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he trusts that hereafter this act of courtesy will not be omitted by four valuable journals in circulation, and in successful operation in such other societies as may successively be formed in this state. this state. From their reports, the numbers of their subscribers have Since our meeting in February, 1833, societies have organized, as materially increased within the last year, and it argues well for the far as I have been informed, in the following counties: Columbia, public taste that political papers occasionally publish useful agriculAlbany, Rensselaer and New-York; and a re-organization has like-tural essays in their columns, as it clearly indicates a growing dewise been effected in Saratoga. No doubt there have been socie-sire in their readers, who are generally farmers, for information upties organized in other and more distant parts of the state, but in on their particular pursuit. The last year has been peculiarly auwhat particular counties I am unable to say, as in several of the spicious on this subject. In every part of the state the calls for the western counties, agricultural societies, I perceive by the papers, are publication of agricultural articles have been numerous, and cheerin a course of successful experiment. Most of these have had their fully responded to, and the State Agricultural Society now makes exhibitions in the course of the last autumn, and I have not heard of its particular acknowledgments to editors of newspapers in every a dissenting voice to the beneficial effects which have followed these county in this state, for giving publicity to such communications as first trials of agricultural skill and improvement. On the contra- they have done themselves the honor to furnish them. We trust ry, as far as public opinion could be gathered from the papers which the editors of our state will continue to keep open their columns to have announced these meetings, they have spoken in warm com- all that tends to the improvement of agriculture, inasmuch as by inendation of the good effects which have already been experienced, their general circulation in all classes of our citizens, they diffuse and in anticipation that greater will follow. For myself, I attended most extensively whatever information they contain. a few of these exhibitions in neighboring counties and in my own, In conformity with a resolution of this society, Ambrose Spencer, and in all instances was both gratified and amply rewarded for the Horatio Hickok and Jesse Buel were appointed a committee to retime and money so spent. These exhibitions will annually become port a memorial to the legislature, praying that legislative provimore useful as well as interesting, for as the respective societies in- sion be made for a State Agricultural School. In conformity with crease their members, and have time to improve their internal or- the above resolution, a petition was prepared and presented to both ganization, the subjects for premium will be more varied and better senate and assembly, in February, 1833. In both branches reports selected, the articles exhibited of better quality and in larger quan-favorable to the object solicited were made, and I must refer the tity. New fields of investigation will be opened, and the old ones society to the report of Mr. Sudam of the senate, and Gen. Skinner more thoroughly and satisfactorily explored. The business, too, at of the assembly, in which the advantages that would result from the their annual meetings will be more systematically conducted, and establishment of such an institution are both ably and eloquently every thing connected with them assume a due course of improve- pourtrayed. In neither branch of the legislature were these reports ment, so that they will command public approbation, and make ad- acted upon. It was thought most judicious at first to inform the vocates of those who are now unbelievers or neutrals. Besides the public of the object contemplated, and the purpose it was to answer, opportunity that is thus afforded by the meeting of these county so- trusting that as the public mind became enlightened, it would percieties for the exhibition of the best and varied kinds of stock, and ceive the necessity of the institution thus sought, the great benefits all the available fruits of husbandry-and excited as their owners that would follow from it, and that if it met with a general apnaturally will be by a laudable spirit of competition, which is still proval, the public voice would at the proper time call for it. The further increased by the hope of obtaining the badge of superiority call has been made: petitions from many counties in the state have -a premium-advantages of themselves sufficient to compensate this year been presented to the house; public bodies have given the for the little time and money they cost in our attendance upon them, project their sanction. The extremes of the state, from Long-Island farmers appear not to be aware of the great influence a well orga-to St. Lawrence and Erie, have united with the centre in a voice of nized and conducted society will have upon the per acre price of approval, and the more the subject is canvassed, the more deep and their farms. To say it would be ten dollars per acre, after a few abiding is the impression of the great benefits that will flow from the years of its existence, and its effects have been a little tested by establishment of an agricultural school. In due time we trust our time, would be surely saying little enough of what will hereafter be hopes will be consummated. apparent. It must be obvious that when all of intellect in a whole There has also been a general wish expressed within the last year, community is brought to bear upon a single subject, with the zeal throughout every part of the state, for legislative aid to enable the it naturally engenders, the new lights it constantly elicits, the improve- county agricultural societies to offer and pay premiums for articles ments that must necessarily follow steps which all lead directly to thought worthy of them. The object is extremely laudable in itself, the adoption of a better system, husbandry with these aids, will