the second year they grew so fresh and green and lux- 
uriant as to astonish their owners. 

We have seen guano water applied to grape vines, causing them 
to wither up, as it were, with intense heat, the first year, but the 
second year exceeding all former years in beauty and fruitfulness. 
Guano should never be brought directly in contact with seeds or 
the roots of trees or plants. It should always be mixed with about 
six times its weight of finely sifted soil or loam. — Horticulturist, 


Harvesting the Navy Bean and Gathering the Potato Crop, 

Messrs. Editors, — In yours of June, inquiry is made as to the 
best mode of harvesting the navy bean. When ripe, and when the 
vines are dry, (that is, when the dew or rain has left them,) pull by 
hand, and place in heaps ; turn the heaps not oftener than once a 
day, till the vines are dry, and then thresh them either by hand or 
power. In carrying them from the field to be threshed, use a tight 
hay wagon or cart, for in loading they will shell out. I don't ad- 
vise to stow them away to be threshed at some future time, but 
finish the job at once. 

There is no better plan of gathering the " Irish " potato than by 
digging them with a five-prong potato fork. By gathering the crop 
with the fork the work is done better and the ground is also bene- 
fitted. More and better work can be done by two men with the 
"forks," than three can accomplish by the "hoe." 

Respectfully yours, Wm. H. S. 

Philadelphia, June 19, 1869. 


The practice of the " Long Island " melon growers to preserve 
their melons, &c, from the striped melon bug, is to sow through a 
fine sieve, ground plaster or gypsum on the plants, so soon as they 
are above ground, early in the morning while the dew is on the 
plants — such plaster forming a crust through which the bug will not 
eat. Two applications are generally enough to preserve the crop. 
It has never failed, at least for twenty seven years, to my personal 
knowledge. Tobacco dust, ashes, &c, have failed. 

Respectfully yours, Wm. H. S. 

Philadelphia, June 19, 1869. 

[We thank our correspondent for the above communications, and 
hope he will favor us with frequent opportunities of enlightening 
our readers in regard to such interesting matters of inquiry as can 
be satisfactorily answered only by such persons as have gained a 
store of practical knowledge through their own experience and ob- 
servation.— Eds. S. P. & F.] 

Beets. — To raise beets with best success, sow the Early Bassano 
in drills eighteen inches wide ; thin out to one foot apart. Top- 
dress the ground with Peruvian guano, and you will have prime 
beets fit to pull in seventy days. — Horticulturist. 

1869.] PLANTER AND FARMER. ' 439 

Nut Culture. 

Messrs. Editors, — I promised to give you some account of my 
progress in the cultivation of nuts, which I am now prepared to do. 
As I stated before, I obtained my principal supply of nuts for 
planting from A. F. Cochran, Esq., importer of fruits and nuts, 
New Orleans. This gentleman furnishes nuts at cost of importa- 
tion to all who wish to plant. The rest I obtained from J. M. 
Thorburn, No. 15 John street, New York. The following varieties 
vegetated freely, and are growing as vigorously as Indian corn : 

Spanish chesnuts (Oastanea vesca). 

English walnuts (Juglans regia). 

Pecans (Gary a olivwformis). 

Italian pines (Pinus pinua). 

Jujube (Zizyphus sativa) — not a nut, but a very valuable fruit 

The following varieties failed to vegetate : 

Filberts (Corylus avellana). Of this, however, I obtained plants 
from the nursery of P. J. Berckman, Augusta, and they are grow- 
ing finely. 

Pistachio nut (Pistachio, vera). 

Salisburia (Ginkgo biloba). I give this name according to Mr. 
Thorburn's spelling ; other nurserymen give it differently. It is a 
valuable nut tree. 

So out of the eight varieties of tree seeds planted, only three 
failed to vegetate. These three are constantly grown from seed 
by our nurserymen, and why they failed in my hands I cannot tell. 
They are worth another trial, however. 

