Page images
PDF
EPUB

earliest in the world, but most unprofitable to grow as a salable crop, because they yield so very light. The flavor is very superior.

The Chairman.-I think highly of the variety known as Dovers.

Mr. Carpenter said that one of the poorest sorts here, the common Pinkeyes, sell the highest of any sort in New Orleans, probably because they bear shipment better than any others.

ILLINOIS HOG-SCALDER. Mr. C. Harrington, Griggsville, Pike county, III., sends us the following description of a cheap, convenient hog-scalder:

“ As the Farmers' Club has of late noticed the description of more than one hog-scalder, I may say to Mr. Robinson that many of our farmers in this vicinity use one of the following named dimensions and material: Outside measure, bottom six feet four inches long, and two feet two inches wide; top two feet eight inches. The sides and ends are made of two-inch pine plank, twenty-two inches broad. Two inches from the end, each side plank is rabbited three-eighths of an inch deep, and of sufficient width to receive the end plank close. Two-inch thin band-iron fastened by wood screws on the outside, and even with each end of the side planks, stretched frorn bottom to top.

"At each end and through these strips of iron and the side plank, two two-inch bolts, at proper distance from each other, with square heads and nuts, hold sides and ends firmly together. The bottom is made of 'sheet iron, one-eighth or three-sixteenths of an inch thick, covering fully the lower edges of the side, end and planks; put on with inch and a quarter or inch and a half wood screws, two and a half inches apart, each screw alternately three-fourths of an inch from each edge of the side or end plank, and you have a Prairie State Hog-Scalder, at a cost not exceeding ten dollars. Now let us use it.

"Dig a trench in the earth eight feet long, eighteen inches wide, eighteen inches deep, leaving the sides unbroken, and as near perpendicular as possible. Deposit the earth thrown out along the trunk, and on the side intended for the reception of the hogs. Place the scalder directly over the trench, and about six inches short of the end designed for discharging smoke. A few gallons of water in the scalder will aid in leveling it. pipe six inches in diameter, eight or ten feet long, will carry off the smoke, if properly placed and fitted up in a perpendicular position. Clay mortar will make all tight around the bottom of the scalder and pipe.

“The top of the platform on which the scalded hog is first received should be of equal height with the scalder. To this, and near the latter, attach the ends of two trace chains or ropes, two feet apart, and an equal distance from each end.

"A small rope between these chains, two feet long, fastened to each near the middle of them, will keep them in proper position. The water being hot, the 'vat uncovered, throw the loose ends of the chains across, and roll a hog into the he is easily managed, and from which two men roll "him upon easily by the chains.' With

ERRE these arrangements, half a cord of dry wood will be ample to heat water to scald one hundred hogs."

FLAX GROWING. Mr. Solon Robinson.—I am in constant receipt of letters of inquiry about flax growing and flax machinery. I allude to it now to show how deeply the public mind is agitated upon this question. A letter in my hand from Mr. G. W. Shepard, Geneva, Ashtabula county, Ohio, says that great quantities have been grown there for the seed, the 'straw being of no value, for want of machinery to dress it at little expense, and he wants to know if we cannot recommend somebody to go there and set up machinery to save this product, which is now wasted.

THE WHITE WILLOW. Mr. Solon Robinson.—The same gentleman inquires if the willow which grows common all over the country is not just as good for live fence as the white willow of Illinois.

Mr. Asher L. Smith, Lebanon, Conn.-The white willow is nothing new; there are plenty of the trees all over the country, just as good as those in Illinois, that will make a fence in swampy places, but they are not suitable for hedging a farm, because the roots, take up too much room in the soil, to the injury of crops. If the willow is planted, and the shoots interlaced, a good live fence can be made; and I think the shoots might be cut for basket makers.

Mr. Carpenter said that he had lately seen a permanent fence in a wet place, made by setting' willow trees twenty years ago, and cụtting chestnut rails just long enough to fasten between them, so that the trees have grown over the ends, holding them firmly in place; and the general opinion of those present was that that is about the only way that willow trees can be used for fencing, and that they are only valuable in very wet places, where it is difficult to sustain any other kind of fence. The common willow will not do for making baskets.

