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SUMMARY OF WORK FOR EACH MONTH.
The farmer who wishes to thrive, must so order and arrange his work, as that everything shall be done at its proper time, one operation never interfering with another: for nothing is more important than the right management of time, in carrying on all the operations upon a farm. When everything is done at the proper season, haste and waste will be avoided, the work will be better performed, and the chances of success will be proportionally increased. A general summary of the work to be done in each month throughout the year, may therefore not be without its use, as a conclusion to the foregoing directions.
October may be considered as the commencement of the agricultural year, the previous crops being secured, and preparations for those of the coming year being now necessary. As soon as the ground is cleared, commence ploughing the stubble land; and your seed-wheat must be got into the ground as early as possible this month. Cattle should be taken up from grass, and sheltered in the straw-yard. Rams may be turned to the ewes; and the cattle which are to be fattened, must now have a full supply of turnips.
November - This is a busy month on arable lands. Wheat may still be sown as late as the middle of the month; and preparations must continue to be made for the crops of the next season. The plough must be kept constantly going, when the weather will permit. All soils are the better for being exposed to the winter's frost, and nothing should prevent the industrious farmer from getting on with this part of his work.
The pastures will now have failed, and the cattle, if turned into the fields, will only poach the land with their feet. They must therefore be fed at home on straw, hay, and turnips, or other green food; and always remember that to take good care of his cattle during the winter, is the farmer's best policy. The sheep may be allowed to remain on the high grounds till the end of the month, when the rams are to be withdrawn from the ewes.
December.-The ploughing of stubble land may still go on during this month, when the weather permits. When stopped by frost, cart out manure for use in spring, taking care to put it into a close compact heap, so that none of the juices may be lost ; and a quantity of turnips should be drawn and stored near the homestead, ready for use.
The cows and live stock will be fed as in the previous month; the breeding ewes being allowed the range of the farm, and in frosty weather supplied with a little hay.
January. Little out-door work can, in general, be done this month, and thrashing and in-door employments are better suited to the season. Still, when the weather permits, the farmer must not be idle; but should set to work, to turn up the grass land intended for crops, in order to have the turf well rotted, and that the soil may be mellowed by the frost.
February.—When the weather permits, the land intended for beans and spring wheat must be ploughed and got into order, and the seed should be put into the ground this month, if possible.
The breeding ewes, will now require a good allowance of turnips and mangel-wurzel, to strengthen them for the lambing season.
March.—This is a busy time for the husbandman, and every exertion should be made to get the work well forward. Spring wheat may now be sown where necessary, and the oat crop must be got into the ground, and the land intended for potatoes and turnips should receive a cross ploughing. It may probably be yet too early to use the roller on wet lands, the rolling of which may be delayed till next month; but the use of the roller to pulverize the soil should never be omitted, as soon as the land is in a fit state.
The èwes will now be beginning to lamb, and will require great care, and constant attention.
April.-As early in the month as possible, the remainder of the oats must be sown. The potato land must be again ploughed, reduced to a fine tilth, and the seed planted. The barley must also be sown, in course of the month, as must likewise clover, mangelwurzel, vetches, and lucerne. Grass land intended to be mown, must now be cleared of stones and rubbish, and be bush-harrowed and well rolled. This is absolutely essential, and should never be omitted. Attention must also be given to the preparation of the turnip land.
About the end of this month brood mares will foal, and the cows will calve. Neither should be turned out to pasture until the grass is sufficiently forward, and they must have a good supply of Swedish turnips, winter tares, hay, and chaff, in the house.
May.-Barley sowing should be finished before the middle of this month. Vetches may still be sown. The remainder of the potatoes must be planted, and the drills of those planted last month may now be handhoed, or have the harrow passed over them. The beans should also have the drill harrow sent through them. About the middle of the month, Swedish turnips should be sown, the land being previously well prepared : and the oat and barley crops must now be cleaned of all thistles and other weeds.
The young stock may be turned out to pasture, and the business of the dairy will proceed briskly.
June.-Turnip sowing may be continued throughout this month. Constant attention must be given to horse and hand hoe the potatoes and beans; and by the end of the month, the Swedish turnips will also require to be hand-hoed.
The sheep may now he shorn, and the early lambs will be getting ready for market, and should therefore have the best grass the farm affords.
July.—This is the time for hay-making, which calls
for great vigilance and activity on the part of the farmer. The grass must not be permitted to ripen its seeds, and in making the hay, be careful to preserve as much of the natural juice or saccharine matter as possible. Horse and hand hoeing, must still go on diligently among the turnips, potatoes, mangel-wurzel, and beans; and turnip sowing must be completed by the middle of the month, after which a good crop can hardly be expected.
Lambs which are to be kept for stock must now be weaned, and sent to good pasture at a distance from the ewes.
August.-The beginning of this month will be chiefly employed in carting the hay from the field to the steading. In favourable seasons, reaping will commence the first or second week, and the farmer should be careful to cut his corn as soon as it is ripe, and get it into stook as quickly as possible.
September.-All the farmer's attention will now be directed to the securing of his grain crops. Whenever the corn is thoroughly dried in the stook, it must be carted home to the stack-yard ; and remember that an opportunity neglected, may never be recovered. During this month and the next, the potatoes must be taken up, and secured in pits for the winter. In some situations wheat may be sown this month, although the general wheat sowing rarely takes place before October. The bees must be attended to the latter end of this month, and the superfluous honey removed, and such arrangements made as will carry your hives on through the ensuing winter and spring.
In this short summary of operations throughout the year, although much is omitted, and what is given is necessarily very brief and imperfect, it is yet hoped that the farmer may find something that is useful, and that will serve to remind him, generally, of the work to be performed at each season.
To the foregoing directions for the guidance of the farmer, we here propose to add, by way of Appendix, a few brief observations more especially referable to the domestic arrangements of the Agricultural Labourer. No one connected with land, whether it be as landlord or tenant, can be insensible of the vast importance of this subject, in all its bearings; and no right-thinking man, whatever his rank or station in life, can be otherwise than desirous of doing all within his power to improve the labourer's condition, physically and morally, to make him better, wiser, happier; and as comfortable and independent as his social position warrants and requires.
To accomplish this object, we must in the first place extend to the whole of our labouring population the benefits of moral and religious instruction, together with such other aid and guidance, as will ensure the training up of their children to become useful members of the community; and in the next place we must use our best endeavours to improve the physical condition and the social habits of the working classes generally. All this is necessary for the sake of the employer, no less than for that of the labourer himself, and for the well-being of society at large; and it is with a view to the furtherance of this most important object, that the following observations are here inserted.
These observations may, moreover, not be altogether without their use to the small farmer, and other persons in a similar class of life, by awakening thoughts and pointing out objects which else possibly might not have occurred to them, but which are nevertheless