Page images
PDF
EPUB

SWALLOWS-PLUM TREES.

season.

H. W.C.

is some powerful extractor in it, which awakens MR. EDITOR :—The old adage says, “Better late the soil to new powers, and leaves it, after these than never ;" acting on that principle, I give you powers are exerted, poorer than before. I say the following items which I found in my note- these are my opinions. If I am wrong, I wish to book the other day. "The first barn-swallow made be set right. its appearance here April 27th, for 1854. Same I know that guano is more beneficial in raising day, in travelling to a neighboring town, some fif. a crop on some soils, than on others ; but this i teen miles north, I passed a stagnant pond with ascribe to the superfluity of a certain quality in a large and apparently hollow tree standing near the soil which is brought into immediate action its edge; and hundreds of swallows were upon its on the crop, by the help of the guano, which qualbranches, flying about, and performing all sorts ity I think had better be left in the soil. of gyrations, apparently for no other object, In respect to the kind of soils, I think that a than to try their wings; acting, all the while, as damp soil is the best for gunno. It seems to do though they had just waked up from a long no perceivable good on our farm, which is a gravsleep. We could not stop to make observations. el loam. I applied it last year on corn; and from The first detachment of swallows at our barns, its being planted on buckwheat ground, a dry seamet for a dri July 19th, to the number of for- son, and applying guano, it was the poorest crop ty or fifty ; in two days they were gone. Many we ever raised. others lingered about some three weeks, ere they It may be that guano can be used with advandeparted; but thy seemed to look lonely and tage; I mean lasting advantage to the soil; but sad.”, I believe, that with the exception of your I have yet to learn how to apply it. At all events, remarks, early in the season, no one has given us give me barn-yard, or composted manure, and I observations respecting the swallow, during the will get along with the trouble of hauling. last year. I hope the poor swallow is not going

But I have already written more than I expectto be forgotten. Some philosopher has said, that ed, seeing it is the first time I ever wrote for the a swallow will destroy an average of nine hundred public eye. I can offer no excuse for occupying insects a day—and that some of these insects a place in your columns than that I have never, will bring into existence seven generations in one but once, seen anything from Middlesex county,

Verily, then, the swallows should be Conn., and I hope this will incite them to write looked after and cared for. Why not?

something better. Can you tell me what to do for a plum tree,

Durham, Conn., 1855. which is very thrifty, blossoms every year very full,—but never ripens any, and with the exception

REMARKS.—Very well; let us hear from you of one or two years, has never formed any plums. again. We have tried various things, but without success. Marlboro', N. H., Feb., 1855.

CURRANTS. REMARKS.-Your facts of the swallows are in

The fruit of the currant is universally admired. teresting. Head in your plum tree—that is, cut Its pleasant sub-acid flavor renders it peculiarly off a foot or two of the ends of the limbs immedi- excellent in tarts and pies, and makes, with a ately ; dig about the tree; manure it, and wash small addition of sugar, a very desirable substiwith soap-suds.

tute for apple sauce. From the ripe fruit, an excellent and cheap wine may be manufactured,

either with or without alcoholic properties. No MR. EDITOR :-Can you or any of your corres- fruit is susceptible of more easy cultivation. It pondents tell me through your columns what will will readily adapt itself, in some degree, to eveure a holdfast in its first stages ? The holdfast ery description of soil, and may, without much is on the upper jaw of the ox. B. W. Gay.

trouble, be made to produce, even prodigiously, New London, N. H., 1855.

on those which are constitutionally moist and wet. Daniel Cuilds, Cotuit Port, will learn partic-soil to the plant, rather than endeavor, by forced

In cultivating it, however, it is better to adapt the ulars about machine for cutting brush, by addressing Col. CHARLES. E. STANLEV, Methuen,

efforts, to adapt the plant to the soil. AcclimaMass.

tory changes are generally slow, and have a de

cided tendency to destroy the strength and hardiFor the New England Farmer.

hood, as well as the prolitic power of all plants. ON THE USE OF GUANO.