Few persons are aware of the value of nuts as an article of food. 
The idea that they are unwholesome is as absurd as the now ex- 
ploded opinion that grapes and peaches were unwholesome. All 
food-stuffs are divided by chemists into two great classes, viz : 
albuminous substances, which contain 15 per cent of nitrogen, and 
are called " flesh-formers ;" and amyloids and fats, which are called 
" heat-producers," and contain no nitrogen. The necessity, there- 
fore, of constantly renewing the supply of albumen arises from the 
circumstance that the loss of nitrogen (in the secretion of urea 
from the body,) is going on constantly, whether the body is fed or 
not ; and there is only one form in which nitrogen can be taken 
into the blood, and that is in the form of a solution of protein, or 
albumen. Albumen, which may be taken as the type of the pro- 
teids, contains 15 per cent, of nitrogen, and the moment this sub- 










stance is withdrawn from the food, man begins to suffer from what 
may be called nitrogen starvation, and, sooner or later, will die. 
Now let us compare the three classes of human food — herb, tree, 
and^flesh foods — and see which contains the largest quantity of this 
valuable substance, albumen. Of each class, we will take the arti- 
cle most used on our tables — beef as the representative of flesh 
food, wheat as the representative of herb food, and almonds as the 
most generally used tree food, and as the representative of nuts : 


Odessa wheat, 

Sweet almonds, 

The figures are obtained from Webster's American Family Ency- 
clopaedia, and it will be observed that almonds contain a larger 
quantity of nitrogenous matter than either beef or wheat. All nuts 
consist largely of albumen ; and when we recollect that man, in his 
unfallen condition, lived entirely upon the fruit of trees, it seems 
that both science and revelation point to the fruit of trees as his 
natural food. 

Not only so, but the soil constantly grows richer under tree cul- 
ture, and poorer under herb culture. (We use the term herb, be- 
cause every plant which has not a hard woody stem, comes under 
this designation.) Trees also purify the atmosphere and beautify 
the landscape. It is an actual, and very significant fact, that where 
ever a country becomes denuded of trees, man's physical, mental 
and political power decays. Witness Spain, Italy, Greece, and 
Syria. They have each in their turn, stood first in power, prosper- 
ity, and civilization. But they each swept their beautiful fruit- 
bearing trees from the face of the earth, and each, like Samson, 
shorn of his locks, lost their strength. To destroy fruit-bearing 
trees is in direct disobedience to the divine command; "for," says 
Holy Writ, " the tree of the field is man's life." Phosphorus feeds 
the brain, and phosphorus, as food, is only found in albumen, and 
albumen, in its purest state, and in most abundance, is found in the 
fruit of trees. So says science ; and the Bible confirms the teach- 
ings of science, by informing us that the food of Eden was only 
the fruit of trees. Where, in modern times, was such a brain 
formed as that of the first Napoleon, who grew up amidst the cbes- 
nut groves of Corsica ? The chesnut is to the Corsicans what the 
potato is to the Irish. Their name for it signifies " bread tree." A 
recent writer in the Atlantic Monthly describes a visit to Corsica, 


the " Land of Paoli," and says : " Our companion, the prefect, 
pointed to the chesnut groves. * There,' said he, 'is the main sup- 
port of our people in the winter. Our Corsican name for it is the 
' bread tree.' The nuts are ground, and the cakes of chesnut flour, 
baked on the hearth, are really delicious. We could not live with- 
out the chesnut and the olive.' " The chesnut, as well as the wal- 
nut, pecan and other nut trees, fully answers the description of the 
trees of Eden, which were not only good for food, but pleasant to 
the sight. No trees on earth are more beautiful than these massive 
nut-bearing trees. In form, foliage, and trunk, they stand first for 
beauty, amongst park and pleasure-ground trees. Whilst taking a 
drive recently, I was struck with the majestic beauty and dark lux- 
uriant foliage of a group of trees in the distance. On coming 
nearer, I found they were shell-bark hickory, from around which 
the other forest trees had been cufr away, allowing them full room 
to develope their grand proportions. The nut is one of the most 
delicious known, superior, in my estimation, to the pecan, and the 
shell is thin enough to yield readily to the nut-crackers. The pres- 
ent Emperor of the French, whose practice of rural economy sur- 
passes all of Bousingault's theories, has had millions of chesnuts 
planted in Algeria, with the object of improving that country. It 
must be borne in mind that the European chesnut is a much larger 
and more valuable nut than ours, and does not seem to suffer from 
the disease which is sweeping ours from our forests. When the 
nuts are fresh, they grow as easily as black-eyed peas. What the 
chesnut is to the Corsicans, the English walnut (so-called) is to the 
Persians — an article of every day diet. Is it the oil and albumen 
of this nut which make them the most war-like, intellectual, and 
handsome of Asiatics ? Compare the fine features and athletic, 
graceful figures of the nut-eating Persians with the square, squat, 
hideous forms of the rice-eating Chinamen, and say if diet has not 
something to do with the difference. 