as- and as the premiums are among the aliments essential to the exissume new forms and be rendered far more lucrative and attractive. tence of such societies, we trust the boon will not be denied. A reCan it be otherwise then that our farms will be made more valuable, solution was likewise passed at the meeting of the State Agricultuour pursuits more pleasant, our houses more comfortable, and our ral Society, in 1833, that annual fairs be held at New-York and Almeans more abundant? This concert of action will have the same bany, and that the first attempt be made in the then ensuing autumn. effect in leading to important resul's that military combination and A correspondence was opened with the municipal officers of each of skill have over the uncombined and ill directed efforts of a disjointed these cities to give effect to the resolution of the society. By an but populous community. History teaches us that the united efforts unavoidable delay, it could not be carried into effect in New-York, of a few hundred have overcome thousands not so trained and con- but it was in Albany. A fair was held under the auspices of this nected. Let us avail ourselves of this lesson from history as applied society at the latter place, which, although it was the first, fully met to our particular pursuit, and by united effort, if it is guided by in- public expectation. It was visited by gentlemen from almost every telligence, our state will become as eminent for the successful culti-portion of our state, by many from the eastern states, and those vation of her soil, as she now is for the elevation which she has at- that were most competent to form an opinion of its merits, from havtained in her career of internal improvement. Providence has been ing attended similar displays elsewhere, declared, that in the variebountiful to us, not only in our location, in giving us a healthy cli-ty, excellence and value of the stock, particularly the cattle exhibitmate, a fertile soil, streams to float away our produce to the best ed, the fair at Albany was most abundantly successful. markets, and strength of body to encounter the fatigues incident to From the foregoing imperfect survey of the operations of this sothe improvement of these great advantages.-but, has the mind ciety for the last year, we have every inducement to persevere. We heretofore borne her share with the toils of the body? My observa- ought to be gratified at the success that has thus far crowned our tion tells me not. Let us henceforward call her into active requisi- efforts. We see hundreds of intelligent men springing up in every tion, to aid the operations of our hands, and their joint labors will section of our state, willing to aid and share in our labors-the whole make our pursuits not only more pleasant, but infinitely more profit- community alive and awake to the subject of farther improvement, able. But what can concentration of effort effect without we have and each individual member of it solicitous to perform his part in this the aid of agricultural journals to inform the public mind? The an-general march of mind for the attainment of these great objects. swer must be-nothing. We have, however, these invaluable re-It is only for the society to give a proper direction to these efforts, sources, and thanks to the intelligence of our community, they are and make them subservient to the advancement of agricultural indaily becoming more numerous, interesting and instructive. It is dustry and prosperity, and her benefits will be felt and acknowledged but a few years since the first of these was established, and then it throughout every portion of our state. was more in the nature of an experiment. That day has gone by; the experiment, after years of trial, was successful, and we have now
J. P. BEEKMAN, Cor. Sec. N. Y. Ag. Society. Kinderhook, March 5, 1834.
As the season for its manufacture is at hand, we venture to offer some suggestions upon the subject, having been somewhat of a sugar boiler in our younger days.
sugar cane, having a peculiarly grateful flavor. The vinegar, though excellent for ordinary use, is not so well adapted for pickles as that made from cider.
Claying or whitening the sugar.-To promote the molasses pass. The first care should be to preserve the trees. It is not safe in ing more freely from the sugar, when draining in the moulds or tubs, primitive woods, to cut away all the other timber, and to leave only and to improve its color, in two or three days after the moulds or the maples standing. In this way they are robbed of their protec-tubs are unstopped at the bottom, mix white clay with water so as tion, and are very liable to be prostrated by the wind. But trees to reduce it to a thin mortar; with this cover the top of the sugar growing in open situations adapt their forms to withstand the winds; one inch and a half thick: when the covering appears dry, remove and hence those which are termed second growth ought to be care-it, and supply the place with a fresh covering about two inches thick. fully preserved. Trees are often destroyed, in a few years, by in- This process may reduce the sugar one-fifth, but will add correjudicious tapping. We have seen them half girdled in a season, in spondingly to the molasses. order to increase the sap. The consequence is, that the wounds do not heal; the water lodges in the boxes and rots the wood; and the plement which every farmer, with trifling aid from the smith, may The Roller is in many ways serviceable on a farm, and it is an imtree dies, or is broken off by the wind. A chissel and maliet are shift to make for himself. It may consist of a log of two or three better than the axe to tap with, and a screw auger, two to five quar-feet in diameter, and eight or ten feet long, nicely smoothed on the ters in diameter, according to the size of the tree, is better than outside, with gudgeons in the centres of the ends, a frame, and either as the wound then soon closes, and little or no injury is inflicted on the tree. One or two holes may be bored on the south, tongue and shafts to draw and guide it by. After sowing small and the like on the north side of the tree, if the size will warrant down the clods, smooths the