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For the New England Farmer. been much written and said, of late years, conCHEAP FERTILIZERS.
cerning the value of liquid wastes, but, as I am
inclined to think, with a very inadequate idea of Mr. Editor :-Reflecting upon the wide spread their intrinsic value, or of the most judicious and and rapidly increasing mania for foreign ma- effective method of employing them. nures, which has taken possession of the farming Generally, even those who have been most community of New England, the inquiry has strongly impressed with the importance of often risen in my mind whether, in the far off liquid wastes, have devoted their attention to the search for the means of fertilization, there is not discovery of the best absorbents, with a view to a very considerable sprinkling of humbug, such their application to the earth in a solid form. as developed itself in the morus multicaulis, ro- And herein I think they have, to some extent, han potato fevers, &c. Can it be that our re- fallen into error. As compared with the old sources are exhausted, and that we are reduced to wasteful habits of discharging tons of liquid resuch naked poverty in respect of our agricultural fuse, upon a few wheelbarrow loads of loam. operations, that we must needs look to the distant through the sink, or pouring it into some inaccesisles of the ocean, or the scientific combinations sible stone pit, their efforts are entitled to hig! of the chemist, for the essential elements of fer- praise as valuable improvements;. but as contilization? To answer (as numbers virtually do) trasted with their immediate application to the this question in the affirmative, implies, as it ap- soil, in a liquid state, whenever this is practipears to me, a very imperfect knowledge of the cable, they must still be pronounced rude and iinessential conditions of agricultural economy, perfect. while the practical application of the theory in- Liquid manures are vastly more efficacious than fers the total neglect, or very partial appropria- solids in their influence upon vegetation, and the tion, of materials which nature has placed in reason for this must, we should suppose, appear abundance within our reach. Such neglect is an obvious to all who give the subject a moment's error which lies at the doors of nearly the whole thought. Liquids are already in the condition: farming community.
which solids must assume before they can become The primary want of the farmer, at least here the food of plants. Nothing can become food for in the older States, is manure. From whence, plants except in a state of solution, and liquide and by what methods, can this be most readily are exempt from the waste from atmospheric inobtained, is the problem which he is required to fluence which takes place with solids. A very solve. The method now very generally proposed, simple experiment will settle the matter satisfacnext to the old established appropriations from torily. Let any quantity of solid manure be the barn, &c., is the purchase of Outlying mate- steeped fully in water, and the solution applied rials, whether in the shape of guano, poudrette, either to a garden, or grass, and the same quaror phosphate of lime, &c. Now is this wise hus-tity be applied to another piece of equal size, in bandry? I think not. And furthermore, I am a solid form, and the effects of the former will be fully persuaded that those who adopt this method to the latter as three to one. are chasing an ignis fatuus, while the substantial If I have not already trespassed on your pagood, which they want is within their reach, is tience, perhaps I cannot better illustrate these wasted and lost. With me this rule has all the views than by the relation of some experiments of force of an axiom, namely, that no person should mine made during the last three or four years undertake the cultivation of more land than he upon this subject. In the early part of my larmcan enrich sufficiently from his own resources. ing cxperience I was much perplexed with the Or, to state it in another form, there are placed general, and occasionally with the total, inefficacy within the reach of the farmer ample materials of solid manures when applied as a top-dressing to fertilize all the land which he can fully and to grass land. Keeping no team, and not being profitably occupy.
