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J. T. W.
he be dogmatical in his own views. Books and pa- nature, " that the larger and more fully developed pers are like crutches and spring carriages to the the seed, the more thrifty and vigorous the plant, mind. He who suffers himself continually to be all other things being equal." Who shall say, then, carried about by them, may always be lame and that the same law does not govern plants that are weakly, but never the hearty robust, strong man, propagated by tubers ? Nay, is not the reason for like him who walks. The proper ground for the this result much more obvious in the one case than farmer, as well as all others, to stand upon, is a dig- in the other ? But, says S. P., we want facts, not nified independence, that accords to others the right speculations ! True, and yet the knowledge of facts of thinking for themselves, and claiming and using is, in a very great degree, the fruit of speculation. the same right in return. There is too much dog. The science of agriculture, like that of chemistry, is maticism on the one hand, and credulity on the eminently experimental, and experiments are wholly other. It may be difficult to steer clear of breakers, the results of speculation. But to the point. There but it is worth the while trying.
is one fact which he insists upon, that, to my mind, If the farmer would keep his eyes and ears wide is quite essential to a right understanding of this open-cultivate and discipline his powers of obser- matter, and conclusive against him. Namely, “ that vation, and learn to think for himself, as well as to large tubers are of artificial growth.” This is unmake just discriminations respecting the thoughts questionable as to potatoes, their present size being of others; he might save himself much time and the result of a gradual development under cultitrouble, and be the happier for it.
vation,—which cultivation consisted in part of a Marlboro', N. H., 1855.
constant selection of the larger tubers to seed from. The seed of the potato produces tubers perfectly matured and of full, natural size, the first but
year, For the New England Farmer.
it requires several years of careful culture, and a SMALL POTATOES FOR SEED.
constant selection of the larger and more fully FRIEND BROWN :-Feeling deeply interested in developed tubers for reproduction, to bring them to the subject of agriculture and its kindred pursuits, I perfection. And then, as he very justly observes, propose, through the columns of your widely-read there is a constant tendency to revert to their origijournal, to furnish a fact or offer an opinion, now nal type. Now, it must be obvious from these and then, upon matters therewith connected. Should facts alone—the artificial growth of the large tuber, this meet your approval, it may be as well to com- and its tendency to revert to its natural state,—that mence while the resolve is upon me.
the immediate product of small polatoes can never And first—are small potatoes equal to large ones equal that of large ones, with similar culture. This for the purpose of reproduction ? I can, by no may be all a matter of speculation, but it is so legimeans, agree with your correspondent, S. P., in his timate and logical a deduction from his own facts, course of reasoning on this subject—to my mind, that I have faith to believe that even S. P. will conmuch of it is not only fallacious, but pernicious in sider it conclusive. the extreme.
This “small potato doctrine” has not even the The wise axiom, “ that there is but one right poor merit of novelty. It originated very possibly way to do a thing,” will hardly be found, as he con- with the first “ planter,” and, appealing to the cupitends, contradicted by the workings of nature. dity of man, has out-lived a host of fallacies, far less Nay, I fancy it can be there verified to a demonstra- preposterous or pernicious. For years it has shed tion. It is quite true, that at times, she performs its blight over our agricultural interest. For years her offices in different ways—as instanced in the paralyzed to a great extent the best exertions of the reproduction of the potato. ' But can we infer from true friend of the husbandman. The “ old fashioned this that the way pursued is not in each instance farmer" as he delights to style himself, clings most " the one right way,” since the means employed are tenaciously to his belief in “small potato" seed, ever the best adapted to the end in view? Or shall and indeed in small potato stock, “as no less perwe conclude that, since Nature is not limited in her fect in respect to vitality and the specific character of operations to a single way, any way by which man its several species," and consequently, equally as can accomplish his purposes is equally as “right" as good for the immediate purpose of reproduction. any other? It would hardly be thought much out À fatal mistake, let who may entertain it. A danof the proper course for nature to produce potatoes gerous heresy that must be rooted from men's minds from the seed, since it would answer her ends as well. ere we can look for any marked improvement in But it might be viewed in a very different light in agricultural pursuits.