Yet circumstances, as well as the capriciousness of

taste, often demand this. MR. EDITOR :- I have read with much interest your valuable paper for the last eighteen months;

In setting currants, the soil, in the first place, and especially any articles on the use of guano.

should be well prepared by plowing or digging, I have just been reading one signed "Amplifica- and reduced to a very fine tilth, and should then tor.” I think with him, that if the farmers were be stimulated by warming and invigorating manto save and make more manure on their farms, ure. (which manure we have, if we would but look af- desirable, with a small per centage of clayey mat

A porous, or not too retentive sub-soil, is ter it,) we should in five years be much better off, than to buy all the patent fertilizers of the ter in the surface soil. When the latter is defiday. In my opinion, there is not so much real cient, it may be well to supply it. Into soil thus goodness in guano as some suppose. But there prepared, the cuttings from old plants—the fresh,

J. T. W.

WHAT WILL CURE HOLDFAST.

vigorous wood of the previous year's growth, may turnips, which follow corn (which require a be set with an almost certain assurance of suc- large supply of the phosphate,) with excellent cess. These should be cut off near the surface, success, absorb more phosphoric acid than corn. and inserted in the lines or beds to the depth of The speaker also showed that the “excrementosix or seven inches, and the soil well compressed ry” theory, also, was fallacious. In considerabout them; the surface should then be covered ing the rotation of crops, the farmer ought first with old, well-rotted chip-manure, hay, leaves or to ascertain what kind of crops he wants to grow. straw, so as to keep the ground at all times moist. If he wishes to raise cattle, he can only increase It will be well to scatter a little lime or ashes on his herds either by rotation of crops or by extra the surface before mulching,

manuring. Now four pounds of turnips are The plants must be kept well weeded, and be equal to one pound of hay, and it has been said watered the first year, if the season be dry. By that ten pounds of hay will make a pound of removing all the leaf buds except some few-say

beef. Therefore, as we can get twenty tons of four or five of the topmost ones, and checking turnips where we can two of hay, the profit in the tendency to lateral growth, very prettily raising turnips is very apparent. If a market formed and symmetrical trees may be obtained'; gardener in the neighborhood of Boston wishes to but this operation must be annually repeated till grow celery on the same land for twenty years the plants or bushes have assumed the requisite in succession, he does it, and with wonderful sucheight and shape, which will generally be in cess. Therefore, before deciding upon a rotation about three years from the time of setting. But of crops, the farmer should decide whether his more fruit will probably be obtained from the market demands it, or whether it is better to buy clump of bushes. Gooseberries may be cultivated manure.

In a section where the chief aim is in the tree form, and perhaps with advantage. stock growing, and manure is not abundant, a Under the old way, the gooseberry is often in- good system is to take a piece of pasture land, jured, or destroyed by mildew. The tree method put on a sair amount of manure, plant with is said to obviate this evil, and secure elegant and

corn,

and seventy-five bushels may be obtained ; healthy bushes and fruit. The subject is worthy

follow it with turnips, applying a small amount of attention.

of barn-yard manure, and about six hundred

bushels of turnips will be the result, which, it NINTH LEGISLATIVE AGRICULTU. has been seen, are better than two or three tons RAL MEETING.

of hay. Sow down in the fall to clover and Reported for the New England Farmer, grass, and a very large yield is secured, and the

land will continue to yield for two or three years The ninth meeting of the course was held in without manure, and, at the end of that time, it the Representatives' Hall, at the State House, on is put into pasture again ; a most succulent feed Tuesday evening, 13th inst., The subject for con- will be obtained, which will hold on through the sideration was The Rotation of Crops. season, and the pasture can be used for two years,

R. MORRIS COPELAND, of Lexington, presided, remaining so verdant that a half a dozen cattle and opened the discussion in an interesting man- can be fed where one usually is. Another ad

The subject of a rotation, of crops, he said, vantage will be, that the range of the animals must appropriately follow that of manures, will be less, and their droppings be more concenwhich had been discussed at the two previous trated, which will greatly tend to maintain the meetings, for the principle of rotation is the fertility of the land. Instead of putting on topprinciple of manures. It is often asked, why dressing, go through this system of rotation of should we wish for a rotation of crops ? And it crops.

