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pregnated with salt, and in many places the mud is filled with small clams and muscles. The bed is sand, clay and soil, the deposits of the shores around.
There are localities on these bottoms which apparently are all clay. Some of these spots have been selected to transport from, and spread upon soils adjoining, and have never produced good effect, while mud, clams, and muscles, taken in the vicinity of these clay bottoms, have invariably produced good.
The uses made of these manures, and the effects produced from them, so far as I have been informed, are as follows :
The bottom of these bays, inlets, or rivers, or rather the top of these deposits, when the tide is ebbed out, has been taken in the winter and carried on to the mowing fields, or grass lands, and cultivated grounds, spread in the spring, and the effect is very apparent. If spread upon a worn-out field of clay loam, it invariably produces a crop of clover. If spread upon a sandy or gravelly loam, it produces clover and herds grass. If the land is very much worn out, and covered with white weed, it will very much diminish the white weed, and enlarge the crop of clover; and this without ploughing or sowing any seed.
Rock-weed, as it is called, spread on old worn-out fields, of a gravelly soil, produces a crop of timothy or herds
or herds grass. If put on a clay loam, it will produce clover and herds grass.
I bave statements from quite a number of individuals giving me this result, besides, I have examined quite a number of localities which showed the effects produced.
I had a piece of old worn out field or pasture, of about one and one-quarter acre, on which, in the winter, I put a quantity of mud taken from our docks, where the water is almost fresh, very slightly brackish, and spread it in the spring. The land last year, presented nothing but white weed and poverty grass, as it is called, and very little of that. This year, it came up with the same, and run quite tall; but now, at the date I am writing, (June 21st,) a very thick coat of clover is coming up, the kind I cannot say, as it is not headed, but I think it the red clover. This fact is so evident, that I have called the attention of an old farmer, who has lived on the spot a number of years. He don't kcow what to make of it. He thinks I must have sown clover seed in the night-time. I can assure you
there has not been an item of seed put on this ground for the last ten years, and was what is called old worn out land.
In connection with this topic, is added the following, on
By S. P. Mayberry, Cape Elizabeth. We farmers have a great and growing antipathy to the term weed, and cannot help coming to the belief that the lexicographers were not following their own nose when they defined weed as an herb “noxious or useless,” (another lexicographer better defines a weed to be "a plant out of place,” and what are usually termed sea-weeds, would be more properly called Marine plants. Ed.) as we apprehend such an anomaly as a weed, in the sense entertained by them, had no place in nature. The farmer comes to a different conclusion, and would define a weed as an agent for gathering, arranging, and storing up matter below the reach of, and intangible to, animal and the higher grades of vegetable life, thus fulfilling a great and mighty end in the scheme of creation—the gathering together of the stray substances which amid nature's varied manufactures has, as it were, slipped through her fingers, and would have run to waste, and converting them, by sure and certain processes, into tangible compounds.
In the article of sea weeds, we are particularly struck with the economy of nature, in singularly adapting the means to the end. The office of these plants is to collect the stray substances held in solution by salt water, particularly the alkalies and phosphates, and as these have to be extracted from the water, not from the earth beneath it, the plants have no roots, properly speaking, but simply processes for clinging to hard and flinty rocks, as points of attachment; while at the same time, in place of a firm and erect stem to keep the branches and leaves expanded, as terrestrial plants, and which would be cumbrous and unhandy for plants which change these mediums as often and as regularly as the tides, they are furnished with innumerable air bags, or vessels for accomplishing this purpose, so that the branches and leaves of the plant may come in contact with the greatest possible quantity of water consistent with
its size—these air vessels, serving the double purpose of furthering the plant in its destined office, and when this is accomplished, floating it to our shores to be applied to useful purposes.
In riding around in the vicinity of our sea coast, one is struck with the immense quantities of it that are carted for the purpose of manuring the fields; and when we think that in this town, which raises as many vegetables, except potatoes, as the rest of the county, for marketing, and the number of people who live upon those vegetables which are raised almost exclusively by this manure, we must come to the conclusion that the sca weeds are a tribe of plants of vast importance to a large section of the population of this State, at least, and when taken with the sterile soil around our coast, almost invaluable, as no species of manure reduces itself to a state for use so quickly.
With these views, I need not say that I believe an increase of the use by farmers, in the vicinity of our coast, of this valuable werd, wculd be a very great blessing and advantage, and would form a permanent source to supply us with manure.
ON THE RENOVATION OF WORN OUT LANDS.
By E. L. Hammond, Atkinson. To S. L. GOODALE, Esq. Secretary, &c.
Dear Sir :-Yours of the 25th ult., calling my attention to the fact that the Board of Agriculture at their session last winter, made it my duty to furnish you with a paper on the subject of the renovation of worn out or exhausted soils, is received.
To me this is an interesting subject, and one I believe that is engaging the attention of the farming community to some extent, and I regret that I am not able to do it the justice its importance demands.
From an examination of the reports and documents already published on this subject, I find much valuable information; and it appears to me that all that is immediately necessary, is a wider diffusion of the light already thrown upon it, and corresponding. practice. Even a limited consideration of the importance of the subject, embracing as it does, the different properties of soils, so as
to meet the wants of its productions and bring them to perfection, with the least possible human effort, and least detriment by exhausting its plant-sustaining elements, may satisfy any one that the subject is not yet exhausted. And it would be a matter of no surprise, if new and important truths should hereafter be developed, and our theories be entirely superceded by an improved science conducive to new practice.
Yet it is very evident that our only present safe course is to practice upon what light we have, to make the most of the means within our reach, and to advance in the right direction as fast as possible. It appears to me that the question to be considered—to wit, the renovation of worn out lands---embraces directly or indirectly almost every branch of agriculture.
It depends not only upon properly working the soil, but also upon the making and application of manures, keeping stock, rotation of crops, labor saving implements, industry, economy, and such an application of time and talent as is necessary to successful business of any kind, especially to men who start in life with every thing to gain and nothing to lose.
Fortunately the main divisions of this subject, relating to stock, manures, &c., have been committed by the Board to abler hands; a correct knowledge of which I deem to be all that is necessary, with corresponding practice, to restore the exhausted farms to their original capabilities. I presume it will be admitted that where a correct system of farming has been pursued, the farm has not been exhausted; consequently an investigation of the causes of this deterioration may lead (in most, if not in all cases) directly to the remedy.
In a majority of cases, I think it will be found that at the commencement, the farm was too large—that is, it was out of proportion to the means of carrying it on successfully. The low price of land in Maine, has induced many to purchase more land than they could cultivate to advantage, with the means at command, and this has conduced to much bad practice; such as, shallow plowing, a succession of same crops, grazing mowing lands in the spring and fall, selling the crops off the farm, instead of converting them into stock, and disposing of the proceeds of the dairy, pork, beef, &c., and what is of vast importance to the farmer, a neglect of the means within reach of accumulating fertilizers, by the proper use of wuck, lime,
plaster, and the saving of the liquids, and all other wastes of the farm, which contain fertilizing properties.
Any mode of farming which does not return to the farm annually, that amount of plant sustaining elements drawn from it by the crops taken off, may be set down as bad management, and will soon show itself in the shape of worn out soil.
From what has come under my own observation, the conviction has been forced upon me, that many farms in Maine have deteriorated or become partially exhausted, not so much from a want of knowledge in farming, as from neglect in consequence of divided attention between farming and other business—especially is this the case in that part of the State contiguous to the timber lands. And here we have abundant evidence that farming is not a mean or small business, from the fact, that in those towns where farming has been the principal business, the people are decidedly the most prosperous and independent. I refer here, particularly to those farming towns in the neighborhood of the timber lands and sea board, in many of which farming has only been a partial business.
It is true that the renovation of an exhausted farm requires time, patience, perseverance and capital; and the larger stock a man has of these on hand, the sooner he may consummate his object; yet patience and perseverance will accomplish much in a short time, if rightly applied. In order to start right, it is well to make a map or plan of such a farm as we desire, or from situation and circumstances we can reasonably expect to make, and then direct our labor and efforts to accomplish our object as soon as possible. In my opinion it is highly important that a man should be a scientific, as well as a practical farmer. Science would render practice easier and more interesting.
It is sometimes found that apparently worn out lands, are not so much exhausted as they appear, and by a right application of means they are comparatively easily reclaimed; and he is thus aided in his operations, and knows how to profitably invest money. I think that a large majority of farms, at least in the northern counties of Maine, are of this class.
For instance, a succession of the same crop may have exhausted the soil of more or less of the elements necessary to sustain and mature such crops, and still retain the necessary elements to grow