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first into the tub and moisten them with water, and afterwards add the diluted acid sufficient to dissolve the mass. Instead of using acid strong enough to dissolve the bones at once, it would be better, after the mass is saturated with the acid, to put it into a pile composted with loam and fine manure, where the decomposition of the bones would be completed.
SALT AND LIME MIXTURE. Prof. Mapes.-As we are constantly asked how to prepare the salt and lime mixture, I will give my mode of preparing it:
PREPARATION OF THE MIXTURE.
Dissolve one bushel of salt in as little water as possible, and as cold water will dissolve more salt than hot water, it should be preferred. With this, slake three bushels of caustic shell lime hot from the kiln; all the salt water will not be taken up by the lime at the first application. The mass may be turned over the next day, however, and the remainder then added. It should be turned over frequently for a few days, so as to permit every particle to come in contact with the atmosphere. The chlorine of the salt combines with the lime, forming chloride of lime, and setting free the soda, which in turn takes carbonic acid from the atmosphere and becomes carbonate of soda. Thus commencing with lime and salt, we have as a result, chloride of lime and carbonate of soda, four bushels of which thoroughly mixed with a cord of swamp muck, woods earth, or other organic matter, will disintegrate it to a fine powder in from thirty to ninety days. This lime and salt mixture is an admirable top dressing for grass and grain crops, and if sufficiently old for all the necessary chemical changes to have occurred before use, has none of the immediate effects of salt. When placed around peach trees, it prevents the aggression of the peach worm, and from its peculiar hygrometric powers, ameliorates drought. We have known clover-sick land to be restored by its use. It renders clays less plastic; slight quantities may be used in the hog-pen with benefit, correcting that difficulty with hog-pen manure so well known to gardeners, of rendering the whole brassica tribe subject to ambury, or fingers and toes. It may also be used in small quantities for underlaying the bedding of animals in stables.
Sawdust, spent tan, and other substances difficult to be decomposed, are rapidly torn apart by the use of this mixture. Leather chips, which refuse to yield to all other means of practical decomposition, are rapidly robbed of their tannic acid and decomposed as readily as raw hide. In many districts of the country, the use of lime has been too extensive, and the lands bake, crack and puddle during rain storms, so as to become nearly useless. These may all be restored by subsoil plowing and top dressings of salt, as before recommended.
SILKWORM EGGS. Mrs. Celia Abbott, of Tedrow, Fulton county, Ohio, is anxious to begin the silk business, but, like many others of the same disposition, does not know where to get the seed, and writes with a faint hope that some member of the Club can give her the information.
The Secretary, Mr. John W. Chambers, replied that silkworm eggs have heretofore been furnished by Mr. John M. Summy, Manheim, Lancaster county, Pa., and he presumed they can still be obtained of him. It must be understood, however, that the eggs are not easily transported in warm weather. They have to be kept in an ice house or very cool room during spring, else they will hatch before the mulberry leaves are grown, and perish for want of food. When sent by mail in warm weather, they are very likely to hatch on the way.
A CARROT WEEDER. Mr. R. W. Arnold, Westport, Essex county, N. J., says:“ Will you tell me whether there is any kind of tool known to you that will weed carrots or beets by horse or hand, and do it well? I wish to plant 30 inches apart, and if there is any kind of labor-saving implement that will work between the rows and close up to them, I would like to get one."
Mr. Robinson. I wonder if this man has read the previous reports of these meetings, or has ever looked over the tools of one of our agricultural warehouses, or has ever been to a great exhibition of farming tools at any State Fair, or has ever visited any of the market garden farms near this city with a view to learn useful lessons ? If he had, he must have learned that there are just such tools as he is in want of, which do the work “well."
Prof. Mapes.—The tool long known as Langdon's Cultivator has been improved upon since first brought out, till almost all the work that is necessary in weeding any crop can be done by horse power. I have a carrot weeder that cuts up and combs out the weeds, and which a boy twelve years old with a trained mule can work between rows sixteen inches apart, and do more work than a hundred men. These weeding tools are made to expand to suit any width of rows, and cut any depth from one to three inches.
WHITE WILLOWS. Mr. Thomas P. Boyd writes from Greigsville, Livingston county, New York, inquiring about " white willows, and whether cuttings for propagating could be obtained for reasonable compensation, and how much ?”