Lastly, nut and other fruit trees yield a larger amount of food to 
the acre than any other crops whatever. This can be proved by 
figures, which never lie, notwithstanding the stupidly jocose asser- 
tion that they do. Pecans will fruit anywhere south of the Poto- 
mac, and when situated in deep, alluvial soils, will commence bear- 
ing in four or five years. There are many varieties, some superior 
to others, but all are delicious, and indigenous to America. They 
are said to bring a higher price in the European market than any 
other nut. Let them become to us what the chesnut is to the Cor- 
sican, the walnut to the Persian, the sweet acorn to the ancient 


Must a Berry Box op Basket have Sloping Sides? 

Much valuable information is contained in an article of the April 
number of the Horticulturist, entitled " Additional Hints," etc. 
But I think the writer was much too sweeping in his condemnation 
of all berry boxes but those with sloping and ventilated sides. The 
fruit-growers in this neighborhood have used for two years, a square 
box with strait sides and ventilated bottom, and have sent it in the 
same shipments with the sloping baskets, to the same markets, with 
equal success. And said box being only one-third the price, and so 
arranged in the crate as to present the fruit in market in heaped-up 
measure after the shaking of transportation, has run the sloping- 
sided basket out of this market. 

As it is customary now in our Western cities to give the box, 
when the berries are sold, it makes a great difference in the cost of 
shipping whether a one-cent box or a three-cent basket be given 

There are two reasons why baskets and boxes are not sent back 
to the shipper. First, the dealers find it a very perplexing matter 
to gather and return each box to its proper owner. Second, berries 
should be shipped in a new, clean box, as a second using involves a 
greater or less degree of impurity and uncleanliness. 

It is not true that expensive baskets always insure the best prices* 
as it depends on the manner of picking and putting in boxes and 

Such is the experience of myself and neighbors who have tried 
sloping-sideu baskets and the boxes above referred to. — A. J. 
Moore, in Horticulturist. 

Pruning Tomatoes. — It is stated that gardeners in France cut 
oft* the stem of the tomato plants down to the first cluster of flow- 
ers which appears on them, thus impelling the sap into the buds 
below the cluster, which pushes up vigorously, producing another 
cluster of flowers. " When these are visible, the branch to which 
they belong is also topped down to their level ; and this is done five 
times successively. By this means the plants become stout dwarf 
bushes, not over eighteen inches high. In order to prevent them 
from falling over, sticks or strings are stretched horizontally along 
the rows, so as to keep the plants erect. In addition to this, all the 
laterals that have no flowers whatsoever, are nipped off. In this 
way the ripe sap is directed into the fruit, which acquires beauty, 
size, and excellence, unattainable by other means." — Horticulturist. 


irastjjolb department. 

Alsike Clover fop Bee Pasturage. 

