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great prices, and on the same mendows grows a bush, the leaves of which, in form and taste, are like tea; the blossoms also are like the prints and descriptions which I have seen of the blossoms of tea. There are a few bushes of the same kind in Illinois.
“I wish, through you, and the American Institute Farmers' Club, to draw attention to the fact that cotton is a first rate crop to plant on fresh broke prairie sod.
“While I was breaking my garden patch, in Southwestern Missouri, my wife and daughter dropped between the fresh broken sods quite a long row of cotton seed, also sweet and pop corn. The cotton matured so that when the bolls opened the row looked white, but the excessive drought of that season (1860) killed the corn when about a foot high. Old settlers told us that planting between fresh broken sod was the easiest and best way to make cotton.
“Cotton may be grown profitably as far north as the first blossom which puts out will perfect its boll of cotton, for the reason that, if the season is only long enough for one boll to ripen it will be too short for many more to start, therefore more plants may be put on the ground.
"In latitude 40 deg., plant six inches apart in the drill, and two feet between the drills; in latitude 37 deg., eighteen inches in the drill, and drills three feet apart.
“Kansas can raise sod cotton enough the coming season to make "right smart of' shirting.
“ The cotton mills of these United States should immediately send agents furnished with seed, &c., to Kansas to advance the cotton growing interests."
Mr. J. Disturnell stated, in regard to the natural productions of Minnesota, and the Lake Superior region, might be named the wild rice, cranberries, the red raspberry, and the whortleberry, as flourishing in great profusion; also, different varieties of the pine, hemlock, spruce and fir trees, all of which are evergreens; the sugar maple and birch tree also are found on high grounds in great abundance.
The forest trees are often of large growth where the soil is good, while sandy portions of the country are less heavily timbered. Often along the lake shore may be found a dense growth of trees, intermixed with fallen timber caused by the high winds which sweep over the whole region at certain periods of the year. This entangled forest it is almost impossible to describe, as trees in all stages of decay cover the ground for miles in extent.
For a healthy influence this region exceeds all other portions of the United States; here man attains his full physical strength and endures the cold of winter as well as the moderate heat of summer, being at all times vigorous and capable of great bodily labor-here consumption and fever are almost wholly unknown.
Mr. J. Henry.--When in Washington, a short time since, I had some conversation with the Department in relation to planting the seeds of forest trees. There is an immense quantity of land in our country which might be planted with locust, which in the future would realize much more than the value of the land.. Adjourned.
JOHN W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.
March 31, 1863.
Mr. Edward Doughty, of Newark, N. J., in the chair.
TOBACCO CULTURE. Prof. Mapes again distributed some seed of tobacco, raised by Mr. Mulford, of Orange, New Jersey, also some of the cured tobacco, a very superior article. Mr. Mulford has been very successful in raising tobacco. My superintendent, Mr. Quinn, made an experiment on my farm during the past year, which I will read for the information of the Club:
RAISING OF TOBACCO BY MR. P.T. QUINN. The present high prices paid for tobacco will be sufficient inducement for the intelligent farmer to investigate the subject, and in case he finds that more money can be made by growing tobacco than corn or wheat, of course this crop may become one of the staples.
For the benefit of those who contemplate growing tobacco, I intend to give an account of an experiment on a limited scale made last year. My object was first to learn the yield per acre, and next, if the, quality of the leaf, when grown on a clay soil in New Jersey, would equal that produced in the Connecticut Valley.
The seed was sown in the beginning of April in an open border, and except keeping the bed free from weeds and an occasional watering-no other care was taken.
The land intended for the tobacco was a clay loam, in good condition, being what would be called a "rich soil,” well prepared by cultivating, &c., &c.
In the middle of June the plants were taken from the same, bed (onehundred) and planted on hills, eighteen inches in diameter, and about two inches above the surface. The young plants were three feet apart each way, from center to center. The young plants started to grow immediately, and kept on during the
The horse hoe was run between the rows three times, and they received an equal number of hand hoeings. This comprised the entire cultivation ; it was quite evident that tobacco needs no more cultivation than corn.
Iris From the one hundred plants, fifty were allowed to mature the seed; this, of course, lessened the salable, leaf; still the amount was large enough to satisfy me that, at present prices, tobacco is a very profitable crop.