Another rotation would be to take stubhas been affirmed over and over again that none

ble land, and, instead of beginning with corn, was needed, because in England wheat had use turnips, putting on a dressing of manure, been raised for a long series of years upon the and then follow with wheat or any kind of same land. But the reason of this is found in grain ; after which, put in clover, and then turn the fact that the English farmers have cultivated to pasture. By a sub-division of one hundred their land highly, and he doubted whether West- acres, corn, wheat, potatoes and pasture might ern farmers would be willing to spade their land be embraced in a small surface. But after all, instead of plowing it, in order to obtain a large

whether we pursue rotation of crops or high farmcrop. Why one crop succeeds better after an

ing, the truest method of farming is that which other has not been determined. It has been ex-gives back to the soil what the plant has taken plained that one crop first takes all the constitu- away, at the same time increasing its value as ent qualities from the land which it needs, and much as possible. yet leaves something untouched which is required Mr. Fay, of Essex, was called on for remarks, for the succeeding crop; but this is incorrect, as and said that it was not with grain crope we

BY WILLIAM W. HILL.

ner.

some.

could imitate the rotative system of foreign coun- equal to three or four crops of hay. Turnips are tries, but in Indian corn we have something the things with which to enrich a farm; the much better. The principle of rotation is, that farmer, however, should not carry them to market one kind of plant takes certain properties from but keep stock to consume them on the premises. the soil, and another, different qualities—as corn Carrots, also, should be one crop, because they one kind, potatoes another, barley another, &c. ; require deep and rich culture. If corn followed and thus one piece of land will supply ingredients carrots, grass would grow seven years and yield for several different crops. From this fact comes two tons to the acre with very little manuring. the system of rotation, by which good crops are

Mr. Brooks, of Princeton, thought the rotation obtained with but little manure, much less than of crops should be different under different ciris now wasted in top-dressing. One great ad- cumstances. Potatoes, corn, wheat, and then vantage of rotation with potatoes or turnips is, eight years in grass, is the most profitable on his that, after they get leaved out they shade the soil

. He was not so sanguine about turnips as land and protect it from drought, and draw the He had raised them and they are an exmost of their sustenance from the atmosphere, cellent crop but they are also uncertain. He leaving the ground rich, with the bulk of the could not reckon upon them oftener than once in manure applied yet in the soil, to operate upon two years. They do not start easy and are very the succeeding crop. Another advantage of sensitive to a hot sun and dry weather. If they root crops is, that a crop which is ripened in the lack rain for a few days in Spring they are pretty ground, as a wheat crop, exhausts the soil much sure to wilt down and die. "They need a moist more than when taken from the ground and ma-climate. The same objections also exist against tured like the root crops. The potato is not an ex- carrots. In dry seasons, too, turnips are more hausting crop, and leaves the land in excellent corky. He had succeeded best with lat turnips. tilth. The only rotation which he thought could Cabbages might be a good rotative crop to plant be generally adopted in this country, was the fol- in rows with corn. He had known the experilowing a ten years course. Suppose a farm of one ment to be tried with much profit. He did not hundred acres divided into ten parts, one-tenth think, however, that rotation of crops could be in grass the first year ; the next year maize, a gone into so largely as some gentlemen think. good crop of which can be cultivated, under Gentlemen had spoken about keeping pastures proper management, and without exhausting the verdant the year round; he did not believe that soil. Or commence with turnips, and follow it could be done on account of our severe drouths. with corn or potatoes ; then follow with the Could it have been accomplished last season? As other crop, then again reversing it, and then go for cultivating pastures and occupying but little back to grass in five years ; and, by pursuing the surface it will not pay while land is so cheap as rotation on each section of the farm, grass may it is in this country. We must run over a great remain as long as it continues profitable. By deal of land because labor is too high to make beginning with a root crop, bringing the land extensive farming profitable. under high cultivation, the farmer will find that

Mr. McLELLAND, of Sutton, coincided in the rehis manure is not lost. Turnips should never be marks of Mr. Brooks and thought the remarks of followed by any crop which requires to be plant- the Chairman would apply rather to market farmed in the autumn.