Early in the year 1868, I was induced by an article I saw in the " Bee Jour- 
nal," to try the Alsike clover for my bees. I accordingly purchased a pound 
of the seed, which I sowed upon a small piece of land, (about one-quarter of 
an acre,) though too much seed for the quantity of land. It germinated well, 
and like the red clover, only made a good stand; but this spring (1869.) it 
came up vrell, and now, the 16th of June, it will stand, if erect, 20 to 30 inches 
high, and is covered with blooms and bees; indeed, I have rarely seen bees 
more numerous on buckwheat blooms than on this clover. I shall sow a lot o* 
buckwheat for fall pasturage ; but for May and June. I think the Alsike clover 
furnishes more food than any plant I have ever seen. When not too cool or 
rainy for them to be out, you will find the patch covered with bees pretty well 
all day, and at times almost in swarms. They have sent forth a goodly num- 
ber of swarms, and filled the bodies of the hives well with store honey, and I 
hope will yield a good surplus. I shall sow this fall another lot much larger 
than the one I now have, reserving that till the other is sufficiently advanced 
to afford them food — and as long as I am able to procure seed to sow — shall do 
so to keep up a succession ; besides, it yields an abundant crop of hay — not so 
much as the red clover, but the sweets furnished the bees more than make up 
any difference. The bloom is like that of the white clover — folding back in 
such a way as to enable the bees to get into every part of it — while on the red 
clover coming up in the same patch, you never see one. M. G. F. 

Henrico county, Va. 

Yellow Wash for Buildings. 

Dissolve 1 pound of pulverized copperas in 8 gallons of water ; let it stand 
for 24 hours, stirring two or three times from the bottom. Use this for slaking 
the lime and thinning it to the consistency of ordinary whitewash ; add hy- 
draulic cement equal in quantity to the lime used, and there may also be 
added, with advantage, £ gallon of clean fine sand to every 15 gallons of the 
wash. While using, stir frequently, to prevent sand from settling. 

The walls or buildings should be first well cleaned of dust, and thoroughly 
wet with the rose of a watering pot, and the wash applied immediately after, 
beginning at top, laying the coat on horizontally, and finishing vertically. 

Before leaving the work at any time, finish the course to a point in the wall, 
to prevent leaving a mark where the two courses join on a renewal of the 

This wash is stated to have lasted for fifteen years without requiring re- 

For a gray or stone color, add to above lamp black, previously deadened with 

A wise son maketh a glad father; but a foolish man despiseth his mother. 



Subscription One Year, $2.00 


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(Editorial Department. 

The Great Reaper and Mower Trial at Westover. 

"We had hoped to be able to lay before our readers at this time a circumstan- 
tial and full account of the great trial of Reapers and Mowers which came off 
at Westover, the residence of A. H. Drewry, Esq., on the 9th ultimo, but un- 
controllable circumstances have conspired to defeat our expectation. We have 
to rely upon general report for the materials of the brief notice we ar • about to 
give below. 

It is universally conceded by all who were present that it was a grand af- 
fair, and the performance of the large number of machines exhibited in opera- 
tion on the field of trial was fully equal, if not beyond, public expectation, and 
every way worthy of the occasion. 

These machines were generally, if not all of them, gotten up in a finished 
style of workmanship, and being the best specimens selected from the number 
and variety in use in the North and West, presented an array of excellence 
which challenged general admiration. McCormick's Reaper was not entered, 
nor was it on the ground. 

The committee of adjudication carefully tested the machines in operation by 
the standard prescribed by the Executive Committee of the State Agricultural 
Society, under whose auspices the trial was conducted, noting the merits of 
each machine in relation to every specification on the scale of points, so that, 
in summing up the points of excellence exhibited by each machine, the rela- 
tive merits of all might be determined by comparison, and the awards rendered 
in favor of those standing the highest on the standard or scale of points. The 
awards of the judges will not be made known, we understand, until the close 
of the State Fair in November next, at which time they will be announced and 
published, in connection with the awards of premiums on the various other 
subjects comprised in the schedule of premiums offered by the Society. 

