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HINTS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF FARM-HOUSES.
HINTS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF FARM-HOUSES. Any one may see that a decided taste is beginning to manifest itself at the present moment in rural architecture. Everywhere, in the Middle and Eastern States, one sees that the newly-built cottages and villas are no longer in those clumsy and unmeaning forms that ten years ago so generally prevailed.
This is a most hopeful and encouraging symptom. It tells us very plainly that our country proprietors have begun to give some thought to the construction of their own houses; that they are no longer content with what the nearest carpenter or mason may have to offer as the latest style; that they have at least a desire for something fit for their own wants, the beauty of which is of a kind, becoming and suitable to the purpose in view.
In this aspect of things, nothing is more to be desired, than the general prevalence of correct principles of taste among our agriculturists of intelligence.
The Farm-house in this coun-
It is the cottage of a freeman-
the proprietor of the soil he
Something may perhaps be gained even by considering the mistakes into which those most commonly fall, who have built with little reflection.
In the first place, we think a farmhouse should be unmistakeably a farmhouse.
That is to say, it should not be a citizen's dwellinghouse, or a suburb. an villa, set down in the midst of a plain farm.
Nothing has been more common for the past ten years, than to see a good substantial farmer building a large plain dwelling- unobjec.
tionable enough as FIG. 59.
a plain dwellingbut to which he has been persuaded to add a Grecian portico (fig. 58), copied from a great house of the neighboring town or village.
The portico is very well where it belongs—as a part of a handsome villa, every part of which is carefully finished with corresponding elegance. It has nothing whatever to do with a true farm-house It
HINTS ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF PARM-HOUSES.
is too high to be comfortable by its shade or shelter. It is too costly and handsome to accord with the neat and rustic character of a farm house. But it has been the fashion of the day, and if the farmer has not reflected for himself, it is ten to one that he has fallen a victim to it, instead of employing the more comfortable and more characteristic verandah. Fig. 59.
Another of the greatest mistakes in building a farm-house, is to adopt anything like a flat roof. Fig. 60. A broad and rather high roof is as essentially a handsome feature in a farm-house, as the ex. panded chest and broad shoulders are in the farmer himself. It is a kind of beauty that springs out of a most natural and enduring source--manifest utility.
The roof of a farmer's house ought then to be high, so as to give him an ample garret—that useful store-house of country varieties. It ought to be rather steep, to bear and carry off rapidly the burdens of heavy snows and the violence of wintry storms. It ought to be strong, and little liable to speedy decay—that the purse may not be called on for frequent repairs.
The flat roof comes to us from southern countries and mild eli. mates. In town-houses, and orna. mental villas, in the classical styles, let the architect satisfy the demands of art with such a covering to his house. But in the exposed farmhouse, in our blustering, sturdy weather of the north, the farmer should have none of it. He must nestle under the high and broad roof which properly belongs to a northern climate. Fig. 61. This has all the beauty of thoroughly answering its purpose, and conveying at a glance the most complete notions of comfort.
When it is desired to render a farm-house ornamental, it is the most fatal, though the most common of all mistakes, to suppose it
FIG. 60. should be done by the imitation--the meagre imitation of some gentleman s fine house. It is a mode that is never successful. It is the old story of the jay in his borrowed peacock’s plumes. Every one detects and exposes the want of fitness and propriety. Fluted columns, ornamental pediments, moulded friezes, and the like, have little or nothing to do with farm-houses. They will give an ambitious and flashy character to the front; it will be belied by the useful and every-day character of the rear.
The truth is, a farmer's house looks as ill when bedecked with the stolen ornaments of a highly architectural villa, as the honest dignified, plain farmer himself would, if tricked out in the fashionable finery of the reigning Paris exquisite. The beauty of propriety is a species of moral beauty, even in houses and clothes.