Mr. Solon Robinson.--As this is the common large willow of the country, the cuttings can be had for a mere nominal price. I should be willing to sell all that any one could cut from one very large tree upon my farm for one dollar a thousand.
Mr. Prince. This is the salix alba, common all over this country. There are two upright-growing willows, the golden and green. The latter is the salix alba. It is extensively planted in Sweden and Norway along the public roads, to cut for its wood. It is sometimes called the swallow-tailed willow in Europe. It roots deep and is very hardy and will grow upon dry or wet land, and I believe where the tide sometimes overflows the land.
Mr. Bergen.--This must be a mistake, and people should be cautious not to plant where the tide overflows. The best way to propagate this or any other willow is by cuttings instead of rooted plants. You may set poles four inches in diameter two feet in the earth, and they will make trees sooner than trees with roots. They are not as much affected by the wind when first set.
A gentleman said that all tall-growing trees upon a loose soil like that of an Illinois prairie are apt to decay at the top early. He recommended apple trees of a flat-growing habit. A tall tree sends its roots deep, and they reach the water and decay, and then the top follows suit. A flatgrowing tree spreads its roots near the surface, which are consequently more healthy in a wet soil.
A NEW BLACKBERRY. Mr. H. H. Doolittle, of Oaks' Corners, N. Y., who gives name to an improved black-cap raspberry, writes that he has a new blackberry, which he obtained from the woods three years ago. The canes are nearly free of thorns, and grow reclining, four or five feet long, with long branches, which have to be supported when loaded with fruit, the berries of which are about half the size of the Lawtons, and very excellent, soft, juicy, sweet, but too tender for a market berry, if to be transported a long distance.
THE SOUR AND SWEET APPLE QUESTION. This question was again brought up, and pretty thoroughly ventilated.
Mr. Prince said that the theory of making apples, one side of which would be sour and one side sweet, by uniting two buds, was ridiculous; and he utterly disbelieved in the existence of such apples. He, nor his father, in his lifetime, had never been able to obtain a distinctly marked specimen of a sweet and sour apple, except so far as exposure to the sun made one side a little less acid than the other.
Prof. Nash.—I will not say that I have seen and tasted such apples, but I have been told by men of the greatest trustworthiness of an apple tree in Massachusetts, the fruit of which was not only sweet and sour most distinctly upon the two sides, but one side was red and the other a light color, and one-half outgrew the other, so that the apple had the appearance of the halves of two apples—one much larger than the other-joined and grown together. The testimony is so strong that I cannot disbelieve it.
Dr. Church, of this city, said that he had not only seen but tasted such apples, most distinctly marked upon the opposite sides sweet and sour. They were grown by Mr. Wheeler in Butler, Wayne county, N. Y.
Mr. Solon Robinson.--I have a number of letters upon this subject--not all of them affirming the sour and sweet in the same apple, but that sour and sweet apples grow promiscuously upon the same tree. I will give some of these:
Mr. Wm. R. Prince.—My father and myself never saw one; I think if they had been grown we should have seen them. If such apples are raised let us see them; we must not rely upon hearsay testimony.
Mr. Geo. Hamilton, of Penn Yan, N. Y., affirms that there is an old tree upon the farm of D. Stephenson, formerly owned by B. Smith, and two others produced by grafts from that tree, another on the farm of S. Millspaugh, and one on his (Hamilton's) farm, all of which produce apples that are sweet and sour in the same specimen. “ The apples are not all of the compound variety; some seasons they will be nearly all sour, resembling the Rhode Island Greening, and at others a yellow, sweet apple, of very fine flavor. When the perfect compound apple grows, it is something of a triangular form, the ridges being sour, and the flat sides sweet."
Mr. Geo. W. Dean of Westfield, Geauga county, Ohio, says that he has this sweet and sour apple; “that it is of no account, except as a curiosity, and has been the occasion of endless lies. Elliott says it is the result of diseased propagation. I wish he had told how he knew. It is idle to believe it could have been produced by any mechanical process of budding or grafting. I know this sweet and sour apple well, and believe there is but one kind. It bears a strong resemblance to the Rhode Island Greening, both in the wood and fruit, and that is probably the parent of it. I would like to know its origin and cause. Is it possible that the pollen from a sweet apple blossom could be so mixed with the pollen of a sour apple blossom at the time of fertilization as to produce the result? The apple is not always one-half sweet and the other. half sour.