in a condition to expend much for plowing, I It is a law of our existence, which we can looked about for a remedy. I had had some exneither alter or set aside, that all which we ab-perience of the powers of liquid manures applies stract from the earth we must return to it again around fruit trees and determined to test them in in some form or other. But although the law it- relation to grass. I procured a convenient vess! self is absolute, the methods of its fulfilment are for the purpose and caused every species of waste. essentially within our control. The debt we owe liquid to be thrown into it, and once or twice a the earth must be paid, but it is for us to deter- day spread it methodically upon my land. The mine whether it shall be paid in such a manner piece I selected was good land, but so exhausted as to beautify and adorn its surface, or in such a by long cropping that the year previous I hardly way as to multiply its pollutions and increase the considered it worth mowing. Now for the resum of human suffering. It is ours to determine sults. The next season the hay on that piece was whether the enormous amount of exuviæ, evolved more than quadrupled. I then began to put my by our great cities, shall be suffered to stagnate, ashes into the same receptacle and commenced a saturating the ground and becoming the dismal regular course of action, extending from the last parent of every disease, or returned with a wise of July to the last of May. hand to the earth in such a manner as shall invig- In this way, without the loss of an hour's time, orate the vegetable world and reproduce new or a cent of outlay, I have produced results forms of beauty and usefulness. It is for us to which could not be wrought by thirty horse loads decide whether the morbid matter of our house- of solid manure accompanied by days or even holds shall stagnate in sinks, drains, &c., creating weeks of severe labor. In this way I can manure cesspools offensive to every sense, or poured into in the most effectual manner upwards of an acre the open bosom of the soil to multiply all that and my land thus treated will produce three ton ministers to our physical comfort. "There has to the acre, although it has been in grass for
teen years, and without addition of seed. ting a front yard, follow, until an acre or two of This method, of coursa, has its limitations. . It the best part of the farm is cut up like a chequerwould not be available in the case of lands lying board, having neither utility nor beauty to comdistant from the house; but for those immediately contiguous I say confidently that it cannot be ex
mend it. By and by, the old farm changes celled. Every housekeeper of five persons pro- hands, and the old rubbish is cleared away, and duces annually several tons of this material, and a sudden and almost magical change occurs in those who understandingly avail themselves of the scene. We see, at once, that system bas this powerful resource will find little occasion, it taken the place of accident and caprice, and good seems to me, to use Bomner's patent, guano, or any other extraneous manure. Wx. WHITING.
taste has triumphed over conformity to old-fashPembroke, Mass., 1855.
ioned notions of convenience.
We believe that, as a matter of econòmy, a WHAT DOES IT COST TO FENCE THE great change is required in the matter of fences
in New England. Fences are for two purposes, COUNTRY? The amount of capital employed in the con
protection from cattle and sometimes unruly boys,
In the first struction and repair of fences in the United and shelter from the wind and cold. States, would be deemed fabulous, were not the place, we believe, that nearly all fences between estimates founded on statistical facts, which ad- the highways and our fields, might be dispensed mit of no dispute. Burknap, a well known ag, with. But what, then, shall protect us from ricultural writer, says: “Strange as it may seem, the greatest invest
cattle wandering at large, and from droves passment in this country, the most costly productions ing to market, and to and from pasture ? of human industry, is the common fences, which
As to droves of cattle, they are soon to cease. divide the fields from the highways, and separate The railroads convey them, nearly all, and if them from each other. No man dreams that they are still to travel by means of their own locowhen compared with the outlay for those unpre- motives, ho uch more reasonable would it be to tending monuments of art, our cities and our towns,
with all their wealth are left far behind. compel their owners to drive them in yokes, or seYou will scarcely believe me when I say that the cured by ropes, or otherwise, than to insist that, fences of this country cost more than 20 times the owners of land shall fence them out a road the amount of specie that is in it."
from the place where they are raised, to the marIn Germany, and many other parts of Europe, ket towns. As to the cows and oxen, kept for no fences are seen for miles, either between the use on our farms, they might easily be conducted highlands and fields, or between the lots occupied in the same way to and from their pastures. by different individuals. In some districts, the Our pastures must still be enclosed. There is boundaries of each proprietor are required by much rough land that can profitably be used for law to be marked by trees, and the owners are no other purpose. But the saving, in dispensing compelled to plant fruit and ornamental trees with the fences about our fields, would be imupon the line of highways against their land, at mense. No amendment of the law of the New prescribed distances, and kept constantly grow- England States, generally, we apprehend is necing. Public officers, at stated intervals, examine essary. Owners are not now obliged to fence and survey the streets and public ways, and re-against cattle in the highways, but persons drivport to the public authorities any failure of com- ing or suffering their cattle to run loose in the pliance with these legal provisions. In some road, are bound to see that they do no if: parts of Germany, the highways are lined for All that is needed is, that public opinion, which miles with rows of fruit trees, bending with fruit rules everything else in our country, should be over the passing traveller, adding grace and set right on this subject. beauty to the landscape, and refreshing him As to shelter from the wind and cold, we apwith grateful shade.