ing, not being practicable in the legitimate farmMr. Dodge, of Sutton, was next called up by ing of the State. He described the method purthe Chairman. He gave it as his opinion that a sued at the South, which is to let large portions system of rotation of crops would pay farmers of a plantation lay idle for a number of years, much better than the old system. He thought in order to give it rest and time to recuperate its the suggestion of the Chairman, in regard to con- energies. centrating the droppings of cattle in pastures, Mr. EMERSON, of Boston, inquired what kind of worthy of consideration. The pasture lands of grass was the best to stock a pasture with. He the Commonwealth have depreciated exceedingly had a pasture which he had allowed to "recupeduring the last thirty years. The rotation of rate” for ten years and the result was nothing crops is not understood in this country. Corn, but moss, briars, and mongrel grass. He was potatoes, turnips and grass, are the most profit- going to disturb it and did not mean to let it rest able crops for us to raise. He had plowed grass so long again. and turnip seed in together and the result was Mr. McLELLAND, of Sutton, replied that he convery gratifying. The grass was much more luxu- sidered a variety called the Rhode Island "bent” riant than when planted alone and 500 bushels of to be the best. It is lighter and a little different turnips were obtained to the acre, which, at the from red top. In regard to the uncertainty of estimate of Mr. Fay, that four tons of turnips turnip and carrot crops, alleged by Mr. Brooks, are equal to one of hay, would make this crop he said that in his neighborhood turnips were re

garded as a quite sure crop. He considered them gard to the drouth affecting root crops his obserthe most profitable crop in proportion to the ex- vation, during considerable travel last season, pense of growing them for feeding stock. He showed that they bore the severe drouth better thought it a good plan to cut the grass early in than any other crops. He also remarked to Mr. the season, then plow with the Michigan plow, Emerson that ashes applied to the roughest pasput on twenty or thirty loads of compost, and ture lands will bring in white clover. then plant turnips. This would put the land in Mr. Flint, Secretary of the Board of Agriculexcellent condition for carrots the next year. ture, remarked that as a general rule the rotation The latter he considered as certain and profitable of crops in this country should be much shorter as any crop he ever raised.

than that in England, as it is with us the desired Mr. COPELAND, the Chairman, corrected a state object to keep the grass lands in the best condiment of Mr. Fay in regard to corn, potatoes, bar- tion. It should also be adapted to different kinds ley, &c., each taking different ingredients from of soil, as one system will not do for all. the soil. Chemical analysis shows that these

The subject for the next meeting is The Culticrops all take about the same matters from the vation of Fruit and Forest Trees. earth, although not the same quantities. In re-l

OSWEGO BEURRE AND BEURRE DIEL PEARS.

Oswego BEURRE, Read's Seedling. (Dotted Outline.)

Rather large; oval-obovate; greenish-yellow, mottled with russet; stem short and stout, in a deep cavity ; shallow basin ; flesh tender, melting, juicy, of a brisk saccharine, and slightly acid flavor. November to mid-winter.Vigorous, and a prodigious and constant bearer. Newly introduced, but promises to be one of the most profitable. Raised by Mr.Walter Read, Oswego, N. Y.

BEURRE DIEL. (Larger Outline.)-Large ; ob WHAT DOES IT cost to FENCE ?—The amount tuse-pyriform to obovate ; lemon or orange-yel- of capital employed in the construction and repair low, marbled with russet, large brown dots; stem of the wooden fences in the United States, would rather long, stout, in an uneven cavity ; flesh be deemed fabulous, were not the estimates founded whitish, rather coarse, half melting, rich, sugary on statistical facts, which admit of no dispute. and delicious. When perfect, is first rate, but Burknap, a well known agricultural writer, says : often insipid or astringent, being difficult to ri- “Strange as it may seem, the greatest investment pen. Rather apt to crack. It requires a warm in this country, the most costly production of location, high culture and warm season in the human industry, is the common fences, which diNorth. More certain in the Middle States and in vide the fields from the highways, and separate them the West. Best on quince. Foreign.

from each other. No man dreams that when com

pared with the outlay for these unpretending or more, and full corn cribs for many rods in monuments of art, our cities and our towns, with length, where the hens went at pleasure, and they all their wealth, are left far behind. You will made nests under the trees, and among the bushes, scarcely believe me when I say that the fences of and all about the buildings, and in the back this country cost more than twenty times the kitchen, and just where they had a mind to : and amount of specie that is in it.”

they sat on their eggs and hatched out their chickens at will—a self-sustaining poultry estab

lishment, in fact. This plan worked; but as to KEEPING POULTRY IN LARGE NUM- the profit of it, I doubt whether the old lady BERS.

could give any intelligible account in the matter. * LUTHER TUCKER, Esq.:- In the Country Gentle- No; I believe the only way to make poultry, man of 25th inst., D. H. R., of Hartford, Conn., profitable is to keep them in the old way. wants to know how to build a chicken house for Proportion the number to the ground and build“about 1,000 fowls.” If my poor opinion is ings you have. Give them liberty to run at large worth anything, he will not build it at all. Fowls, for a portion of each day in warm weather, with in any large number, will not thrive unless they comfortable quarters in winter, and pure air, alhave a wide range. They are, partially, a gra- ways. I have known sundry other enterprises, zing animal. When the ground is bare of snow, like the Buffalo one I mention, tried; but I never in winter, they pick the grass if they can get it, knew one permanently successful. They were all and are fond of green vegetables of any kind. In in turn abandoned.