It is sometimes one-sided. In that case the largest part is sour, but there are generally ridges from base to crown, and invariably the ridges are acid, while the hollows are sweet. One year ours were smooth, and then there was no trace of acid about them.”
Mr. Thos. P. Boyd says such apples are very common throughout the Genesee Valley.
Mr. J. L. Aldrich, of Greenville, R. I., gives the most positive testimony to prove hybridization in the blossom that I have ever seen. He says: “I have a Teft Sweeting tree in one of my orchards which has occasionally borne apples, one side of which had the smooth, light colored skin and intensely sweet flavor of the Teft Sweeting; and the other part (the sweet and sour sides being separated by a distinct ridge) the rough, dark skin of the Pearmain Russet; the rough side having also the exact taste of the Russet. Now, the imperfect ripening of one side of these apples could hardly account for their external appearance, even if it did for their flavor, for the two kinds of apples are very dissimilar in appearance as well as taste. Russet trees stand within fifty feet of the sweet apple tree. I have, in several instances, shown these mixed apples to those who were incredulous in relation to such freaks of nature; and, after tasting the opposite sides of the fruit, they all agreed with me in the opinion that part of the fruit was the genuine, unmixed sweet apple, and the other part as clearly
The line of demarcation between the sweet and acid parts has in all cases been sharply defined by a slight ridge. Several other instances of apparent hybridization of different kinds of apples have occurred in my orchards. Two trees, a Rhode Island Greening and a Roxbury Russet, stand close together, the limbs on the opposite trees touching each other. Last autumn, a bushel or more of the apples on the side of the Greening tree next to the Russet so closely resembled the latter apple in appearance and taste, that those who helped to pick the Greenings could hardly distinguish them from Russets; they were mixed in all imaginable forms, both of the different kinds being on the same limbs. I have picked the apples on this tree for the last ten or twelve years, and have never before observed such an apparent mixture of fruit on it.”
Mr. Bailey, of Hawley, Orleans county, N. Y., stated to the Club that he had a tree upon his farm that produced such apples. He could not say that they were produced by joining halves of buds.
Mr. Bergen said that one man had assured him that he had grown apples, one side sweet and one side sour, by joining halves of buds and inoculating.
Mr. Solon Robinson said that he would give a dollar for an apple produced by any such hocus pocus process of budding.
Mr. D. Byron Waite, of Springwater, N. Y., sends specimens of two kinds of apples from the same tree, the green ones bearing a close resemblance to Rhode Island Greenings, in looks and taste, but not as good; and the yellow ones are like them in texture of flesh, but in taste are decidedly sweet, though far from excellent. I fully agree with Mr. Dean, in the opinion that the variety is a worthless one, and should not be propagated. I would cut down such a tree, or make a new top for it of better sorts. Such mixing as Mr. Aldrich speaks of cannot be avoided. Mr. Waite writes: I hope you will be able to put the subject at rest as to there being such a thing in existence as an apple bearing sweet and sour.”
Mr. Robinson. I hope so too. I could give much more testimony of the same sort, but think this enough. I have now no doubt about the production of such apples. I have no doubt they are “freaks of nature," and impossible to produce by grafting. I consider the question fairly treated upon both sides. Let it rest, and let us adjourn. Adjourned.
JOHN W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.
April 21, 1863.
Mr. Hawxhurst, of New Jersey, in the chair.
CULTIVATION OF CORN. Mr. Luman Case, Bristol, Vt. Permit me to say that we are very highly pleased with the many interesting observations emanating from the society called the American Institute Farmers' Club. But, sir, we would like the gentlemen members of the Club to be a little more definite on some of the different kinds of field crops we are in the habit of raising, such as corn, potatoes, wheat, rye, oats, etc. We are much edified by the different suggestions of the members, but before acting upon them we wish to see more uniformity in the opinions of the best farmers as to which is the best course to pursue to insure a good crop, as it might save time. I will here state the method I practice with corn, which has never failed, in a propitious season, to insure a good yield. I am now over seventy years
and have followed farming principally for a living. If I plant on greensward, I apply twenty-five two-horse wagon loads of bone manure to the acre, before plowing; I commence by putting my first row of manure close to the edge, east and west, taking care to have each pile of a uniform size, and the same distance apart; I put the last row the same distance from the edge that the rows are apart. I then commence to spread from the