The munificent and princely hospitality of Mr. Drewry manifested in his 
bountiful and abundant preparations for the entertainment and social enjoy- 
ment of the officers of the Society, the exhibitors, and numerous visitors, is 
above all praise. We will not farther trench upon the prerogative of those 


whose grateful duty and pleasure it will be to do justice to the claims of such 
uncalculating beneficence upon the gratitude and admiration of all who shared 
in his noble generosity, on an occasion so important in its relations to the pro- 
gress and development of the industrial interests of Virginia. 

Correspondence of the Southern Planter and Farmer. 

Dear Sirs, — I enclose $2 for the renewal of my subscription to the Planter 
and Farmer. 

What of lucerne, and why are there not more instances of its cultivation in 
our midst? In writings on English husbandry more than a hundred years 
ago, its large yield of hay, its nutritious qualities, and the high relish of it by 
stock, are always recognized ; and at the present day we know it to be a lead- 
ing favorite in France and other portions of Europe. Impressed by represen- 
tations of its superiority over other grasses as green forage, on account of the 
number of cuttings it affords, and, unlike clover, of its not salivating stock at 
any period of its growth, I am growing it on a somewhat extensive scale, with 
the purpose, if my hopes of it are realized, of extending the cultivation. But 
if more recent experience has shown that there are more valuable grasses, or, 
what I in some degree fear, that there is a too great difficulty in its successful 
management, I would like to know it, as in either case, I might stay the fur- 
ther increase of its surface. My hopes of it, in opposition to the (to me) un- 
known grounds of the omission by others to cultivate it, rest on the inclination 
to believe that this omission — this implied rejection of it— may be owing to a 
defect in its cultivation ; that it requires the land to be better cleansed before 
it is planted, or that it should be more carefully freed of weeds and other pests 
in the earlier stages of its growth, than is in most cases observed. I recently 
came across an old volume of a work published in London in th a year 1728, 
with a loDg title embracing "all sorts of country affairs," in which, in addition 
to its mertis as a hay crop, it is commended as an improver of ' J dry and bar- 
ren land." And certainly, in accordance with the theory of renovating lands 
by vegetable growths, in bringing, through their roots, the mineral consti- 
tuents of the subsoil and clay to the surface, on account of its long straight 
root, the commendation is just. Dr. Thos. P. Atkinson, to whom the readers 
of the Planter and Farmer owe so much for his scientific and practical commu- 
nications, in a letter of response to enquiries relative to the process of culti- 
vating it, (I had entertained the thought of planting it myself from reading an 
article by him in the Planter and Farmer recommending it for keeping up the 
borders of a garden,) writes me that be had measured a root of it 14 inches in 
length. In repeated trials, I have never found a root of less length than a 
third of that of the stalk. In some instances the root is longer than the stalk. 

There is one subject on which I feel qualified to speak by the "card," and 
that is, the value of tobacco stalks on certain garden vegetables. I have grow- 
ing in my garden a square of cabbages of unsurpassed luxuriance, and a 
square of potatoes surpassing in yield any instance within my experience, 
both manured with this material. I have used them on cabbages for several 
years with unvaried success. The potatoes are planted in hills three feet apart 
— a whole potato of good size with a double handful of stalks above it, at the 
bottom of the hill. I more than incline to think that their efficacy on this crop, 


when thus applied, is owing, in part, to their mechanical action on the soil; 
that the cavities in their midst filled, when filled at all, with loose earth, afford 
room for the potato to grow ; and further, that the soft pulpy consistence to 
which they are reduced by the time the potato is formed, yields to its pressure 
to enlarge itself. I know not why they should not be a valuable manure on 
other vegetables, and it is my intention hereafter to use them on all. It is cus- 
tomary to spread them broadcast as a preparation for tobacco, in which case 
they are so scattered, often imperfectly covered by the plough, that their vir- 
tue as a manure must in a measure be lost; whereas, when placed in a com- 
pact mass in the trenched furrows on which most vegetables are planted, their 
fertilizing properties will be fully developed and concentrated. 

Very respectfully, &c, 

Jobn C. Taylor. 
Oxford, N. C, June 24, 1969. 