In the latter part of October, the stalks were cut off near the surface, and carted to a building ; then two stalks were fastened together and thrown over wires for the purpose of drying.
When the leaves became crisp, they were taken from the stalks, and dampened by covering them with a moist cloth. When they were pliable, each leaf was opened out carefully and placed on top of each other ; when sufficiently large, say half a pound in a bundle, it was folded so that both ends of the leaves came together.
The produce from the one hundred plants was thirty pounds of salable leaf, besides four pounds of what cigar makers call “fillers." The yield
per acre at this rate would be one thousand four hundred and fifty pounds in round numbers, and at twenty-thrée cents per pound, would give over three hundred dollars.
The expense of preparing the soil is not quite as much as for potatoes, and the cultivation is very simple.
The land on which this experiment was made was in the very best possible condition, and of course, it is not to be supposed that on ordinary soil, the yield would be as large ; but still, at even half this quantity per acre, tobacco would be far more profitable than corn or wheat.
Prof. Mapes. The general directions for raising tobacco, do not differ materially from those usually given for cabbages. The plants well raised in hotbeds and transplanted somewhat earlier than the dates given above, leaves a longer season for growth and curing.
A correspondent, residing at Agawam, Massachusetts, gives the following mode of preparing the ground for the plants, and for cutting and curing the leaves:
PREPARING THE GROUND FOR THE PLANTS. Now the fitting of the land for setting out the plants demands our attention. The land must be made very rich ; there is no danger of excess on this point.
grows and comes to maturity in so short a time must have a powerful stimulus from which it can draw its sustenance. Land on which corn and potatoes grew the year previous, or some other crop, so that it is mellow, is to be preferred. As soon as the land is dry enough in the spring, the manure should be drawn upon it and plowed in at the depth of seven or eight inches. There should be at least fifty loads to the acre. After the land is plowed, it should lie for two or three weeks, and then be harrowed well, for the purpose of hastening the decomposition of the manure, and thus throwing its strength into the land, which may now be left till the time of setting out the tobacco, which is from the tenth to the twenty-fifth of June ; but the best time is from the fifteenth to the twenty-fifth. It is proper to remark that the later it is set out, if it comes to maturity before the frosts come, the heavier it will be; but as a general rule, it is not safe to delay beyond the last named time.
SETTING OUT THE PLANTS.
The land must be thoroughly fitted for Betting out the plants by plowing and harrowing, when it is dry, and consequently in good condition to work up, and thus be made mellow. The rows should be made three and onehalf feet in width, and the hills two and one-half feet apart. If the land is very rich, the rows may be at the first named distance. A compost of guano and plaster, or hen manure and plaster, or ashes and plaster, and night-soil thoroughly mixed and decomposed with muck, may be dropped into the hill. The soil should be hoed to sufficient depth 'to protect from injurious effects of dry weather. The plants must be set when it rains, so that the ground is wet enough to adhere to the roots. The mode of setting is by a stick about one-half of an inch in diameter; sharpened at one end, and of convenient length, with which a hole should be made in the center of the bills, into which the roots of the plant should be introduced, and special care must be taken to press the dirt tightly around the roots, or the plant will surely die. Should the sun come out hot soon after setting, the plants must be covered with plantain leaves or a wisp of green grass, and it may be necessary to water them, which should always be done at night, as. at that time nothing is lost by evaporation. As few plants, comparatively, can be set at a time, it is not a great amount of labor to water, cover and uncover them.
I will now state that one of the best pieces of tobacco which I saw last season was raised upon sward land, upon which the manure was carted and turned under. After a short time the land was harrowed down smoothly, and then remained in that state till just before the time of setting, when a top-dressing of fine manure was applied, and the ground again well harrowed, so that the manure was thoroughly mixed with the soil, and the plants set out as above indicated.
ANOTHER MODE OF CULTURE.