prehend that a rail fence or a stone wall around There seems to be in this country a mania for a field, affords but very little. For gardens and fences. Not only are our fields and pastures en- fields even in exposed positions, shelter is often closed, but divisions and subdivisions of our farms necessary, and fences may sometimes be profitably are made, and in addition to these, small yards constructed with this view. Generally, however, and gardens, close about our buildings, are often a judicious planting of belts of pine or hemlock multiplied till they mar the whole beauty of the trees, on the northerly and westerly sides of our homestead. This is particularly noticeable lots, will be found far more effectual and economabout old establishments. The first occupant ical than anything else, except for very small enenclosed a small garden, and after it had grown closures. up to trees, he fenced off another for his vegota- We see many subdivisions of farms, which tables. Then, from time to time, a small yard seem to us worse than useless. Fields are often for poultry, another for the calves, another for divided into two, three, five or ten acre lots, the house, a barn yard, and so on, not omit- which had much better remain in one. This is
often done for convenience in fall feeding, so that and, as I saw on looking nearer, had already dicattle may be turned into the fields, before the vested him of several of his members. They fought crops are off, in the fall. Our answer to this is, manifested the least disposition to retreat. It was
with more pertinacity than bull-dogs. Neither that this whole syetem of fall feeding on fields is evident that their battle-cry was Conquer or die. an error. We believe that it is a fair estimate, In the meanwhile there came along a single red that a good mowing field will, without being ant on the hill-side of this valley, evidently full fed at all, keep in grass better for ten years, than of excitement, who either had despatched his it will five if annually fed closely, late in au- tle'; probably the latter, for he had lost pone
foe, or had not yet taken part in the battumn. Soft lands are almost ruined by the of his limbs; whose mother had charged him to treading of cattle, and the short bulbous roots of return with his shield or upon it. Or perhaps the herds-grass are pulled up and destroyed by he was some Achilles, who had nourished his wrath the feeding of neat cattle, that are not provided apart, and had now come to avenge or rescue his by nature, with teeth enough to cut the grass afar,-for the blacks were nearly twice the size of
Patroclus. He saw this unequal combat from evenly. It is better economy to feed our cattle the red,-he drew near with rapid pace till he at the barn in the autumn, than to allow them stood on his guard within half an inch of the thus to injure the crops of future years. We combatants ; then, watching his opportunity, he would advise farmers, therefore, rather to re- sprang upon the black warrior, and commenced move the division fences which they already have
his operations near the root of his right fore leg,
leaving the foe to select among bis own members; in their fields, to escape the temptation to do and so there were three united for life, as if a new what they know to be wrong, than to construct kind of attraction had been invented which put all others, for convenience in feeding their cattle other locks and cements to shame. I should not in their mowing fields.
have wondered by this time to find that they had If a fair estimate could be made of the actual eminent chip, and playing their national airs the
their respective musical bands stationed on soine cost of maintaining our unnecessary fences, and while, to excite the slow and cheer the dying comof the waste of valuable wood and timber used batants. I was myself excited somewhat even as about them, so that each farmer should know the if they had been men. The more you think of it, amount of his tax annually for this object, we
the less the difference. And certainly there is not think a great change for the better would soon in the history of America, that will bear a mo
the fight recorded in Concord history, at least, if occur.
