Page images

I have but little faith in the good run of shorts

For the New England Farmer, or rice meal for keeping swine.

CHANGE OF SEED. In this town its inhabitants, almost to an individual, are engaged in agriculture, yet not half Mr. Editor :-In an article copied from the of the corn consumed is raised here. Exactly Visitor into the Farmer of last week, the doctrine the reverse of this ought to be the case, and is laid down with much decision that “the seed might be, with an effort; and the difference of potatoes ought to be changed every five or siz would be perceived in the purses of our worthy years. Even if the seed is brought but two or farmers, as well as in the sight of waving fields three miles, the crop will be much better." of golden grain and granaries filled with corn. There is a class of people, and verily I am one Respectfully yours,

S. Woods. of them, who cannot believe any theory or dog. Ashby, March 28, 1855.

ma, however venerable it may be by reason of its age, without some reason that shall seem good

and substantial. Now, if there is any good reason For the New England Farmer.

for the above-quoted opinion, I should really BOOK KNOWLEDGE.

like to know what it is. I have heard it ad. For a thinking, earnest man, who is sincerely

vanced many a time before, not only in reference desirous of the increase of knowledge and of im- to potatoes, but to all the cultivated crops. But provement in all the arts of life, and especially what is the philosophy of it? What principle in agriculture, the most important

of all arts, it of vegetable physiology makes the change necesis exceedingly annoying to hear men, and even sary or advantageous? If I plant potatoes this intelligent men, who of course ought to know year in the hop-field,” next year in the rocky bitter, deriding book-farming, and agricultural lot,” and the next year in the “big-oak lot, science, as wholly unsafe, and unworthy the at- why, if any change is necessary, is it not just as tintion of practical men. There are some such,

well as to go to my neighbors, one, three, six, or anong good practical farmers, men who are suc

a hundred iniles off for my seed? Will some one Cssful in all farm operations, and who are in- tell us ? d-bted, much more than they are aware, to the

Allow me to give a little of my own brief exTabors of science, who are constantly affirming perience with the carrot. Some seven or eight that the knowledge derived from books is of no years ago, I commenced the business of raising value to the farmer. I have such a man for a garden seeds. I obtained my orange carrot seed noighbor, who is eminently successful in his

of a neighbor, who has always been in the same own business, and who is always able and will

business. My first crop was, perhaps, as good as ing to communicate valuable and reliable infor- that of my neighbors. There were carrots of mation with regard to his own farm operations, every shade of color, from the deepest orange to He is inquisitive, and often meets the most in the purest white. I selected a few of the longest telligent and enlightened cultivators in the State,

and straightest roots, and those of the darkest and carefully treasures up the information he ob” color, from which to raise seed for my own sowtains from intercourse with them. I have de- ing. This course I have ever since followed, and rived much useful information from him, and he have never "changed" my seed. Now for the is ready to impart to all his neighbors, the re

result so far. Two years ago, as I was harvestsults of his own experience, but he denounces ing, my carrots, a neighbor, who is also in the books, as wholly unworthy of confidence, and seed business, and a believer in the necessity of quite as likely to teach error as truth. When I frequently “changing seed” for all vegetables, receive some important information from this happened to see some heaps of the roots from man-or some useful hint, if I do not commit it to

which I had selected such as were thought suitable paper, but keep it locked up in the recesses of

to set for seed; and he was so pleased with them, uy own breast, its benefit remains with me alone. not knowing they were the rejected roots, that he But if I commit it to the press, it will be carried at once asked for some of my seed for his own

Last fall another Cis the wings of the wind, through the length sowing, as his had “run out.” and breadth of the land, and benefit thousands. neighbor, on seeing my crop, wished to renew his Perhaps it is the result of much thought, and la- seed also, and he was the one from whom I bor, and careful experiment, and why should not originally obtained my seed. And this result has cthers enjoy the benefit of it, as well as myself. been obtained with no special advantage from What danger is there in sending it forth to the extra manuring or deep plowing; my plowing world? who can be injured by it? Why should has all been done by a single horse. he “hide his light under a bushel,” or why

This has been my short experience with a pould I hesitate to "hold forth” the light which single vegetable. Have not many other persons I have received? But if this information is put improvement of which they have devoted some

had a similar experience with other plants, to the into type, and fixed upon paper, it becomes book knowledge, and if I were to read it to my neigh

attention ? Yours truly, J. DOOLITTLE. bor, he would give me a lecture upon the folly Elm Lodge, Concord, May 1, 1855. of relying upou information derived from books. He is like Omar, who said of the books of the

REMARKS.—The above is not only from a prac. Alexandrian Library : “If they contain only tical farmer, but one of the most careful observwhat is in the Koran, they are not needed. If ers among us. Knowing his soil, we think it they contain what is not in the Koran, it must best to state that much of it is a sandy loam, and be false. Let them be burned." So if books teach only what he knows, they are of no value.

as easily plowed, probably, with one horse, as If they teach what he does not know, they are

most of our lands are with two, or a pair of not to be trusted.