surface, and presses the earth to the grains and grasses, the roller should follow the harrow. It breaks it. The holes at first should not exceed three-quarters of an inch, seed, and thereby causes more of it to vegetate and grow than otherand the slope upwards should be so much that the sap will run free-wise would; for if the earth does not come in close contact with the ly in frosty weather, and not, by a slow motion, be liable to freeze seed, it remains dry, and is lost. In the spring, as soon as the fields in the mouth of the orifice. When the flow of sap begins to slacken, the holes may be increased to the depth of two and a half inches, are dry and firm enough to resist the feet of the cattle, the roller is or the depth of the sap or whitewood, and with an auger a quarter the surface of tilled ground is crusted, and generally checked with very beneficially applied to meadows and winter grain. At this time larger than was first used. The spout should not enter the hole small fissures, which expose the collar (the part which connects the more than half an inch; as the farther it enters, the more the running roots and leaves,) and roots to the drying influence of the sun and sap is obstructed. In ordinary seasons, the best time for making winds. The roller breaks and pulverizes the crust, and renders the maple sugar, is the last twelve days in March and the first twelve soil more pervious to heat, and closes the fissures. It is also serdays in April. It must freeze at night and thaw in the day to con- viceable in partially covering the crowns of the plants, which industitute good sap weather. A west wind is most favorable. The next object is, to preserve the sap clean, and to do this, it is ces them to send out new roots and to send up more seed stalks. This effect is particularly noticeable in barley, when the roller is necessary to have clean vessels for its reception. The old way was to use troughs roughly cut from timber previously split through the passed over it, after it has become three or four inches high. If centre. These answered tolerably well the first year. But being harrow." winter grain is harrowed in the spring, the roller may follow the suffered to remain under the trees, they were often found when wanted the next year, filled with leaves, ice and filth, which unavoidably mingled with the sap. The best vessels for this purpose are wooden buckets, made broader at the top than at bottom, that they may be packed away in nests under cover, when the sugar season is over, and thus preserved clean. We have seen them sold at $8 per hundred. They will last many years.
It is found beneficial to put into each half barrel of sap a spoonful of slaked lime. This causes the impurities to rise better when boiling, which should be carefully skimmed off. The sap should be boiled before fermentation commences, which will happen, as the weather becomes warm, the second or third day. The greater the exposure of the surface to the atmosphere, when boiling, the greater will be the evaporation. When the sap has been reduced to syrup, it should be stramed through a woollen or hair cloth, and then stand a few hours to settle; after which it should be turned carefully off from the sediment which has settled at the bottom. In boiling down, charcoal is the best fuel to use; for although the heat should be pretty brisk, it should be equable, and be confined to the bottom of the kettle. The clarifying materials should be added at the commencement of this process. These are generally milk, eggs, or what is better, calves' blood. The scum which rises should be carefully taken off. The impurities attach to these mucilaginous materials, and are carried with them to the surface.
When the syrup is sufficiently reduced, and taken from the fire, it should be stirred well for some time, in order to give it grain. This is effected by bringing every part of the mass in contact with the atmosphere; for if turned into moulds immediately, and not stirred, it will not be grained, but resemble candy rather than sugar. If intended to be caked, it must be turned into moulds before cold. Under the best process there will be a portion which will not granulate, on account of the vegetable mucilage which it contains, but which will drain off if the cask in which the sugar is deposited has holes at its bottom through which it can pass. To prevent the sap or syrup rising, a piece of fat may be thrown in, or the inner rim of the kettle rubbed with a piece of fat pork.
Molasses and vinegar are generally made from the last runnings, as the sap is then less adapted for sugar, abounding more in mucilage as the buds of the tree swell and being more liable to ferment. The molasses, when properly clarified, is superior to that from the
ner to the season, as it cannot be performed to advantage when the
Potatoes.-The object of farmers generally is, to plant those varieties which will give the greatest yield, without regard to flavor or nutritious properties. This is wrong. Potatoes differ one-half in the nourishment they afford to domestic animals, as well as to man; and the eating of a good thing, may be as grateful to the brute as to the man. It has been ascertained by chemical tests, that one hundred parts of a good potato contain twenty-eight per cent, or twenty-eight parts, of nutritious matter, and that one hundred parts of some poor varieties contain not more than fourteen parts of nutritious matter. The man or the brute, therefore, that eats 100 lbs. of poor potatoes, swallows 86 lbs. of water and ligneous matter which does not contribute in the least to nourish the body, nor to promote health. If the crop is to be consumed in the family, or on the farm, there is a propriety, on the score of economy, in selecting good sorts, though these do not yield more than half as many bushels as the poor sorts do. But the difference in product, seldom, if ever, exceeds a quarter. For market, the difference between good and bad potatoes is, or ought to be, a quarter; and it will be, when the buyer knows how to appreciate and to distinguish the difference. The best varieties of potatoes now in vogue, are the kidneys, or foxites, the pink-eyes, the Mercers, and the Sault St. Marie.