ment's comparison with this, whether for the
numbers engaged in it, or for the patriotism and THE BATTLE OF THE ANTS. heroism displayed. For numbers and for carnage I was a witness to events of a less peaceful char- in was an Austerlitzor Dresden. Concord Fight! aeter. One day when I went out to my wood- Two killed on the patriots' side, and Luther Blanpile, or rather to my pile of stumps, I observed chard wounded? Why here every ant was a two large ants, the one red, the other much larg. Buttrick,—-"Fire! for God's sake fire !”—and er, nearly half an inch long, and black, fiercely thousands shared the fate of Davis and Hosmer. contending with one another. Having onco got There was not one hireling there. I have no doubt hold they never let go, but struggled and wrestled that it was a principle they fought for, as much and rolled on the chips incessantly. Looking far- as our ancestors, and not to avoid a three-penny ther, I was surprised to find that the chips were tax on their tea; and the results of this battle covered with such combatants, that it was not a will be as important and memorable to those whom dueltam, but a bellum, a war between two races of it concerns as those of the battle of Bunker Hill, ants, the red always pitted against the black, and at least. frequently two red ones to one black. The le- I took up the chip on which the three I have gions of these Myrinidons covered all the hills and particularly described were struggling, carried it Vales in my wood-yard, and the ground was al- into my house, and placed it under a tumbler on ready strewn with the dead and dying, both red my window-sill, in order to see the issue. Holdand black. It was the only battle-field which I ing a microscope to the first mentioned red ant, I have ever witnessed, the only battle-field I ever saw that, though he was assiduously gnawing at trod while the battle was raging; internecine the near fore-leg of his enemy, laving severed his war; the red republicans on the one hand, and remaining feeler, his own breast was all torn the black imperialists on the other. On every away, exposing what vitals he had there to the side they were engaged in deadly combat, yet jaws of the black warrior, whose breast-plate was without any noise that I could hear, and human apparently too thick for him to pierce; and the soldiers never fought so resolutely. I watched a dark carbuncles of the sufferer's eyes shone with couple that were fast locked in each other's em- ferocity such as war only could excite. They braces, in a littlesunny valley amid the chips, now struggled half an hour longer under the tumbler, at noon-day prepared to fight till the sun went and when I looked again the black soldier had down, or life went out. The smaller red cham- severed the heads of his fues from their bodpion had fastened himself like a vise to his adver- ies, and their still living heads were hanging on sary's front, and through all the tumblings on either side of him like ghastly trophies at his sadtirat field, never for an instant ceased to gnaw dle bow, still apparently as firinly fastened as ever, at one of his feelers near the root, having already and he was endeavoring with feeble struggles, caused the other to go by the board ; while the being without feelers and with only the remnant stronger black one dashed him from side to side, of a leg, and I know not how many other wounds,
62.50 .. 3.50
to divest himself of them ; which at length, after consumed seventy-six bushels of corn on the ear, half an hour more, he accomplished. I raised the equal to thirty-eight bushels of shelled corn. glass, and he went off over the widow-sill in that crippled state. Whether he finally survived that During this time they manufactured eight cords, combat, and spent the remainder of his days in or sixteen loads of muck and mould into the first some Hotel des Invalides, I do not know ; but I quality of compost, mingling the raw materials thought that his industry would not be worth well with the horse manure and straw for bedmuch thereafter. I never learned which party ding. They may be accounted with as follows : was victorious, nor the cause of the war; but 1 felt for the rest of that day as if I had my feel
825 lbs. of dressed pork, at 8c. per lb...
Deduct 76 bu. ears of corn, or 38 bu. corn ings excited and harrowed by witnessing the strug- consumed, at an average price of $1.25 gle, the ferocity and carnage, of a human battle
Deduct paid for slaughtering.. my door.—Thoreau's Life in the Woods.
paid for pigs at outset, $3.00.........12.00
Add 8 cords, or 16 loads of raw material
of corn, or $1.25 per load....... THE PROFIT OF FATTENING SWINE.
From which, if you please, deduct the cost
of supplying the material, say 50c. per In the Monthly Farmer for April, 1854, there
load, which is rather high... are statements over my signature relative to the
Profit on four pigs, over and above market profit of fattening swine in New England, to- value of corn consumed..