For the New England Farmer. the same soil, watered by the same rain and dew, OF THE PRACTICAL VALUE OF

breathed on by the same air of heaven, plants of

different form and size and qualities—the rose, ANALYSIS OF SOIL.

the lily, the crocus and the violet, flowers of

different colors and fragrance. In a former number, some remarks were made

Whence arises this diversity? Why are not

plants thus subjected to the same influences, exby me tending to show the danger of relying en

actly alike in their structure and qualities ? tirely on theory, in determing the value of ma

To these questions, the Chemist can return no nures, because the same substances, so far as answer, through his science. We can only say, chemical investigation can discover, are known that in every little seed which we deposit in the to produce very different effects as fertilizers, as ground, there is a principle of identity with its well as to differ entirely in appearance and form. elements of the earth, and air and water, and di


,-a soul as it were, which commands the I will now re-publish part of an article fur- rects their curious arrangement into leaf, and nished by myself to the Country Gentleman, in stalk, and flower, and fruit, suited to the body continuation of the same general subject, which in which it shall manifest its earthly being, thus is so interesting to all reflecting tillers of the ordering, in spite of man's feeble efforts to modisoil. The chemist may do much for the farmer, hyssop on the wall, or the cedar of Lebanon.

fy its growth, whether it shall spring up the who is already indebted to chemistry, for the Human knowledge can make no approximation greatest improvements in agriculture, which to a con prehension of this Principle of Life. We have been made in the last century. But there take from apples of the same tree their several is a Power beyond and above the reach of science, seeds, and plant them side by side. They spring that doeth all things well,” and “whose ways fruit of different color, and size and taste. The

up, and become fruitful trees, each producing a are past finding out," and it is important always chemist could have analyzed these seeds, and to have clearly in mind, the point where human shown us their exact constituent elements; but knowledge stops, and where man must behold, think you the power of any human science and yet not comprehend the workings of the In- could, from any investigation, have detected a finite. The whole matter of the re-production

difference, which should have indicated, or which

can at all explain the diversity of the fruit? by plants of their like from the seed is as much a

Through the controlling influence of this Vital mystery to the philosopher as to the child, and Power, new substances are consequently formed we ask the reader of the suggestions below, to re- in plants and animals, which human art can flect long enough upon the subject of them, to never imitate, such as wood, and sugar and habitually ask himself, as he watches the spring. In the egg of a bird, the chemist, indeed, may

starch in plants, and fat and flesh in animals. ing of his grain, and the blossoming of his trees, detect the same substances which may be found the thrilling question, What is life?

in the living creature produced from it, but anBesides the operations which plants are con-alysis fails utterly to show him why, by the ap stantly undergoing, and which we refer to chemi- plication of (artificial) heat, these substances cal laws, there are other phenomena of vegeta- should assume the form of flesh and bone and tion, which are by no means so well understood. feathers, and finally of a breathing, living aniWe have seen that the chemist can detect not mal. only the various substances of which grain, as

You have heard of the good woman, who wheat, for example, is composed, but can tell us called at the eccaļaobian in New York, where she the precise proportions in which these elements had heard they made chickens in some way are found to exist in it. And, moreover, every without the help of hens. She asked to be one of these elements he can find in his laboratory, shown the process. An attendant took her to and he can combine them in the exact propor- the room where the heat was applied to the eggs, tions, in which they exist in the wheat. Then and began to explain the operation. But the the question occurs, why, with this knowledge, good lady was not fully satisfied. “Make chickens and the materials at hand, why can he not make out of eggs,” cried she indignantly, “who could wheát? Yet the most skilful chemist that has not make chickens out of eggs; I thought you ever spent a life-time in the laboratory, has had found a new way of making chickens !” never presumed to pretend that all his science When life ceases, either in plant or animals, could enable him to form a single grain.

the known chemical laws resume their sway, and Chemical action is doubtless going on in all soon reduce the lifeless mass to substances of animals and plants, living as well as dead, but known qualities, again to rise into new life in chemistry by no means solves the mysteries of other forms. vegetable growth. In growing plants, the chem- Of the operation of these laws, enough is ical forces are subordinated to an invisible, in- known to render them, in practice, highly useful tangible, all-controlling essence ; they are under to the cultivator of the soil. Indeed the study of the guardianship of a power higher than they, Agricultural Chemistry is one of progress for a which modifies all it pervades, and this power is life-time, one which from its nature, must perthe Life Principle, or Vital Force.

haps always remain inexbaustible. If we contemplate the turf at our feet, in But the question will occur, must the farmer, spring time, we observe not the uniform results the gardener, the lady who rears a few flowers, which chemical causes should produce, but we in order to cultivate intelligently, be familiar see, springing from the same earth, nourished by with all the abstruse mysteries of this science ?