The potato requires, with us, a rich, moist and cool soil; that part at least in which the tubers form to be loose, that the stolens may penetrate, and the potatoes swell, without much obstruction. A clover ley, and long manure, are particularly beneficial to the crop. They should not be planted so close that the tops shall exclude the sun from the soil. Three feet in drills, or two and a half in hills, is near enough for ordinary varieties. Nor is it beneficial to earth them after the tubers have began to form, as this removes the roots too far from the surface, and causes a new set of stolens to issue.
Stolens are the roots on which the potatoes form, and are distinct Chemistry in the Kitchen.-Why is it necessary to mix lime with from those which penetrate deep, and supply food to the plant. ashes in soap making? The answer to this question will explain the But all weeds should be carefully destroyed; as one of these if suf-reason why the process often fails, and suggest a remedy for the fered to ripen its seed, takes as much nourishment and moisture from evil. Common soap is a compound chemically united, of alkali, or ley the ground as a stem of the potatoes. This crop should not be from potash, and grease, fat or tallow. The alkali is naturally complanted twice on the same ground in succession, as the second year bined with carbonic acid, for which it has a stronger affinity than it the product will be greatly diminished. has for grease; hence while it continues united with the acid, it will not unite with the grease, and produce soap. But lime having a stronger affinity for the acid than the alkali has, extracts it from the soap. From this it will be seen, that the lime should be spread over the bottom of the leech tub in order that the ley may filter through it; and also that the lime be fresh burnt, as it then has a greater capacity for the acid.
Grafting is a mode of propagating varieties of fruit of esteemed quality. Grafts may be cut any time after the fall of the leaf in au-ley, and the alkali then readily unites with the grease, and forms tumn, and before the buds begin to swell in the spring. They should be of the preceeding year's growth, are best from bearing trees and exterior limbs. They may be preserved by embedding their larger ends in clay, a potato, or in moist earth, in a cellar in winter, or in the open ground, partially or wholly covered, in the spring. Grafts are annually sent across the Atlantic. The great care should be The Swine, in many parts of our state, are of a bad breed, with that they are not kept too warm or too moist, so that the buds swell long legs and snouts, and sharp back, of a roaming propensity, and before they are wanted for use. The rationale of grafting will sug-slow and expensive to fatten. The method of improving, where a gest the time and the manner in which it should be done. The good breed cannot be readily procured, is pointed out in the direcscion and graft are to be so adjusted that the sap wood of the stock, tions for improving farm stock, under the head of the Science of by which the sap ascends from the root, comes in contact with the Agriculture, an article which we particularly recommend to the pesap wood of the scion; and a like adjustment must be observed be-rusal of our farmers. tween the inner bark of both, through which the sap descends from the graft to the stock after it has been elaborated in the leaves. Without the first precaution, the sap will not reach the graft, which will consequently shrivel and die. Without the last, the graft cannot knit or unite to the stock for it is the descending sap which forms the new wood, and which indeed causes the graft to send its roots down into the earth, upon the outside of the wood, but under the bark of the stock. The union can only take place after the sap has begun to circulate in the stock, which is when the buds are bursting. The clay or composition is applied to exclude the drying influence of the air and sun, and also rain, from the wound until a complete union has taken place. The graft does not become injured by being somewhat shrivelled before it is inserted; but if it appears too much so, it may be buried a few hours in moist earth before it is used. The compositions used as substitutes for clay are many. A good one is one part tallow, two parts beeswax, and four parts rosin, melted and incorporated like shoemaker's wax. If the weather is cold, this will require to be softened by immersing it a time in warm water. A thin layer of this, covering the end of the stock, and the slit, will suffice. With the addition of a little more tallow, the composition may be spread upon linen or cotton cloth, when warm, and the cloth cut to the required size for a graft, and applied with less trouble in the form of a prepared plaster. The different processes of grafting are so generally known that we need not detail them; our object being only to throw out such suggestions as may tend to render the success of the operation more certain.