.$15.50 gether with hints as to the proper mode of con- With regard to the price at which the corn is ducting the business ; and in the following num- charged to the pigs, I have to say that in Januber for May, there is a shorter article, confirming ary the thirty-eight bushels could have been the statements previously made. Since writing bought for a dollar per bushel ; and at less than those articles, I have further investigated the a dollar and a quarter as late as March, though subject, in order to prove the soundness or other- now corn is worth more than the price charged wise of the views then presented. On the 21st of December, 1854, I bought four
It will be found on calculation that these pig very lean shoats, weighing respectively, 63, 61, gained some over fifteen pounds of net pork fo 60 and 58 lbs., or in all, 242 lbs., gross live each bushel of corn consumed; which argue weight. They were placed in warm apartments, pretty well for the mode of feeding, and for th consisting of a pen for making compost, and an business of converting corn into pork and come ating room. The litter made by two horses was
post. daily thrown into the compost pen ; also, about Another year's practice and observation has every third week, a cord, or two loads of either not disclosed any thing material for me to deduct muck or forest-mould was put into the pen ; and from the views formerly advanced as to the policy clean straw was added, at suitable times, for and profit of fattening swine. I still entertain bedding. The pigs were fed on meal made by entire confidence in the desirableness of the busigrinding ears of corn, or on what is called corn ness, when conducted with system and propriety. and cob meal, and they were supplied with all Indeed, I have never seen the year in farming the meal they would eat with a good appetite. when I was not well paid for fattening pigs of a Immediately after feeding them at a given time, good breed, fairly reckoning their services as the meal for the next feeding was placed in the manufacturers of fertility for the land. In my bucket, and boiling water was added, and also judgment, it is sounder practice for the farmer after a while the wash of the kitchen, the whole thus to add to his means for making crops and standing in a warm place till the time for feed- keeping his lands in good heart, than by buying ing, and the meal becoming thoroughly soaked the fashionable concentrated fertilizers of the and very much swollen. Whenever a grist of day, which too often merely stimulate the present ears of corn was to be carried to mill to be ground crop, and leave the land no better than they for the pigs, the same was accurately measured found it. up in a basket, well known to hold the right Notwithstanding the great prejudice existing quantity of ears, when even full, to make a with many persons against the grinding and bushel of shelled corn ; and the pigs were charged feeding of the cob with the corn, it is sufficient with each grist at the time it was measured. for my purpose to know, as I do by repeated Entire accuracy was aimed at in keeping the trials, that corn and cob meal, properly ground account with the pigs, and I know of no chance and cooked, will make from twelve to sixteen for a slip in the accounting.
pounds of net pork for each bushel of corn conThe business was thus conducted till the 14th sumed.
F. HOLBROOK. of the present month, when the pigs were sold to
Brattleboro', May 22, 1855. the butcher for eight cents per pound, dressed, he charging three dollars for slaughtering the THE JUJUBE-TREE.-The seeds of this tree were four. Between the dates above named, the pigs imported a short time since from the south of Eu
for experiment in the south. It grows in greens, and for two successive years, after my utthe form of a shrub, of middle size, bearing a red most skill in setting, the trees would die out oval fruit, about as large as olives, inclosing wholly or in part, seemingly from the effects of stone of the same shape. They are sweet, but the hot, dry seasons. Last spring I again set out only eaten among us in the from of a paste. In Al- 50 Norway spruce, fir balsam, white pine, &c., giers the fruit ripens in the month of June, and dug large holes, and in part mixed in with the is much sought after by the inhabitants, who con- loam two bushels charcoal, bringing a portion of sume large quantities, both fresh and dried, as the coal near the roots of the trees. I used equal well as in the form of a delicious paste.
care in setting, but in the fall almost every tree,
where no coal was put, was dead or nearly so, For the New England Farmer. dried up. While every tree to which I applied CHARCOAL DUST.