Let this be a great purpose the farmer, as it could hardly serve his purpose at with your journal. Teach only the “one right all. Possibly it will require no very great power of doctrine—that the never varying essentials to good argument to convince even the most obtuse, that in crops and success in husbandry, are good soil, this particular case, at least, there is a “ one right natural or artificial-good seeds, good tools and
That there is in every case, is equally certain, good culture. Let the precept be worked out in and constitutes, no less in farming than in every other the practice, and the time will come when in our pursuit of life, a great truth seldom lost sight of but less favored clime, and upon our sterile soil, shall with mischievous results. I am far from certain grow up a system of agriculture such as the world that S. P., after all, is not equally sensible of its im- has never seen. portance, since he lays it down as a great prin- East Woburn, Aug. 3, 1855. ciple,” “ that the farmer depends upon facts wholly.” Now facts are only useful to those who hold to a GRASSHOPPERS. — The editor of the California
one right way,” and are seeking it by the light of Farmer, in his journal of July 13, states that grassexperience.
As to the employment of small potatoes for seed : hoppers are exceedingly numerous and destructive. We should in this, as in all other things, conform to He had seen one that measured from three and a the laws of nature. Now, it is clearly a law of half to four inches in length!
THE PEACH APRICOT. The delineation above is from a specimen gath- USES.—A very handsome and delicious dessert ered in our garden about the tenth of August. The fruit, only inferior to the peach, ripening about midlargest sample of the fruit is about four inches summer, after cherries, and before plums, at a seain circumference, roundish, rather flattened, and son when it is peculiarly acceptable. For preservsomewhat compressed on its sides, with a well- ing in sugar or brandy, for jellies, or pastries, it is marked suture. Skin yellow in the shade, but deep highly esteemed, and, where it is abundant, an adorange, mottled with dark brown, on the sunny side. mirable liqueur is made from the fruit; and it is Flesh of a fine yellow saffron color, juicy, rich and also dried for winter use. high-flavored. Downing says:
CULTIVATION.—This tree is almost always bud"The apricot is one of the most beautiful of stone ded on the plum stock (on which in July it takes fruit trees, easily known by its glossy heart-shaped readily,) as it is found more hardy and durable than foliage, large white blossoms, and smooth-skinned, upon its own root. Many American nurserymen golden or ruddy fruit. In the fruit garden it is a bud the apricot on the peach, but the trees, so prohighly attractive object in early spring, as its charm- duced, are of a very inferior quality—short lived, ing flowers are the first to expand. It forms a fine more liable to diseases, and the fruit of a secondspreading tree of about twenty feet in height, and rate flavor. Budded on the plum, they are well is hardy enough to bear as an open standard south adapted to strong soils, in which they always hold of the 42° of latitude of this country.
their fruit better than in light sandy soils.
Apricots generally grow very thriftily, and soon failurc has occurred but once in New England withmake fine heads, and produce an abundance of blos- in the present century, and that was during the
cold season of 1816. Last year there was very soms and young but the crop of the latter
nearly a failure of this crop in some of the western frequently falls off when half-grown, from being States; but if the newspaper accounts may be restung by the plum-weevil or curculio, to which the lied on, the aggregate crop of the present season, smooth skin of this fruit seems highly attractive. all over the country, bids fair to atone for the defiSeedling apricots are usually more hardy and pro- of the times; for the prosperity of the country has
ciency of the last. This is the brightest indication ductive here, than the finer grafted sorts.
become so far identified with corn, that even the This is a favorite tree for training on walls or es- failure of cotton could scarcely affect it more. The paliers, and, in town gardens especially, we often aggregate corn crop of the present season, from see it trained against the sides of brick houses, and present appearances, will be much greater than evyielding most abundantly. As the apricot, however before; it may reach the enormous amount of
from six to eight hundred millions of bushels—and er, expands its blossoms very early, it should not
yet, I venture to assert that not one of those who be placed on an east wall, or in a situation where it have contributed to swell this great aggregate is the is too much exposed to the full morning sun.” poorer for having cultivated com.
It is all nonsense to say that the crop, in any case, "costs more
than it comes to." For the New England Farmer. As to the best mode of harvesting corn, I will THE CORN CROP.
say a few words. Where the saving of the stover
is an object-and I do not know the place in New MR. EDITOR:—In my summer rambles about the England where it is not an object-nearly all good country, no one object has afforded me more grati- practical farmers agree that the best way is to cut fication than the appearance of the corn crop. Not it up as soon as the ears are out of the milk, and only does that crop exhibit a high state of promise, while the leaves and husks are green, tie it in bunbut it seems to me that a much larger aggregate dles, and place those bundles in “stooks” to cure. breadth of soil than usual has been applied to it the As soon as they become dry, the corn may be present season. This, in the face of the partial husked, and the stover stowed away in the barn ; failure of last year from the drought, indicates that and, thus cured, the cattle will eat it at any time in the value of the corn crop is compelling a proper winter in preference to the best English hay. One appreciation from our farmers, despite of the seem- good farmer tells me that the stover of his corning heavy labor of its cultivation. I rejoice at this ; field is better than a ton of hay per acre, and that it for I honestly believe that, with the decline of the very nearly pays for the labor of cultivating the corn crop, we may date the decline of the great in- crop, from the fact that such labor interferes very terest of agriculture in this country.