Have you planted a Vine?-If you have planted one that produces good fruit, take care of it, and propagate it by cuttings and layers, and its fruit will richly repay your labor. If you have not, buy or beg one, and plant in the present spring. If you buy, it will cost you two or three shillings; if you beg one, I don't know how much it will cost you to requite the favor. The second year after planting it will produce you fruit, which will every year increase as the plant enlarges. The fruit will be found to be wholesome and grateful, and you will realize the pleasure of sitting under your own vine, during the intense heat of summer; and you will wonder that you have lived so long without enjoying this pleasure. The native kinds most worthy of cultivation, are the Isabella, Winne and Catawba, all hardy, thrifty and abundant bearers, and their fruit ripening in the order in which they are named. If you want foreign fruit, the Sweet-water, Chasselas, black cluster, and other early kinds are to be preferred. These demand more care than the native kinds, and the vines will require a slight covering of earth during the winter. A little experience will make you familiar with their management, and convert the labor required for their care into a recreation.
Rearing Calves.-The following is the general method of rearing calves in Britain, and differs not materially from that followed by Bakewell, the great cattle breeder:
"The calves sucked for a week or fortnight, according to their strength: new milk in a pail was then given a few meals: next new Canada Thistles. Of all the expedients which we have seen re-milk and skim milk mixed, a few meals more; then skim milk alone, commended to destroy this troublesome and prolific plant, a writer or porridge made with milk, water, ground oats, &c. and sometimes in the Genesee Farmer recommends a mode entitled to a preference; oil cake, until cheese making commenced, if it was a dairy farm; afbecause he has, in successive years, found it to be efficient in prac-ter which, whey porridge, or sweet whey, in the field, being careful tice and because the result is in perfect consonance with the laws to house them in the night, until the warm weather was confirmed. of vegetation. The method is, to plough and plant the field where Bull calves and high bred heifers, however, were suffered to remain they have obtained a footing with corn, and to go over the field at the tile until they were six, nine, or perhaps twelve months old, twice a week, as soon as the thistles appear, and carefully cut every letting them run with their dams, or more frequently less valuable one with a hoe, as far under the suface as practicable. In August, cows or heifers." says the writer, they began to become thin and scattering, and ap- It is to be remarked that they have no Indian meal in Britain. peared of a sickly yellowish hue. The operation was continued This is substituted with us, for oat meal, and even oil-cake. A handtill October. In September, the roots were found, on examination, ful put into skim milk or whey, for calves, improves their condition in a state of decay, and of a blackish color. The whole were de-greatly. stroyed. Leaves are as necessary to the growth and being of at
To E. H. Derby, of Salem, for the best crop of turnips. Product on two acres one quarter and seven poles, 1,730 bushels. Seed sown with drill barrow.
plant as lungs are to an animal. Plants cannot grow without the Massachusetts Premium Crops.-Among the premiums recently agency of leaves; for it is in these that the food of the vegetable is awarded by the Massachusetts Agricultural Society, were the folelaborated and fitted for its wants. Trees are often killed by ca-lowing: terpillars that destroy the leaves, when the sap is in free circulation, and the plant most in need of their active offices. The ascending sap becomes stagnant, ferments, and destroys the vitality of the plant. Thus with the thistles, by constantly destroying the leaves, before they elaborate the food collected by the roots, although very tenacious of life, the roots die for want of nourishment. Where the thistles are confined to a small patch, a pile of manure left| on them a few weeks will effectually destroy them, as will any other covering which excludes the light and air wholly from the leaves.
To Payson Williams, of Fitchburgh, for spring wheat, on one acre. Product 55 bushels three pecks. Seed sown, 2 bushels. Variety from Black Sea.
To William Carter of Fitchburgh, for potatoes. Product 677 bushels on an acre, Seed 55 bushels, long reds and blues. To the same, for barley. Product on one acre, 55 bushels. Seed 5 bushels, of the two rowed kind.
Memorandum.-February 20. No snow. Thermometer 55 degrees in shade. Blue birds appear. Sowed spring wheat and garden peas.
Plaster. It is a practice with some farmers, and we venture to recommend it to all, to sow plaster of Paris on their grass grounds
and thrown into commons as not worth enclosing. I lately received a letter from a young gentleman in the former state, soliciting my advice as to the means best adapted to restore fertility to two worn he stated, would no longer produce clover. It is much easier to out farms, which had recently come into his possession, and which prevent sterility than to cure it, on the same principle that it is easier to keep a cow in flesh when she is so than to restore her to flesh To destroy the Weevil in grain.-Soak linen cloths in water, wring after she has become wretchedly lean. In some soils, to which nathem, and cover your grain with them in two hours time you will ture has been uncommonly bountiful in imparting the means of ferfind all the weevils upon the cloth, which must be carefully gather-tility, as in many of our river alluvions, the deterioration is slow and ed off, that none of the insects may escape, and then immersed in imperceptible; yet it nevertheless goes on even there. But in or water to destroy them.-Dom. Ency.
ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT,
dinary, and particularly in the lighter soils, the profits of husbandry depend, in an eminent degree, upon the faithful application of all the manure which a farm can be made to produce.
In regard to the question,-in what condition are manures most Delivered before the New-York State Agricultural Society, at the An-economically applied?-1 am sensible that a difference of opinion nual Meeting, February 12, 1834. exists, many contending, even on philosophical grounds, that it is We have associated, gentlemen, to increase the pleasures and most wise to apply them after they have undergone fermentation. profits of rural labor-to enlarge the sphere of useful knowledge-If the question was merely, whether a load of fermented or unferand, by concentrating our energies, to give to them greater effect mented dung is of the greatest intrinsic value, in ordinary cases the in advancing the public good. In no country does the agricultural former would be entitled to the preference, because it contains the But the correct way to state bear so great a proportion to the whole population as in this. In greatest quantity of vegetable food. England, one-third of the inhabitants only are employed in husband- the question would be this: Will five loads of rotted manure impart ry; In France, two-thirds; in Italy, a little more than three-fourths* greater fertility than ten loads that are unrotted? The numbers -while, in the United States, the agricultural portion probably ex-ought rather to be five and fifteen-for I think common dung suffers ceeds five-sixths. And in no country does the agricultural populaa dimunition of two-thirds, instead of one half, in volume, by a thotion exercise such a controlling political power, contribute so much rough process of rotting.* It will assist in determining the question, to the wealth, or tend so strongly to give an impress to the charac-if we ascertain what the manure parts with during fermentation, for ter of a nation, as in the United States. Hence it may be truly this lost matter would, if buried in the soil, have afforded food to the it evidently loses much in weight as well as in bulk, and whether said of us, that our agriculture is our nursing mother, which nurtures, crop. For if it possessed no fertilizing property, the sooner it is got and gives growth, and wealth, and character to our country. It may rid of the better, and we save the expense of transporting it to the be regarded as the great wheel which moves all the machinery of field. But if it really consists of prepared or digested food, fitted society, and that whatever gives to this a new impulse or energy, for the organs and wants of plants, it is truly improvident to have it communicates a corresponding impetus to the thousand minor wheels of interest which it propels and regulates. Knowing no party, and wasted and lost for all useful purposes. The latter is really the confined to no sect, its benefits and its blessings, like the dews of case. The matter which escapes in fermentation is vegetable Heaven, fall upon all. Identified, then, as agriculture is, with the matter in a gaseous form, fitted by natural process, like chyle in the interests of every department in society, it becomes our profession, animal stomach, to enter into and become a constituent in a new in particular, to endeavor to enlighten its labors, to remedy its de- generation of plants. It is principally carbonic acid gas, the alifects, and to accelerate its improvement. ment of vegetables and the true staff of vegetable life. It has been
Of the multitude of objects which present themselves as worthy of our consideration, I can only embrace a few of the most nent ones in the subject matter of this address. I shall particularly invite your attention to
The economy and application of manures;
The improvement of farm implements and machines;
The advantages of draining;
vegetable matter, and will become vegetable matter again. Withpromi-out resorting to chemical proofs or authorities to prove this, I will suggest a mode by which the matter can be satisfactorily settled. Let any farmer, in the spring, before yard manure ferments, put twenty-five loads in a pile to rot, and take another twenty-five loads to the field where he intends to plant his corn, spread it upon one acre, plough it well under, harrow the ground, and plant his seed. Let him plant another acre of corn along side this, without manure.
The defects which exist in the present mode of managing our hop As soon as the corn is harvested, carry on and spread the twentyand barley crops;
The division of labor;
five loads of prepared or rotted manure left in the yard, or what remains of it, upon the acre not manured for corn, and sow both pieces to wheat. Unless my observation and practice have deceived me, he will find the result of the experiment to be this:-the acre dressed with long manure will yield the most wheat, because the manure has been less exhausted in the process of summer rotting, and for the reason, that in cultivating the corn, it has become better incorporated with the soil-and it will, besides, have increased the corn crop some twenty or thirty bushels, in consequence of the gases upon which the crop here fed and thrived, but which in the yard were dissipated by the winds and lost.