There should be a kind of homely, country-like air about every genuine farmhouse. It ought at the first glance to be recognized as belonging to the open meadows, orchards, and
FIG. 61 pastures, that surround, and the fresh luxuriant trees that wave over it. It should be neat and strong, and capacious and comfortable. If something is wanted beyond this--and we are sure our farming
PRESERVATION AND APPLICATION OF MANURES. countrymen will more and more desire a mani- contribute amply, aided by man's industry, to the festation of the agreeable about their houses-then, nourishment of plants and animals. should something ornamental combine itself with the The atmosphere, by which the earth is surround. most important and useful features of the house ed, is composed of one-fifth oxygen, and four-fifths let a verandah be added, which may be adorned, nitrogen, nearly, and contains 1-2500 part, by not so much with expensive pillars, as with beau- weight, of carbonic acid-pp. 55 (note) and 167. As tiful and fragrant climbing plants. Let the porch small as this proportion may appear, Liebig rebe made a suitable covering to the principal en- marks that, “it is quite sufficient to supply the trances. Let the gables be enriched with simple whole of the present generation of living beings ornaments, and the chimney stacks be built in some with carbon for a thousand years, even if it were pleasing forms. These are the first points that not renewed.”. Here, then, is an ample sufficiency really demand attention in a farmer's house, which of oxygen and carbon, provided plants are capable we wish to raise to its highest expression of fitness of assimilating these substances. and beauty. Some examples of this kind of rural Now it has been well ascertained, that all plants architecture we hope to be able to offer at no distant growing in contact with the atmosphere absorb time. These trifling hints may perhaps lead some carbon and oxygen, not only by their roots, when agricultural friend to consider what is essential to the soil is kept loose and pulverized, so that the the character of a farm-house, and thus at least air can obtain access to them, but still more abunprevent his marring the beauty of simplicity and dantly by their leaves, and other green parts—pp. propriety.-[From the Transactions of the N. Y. 172–3, 179—80–3. State Agricultural Society, for 1845.]
Liebig remarks, that by loosening the soil
A. J. DOWNING. which surrounds young plants, we favor the access Highland Gardens, Newburgh, Jan., 1846. of air, and the formation of carbonic acid ; and on
the other hand, the quantity of their food is dimin. PRESERVATION AND APPLICATION OF
ished by every difficulty which opposes the renewal MANURES.
of air--p. 106. In the preceding page he says an THERE is nothing so important, in the art of atmosphere of carbonic acid surrounds every paragriculture, as the restoration and preservation of how important it is that farmers should keep the
ticle of decaying humus.* Hence may be seen the fertility of the soil. As the proper mode of pre- soil about growing plants in a complete state of serving and applying manures contributes greatly
pulverization. to this object, nothing should more sedulously en
Water is composed, by weight, of one part of gage the attention of farmers. Liebig's celebrated work on organic chemistry contains a great deal of hydrogen, and eight of oxygen--p. 122, note. And valuable information on this subject. But as this
as plants possess the power of decomposing waterwork is in the hands of but few farmers, I have p. 122; and assimilating hydrogen, one of its comthought I could not render a more acceptable ser
ponent parts, they have thus an opportunity of vice to them, than by collecting, in a more con.
acquiring this ingredient of their composition. densed form, the highly important suggestions, on carbon in the form of carbonic acid and hydrogen
During the progress of growth, plants appropriate this subject, of this distinguished writer on agricul- from the decomposition of water, the oxygen of ture and physiology, which are to be found in his work on ** Organic Chemistry,” in its application
which is set free-p. 125. to Agriculture, and on Physiology.