little with the time necessary for haying, and for When I see a farmer figuring up the expense of harvesting other crops. Besides, he says, any other cultivating corn, and declaring that every bushel he crop, be it grass, grain, or potatoes, will rotate with raises costs him more than it comes to--that he can a corn crop better than with any other. buy it cheaper than he can produce it-I set him As for the varieties of corn best adapted to pardown as a man in great danger of cultivating a too ticular localities—not to particular soils, for corn intimate acquaintance with the sheriff. It is true will grow with manure on any soil—there need be that the proper adaptation and manuring of the soil little said, for this grain has a wonderful faculty of for corn, the hoeing, the harvesting, the husking adapting itself to almost any climate. The large and the shelling of the crop, ordinarily involve a southern corn, if planted at the North will gradugood deal of labor; but then it should be borne in ally become smaller, until it attains a growth adaptmind that no other crop so well subdues the land, ed' to the climate; and northern corn, planted at or leaves it in so good a condition for other crops, the South, undergoes a corresponding change there. that none affords such indispensable food for both It is true, however, that the varieties may be some man and beast, or can be adapted to so many pur- what ameliorated. In a recent number of the Farposes. When hay is twenty dollars a ton, the stov- mer, in answer to a correspondent, you stated the er from the corn-field is no small item in the feed “Early Jefferson” to be the earliest corn. Now I of cattle, to say nothing of the one or two tons of have cultivated for years the common kind of yelpumpkins per acre, which may be raised along with low weight-row” corn, made earlier than usual by a ihe corn without sensibly diminishing the latter fortnight, by a farmer in Vermont, who for eight crop. All observing farmers agree also, that not years in succession plucked the very first ripening only Indian meal, but the stover of corn, constitute ears in his field and preserved them for seed. I althe very best food for cattle, and especially for ways have green corn of this variety from the middle cows in milk. The milk, the butter, and the cheese, to the twentieth of July; and year before last I gathmade from "corn feed," are always superior to those ered a quantity of perfectly ripe ears on the 5th of made from any other; and it is not necessary for August. It is not "sweet corn" in the usual acceptame to say one word as to the superiority of "corn- tion of the term ; but it is much sweeter and more fed pork," for everybody knows of it.
palatable for cooking green than the “Early JefferAgain, corn is the safest crop that can be cultiva- son;" which latter, in fact, is hardly worth the cookted. Potatoes may rot-wheat may be destroyed ing. This early variety of mine would be invaluaby the fly, the midge, the rust, the drought, or by ble for cultivating in more northern latitudes, for too much wet-rye may “winter-kill," and oats may three months of good weather are all that is wantblast—but corn does not fail, on an average, once ed to grow and ripen it. in twenty years. There may be partial failures I am inclined to think that there is no very great from drought or frost, but anything like a total difference in the varieties of corn, in regard to the
POWER OF LEAVES TO ABSORB HEAT.
yield per acre. The large “tree-corn" of the South will come up to our expectations can only be deterand South-west,where a man is obliged to stand on mined, when a full detail of the experiments made tiptoe to reach the ears, seldom, I am told, yields shall be presented. more than fifty bushels to the acre.
In the great
This is certain, where one and a half and two corn-growing Scioto Valley, fifty bushels to the tons of hay to the acre was calculated on in the acre is considered a large average crop. And yet I spring, but little more than one ton has as yet been once knew one hundred and thirty-one bushels to the realized. Whether this deficiency shall be supplied acre, of common eight-rowed yellow corn to draw by the second crop and the superabundance of corn the first corn premium at the fair of the agricultu- fodder, will depend much on the vigilance and inral society in Rutland County, Vermont. This, to dustry of farmers.
Essex. be sure, is something extra ; but fifty bushels to the August 10, 1855. acre is by no means a crop to brag of, even in what is usually called the sterile soil of old Middlesex.