Plants, like animals, require different modifications of food. In general, the plants which afford large stocks or roots, as corn, potatoes, turnips and clover, thrive best on the gases which are given off from dung in the process of fermentation-while those exclusively
The introduction of new articles of culture; and To some illustration of the comparative profits of good and bad husbandry. Manures. If we consider that all animal and vegetable substances are susceptible of being converted into manure, or food for farm crops, and reflect upon the great quantity of these which are wasted upon a farm; and if we add to these considerations the fact, now well established by chemical experiment, that yard dung loses a large portion of its fertilizing properties, in the gases which escape, where fermentation is suffered to exhaust its powers upon it in a mass, we may be able to appreciate, in some measure, the great defects which exist in our general management of this all-important material. Manures are a principal source of fertility. They are to our crops what hay and forage are to our cattle-the food which is to nourish and perfect their growth. Continual cropping, without manure, as During the violent fermentation which is necessary for reducing farm-yard certainly exhausts land of its fertility, as constant draining from a manure to the state in which it is called short muck, not only a large quantity cistern that is never replenished exhausts the water which it con- of fluid, but of gaseous matter is lost; so much so that the dung is reduced tains. The practice of some, who, disregarding one of the soundest one-half or two-thirds in weight, and the principle elastic matter disengaged is rules of farming, continue to crop without manuring, till the soil will carbonic acid, with some ammonia; and both these, if retained by the moisno longer yield a return to pay for the labor, is upon a par with thatture in the soil, as has been stated before, are capable of becoming a useful nourishment for plants.-Davy. of the man who undertook to teach his horse to live without food: just as the experiment was about to succeed, the horse died. A considerable portion of the lands in Virginia and Maryland, which were originally fertile, have in this way been judiciously exhausted, * Babbage on the Economy of Machinery.
which are the most valuable and most efficient. Dung which has fermented As soon as dung begins to decompose or rot, it throws off its volatile parts, so as to become a mere soft cohesive mass, has generally lost from one-third to one-half of its most useful constituent elements. It evidently should be applied as soon as fermentation begins, that it may exert its full action upon the plant, and lose none of its nutritive powers.-Davy.
cultivated for their seeds, as wheat, barley, &c. are often prejudiced by these volatile parts, which cause a rank growth of straw, without improving the seed. Hence the first mentioned crops may be fed on long manure without lessening its value for the second class, provided they immediately follow, and hence unfermented manures are most economically applied to hoed crops.
Different rules should govern in the application of fermented and unfermented manures. The latter should be buried at the bottom of the furrow with the plough, the former only superficially with the harrow. The reasons are these-unfermented dung operates mechanically while undergoing fermentation, in rendering the recumbent soil porous and pervious to heat and air the great agents of decomposition and nutrition, and the gaseous or volatile parts being specifically lighter than atmospheric air, ascend,* and supply the wants of the young roots. The next ploughing turns the residue of the dung to the surface, when it benefits on a different principle; for fermented manures consist of ponderable substances, which have a tendency only to descend.
Manures possess a high value in a good farming districts, where the natural fertility of the soil has been impaired by culture. In most of our large towns, it is bought up at one to two dollars a cord, and transported ten or twenty miles by land carriage, and much farther by water. So essential is it considered in Europe to profitable husbandry, that every material which imparts fertility is sedulously economised, and applied to the soil. Among other things, ship loads of bones are annually brought from the continent into Great Britain, and ground for manure. Bone dust is in such high demand in Scotch husbandry, that its price has advanced to 3s. 6d. sterling per bushel.
We possess no certain data to ascertain the saving which may be introduced into this branch of farm economy; yet if we put down the number of farms in the state at one-tenth of our population or 200,000, and estimate that an average increase of five loads upon each farm might annually be made, it will give us a total of one million loads, which, at the very moderate price of 25 cents, would amount to $250,000 per annum.
about a mile in a year. Hence, as regards this branch of improvement, we have much to do ere we can overtake the spirit of the age, as exemplified in our sister arts.