This is by no means essential, but every cultiva- ly filed with sweetened vinegar and water, and tor should at least know enough to guard against hung up in the fruit trees. Multitudes will be imposition and fraud, by the dealers in patent tempted to their final undoing by these bottled manures, and new theories of cultivation.

These insects are legitimate game, and Every educated person, of either sex, should fruit-growers will find much more satisfaction in know enough of chemistry, to understand the killing them than in shooting the birds, who are language of books and papers and the conversa- their fellow-helpers in moth hunting. W.C. tion of intelligent men upon this subject most - Am. Agriculturist. interesting to all, for it certainly is not respectable, to be ignorant of the common principles of

FATTING CATTLE. a science which engages the attention of so many distinguished minds. And it may be added, as In fatting animals, the less exercise permitted to those whose business it is to cultivate the soil, the better. Exercise is doubtless necessary to the more extensive their knowledge of the princi- ensure the health of all animals; but we must ples of husbandry, the greater will be their in- recollect that fatting is, in itself, an abnormal terest in their business, and the sooner will it be condition, that all animals, rapidly accumulating raised from a position of mere physical toil, to fat, are more or less diseased. The celebrated that of a rational and noble science.

breeder, BAKEWELL, understood this fact, and was

in the habit of turning his sheep into marshy MOTH AND BEETLE HUNTING.

meadows for the purpose of getting them diseased.

In such a condition they matured earlier and laid With the first swelling of the buds upon your on fat with surprising rapidity. fruit trees, these enemies of your garden pets Salt is good for all animals, and probably is, make their appearance, to follow up their work in some form or other, necessary to health ; but of destruction, until the frosts of Autumn cut off we know that salt is not good for fatting anithe leaves and end their labors. The practised mals, and should never be given if the object be fruit-grower is already upon their track. Here the accumulation of fat. Experiment agrees among the dwarf pears you can reach them with with theory on this point. We recollect when thumb and finger, and crush a world of insect conducting some extensive experiments on sheep, life in a single moth. There is in the last a practical friend urged us to give them salt, ashalf of April, and early May, a beetle of blackish suring us that his sheep did much better with color, with a square upon his back at the inser- than without salt. The sheep on which we were tion of his wings, made up of four little squares, experimenting were doing well at the time, two of jet, and two of dull yellow, that calls for averaging about 2 lbs. increase each, per week. your attention. You will find her at the end of To please our friend, we gave the sheep salt, of the blossom buds, doubtless laying her vampire which they partook freely, but in the fortnight brood among


young fruit. She is about five- during which they were allowed salt, erery sheep eighths of an inch long, and will fall to the ground lost weight. We would give them as much waor fly off unless you approach her cautiously. ter as they would drink; if fed roots, they will Take a turn among all your young trees every require, and drink less. morning, and see that they are cleared of these In fatting animals, perhaps, the most impordepredators. Occasionally you will find a cluster tant point is to obtain such as are well calculaof eggs glued to a limb that you overlooked in ted, from breed, disposition, and symmetry, to the fall. See that they are removed and burned. mature early and fatten rapidly; then keep Do not think that the young dwarf pear, set out them warm, (be careful they are not too warm last fall, will take care of themselves. The moths and that they do not prespire) quiet, and clean. and beetle have a lien upon them, and if you do Feed they regularly and let their food be highly not improve the property you invested in them, nitrogenous, with sufficient available non-nitrothe natural proprietors will resume their inheri- genous matter united with the required bulk.tance, and save you the trouble. Follow up your Ohio Farmer. attacks upon these insects with vigor, remembering that every moth mother slain is a colony of MORAL EFFECT OF CERTAIN PURSUITS.—Mr. insects exterminated.