[ocr errors]

CULTIVATION AND USE OF WILLOWS,

FROM THE TRANSACTIONS OF THE HIGHLAND AND AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND.

Willow, makes the very best kind of charcoal, and is highly esteemed in the making of gunpowder. The bark is used for tanning several kinds of leather. So from this we may learn that the consumption of willows, if more extensively grown, might be greater; and plantations, or large beds of osiers, might be very advantageously grown in almost any soil, such as banks of rivers, etc., and, annually cut, would produce a sum of money that I have no doubt would largely remunerate the grower. And from land that cannot otherwise be made available for tillage, notwithstanding the vicissitudes of seasons, taking good and bad under view, the writer has experimentally ascertained that an acre of willows or osiers will often bring the grower a larger sum of money than an acre of wheat; and likewise from land that would be almost useless for other crops.

As regards the nature of soil and subsoil suitable for growing them to the best perfection, osiers delight in banks of rivers or drained swampe, and are greatly invigorated by occasional floods or irrigations. Plantations of them may also be formed, and will succeed well on low, spongy bottoms along the margins of streams.

In the great majority of farms will be found level, marshy, wet spots, which, by drainage, cannot well be made available for tillage, which might be planted with the willow, and would afterward recompense the proprietor or farmer in a two-fold way. The land might be prepared in various ways for this crop, owing to the extent and nature of the soil. For plantations of any considerable extent for osiers, the ground should be formed, by the spade, into beds of from eight to nine feet broad, with intervening furrows or narrow ditches to carry off the water. The plantation may be made at any time between the fall of the leaf and an advanced period in spring; but the last two weeks of February and the first weeks of March, in England, April and the middle of May, in America, are the most proper times for planting the willows. Cuttings fifteen inches loug should be taken with a knife on an upward slope from well ripened wood of either two or three years' growth. They grow more luxuriantly when planted about two-thirds of their length in the ground, than when they are less deeply planted.

Osiers succeed best in a deep, noist, free soil; ground dug to the depth of twenty-four inches, with a small quantity of dung and old lime rubbish put in the bottom of the trench.

The willow, for the use of the basket maker, should be cut every year, slopingly, with the knife, within three buds of the point whence the shoot issued, and will admit of being cut back once in three years for the use of the cooper, exactly to the swell of the shoot of the three years' growththus compressing the plant back to its ancient dwarf form, at the same time realizing a handsome return.

Moreover, by treating osiers in this way, they will last and produce well for a great many years. The ground should be deeply stirred with the hoe, and kept clear of weeds; but digging with a spade around the roots of willows often proves very hurtful to the fibrous feeders, as we often meet with a great portion of such oozing and growing very near the surface of the soil.

The way in which willows are most commonly disposed of, after being cut, is, they are sorted into trusses and tied into bundles of two and sometimes three feet in circumference; and if intended to be stripped of their bark they are set on the thick end, and immersed a few inches in standing water.

They succeed best in northern exposures, provided they are not overtopped. Should the ground be at all suitable for the crop, each set will produce the first year two good basket rods, or 24,000. The second year, the sets being much stronger, will produce on an average six rods, one more or less being considered a very common number, one of which may be left on each stock for hoops, and the remaining 60,000 cut for baskets, which would be worth about $120.

LOCATION FOR A CATAWBA VINEYARD. Mr. L. C. Stephens, of New Hartford, Connecticut, wants to know where to locate a vineyard of Catawba grapes. He says:

.

"I wish to buy a farm for the purpose of growing grapes and fine fruit, and as near New York as consistent, but I am uninstructed as to the localities where the Catawba will ripen with general certainty, and that is one of the kinds I wish to cultivate. I should have the greatest confidence in your opinion. Please state if the vicinity of Milford, Conn., or Darien, Conn., on the shore, or New Rochelle, will answer for the purpose. Is Plainfield, N. J., suitable? I see farms for sale in those sections. I am getting young vines in readiness for grape growing-say the Delaware, Hartford Prolific, Catawba, Isabella and Concord. Should like you to name kinds that you would recommend."