Thus it appears that nature has made ample proThat I may have the authority of his name in hydrogen, and carbon ; the second by the power
vision for supplying growing plants with oxygen, support of what I shall say on this subject, I shall which plants possess of decomposing water, and make frequent references to his work, simply giving the other two by their capacity of absorbing them the page. And I wish it distinctly understood that
Carbon is absorbed so wherever there is a reference without the name of abundantly from the atmosphere, that, in the opinion
from the atmosphere. the author, it is to the above work. Manures may be defined to be those substances formation of their leaves ; and, in his opinion, they
of Liebig, plants need none from the soil after the which are capable of being assimilated by plants, and which serve as food to promote their
growth, give back to the soil more than they receive from and bring them to maturity-p. 53-4. They are
it--p. 116. The decomposition of water furnishes
a full supply of hydrogen, and oxygen is supplied either of the organic, or inorganic kind. The elements of the former are oxygen, hydrogen, car- which contains the element in solution-p. 214.
not only from the atmosphere, but from water, bon, and nitrogen. These elements are furnished to plants in the form of water, carbonic acid, and posed of nitrogen, yet as plants have not the power
But although four-fifths of the atmosphere is comammonia–p. 147. The inorganic substances are of decomposing it, they can derive no nourishment found in the ashes, after the incineration of plants from that source. Yet this element is so essential --p. 147. These latter are of a fixed nature, and can, to the growth of plants, that Liebig is of opinion not be lost by evaporation, nor by being transformed they cannot "attain maturity, even in the richest into gases. But the elements of the organic manures, in an uncombined state, commonly exist in the form of a volatile gas, and are, therefore, more subject Humus or geine, as it is called by Berzelius, includes to be lost to the agriculturist than manures of the all the decomposed organic matters which are found inorganic kind.
in the dark surface soil of rich nds, in various states It has, however, been wisely arranged by a kind of combination, such as humic, crenic, and appocrenic Providence, that these gaseous substances shall | acid, &c. &c.
PRESERVATION AND APPLICATION OF MANURES.
251 vegetable mould, without the presence of matter Upon the incineration of every species of plants containing nitrogen.”—P. 126.
there are found, in the ashes, certain inorganic Before the time of Liebig, it was a matter of great substances of such a fixed nature, that they cannot doubt whence the nitrogen was derived, which was by any degree of heat be made to assume the found in the composition of plants, and without gaseous state. Among these are the alkalies, and which they could not attain maturity. To him we the alkaline earths, phosphates, silica, manganese, are indebted for the discovery, that this essential oxides of iron, &c., and various acids, combined food of plants is ilerived from ammonia,* a gaseous with alkalies, and alkaline earths, &c. All these substance contained in the atmosphere, and being inorganic substances are not found in every species extremely soluble in water-p. 130—is brought of plants; but that they are essential to the growth down to the earth by dews, rain, and snow, and of plants, in whose ashes they are found, is an irthus furnishes growing plants with nitrogen, an resistible inference from the fact, that they are ingredient indispensably necessary to their ex- invariably found in such ashes, with this exception, istence. Ammonia has a powerful afinity for that one alkali or alkaline earth may be substituted water ; consequently that portion of it, which is for another. Thus, if a plant, in whose ashes not taken up by the roots of plants, is liable to be sola is usually found, should be planted in a soil carried off by evaporation, unless the soil contains, where there is potash, but no sola, upon incinera. or is furnished with, substances capable of convert- tion there will be found the alkali potash, which ing it into a salt, and thus fixing it in the soil. has thus been substituted for the alkali soda, and Liebig has entered into some nice calculations to so vice versâ. And if there should be neither soda show what quantity of ammonia is given to the nor potash, in the soil, these plants, whose approsoil by rains, dews, and snows, annually-p. 131; priate food is so la or potash, would substitute one but is of opinion that the quantity, though great, or more of the alkaline earths in its stead-p. 200. is not sufficient for the purposes of agriculture--p. And the acids combined with these alkalies, are 141, anıl hence the necessiiy for an additional sup- always in proportion to their bases, so that the ply, which I will hereafter show may be supplied quantity of the one always regulates the other—pp. by stable and other manures of the solid and liquid 148–9-50. kind. As the nitrogen furnished by ammonia is Nothing can more strongly show the absolute 80 essential to the growth of plants, and as the necessity of alkalies, or alkaline earths of one quantity thus obtained is not a full supply, and a kind or another in plants. For if they are so situ. part of it is, moreover, liable to be carried off by ated as not to be able to procure a supply of their evaporation, it is of the utmost importance to agri- appropriate alkali, they invariably supply them. culturists to use the most efficient means of fixing itselves with another, or even with an alkaline earth in the soil, as it is brought down by rains, dews, as a substitute. But one or the other they must and snows.