For the New England Farmer. I have raised nearly as large a measure of ears on a square rod, of the common white pop-corn, as of
LITTLE THINGS: any other; because, though the ears are much OR, A WALK IN MY GARDEN.....No. 3. smaller, the hills will bear planting much nearer together, and the average number, per stalk, of this large, so expensive, or so much better than those of
I do not write about my garden because it is so variety, is much greater than will hold good of the larger varieties. And by the way, I would recom- its individual interest. Every garden is full of in
my neighbors, but because every garden possesses mend a much more extensive cultivation of this va
struction, even that of the sluggard. While taking riety. The oleaginous matter which it contains, and which causes it to “pop” so freely, renders it my walk this morning, I was struck with the very valuable for the fattening of fowls, while “popped corn” is the simplest, lightest, cheapest, I transplanted some cabbages, gave them a single and most nutritious form of unleavened bread watering, and covered them with leaves of rhubarb, known to the world. No family, in these days, or burdock, which I find much better than repeated ought to be without a "corn-popper."
watering. The thermometer had been up to 95°, I could write for hours upon the advantages to yet the plants did not wilt. What oceans of heat our farmers of entering more largely into the culti- are swallowed up by vegetation in summer! The vation of maize, and then scarcely satisfy my own leaves do not merely evaporate the water by the aid feelings on the subject. I do not expect others, of heat, but they have an apparatus by which water however, to partake of my enthusiasm, and so I is emitted from their surfaces, which, when disenforbear; and will close by an affirmation, of which gaged, absorbs a large quantity of sensible heat. A I challenge the disproval. It is this : No farmer single large maple in open ground will almost alever yet cultivated too much Indian corn.
ways induce a current of air beneath its shade. Somerville.
Somebody has said, and it has gone the rounds
of the papers, that nitrogenous manures are not For the New England Farmer. good for cabbages or ruta bagas. Now I do not beHAY CROP.
lieve it. They love such manures, but the trouble
is, such manures should be thoroughly incorporated Notwithstanding the long-continued growth, and with the soil, and if possible, prepared early in the the luxuriant appearance of the fields, there is much reason to believe that the amount of hay actually of manure to all others, and have almost always
I have for many years preferred this kind secured in condition to be used, will come short of beat my neighbor, the doctor, who is a good gara fair average of the crop for the last ten years. dener. This is true, so far as my observation has extended
I have a spot sown with seeds from the Patent in the eastern part of the State. The check put on Office called the grass, by the extreme drought of the last year, in many fields, will not be overcome until the land is re-seeded. When the plants are once killed, no fer- They look finely, are ready for picking after the tilizing application will cause them to sprout again. Prince Albert, and before the Marrowfat. They If we do not mistake, an injury of twenty-five per
have been cultivated for several years by some Engcent. to most of our fields happened in this way. — lish families in this vicinity, by whom they are highThen, it will be remembered that the early spring ly prized. I think they are not generally known was peculiarly unpropitious to the starting ahead of in this State, but will prove a valuable addition to this crop. Very few fields were grown sufficiently our culinary articles. Item. - Sow the Prince Alto be cut on the 4th of July. Generally they were bert, Champion and Marrowfat, for a succession of ten days, at least, behind at that time. And subse- productive crops. quently, when cut, it took four days or more to Some very silly things have been written respectmake it, as is usually done in two, in fair weather. ing the use of Taking into view all these circumstances, and the empty condition of the mows in our barns at the The chief use of salt is alleged to be its power of present time, it is fair to say, that the crop is con- destroying grubs and worms. Now I would like to siderably less than average.
know how many bushels, evenly spread over an We have been led to these reflections on the crop acre, would be necessary, so as to destroy a single of hay, from the interest we had felt in facilitating worm? Then, again, it destroys weeds. But so the labor of cutting it. We had persuaded ourselves will sulphuric acid, potash, or any other salt, or that one-half of this labor, at least, might be saved, acid, when used in large quantities, and in a conby the proper introduction of machines, to be oper- centrated form. How many bushels of salt to the ated by horse or ox power. Whether the result acre would it take so as to kill any weed whatever?
E. C. P.
CHAMPION PEA OF ENGLAND.
SALT AS A MANURE.
N. T. T.
I will answer.
It will take just as much as will sequence, become much finer; and these are gathkill everything you plant or sow, except such plants ered in the same manner, and successionally. as are of marine origin. There is, however, one The operation of successional gathering may be little experiment which I once made with complete very advantageously followed up, because all the
I had a spot thickly set with Canada this fruits on a tree never ripen simultaneously; and tles where I wished to make a garden. I manured that they may acquire full perfection, it is importhe ground heavily, sowed with oats, and let this- tant that they should be left on the tree to attain tles and oats grow together. When they were in the necessary degree of maturity, known to the full bloom, I mowed them pretty high, and with a practised eye by certain signs, which it would be tin coffee-pot of beef brine I filled up the hollow difficult to point out, without entering into tedious stocks of the thistles with the same.