the dust was alive and vigorous. I have also used
charcoal in setting fruit trees, hedges, &c., in dry MR. BROWN :-At one of the agricultural meet- places, and am satisfied with the result. I am ings at the State House, last winter, I was much sorry that a more free use of charcoal dust reinterested by the remarks of the speakers; some cently, in this vicinity, has advanced the price of new ideas, to me, were advanced, in regard to the article. Our colliers now charge $5 per cord, guano. But I was particularly pleased by the but think it will pay even at that price. A. R. earnestness with which a more careful saving of Lowell, March 1. “home manures” was urged, with which to form a fertilizing basis and furnish an absorbent for the gases. One of the most important agents for
A HINT. these purposes, in my experience, was but slightly FRIEND ADAMS :—Permit me through the colalluded to, viz: charcoal dust. If you will per- umns of your paper, to urge upon my brother mit, I will relate one of my experiments, and its farmers, the importance of turning their attention results, with charcoal, and you, of course, will to the raising of roots more extensively for the dispose of the statement as you deem
proper. purpose of wintering stock. The scarcity and In the winter of 1852 I carted off the top of a consequent high price of hay, and grain, if there high knoll or ridge that extended through a piece were no other reason, should induce every man of land I had recently purchased. My object was in the state who has an acre of land or even less, to bring the land into better shape and to put to set apart a portion of it for that particular this heretofore barren spot into a state for culti-purpose. vation. The cutting was from 2 to 6 feet deep, I wish more especially at the present time, to leaving a level plain of about half an acre, which call the attention of that class to the subject who was still elevated above the adjacent lands. The do but little farming and who keep but a single bed of this plat was coarse sand and full of cob- cow or horse. It matters not whether he styles
Having on hand a lot of meadow muck, himself a farmer, mechanic, or merchant, or that had been decomposed with shell lime and whether he belongs to any other class, he has a salt brine, I took of this 40 cart loads, 10 loads common interest with those who till the soil, and sandy loam, 2 cords of charcoal dust, and threw should co-operate with them. into a heap. Into this I put 15 barrels of liquid I would propose to all such to plant one-eight from gas works, working over the mass and mix- of an acre of carrots, as soon as the ground is in ing thoroughly. After standing four weeks, I dis- a suitable condition to receive the seed, that is as tributed the heap evenly as possible over my soon as it is warm and dry. The labor of cultipiece. Then plowed and cross-plowed, to the vation will be trifling and the amount of carrots depth of ten inches, and harrowed until the whole if a fair yield, will be a hundred bushels or more. was well mixed with the sand bed, and sowed to This would give a cow a half bushel per day-two oats, with timothy and clover, first week in June. hundred days or more than half a year. I have The oats came up finely, grew stout, but were in- no doubt but the animal would be grateful, and jured by rust. The grass was a poor catch and I the owner find his reward, I do not ask who will again sowed and raked in seed in the fall. The try it, but I do ask who will fail to do so.—Granfollowing season, where the seed took from the itě Farmer. first sowing, I cut a heavy crop of grass.
Last spring the grass had got well catched, A FACT IN REGARD TO DRILLING WHEAT.-We started early, and was marked by its dark green wish to record a fact which seems rather remarkand fresh appearance all through the dry season. able in regard to drilling in wheat. We sowed I took off two crops of grass, both averaging 4 about nine acres last fall, with one of Ross' Drills, tons to the acre. During all the dry weather and some three acres among corn, with a three this spot did not seem to suffer in the least by shovel cultivator. Of the former, we have not drought, notwithstanding its high altitude, and noticed a single plant heaved out with the frost while on low grounds in the vicinity vegetation during the winter, though a part of it was sown was completely dried up. This good result I at- on the poorest clay land on the farm, with but tributed mainly to the coal dust, for wherever I one plowing. It was sown immediately before turned up the earth, on this piece, and found the that among the corn, and presented in the early greatest mass of coal, there I found the most winter a decidedly poor prospect. But that sown moisture, and the grass roots seemed to possess a among corn is badly killed with winter, many particular fondness to twine among it.
plants lying on top the ground, dead. In some My faith in the utility of coal dust, for dry places, it seems almost entirely ruined. It is the lands, has been strengthened also, by using it in same kind of wheat as that which was drilled. setting trees. I have an elevated and sandy place, Our readers may draw their own conclusions.where I am desirous to grow a "belt” of ever- Indiana Farmer.