have. Certain inorganic acids are also essential to This may be completely effected by strewing a the growth of plants, but these are always found small quantity of gypsum upon the soil, which, combined with their bases, and in suitable quantity. combining with ammonia forins soluble sulphate of Phosphoric acid has been found in the ashes of all ammonia and carbonate of lime, which, possessing plants hitherto examined, and always in combina. no volatility, is retained in the soil-p. 142. tion with alkalies, or alkaline earth-p. 200.
Gypsum is very slightly soluble in water, and Among the inorganic substances, the alkalies are is very slowly decomposed by carbonates, and the most important. They are found in different hence it may continue in the soil for several years plants in the form of silicates, tartrates, citrates, -P. 144.
acetates, oxalates, &c.—pp. 214–15. So important, Powdered charcoal acts in a similar manner, and in the opinion of Liebig, are alkalies in a soil, that has a powerful tendency in fixing ammonia in a even those which are the richest in humus must soil—p. 146. Decayed wood has also a similar become barren and unfruitful when their alkalies tendency, and is almost as powerful as charcoal — are exhausted, and will remain so until they shall
again be supplied with a due proportion of these Each of these substances may be resorted to for indispensable ingredients--p. 196. Some of the fixing in the soil the ammonia derived from the inorganic substances exist in such great abundance atmosphere, but unloubtedly ground gypsum (sul- that there is no danger of there ever being a pliate of lime) is the best adapted to the purpose, deficiency in the soil. Among these is silica-p: and ought to be resorted to, if to be obtained upon 215 (note), an ingredient which is essential to all reasonable terins.
plants of the grass kind--p. 200; and to all the It is proper to remark that some soils have grain tribe. The inorganic acids, or such as comalready a due proportion of gypsum combined with bine with inorganic bases, also exist in great them; and in that case no additional supply will abundance, so much so that wherever the base is be needed. This can be best ascertained by found, it is accompanied by its due proportion of analyzing the soil.
acid. Liebig says the most important object of Before I proceed to speak of stable and other agriculture is to furnish the soil with nitrogen, “in manures, in the solid anil liquid form, I must take a form capable of assimilation"--pp. 233–4. He some notice of the inorganic manures, that is, of might have added that it is equally important those substances which are found in the ashes of where alkalies are deficient, or when they have plants.
been exhausted, that they should also be supplied.
It has been seen, that of the organic manures the * Ammonia is a compound gas, consisting of one only one not furnished, in adequate quantity, by volume of nitrogen, and three of hydrogen.
the atmosphere, and the elements of water, is nitro.
QUERIES ON BUTTER-MARING, DOMESTIC FISH-PONDS.NO. 3.
gen, and that, among the inorganic manures, the 2. Should whatever is churned be sweet or sour? most important are the alkalies and alkaline earths. 3. Is there any point of rancidity at which the I will now proceed to inquire whence the deficiency butter separates more readily ? in these indispensable ingredients can be derived. 4. By what means is such a point ascertained ? It has already been shown that a large proportion 5. Is there any advantage to be derived in the of the requisite supply of nitrogen is obtained from use of salæratus when the butter is hard to come? the ammonia of the atmosphere. A part of the 6. Will sour milk produce more butter than unavoidable want of the alkalies, and other inor- fresh ? ganic ingredients, is derived from the same source. 7. What is the proper temperature for the proLiebig, when treating on this subject, remarks that, cess of churning? “ as thousands of tons of sea-water are annually 8. How many revolutions per minute should the evaporated into the atmosphere, a corresponding dash make, in a semicircular churn? quantity of the salts dissolved in it, viz., of com Answers to the above queries, with any other in. mon salt, chloride of potassium (a combination of formation on the subject, will much oblige chlorine and potash), magnesia, and the remain June 29, 1846.