Mr. Solon Robinson.—I cannot recommend any of the localities named for the Catawba, "where it will ripen with a general certainty,” though it will do so occasionally in all of them; but that kind of uncertainty will never answer for a man who depends upon the fruit of vines as a crop. I have said to my correspondent that Delaware, Concord and Hartford Prolific will flourish in the localities named, and in favorable situations the Isabella, but that is not to be relied upon under all circumstances. I have also said to him that plenty of good vineyard land can be bought, within an hour of this city, at $100 an acre, and that a man can do well growing grapes, if he understands it, either to sell the fruit or to make it into wine. As this is an important question, I ask opinions of other members of the Club,

Prof. Mapes.--I have given great attention to location in many sections of New Jersey, especially in the south part, where land can be bought at from $5 to $15 an acre, within two hours of New York or Philadelphia. This land has remained unoccupied because it has been held out of market by large proprietors, until very lately, and has been thought to be unfertile because of its sandy appearance on the surface. Now it is found that there is clay enough to make a very productive and an easily worked soil, which will produce grapes or anything else.

Mr. Wm. S. Carpenter.---The remarks of Prof. Mapes probably might induce Mr. Stephens to locate on the cheap lands of New Jersey.

SI understand the letter, the gentleman wishes to locate in Connecticut or Westchester .county. A number of varieties of grapes can be grown in these places. It is necessary that the soil should be well drained, either naturally or artificially. The Concord and Hartford Prolific are grapes that will make excellent wine, and will return a good profit from the outlay. Brandy has been made from the Concord that has been sold for eight dollars per gallon. I would not recommend either the Isabella or Catawba. The Delaware is a good grape, and one that gives general satisfaction; but it will cost a large amount to set out a vineyard.

Mr. A. L. Smith said that he had grown Catawba and Isabella for twenty years, and neither ripens oftener than once in three years, and he intends to abandon them for Concord, Hartford Prolific, Delaware and Clinton. With these varieties, the gentleman can succeed in any of the places named, but not with Catawba.

Prof. Mapes said that there are but few varieties of grapes in this or any other country that will make first rate wine, and some good wine grapes will not make good brandy. This is the case with the Madeira wine

[ocr errors]

grapes. The best brandy comes from an inferior wine; but as yet, although our American wines are inferior enough, we have never' succeeded in making good brandy. The Catawba grape will not make good brandy.

Mr. Doughty, of New Jersey, said that those who have Concord vines must understand that they will not bear manuring like the Delaware, because they grow so rank and make so much wood.

Prof. Mapes.—The Concord grape was preferred last season by our Broadway fruiterers. One of them told me he paid fifteen cents per pound for the Concord, while he purchased the Isabella for ten cents.

Peach BORERS. The Chairman inquired what he should do with the worms in the peach trees.

Dr. Trimble.—Dig them out and destroy them.

Prof. Mapes. That is too tedious, and entirely unnecessary, when they can be killed so much easier with hot water poured from a tea-kettle spout upon the bark where the holes are, which cooks the worms and never injures the trees.

Mr. A. L. Smith thought it very difficult to reach all the worms with hot water, though he had never tried it, because he adopted a plan to keep them out. He mixes fine muck and wood ashes into a mortar, and builds a small mound, six to twelve inches high, around each tree, to remain during the time when the eggs would be deposited, and in this way he has kept his trees healthy for twenty years, using no manure but buckwheat chaff and straw, which insects do not like to harbor in, and he gets a good crop of fruit every year, and finds his ten acres of peach orchard the most profitable upon his farm.

Mr. Carpenter.-Sulphur is recommended as a remedy. A handful of sulphur is placed round the collar of the tree, and has given great results.

Gas LIME. Mr. Van Antwerp.-What is the advantage of using gas lime as a man. ure for top dressing grass land ?

Prof. Mapes.-If the land required plaster there might be some advantage from its use, but from my experience I find it requires ten years to thoroughly change its character.

Mr. Carpenter-Will Prof. Mapes inform us of the effects of Peruvian guano upon our land ?

Prof. Mapes.- If Peruvian guano is treated with sulphuric acid, changing the carbonate of ammonia into sulphate, you will find great advantages from its use. Peruvian guano, if imperfectly applied, will impoverish the soil; while if properly applied, it will be of advantage to the crop.

“The Preparation of Hotbeds” was adopted for discussion at the next meeting. Adjourned.

JOHN W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.

« PreviousContinue »