Yours truly, L. F. A. summer they pick and eat grass every day. They Black Rock, Jan. 2, 1855. are great scavengers after slugs, insects, and all

Country Gentleman. kinds of flesh. They are better, also, for having some flesh food in winter; and abundant air,

For the New England Farmer. fresh and pure, the must have always. Although I have seen it tried, I never knew a large collec

GUANO WITH RYE STRAW. tion of sereral hundred fowls succeed in a confined Mr. EDITOR :—The letter of Mr. William C. place.

Little, in your issue of March 10th, is a valuable A few years ago some enterprising man from one, and will doubtless influence many farmers in the country came near town, and enclosed an regard to the use of guano and superphosphate of acre or two of ground with a high picket fence, lime. That both these agents are valuable in the and put up a building, at an expense of near or highest degree to the farmer, is very certain ; but quite a thousand dollars, intending to supply eggs it is equally certain that we still need much light for the Buffalo market. He had his barn well in regard to the use of them. While some among done off with any quantity of roosts, nesting us have derived much benefit from them, others, places, and other conveniences. He started his thus far, have been inclined to think that they concern with seven or eight hundred chickens, had “better have let guano alone.” and for a few weeks, crowing, cockfighting, lay. Last season I blundered upon an experiment, ing and cackling went on to his heart's content. with the results of which I feel highly satisfied. He had food of all kinds for them and great anti- Perhaps some of your readers may be benefited by cipations were indulged of fortune-making in his the hint. Late in the spring I had in my barn á chicken enterprise. But three or four winter large quantity of rye straw, and did not exactly months told the story. The fowls got diseased— know what to do with it. I was unwilling to sell the hens first eat the feathers off the roosters-or it at a low price, thinking it would be more for my what were left of them after they had fought interest to return it to the soil. But how to get themselves almost bare, and then the hens un- it there was the question. The stalks were long, fleeced, in the same way, each other. They stop-stout and stubborn. I first spread it in the barnped laying, were tormented with lice, got the yard, and allowed it to be thoroughly soaked in sroup," went moping about the place, and died the rain ; I then threw it into a heap, hoping it off like a pestilence; and by spring, but a few would heat and become friable ; but after waiting miserable, sickly things were left, with scarce life a week, I perceived no signs of fermentation. enough in them to crow up the morning! then opened the heap, and proceeded to recon

The difficulty was not in want of food nor care. construct it, sprinkling guano in small quantities But, from the necessity of the case, they were upon the layers as they were laid up. In a few crowded in their roosts"; they were disturbed by days the steam issuing from the heap, showed that each other in their nests, and had not room enough my wishes were about to be realized. But by this any where, even with the outside range of an time it was past the beginning of June, and whatacre of land. The truth is, that to flourish, hens ever was to be done in the way of planting must must have their liberty, when kept in large num- be done quickly. I took the straw (a great part bers. They want to range the fields by day and of it still unaffected by fermentation,) and putnot be crowded at night. They want å variety of ting it into hills, planted corn upon it, intending food and to help themselves to it. They need ex- to cut it up for fodder. ercise, pure air, and enough of both. I knew one My neighbors smiled at the operation as if it man, or rather the man's

wife, in the Scioto Val- were labor thrown away. I feared myself that ley in Ohio, who kept five or six hundred fowls it would be pretty much so.

The seed came up --that is, she told me she had that many—and I very quick, and grew rapidly. There was a prodon't doubt it, for the whole territory, for acres fusion of stalks in each hill, and their deep green about the farm, was speckled with them by day, color attracted the notice of passers-hy. As it and the trees and the corn-cribs and the barns grew near the time of scutting up!! I could not and the sheds were filled with them at night. bring myself to do it ; I told å neighbor that if They had a great big farm of a thousand acres, he would cut out all but four stalks in each

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »