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OXFORD COUNTY SOCIETY.
This Society, numbering 1,102 members, held its Annual Exhibition at Norway, on the 4th, 5th and 6th of October, 1859. No report of the character of the exhibition has been received. Some of the premiums awarded, were as follows:
LIVE STOCK. Horses. First premium on stallion, to Jacob Willis of Hebron, “Rising Sun."
Second premium on stallion, to E. F. Stone of Paris, for “Brandywine."
Neat Stock. No statements are received of any thorough bred animals. The premiums on bulls were awarded on grade Herefords and grade Durbams, and a cross of Durham and Devon.
C. H. Durell obtained first premium on milch cow, a grade Durbam, 8 years old, which made 57 pounds butter in June.
John Heald for best stock cow, grade Devon.
The herd premiums were awarded to A. T. Holt of Norway, grade Herefords, and to John Heald of Sumner, for Devons or grades.
Sheep. A. G. Morse of Waterford, premium on Cotswold buck.
First premium on wheat, to Jobn Parsons of Paris, for 26} bushels per acre. His statement is as follows:
“My crop consisting of 70 bushels of 58 pounds to the bushel, was grown on 2 acres 105 rods, being at the rate of 26} bushels to the acre.
The soil upon which it grew was a yellow loam about 18 inches deep, under which is an impervious subsoil. It is on an oval ridge of land dry enough to plow any time after the ground is settled in the spring. Some few large granite rocks, not many small stones. The land had been in grass 12 years; bore a light burden of June grass for four or five of the last years it was mowed. In 1856 it was broken up about 7 inches deep, the latter part of August. In 1857 it was planted with potatoes without any dress• ing, except a table spoonful of ashes and plaster in the hill, two parts of the former to one of the latter. In the spring of 1858, I spread on 20 loads of green manure to the acre, of about 35 bushels to the load, and 8 loads of well rotted barnyard manure, and hog manure of about equal proportions in the hill, and planted to corn. No manure was applied last spring, except 6 loads of very light manure on three-fourths of an acre of the part that was not quite 80 well manured the previous year. The wheat sown, is called about here, the red Turkey—is a bearded wheat. It was sown the 9th day of May, 11 bushels to the acre ; was washed in a strong brine of salt and water and lime to dry it; was harvested the lat. ter part of August, by mowing and raking. The cost of growing the same and its value are as follows: DR. Crop of Wheat.
CR. To plowing once, 2 days, $4 00 By 70 bushels, at $1.34,
$93 80 Harrowing and rolling, 2 00 4 tons straw, $3,
12 00 Sowing, .
1 00 Manure left in soil for future crops, Harvesting, 8 00 estimated,
13 00 Thresbing and cleaning,
12 00 4 bushels seed,
118 80 Manure left in soil from former crop, 26 00 Interest on land, 3 00 Deduct cost,
62 00 $62 00 Profit,
$56 80 First premium on potatoes, to J. C. Marble of Paris, whose statement is as follows:
“My crop, consisting of 2114 bushels, was grown on } acre and 6 rods, being at the rate of about 400 bushels to the acre. The soil upon which it grew was deep, light loam, on ground that had been seeded four years; the hay crop last year was redtop and June grass; the ground was broken up with one yoke of 7 feet cattle, without a driver, and the manure spread on and plowed in ; the ground was plowed from 8 to 10 inches deep; planted May 16th, and plastered in the hill; the manure was a mixture, with some muck, made last winter. Harvested and put in the cellar September 27 and 28."
Second premium, to Levi Gorham of Norway, for 172 bushels Jackson potatoes per acre, on light sandy loam; broken in '58 and sown to oats. In 1859, plowed, and 3} cords manure spread on the furrows and harrowed in.
WEST OXFORD SOCIETY.
The Annual Exhibition of the West Oxford Agricultural Society was held at Fryeburg, October 5th, 6th and 7th, on the grounds owned by the Society.
A lot containing ten acres has been purchased recently, and enclosed by a fence 7 feet high. Several hundred white pines are scattered about the lot, valuable now for shade, and hereafter for timber.
There are also within the enclosure, an exhibition building, 36 by 60 feet, two stories in hight; a market house, with stalls, for the sale of refreshments, and agricultural implements and products; suitable pens for stock; a well; and a trotting course one third of a mile long.
The exhibition was in many respects the most successful and satisfactory of any ever held by the Society. Aside from the usual attractions, the presence of military companies from Norway, Brownfield and Porter, without doubt contributed largely to increase the attendance of spectators, and to add to the interest of the occasion. About three thousand people were present at the exhibition.
The annual address was delivered by Leander Wetherell, Esq., of the Boston Cultivator, as follows:
Farming and Stock-breeding, Feeding and Sheltering, promoted as
Arts by Science.
BY LEANDER WETHERELL.
The art of using the soil successfully as the essential factors in producing good crops, is one that requires careful study and much knowledge. Geology, mineralogy, botany, animal and vegetable physiology must be separately and collectively considered and examined. The character and quality of the soil when known, will influence the economical husbandman in determining what kind of crops he can most successfully produce. Before he can do this, however, he must learn from tradition, observation, experience or chemical analysis, the kind of plants to which any given soil is best adapted,--a conclusion which cannot be intelligibly reached with
out a knowledge of the habits and wants of plants, which may be learned through the study of botany and vegetable physiology. Having arrived at definite conclusions in regard to these topics, the farmer can easily decide what kind of domesticated animals it will be best for him to stock his farm with. This being done, there is presented at once the importance of possessing knowledge of the arts of feeding, sheltering, &c.—with those of animal physiology, laws of re-production, usually denominated the art of breeding, 'marketing, &c. This view of the subject, as will be readily admitted, requires that the farmer should be a well instructed man, if he would supervise his business economically and render it productive, profitable, pleasant and satisfactory.
The West Oxford Agricultural Society was organized and founded for the promotion of Agriculture. This being the end or purpose of its founders, the inquiry very naturally suggests itself to the reflecting mind, how can this good be most effectually attained ? The fact of meeting annually will not of itself secure it. Something more is necessary to be done, and must therefore be accomplished, or else the Society must rest satisfied with merely furnishing an annual holiday,--something gained to be sure, but coming far short of the noble end, which stimulated its founders to action.
The question, “How is this end to be reached ?” marks the line that divides between the known and the unknown-between traditional or practical farmers and those denominated pioneer, experimental, or theoretical farmers, and in derision often styled "book farmers."
A practical farmer in the common meaning of that phrase is one who is governed by tradition-doing as his father did without knowing why or wherefore. He is conversant with facts, but knows not how to account for their existence. He has been told that irrigation is beneficial, but knows not why. So of draining, manuring, &c. His system of practical agriculture consists of a collection of recipes, as it were, teaching by, or embodying the knowledge of tradition. Such a farmer, so long as he thus practices,--scouting book farming as he calls it,-reminds one of the story of the green doctor of Offenbach on the Maine. He was a Jewish physician of renown, called to all cases of illness in Frankfort, Hanau, and the neighborhood ; and his practice was not without success. Nature 'had given him a quick eye and fine powers of observation. His knowledge was obtained in a hospital in which he acted as sick attendant. He used to accompany the physician through the
sick wards, looked at the tongues and urine of the patients after him, felt their pulse, and superintended the orders about their diet. He copied the prescriptions regularly; marked them with a red cross when the patient recovered and with a black one when they died. His sheets grew by degrees to the size of a book, and when nothing new presented itself to be added, he began in the first instance to practice on a small scale, and then started on the full career of a physician. He was skilled in diagnosis, and had his prescriptions for the various cases. Those with the red crosses came first; if unsuccessful, then followed the black. In this way he acquired experience. He was very orthodox, and on the Sabbath, refrained from writing prescriptions, but dictated them in the apothecary's shop to an assistant. He commenced with “Rx” (this meant recipe); “Tart. Emet., two grains” (i. e. Tartari Emetici grana duo); Syr. Ath. (i. e. Syrupus Altheæ.) He could not read his own prescriptions, but his fame, as a practical physician, was so well established that the regularly educated physicians in Offenbach could not succeed in putting an end to his career, on the ground of his never having received a medical education. Hence, empiricism lived and flourished at the expense of the learned profession.
Practical farmers, who reject theory, art and science, with book farming, and cling alone to tradition, are very much like the Offenbach doctor. 1st, The recipe marked with the red cross is worded thus: “Dung, ashes and muck;' those with the black cross, “Put no trust in chemistry or chemists, scientists or science. 2d, Facts and opinions, chiefly the latter, should be heeded.” 3d, “ Brook no opposition from scientists, theorists or chemists."
But there is fortunately another class who seek for the "why," regarding knowledge as above empiricism. They desire to understand the art of farming, deeming it as an art, what it really is, the antecedent of science.
Art, says Mr. Cash, has generally preceded science. There were bleaching and dyeing and tanning, and artificers in copper and iron before there was chemistry, to explain the processes used. Wine was made long before the laws of fermentation were known; and porcelain and glass were manufactured before the nature of alkalies had been determined. The pyramids of Nubia and Egypt, the palaces and sculptured slabs of Ninevah, the cyclopean walls of Italy and Greece, the obelisks and temples of India, the cromlechs and druidical circles of countries formerly Celtic, all preceded the sciences of mechanics and architecture. There was music before