Some prefer the following mode of culture: When the plants are large enough to hoe, the labor is materially lessened by going between the rows two or three times with a horse and cultivator. Care must be taken not to injure the plants; the dirt which has become hard about the roots may be carefully removed, and its place supplied by fresh, fine soil. The hoeing, which must be done three or four times, as the case may require, iş about the same process as that required for corn. It must be kept free from weeds, for if permitted to grow, they will spoil the lower leaves of the plants. At this stage of the crop, the great pest is the tobacco worm, which must be exterminated, because he eats through the leaves, thus spoiling them for wrappers. And it is proper here to remark, that the leading idea in cultivating tobacco, is to get as many wrappers and as few fillers as possible. Take care of the wrappers, and the fillers will take care of themselves. The plants must be topped at a height of about three fect, and the suckers must be removed so as to throw all the growth into the leaves. In order to prevent the mischief and damage of the worms, and remove the suckers, it will be necessary to go through the tobacco fields every morning, or as often as can be conveniențly doné.
The crop is ready for cutting during the last days of August and the first days of September. When it is ripe and ready to cut, the suckers will grow at the bottom leaves nearest to the ground, and a faint yellow spot will be seen upon the leaf, It should not stand long after these appear.
CUTTING AND CURING. We now come to the most important part of the cultivation; that of cutting and curing. If your ground was rich and well prepared, if your plants were healthy and well set, if the season has been favorable, if you have cultivated well, if you have kept the suckers cleaned out, and if you have kept it free from worms, you have a reasonable prospect of the most profitable crop which you ever raised. We must now attend to the cutting and hanging, the curing and stripping and packing for market. The cutting should be commenced when the dew is off (never cut when it is on) or about eleven o'clock. An old hand-saw. is the most convenient instrument for this purpose, sawing close to the ground, and laying the plants down carefully upon the ground, so as not to break the leaves. If the sun shines hot it must soon be turned over, or it will sunburn, which spoils it. After laying long enough to wilt and thus become tougb, it should be piled up in small heaps far enough apart to drive between with the team. You are now ready to hang up. The poles in the tobacco-house baving been prepared, should be about ten inches apart. A house whose posts are about fifteen feet high, will hang four tiers one above the other. The distance which they are hung upon the poles will vary according to the size of the plants. As a general rule, a pole ten feet in length, will take twenty-five plants upon a side, or about fifty plants. The plants are hung with twine wound alternately from one to the other. If hung too near together, it will pole-sweat and spoil, and become worthless.
The shed must be well ventilated, in order to prevent sweating. It should be so arranged that the air can have free circulation under the sills, and thus blow up under the tobacco. This is sure to prevent sweating. A tobacco house should be set about two feet from the ground, with hanging lids or doors, which will render it close and tight when the weather is too drying. After hanging till it is sufficiently cured, which is usually about the first days of December, it should be taken down in a damp day (not too damp), and put in piles and immediately, stripped, and done up in hands weighing about one-half of a pound each; the wrappers being done up by themselves, and also the fillers. This part of the work must be nicely and skillfully done, as it very much affects the price of the article. After stripping, it should be carefully and tightly packed, wrappers and fillers in separate piles, and covered with some old carpets or blankets to keep it from drying up. It must be watched closely, as it will soon heat and spoil. To ascertain whether it is heating, raise the hands in the center of the pile and introduce your hand. If it is warm you must repack it, closely laying it, and it will prevent all harm from this source.
I have thus given my mode of raising tobacco, in accordance with my experience and observation; and all things being equal, there is a sure prospect of success.
Dr. Trimble.--I am tired of this continued discussion about the culture of one of the most noxious plants that ever grew.. I have been engaged for years in observing the habits of worms and insects, trying to distinguish which are injurious and which beneficial to
I have observed those which infest the tobacco plant. To uneducated minds, which are disturbed by the appearance of such things, these are the most disgusting of the whole family. Nature has adapted them to the consumption of such a disgusting food. Instead of destroying them, if I could, I would tenfold increase their numbers. I wish they were so abundant as finally to perish for want of food suited to their habits, after ridding the earth of this greatest of all growing nuisances.
Prof. Mapes.--I do not know that it is the business of this Club to set itself up as the conservator of morals for the public. Our business is to afford such information as will give to farmers the greatest benefits.
Mr. S. Robinson.--"I thank thee, Jew, for that word." I join issue with the gentleman upon benefit to farmers. If this Club had power to confer the greatest of all benefits possible to be conceived for the farmer, what