Dear Sir*, — I have a lot of red clay land containing two acres, in which I 
set young apple scions or trees from the nursery of F., D. & Co., in the Fall of 
1867. The lot is now very well set in red clover, but the sassafras bushes have 
grown up so thick (and continue to thicken), that T do not know what to do to 
destroy them — being a young farmer. 

My idea is — the clover being now cut as soon as it starts out pretty well — to 
sow in two barrels of air slacked lime, and fallow as deeply as I can with two 
horses, following in their furrow with a coalter furrow, and let it remain so 
some ten days, and then plough with the "shovel plough" once every week 
till about the middle or last of August, and then put on say 400 lbs. of the 
Gallego Company's potato and cabbage fertilizer, (unless you can tell me a 
better for turnips,) and sow it down in turnip seed, and next year cultivate in 
shipping tobacco. 

My object being to get rid of the sassafras bushes and bring my young trees 
into bearing as early as possible, I have thought probably the repeated plough- 
ing in the hot dry weather might kill out a great many of the sassafras bushes, 
and by adding manure and cultivating the land, improve the young trees. 

If you will give me your opinion upon what I have written, or suggest any 
other plan as being better adapted to promote the objects desired, I shall be 
greatly obliged, &c. 

Very respectfully, C. 

June 11, 1869. 

[W. D Gresham, Esq., published some time since an article containing the 
following plan for the extirpation of sassafras, which he highly approves : 
"The remedy which I propose is as follows: in the month of June, when sas- 
safras bushes, roots and briers have obtained their full amount of leaves, and 
are in a vigorous growth, take a grass scythe and cut them off about two or 
three inches from the ground. This will cause them to bleed freely, and if an 
application of from two to three bushels of salt is immediately made, and 
evenly scattered over them, their eradication may be certainly expected. Salt 
being injurious to the growing vegetation, it commences its action by an imme- 
diate effect upon the sap of the plants." 

Mr. W. W. Gilmer prescribes mowing the bushes in May, and grazing 
closely, as greatly preferable to cultivation. — Eds. S. P. & F.] 


To our Debtors. 

Accompanying this number of the Southern Planter and Farmer will be 
found a bill for arrears of subscription due by the subscriber to whom the pa- 
per is addressed. The tobacco crop has found its way to market, and the pro- 
ceeds been realized, perhaps, to the extent of two-thirds of the whole, and ye* 
the payments made us out of its proceeds have been scarcely appreciable. The 
wheat crop will presently be in market. We do earnestly hope our debtors 
will recognize our claim to share in the distribution of the proceeds of these 
staple productions. Have we not fulfilled our part of the contract, subsisting 
between us, without stinginess or parsimony, but, on the contrary, with libe- 
rality and in good faith? And will not our debtors atone for past negligence, 
by a prompt fulfillment of the contract on their part? We have rendered to 
them the quid pro ; let them promptly return us the needed quo. 

The Patrons of Husbandry. 

We learn from the St. Paul's Pioneer, Minnesota, that an Order of this name 
was founded and organized by a number of distinguished agriculturists of va- 
rious States, at Washington, in December, 1867, for the purpose of general im- 
provement in husbandry, to encourage social intercourse in the rural districts, 
to incite a love for horticulture, and to relieve the tedious monotony of farm 
life and labor. It is founded upon the idea that the products of the soil com- 
prise the basis of all wealth ; that individual happiness depends upon general 
prosperity, and that the wealth of a country depends upon the general intelli- 
gence and mental culture of the producing classes. 

They have provided a commodious hall, and fitted it up elegantly, for the 
purposes of the Order, in which they hold their first meeting on the first of 

If this Order confines itself strictly to the accomplishment of the ends and 
objects above set forth, they cannot fail to exert a beneficial influence in " the 
general improvement of husbandry and in the encouragement of social inter- 
course in the rural districts." 