Many of our farm implements have undergone improvement; yet there are others which have been either but partially introduced, or are hardly known, that are calculated to abridge labor and to increase the profits of the farm. There exists a great disparity in the quality of implements. In ploughs, for instance, there is a difference which eludes superficial observation, particularly in regard to the force required to propel them that is worth regarding. I have seen this difference, in what have been termed good ploughs, amount to nearly fifty per cent, or one-half. The perfection of our implements is intimately connected with a correct application of mechanical science, a branch of knowledge hitherto too little cultivated among us. Mr. Many, the enterprising proprietor of an iron foundry in this city, has assured me that there are more than two hundred patterns of ploughs now in use in this state. Of this number some may be very good, but many must be comparatively bad. But what individual is able to decide upon their relative merits, or even to become acquainted with the different sorts? It would be rendering an important service to the state at large, and especially to the farming interests, if a competent board was appointed, comprising men of practical and scientific knowledge to test thoroughly, by examination and perfectly satisfactory trial, not only the ploughs, but the other implements of husbandry now in use, or which may be hereafter invented, and to publish the result of their examination, and certify their intrinsic and relative merits. Such board might meet once or twice in a year, and no inventor or vender who had confidence in the goodness of his machine would fail to repair to the place of trial. This would tend to call into action mechanical science and skill, in the confidence of receiving a just reward; the public would confide in the trial and opinions of the board; good implements would be extensively introduced, and bad ones would be discarded. The expense of the examination would bear no proportion to the public benefit. better returns than those made in draining, a branch of labor which Draining. Few expenditures in husbandry are calculated to make has had a very limited practice among us, and of which we have yet Farm implements.-We must all have noticed the great improve- much to learn. Many of our best lands are permitted to remain in ments which a few years have made in the mechanic and manufac- a comparative unproductive state, on account of the water which turing arts. Scarcely a process is managed as it was 20 years ago. saturates the surface, or reposes on the subsoil. To render these Scarcely an old machine but has undergone improvements, or given lands productive, even for arable purposes, it is only necessary, by place to a better model. Manufacturing operations have been sim- well conducted and sufficient drains, to collect and carry off the plified and abridged, and human labor has been reduced to a compa- surplus water which falls upon the surface, or rises from springs berative cypher, by the substitution of machinery and the power of low. The rationale of draining is briefly this:-Air and heat are steam. The effect has been a great reduction in the price of manu- essential agents in preparing the food of plants which is deposited factured commodities, and an increase in their consumption. We in the soil, and they are also necessary for the healthful developare assured that during the twelve years which clapsed between ment of most of the cultivated varieties. These agents are in a 1818 and 1830, Sheffield wares-hardware and cutlery-experienc- measure excluded from the soil by the water. The temperature of ed an average reduction in price of sixty per cent, varying upon dif- a soil, habitually saturated with spring water from beneath the surferent articles from forty to eighty-five per cent.+ Cotton goods, face, seldom exceeds 55 or 60 degrees at midsummer. Hence the books, and various other fabrics, have undergone a reduction no less grains and grasses, which require a heat of 80 or 90 degrees to bring remarkable within our time. These beneficial changes have result- them to a high state of excellence, can never thrive in these cold ed in a great measure from the aid which science has either itself situations, where they find neither the warmth nor the food suited to imparted, or which it has elicited from mechanic skill for a useful their habits. But drain these soils, and they become light and poinvention often awakens latent genius, and calls forth successful rous, pervious to solar and atmospheric influence, the process of vecompetition, even in the unlearned. No sooner is an improvement getable decomposition is accelerated, and a high state of fertility is in the manufacturing arts announced, than it is adopted whenever it developed. can be rendered beneficial-such is the facility of intercourse-such the desire the necessity-there, of profiting from every discovery which benefits their art. The farmer is less able and loss willing to keep pace with the march of intellect. He has few opportunities of becoming acquainted with the improvements of others, except by slow degrees; and he is so liable to be taken in by the catch-penny productions of the day, and is, withal, so distrustful of new experiments, that he will hardly venture to buy new implements and machines, nor to adopt new practices, however beneficial they might prove on trial. Mr. Coke tells us that his examples in farming, (and few men ever gave better,) only enlarged the circle of their influence * A friend made this experiment: He trenched a quarter of his garden, and deposited a layer of dry straw, three inches thick, one foot below the surface, as the only manure, and planted it with water-melons. The crop, he said was the finest he ever grew. On examining the straw in autumn, he found it was completely rotted, and reduced to the condition of short muck. He was satisfied that his melons had been highly benefitted by the straw while undergoing fermentation, and that, had the straw rotted in the yard, the volatile portions of the manure would have been wholly lost.
↑ Babbage on the Economy of Machinery.
One of the modern improvements in draining, which tends very much to give permanency to the work, is to dig the trench with a spade adapted to the purpose, with a wedge shaped bottom, say three inches at the bottom and five inches at the upper surface of the lower cut, and to fill this part with broken stone. The trench is dug two feet deep before this cut is made, and the wedge shaped bottom cleaned with a scraper fitted for the purpose. By concentrating the water, it acquires force, and keep the passage open. And if broken stone is employed, not exceeding three inches in diameter, it atfords no harbor for ground mice or moles, which otherwise get in and open passages to the surface, through which water and earth are apt to enter and choke up the drain. Drains of this description are very efficient and economical to keep the bed of a road dry, placed either at it sides or in the centre, having a fall to carry off the water. A cubic yard of stone will lay about 120 feet of under drain of the dimensions above given, and eight inches deep. The breaking of the stone will cost three or four shillings the cubic yard.
The acknowledged utility of irrigation, or of spreading, occasionally, the water from streams or the highways over lands, has led to