A SUBSCRIBER. ing constituents of sea-water, will be conveyed by wind to the land.” “ By the continued evapora.
Our correspondent will find many plain, practical tion of the sea, its salts are spread over the whole directions on butter-making, in our back volumes, face of the earth, and being subsequently carried particularly in Vol. 1, p. 126; Vol. 2, p. 263; Vol? down by the rain, furnish to the vegetation those 3, pp: 48 and 237; Vol. 4, pp. 234 and 320. salts necessary to its existence. This is the origin Questions 1, 2, and 6, parties differ entirely in their of the salts found in the ashes of plants, in those practice, churning either milk or cream as is most cases in which the soil could not have yielded convenient. Some contend that sour milk or cream them”-p. 166.*
gives the most butter ; others, equally practical, ! An attentive consideration of the foregoing sug, deny this, and say, that it makes no difference. gestions will show the importance of serving and Questions 3, 4, and 5, we cannot answer. Quesapplying not only the alkalies and alkaline earths, tion 7. In New York the milk is churned at a tembut also stable and other manures, in which more perature of 50 to 60 degrees; in England at 60 by or 'less nitrogen is contained. These are ingre- horse or water power, and as high as 68 by hand dients essentially necessary to all growing crops, power. The reason for churning at a lower tem. and which are furnished the most sparingly by a perature by horse power is, that the motion is bountiful Providence, and hence the necessity for quicker and steadier than by hand. When the temthe care and industry of man, not only to preserve perature is as low as 50 degrees, the butter is a long those which are supplied by nature, but to collect time coming; at 60 to 65 it comes very readily. and apply those which are placed within his Question 8. The dasher is generally moved at the reach. This is a subject of too much importance rate of 60 to 75 revolutions per minute. We shall to be passed over lightly, and as this article is be obliged if any of our readers can reply to “ A already sufficiently extended, I must postpone any Subscriber” more fully and exactly than we are further remarks upon it for the present.
able to do Prospect Hill, Ky., June, 1846.
DOMESTIC FISH-PONDS.-No. 3.
Operations of Spawning and Hatching.–From HAVING never met with any plain practical careful examination made by those who have attendirections for churning, or separating the butter tively studied the habit of oviparous fishes, the nafrom milk, I have taken the liberty to call upon tural processes of spawning and hatching appear to you for information.
The time occupied by this be well understood; the hard roe of a fish being process frequently varies very much-say from half composed of a great number of small, roundish an hour to two hours; and when we consider that substances like little seeds, each of which is called during summer it has to be performed daily, a pro- an ovum or egg, and produces, when hatched, a per acquaintance with the principles on which the fish. In some kinds of fish, these ova undergo a operation depends, is of material consequence to the development, more or less complete, in the oviduct farmer, and no doubt in this age of improvement, of the parent, while, in others, they are further the information could easily be imparted by some perfected in water-although, in several in. of your more scientific correspondents.
stances, they seem far from being understood, The variety of opinions published from time to and no description of the process has ever been time, so far as I have seen, fall short of a correct attempted. system. Information on the following points seems The natural spawning-bed, of many species,
it is to me to be particularly desirable :
now well ascertained is not made by the plowing 1. Should the entire milk be churned, or only of the fish's nose, as has been asserted by some; the cream?
but by the action of the tail of the female,
throwing herself at intervals of a few minutes each, * According to Marcet, sea-water contains chloride upon one side, and while in this position, by the of sodium, sulphate of soda, chloride of potassium, rapid movement of the tail, she digs a hole in the chloride of magnesium, and sulphate of lime. These gravel for the reception of her ova, a portion of are the most important ingredients among the inor- which she therein deposits; and again turning on ganic manures, and amount to about 40-1000 parts of the side and covering them up by the renewed acsea-water. (See note, p. 166.)
tion of her tail,--thus alternately digging, deposit