Pierpont, in one of his lectures, mentioned a fact Soon the large tribe of the Melolonthians will in evidence of the moral advantages of the study make their appearance, and they may be caught of natural science, which is worthy of notice. in great multitudes. The May beetles can be ex- He stated that although many poets and orators terminated by shaking them from the trees they and men devoted exclusively to literary pursuits in fest upon a cloth, either at evening or early in have been addicted to intemperance and other the morning, while the dew is on, when they do solitary habits, yet he could not recollect a solitanot fly much. Empty your cloth into the fire. ry instance of a vicious, a dissipated or intem per

Another method of destroying these insects in ute nian of science. This statement may be too the winged state is by drowning. This is best unqualified; but there can be no doubt of the adapted to those whose habits are nocturnal. general correctness of it. It is generally admitWe place a half hogshead, or large open ressol in ted by those who have written upon the habits the fruit garden, half full of water. Place it of distinguished men, that those who teach monarrow strip of board across the top, and at night rality are often ill-tempered and misanthropic, put a lighted lanthorn upon it. The insects will while those who devote their time and energies be attracted by the light, and in attempting to to the study of nature, are remarkable for a quialight, “blind as a beetle,” they will meet a et, amiable and cheerful temper. The cause of watery grave.

this difference of tem per may be that moralists Another good trap for them is glass bottles part- are constantly finding something in the rices and

prejudices of society to excite their indignation, Pope, a sprig of the Asiatic willow. He set it and to cherish a misanthropic humor; while he out in his garden, and from that twig has come who pursues the study of nature sees a beauty all the weeping willows in England and America. and harmony and consistency pervading all her Lady Mary Montague was born about the year works that breathe their cheering influence into 1690, in Nottinghamshire, England; she was his own soul.—Country Journal.

one of the finest and most accomplished scholars

of her age ; was cotemporary and on terms of inFor the New England Farmer.

timacy with Hannah More, Addison, Pope, Steele,

Bishop Burnet, &c. ; was the wife of the accomTHE WEEPING WILLOW.

plished Charles Montague for nearly fifty years ; I presume that it is known to few that, for the at the court of George I. for some four years weeping willows that hang their pensive boughs resided upwards of twenty years in Italy and its beautifully over the hallowed graves of the dead, neighborhood ; lived to the advanced age of sevEngland and America are indebted to the distin-enty-three, and died August 21, 1762. guished Lady Mary Montague. It is said that 'Yo Lady Mary, also, it is said,

belongs the while at Constantinople, whose husband at that honor of introducing inoculation for the small time occupied the embassy, she sent, in a basket pox, a practice which has annually saved many of figs, home to her intimate friend, the poet lives.

R. H. Howard.

[graphic][subsumed][subsumed][merged small]

J. A. Robinson, of Fremont, N. H., is the pa- who is a large farmer, and one who is thoroughly tentee of a new inachine for hoeing. This imple- acquainted with similar implements, ment is of very recent date, having been patented that he has used it with much satisfaction-findon the 20th of February last. It embraces a principle of weeding entirely new in itself, and is de- ing it to accomplish the work effectually, and signed for cultivating all vegetables planted in with case to the operator. Ile states that when drills, or rows; it is particularly adapted to cul- intended for field use, it should be made sometivating drill-sown wheat, and other small grains. what heavier and stronger than one employed It is conceded by farmers and gardeners, who hare examined it, to be a very great improvement

merely in the garden. Price $5, and for sale at in cultivating the root crops.

the warehouse of Messrs. RUGGLES, NOURSE, MAThe facility and accurateness with which this son & Co. implement operates, in performing that inost laborious and expensive part of cultivation-weed

Warch MANUFACTORY. :-Watches equal to the ing, enables the farmer to cultivate his carrots, best imported, are manufactured in the suburban onions, &c., with one-third the usual expense of town of Waltham. The prices for which these labor.

are sold range from $20 to $200 each, at retail. P The statement above we give in the words side of Charles river, which is kept closed against

A large building has been erected on the south of the patentee himself. We have not worked intrusive eyes. The company is doing a large the implement, and of course have no personal business. knowledge of its merits. A gentleman, however,

[ocr errors]


For the New England Farmer. survey was ordered to be made by our LegislaTHE BIRDS OF NEW ENGLAND.

ture in 1837. One portion of the work, allotted

to a gentleman on the commission, was our orniMr. Brown :—Dear Sir,—Will you be kind thology. It was understood he was to enumer; enough to inform me of the most approved authors ate the birds of Massachusetts, and to give such upon the subject of American Ornithology, and information respecting their habits, as would be where their works can be purchased. Many of particularly interesting to the cultivators of the your female readers have been interested in the soil to know. The report on our birds appeared årticles published in the Farmer, on the “Birds in 1839, which, together with the other reports of New England," written by Mr. S. P. Fowler, on our natural productions, was, by our Legislaof Danvers, and perhaps that gentleman can give ture, distributed by giving each member, and vathe desired information. Yours truly, rious literary institutions and societies, one copy April 4, 1855.


each, limiting the distribution in its descent to the people, to incorporated societies and acade

mies, and giving but one copy to every town in In answer to the request of your fair correspon- the commonwealth, however large it might be. dent I wculd say, there is, perhaps, no part of the The copies remaining not distributed were laid natural history of our country better written or aside for future Legislative action.