The Land We Love and New Eclectic for July. This interesting and instruc- 
tive magazine comes to us laden, as usual, with the rich fruits of the taste and 
industry of its able and judicious Editors. Its contents always tend to pro- 
mote purity, elevation of purpose and refinement of manners, and deserves to 
be carefully studied by all those who aspire to the possession of these distinc- 
tive characteristics. Turnbull & Murdoch, 54 Lexington street, Baltimore. 
Yearly subscription, $4 ; single copy, 35 cents. 

The Galaxy for July. This is an exceedingly rich number. The article 
No. II, entitled "Our Impending Chinese Problem," is the topic which will ar- 
rest the attention ©f the thoughtful, and lead them to appreciate the fearful 
effects of the political inventions which have been sought out, ostensibly for 


the perpetuation of power in corrupt and wicked hands, but really calculated 
to bring down their violent doings upon their own heads, and precipitate the 
downfall and ruin of our country. 

Appleton's Journal. We have on our table a full file of this handsome jour- 
nal, in weekly numbers, and shall carefully preserve and bind them, each 
quarter. The. Messrs. Appleton deserve much credit for publishing such a 
capital journal at so low a price — 10 cents per number, or $4 per annum, in 
advance. The illustration in the number of July 10th, called " The Country 
Blacksmith's Shop/' is life-like and very familiar to our readers. 

Packard's Monthly — The Young Men's Magazine. The July number of this 
journal is one of the best we have seen. S >me of the articles are spicy ; all are 
entertaining ; but we are particularly struck with the un-gloved style in which 
Miss Olive Logan handles modern theatricals, and " The Nude Woman Ques- 
tion." We do not admire Miss Logan, or her Woman's Suffrage doctrines, but 
she certainly deals the " Black Crook," " White Fawn," and all such, most 
telling blows, and we trust she will continue to " fight it out on that line, if 
it takes all summer." 

The Richmond and Louisville Medical Journal. The June number of this 
valuable scientific monthly gives evidence that it is well sustained. Its pages 
are enriched by the best medical t.ilent of the whole country, and no practicing 
physician — especially in the South, West, or Southwest — should fail to send 
$5 to Dr. E. S. Gaillard, Louisville, Ky., and become a subscriber. 

Peters' Musical Monthly is a very pleasant monthly visitor, and our lady 
friends should send for a copy. The new music obtained in twelve numbers 
should be worth the subscription price — $3 per annum. Address J. L. Peters, 
publisher, 198 Broadway, New York. 

The Reconstructed Farmer. A monthly magazine of 32 pages, published at 
Tarborough, N. C, by James R. Thigpen and John S. Dancy. It is gotten up 
very neatly, and is of a prepossessing appearance. It is well filled with se- 
lected and original matter adapted to the necessities of the times. We wish 
for it a career of usefulness and prosperity commensurate with the ability and 
enterprise with which it is manifestly conducted. 

TJie American Artisan. This useful journal, devoted to the interests of Ar- 
tisans, Manufacturers, Inventors, &c, after an interval of some weeks, is again 
restored to its former regularity of appearance on our exchange table. Pub- 
lished by Brown, Combs & Co., 189 Broadway, New York. 

Monthly Report of the Department of Agriculture for May and June, 1869. 

This interesting cereal contains " a condensed statement of the growing 
crops, and articles upon Steam Ploughing in New Jersey and Louisiana; Fruit 
Culture on the Mississippi Rapids ; Progress of Nebraska ; Value of Sewage 
Deposits ; Land Drainage in California ; Wheat Culture in Virginia, &c. * * * 
Agricultural Exports ; Live Stock at Chicago; British Wheat; Imports and 
British Wool Exports ; together with Meteorological Tables and Notes on the 
weather for the months of April and May, and a variety of Extracts from the 
Correspondence of the Department," by J. R. Dodge, Statistician. 

The Manufacturer and Builder is a very handsome quarto of 32 pages, issu- 
ed monthly in the interest of Manufacturers and Builders, at the low price of 
$1.50 yearly, or sold by the single copy at 15 cents.