To some this details. might seem small business, but I passed over the With regard to the late autumn, winter and ground faster than I could hoe it when under culti-spring pears, the same proceeding is adopted; it is vation. The result was, that I never saw any this- only by successional gatherings that we can hit upon tles grow there afterwards. I close this article by the proper time, and know the happy medium be declaring that I design to make my garden supply tween gathering too early or too late.
The gathmy table with something fresh the year round. ering of these fruits, in season as above mentioned, Bethel, Me., Aug. 4, 1855.
commences about the middle of September, and continues till the end of October, or till just before
the fall of the leaves. PROPER TIME FOR GATHERING
When some fruits, neither bruised nor pierced PEARS.
by insects, of a late variety of pear begin to drop, A late number of the London Gardener's Chron- although not affected by strong winds nor by icle contains an article upon this subject by M. drought; and when the leaves begin to turn yellow
and fall from the tree, an attentive and experienced DE JONGHE, of Brussels, a portion of which may person will perceive that the period of gathering is prove of service to some of our readers. He says : at hand.
Formerly, when the varieties of pears in cultivation The same kind of fruit cannot be gathered uniwere comparatively few, there was little difficulty in formly at the same date, owing to various circumknowing the time when each sort ought to be gath-stances which influence the ripening; but by sucered; but now, when the number of good varieties cessional gatherings, or at intervals, the proper is so much increased, the proper time for gather-time for different localities is best ascertained ; and ing the respective sorts cannot ve known without a that, in general, all the varieties ought to be gathcertain experience acquired during a period of from ered before their perfect maturity, which should be three to five years, in order that a mean may be ob- attained in the fruit-room. tained. For the maturity of the fruit on the tree depends : 1. On the individual constitution of the tree, and
For the New England Farmer. its liability to change. 2. On the soil in which the tree is planted.
“WHAT CONSTITUTES A COW OF 3. On the influence of the stock.
NATIVE BREED ?" 4. On the temperature of the season, whether MR. EDITOR :—The reperusal of the criticisms of more or less favorable for accelerating the maturity "W. S. L.," as they appear on the pages of the of the fruit.
Farmer for June, brings to mind the propriety of In order to know exactly the mean period of ma- replying to his inquiry, "What constitutes a cow of turity on the tree of any particular variety of fruit, native breed ?” Mr. L. says he understands by nait is necessary to observe several trees of such vari- tive breed, one indigenous to the county.” That is, ety, planted in different soils and situations. With born in, or having its origin in the county. If beregird to the varieties of Pears which ripen at the ing born in makes the animal native, then all the end of summer, or early in autumn, it is not diffi- offspring of stock imported, that chance to be cult to fix the date when they should be gathered; dropped in the county, will be entitled to the apfor, in the same situation, this, in different years, pellation of native. But if the first origin of the does not vary more than 10 days.
race must be shown to have been within the county, The influence of soil, of stocks and of tempera- then it is as well to admit, in the onset, that no ture more or less warm and dry, is not so great on such thing can be shown; because every one knows early fruits as on the late autumn, winter and spring that all our animals proceeded from stock imported, varieties. With regard to the summer and early at periods more or less remote.
So that the reautumn kinds, they cannot always be left to ripen mark recently made in your paper is true, that the completely on the tree, grown as a pyramid' or discussion about native breeds resolves itself into a standard, and it is needless to add that these sorts talk about words, and words only. For this reason, of fruits do not, in our climate, merit a wall, where, I hope to be excused attempting any further answer. in fact, they are never so good as in the open ground, I am happy in having drawn from my friend so valWhen a considerable number of fruits is observed uable a mass of facts, relating to the stock of the counto have reached the point of maturity, and when, ty of Worcester. But he will pardon me when I say, with a slight pressure of the thumb, the stalk is that this statement of selected and petted animals readily detached, without twisting, at its junction goes but a little way towards showing the real charwith the spur, a portion of the fruit should then be acter of the entire stock of the county. Possibly gathered, and allowed to acquire their full maturity my estimate that nine-tenths of them were native, in in the fruit-room. This first gathering will ease the sense of the term, as ordinarily used, may have the tree, and the whole of the nutritive sap will be been extravagant; but from the best estimate in directed towards the remaining fruits, which, in con- my power to form, by the use of my eyes and my