The new illustrated, than its ornithology. Many valuable members of the next Legislature finding them on and beautiful books have appeared upon this sub- hand, and perhaps in their way, voted the balance ject, and are to be found in some of our public li- of the edition into their own pockets, and that is braries, and in the mansions of the wealthy ; the last we hear of it. Such has been the action of þut it would be difficult to direct a person to a our Legislature in regard to many of its valuable book-store where could be obtained a work de- printed reports, and we are sorry to admit, in scriptive of all our birds, at such a price as would years past, we have sometimes participated in it. come within the means of the general reader. A But there is one consolation to our cultivators of cheap edition of Alexander Wilson's “American the soil, in their never having seen, and scarcely Ornithology," with Charles Lucien Bonaparte's knowing of the books prepared for them by the continuation, has never been published, to my kind forethought of our old and respected comknowledge, in this country. An edition appeared monwealth ; it is, if they had the report of the from a New York press in 1852, styled "Wil-ornithology of Massachusetts in their hands, they son's American Ornithology, with additions, in- could not tell from any description in the work, cluding the birds described by Audubon, Bóna- or reference to any author, à Crow Blackbird parte, Nuttall and Richardson.” . The purchaser from a Cow Bunting: of this book, upon seeing such an array of great A valuable local history of the birds of Long names amongst ornithologists, running down its Island was published in 1844, by J. P. Giraud, back, would be led to suppose that he had at last Jr. It is particularly full and satisfactory in its found a cheap edition of ornithology, describing description of our water birds. The object of the the habits and other useful and interesting facts work is best described by its author in his prerelating to all our birds ; but in this supposition face, where he says, "He has been induced to ofhe would be mistaken. Still, this edition possess- fer the present volume with a view of placing es value to many students in ornithology, in its within the reach of the 'gunners' the means of full and excellent synopsis and copious notes by becoming more thoroughly acquainted with the Sir William Jardine and its editor. It can be birds frequenting Long Island.”. So we presume found in the book-stores of Boston and New the work would be more interesting to a roughYork. No cheap edition of Audubon's splendid faced shooter of water-fowl, than it would be for work has as yet appeared in this country,

“Laura." Mr. Thomas Nuttall published in 1832 his In regard to the foreign editions of “Wilson's “Manual of the Ornithology of the United States Ornithology," one was published in 1832, in three and of Canada," at Cambridge, in two volumes, volumes, with colored figures, in London, with containing many wood engravings. In his pre- Sir William Jardine’s notes. This edition conface, Mr. Nuttall says, “it was my principal ob- tains Bonaparte's continuation. It is advertised ject to furnish a compendious and scientific trea- for sale by Little & Brown, book-sellers in Bostise on the birds of the United States, at a price ton, for $25. This is the cheapest edition of our 80 reasonable as to permit it to find a place in the ornithology, with colored plates, we are acquainthands of general readers.” It is known to many ed with. An edition of "Wilson's Ornithology" how well and truly he accomplished his pur- was published in 1831, in Edinburgh, by Constapose. The first volume contains the land birds, ble & Co., in the Constable's Miscellany, and editwith an introduction of thirty pages, presenting ed by Prof. Jameson, in four small volumes. They the general subject of ornithology with great contain what was written by Wilson and Bonabeauty and interest. The second volume gives us parte, with their synonyms, also an appendix conthe water birds, with an appendix drawn from taining additional details by Audubon, Richarddiscoveries made by Richardson and Swainson. son and Swainson. This is a neat and satisfactoWe are sorry to add in connection with this ry pocket edition, containing some four or five work, that this valuable “Manual of our Ornith- plates, very suitable for “Laura,” or any other ogy' has become scarce ; we can point to no lady. But where it can be obtained I know not ; book-store where it can be obtained. A few the one I possess was ordered from London many copies can only occasionally be found at Burn- years since. ham's, in Cornhill.

In view of all that we have now written, it In order to a full and better acquaintance with would seem that we have not at this time a cheap the natural productions of our commonwealth, a and complete work, embracing a full history

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »