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row of heaps first put on, and spread towards the last edge. I commence plowing at the same time, and plow but about four inches deep. I then roll the furrows down well with a light sharp-tooth harrow, and harrow it lengthwise thoroughly. I then apply about ten loads of good fine manure to the acre, observing the same rule in its application as in the first instance. I again harrow it well both ways, when it is fitted for planting. I plant the seed corn direct from the cob, placing the hills at least four feet apart each way, being sure to have the rows east and west. As soon as the corn appears above the surface of the ground, I stir the soil well throughout the field with a hoe and cultivator. As soon as suitable to weed, I hoe again, letting but four spears stand in a hill. Just before silking, I hoe well again, drawing round the hill a suitable quantity of manure and loose dirt. After it has fairly silked out, I take a sharp knife and cut out all the suckers and barren stalks, and let them fall around the hills. After being well glazed, I cut it up, put five bundles in a stook, and let it stand till well cured before husking. I plant as near the 15th of May as convenient. I have the best kind of seed corn; it weighs 61} pounds to the bushel; it is sweet and very yellow; I get from 75 to 116) bushels to the acre. If these few observations meet with a favorable reception, as I hope they may, I will, in my next, give my views as to the best method to insure a crop of potatoes, as I think I have the best quality in America.
SEEDLING POTATOES. Mr. G. M. Card, of Sylvania, Bradford county, sends me a box of two kinds of seedling potatoes produced by him, which he thinks, of course, rather better than any other potato ever grown. If he does not, he is unlike other producers of new seedlings. Will any gentleman take them off my hands and give them a trial ?
Mr. John G. Bergen. I have tried a good many new seedlings, but have to come back to old and well tried sorts. I should not be willing to pay express charges upon any seedling potatoes I have ever seen.
If these are worth it, they are an exception. Of thirty varieties of potatoes that I have experimented with, I have now only two or three, and I consider the old Mercer one of the very best to rely upon. The Buckeye is a good early potato and growing in favor with farmers. The Dikeman is also a good potato for early marketing,
Dr. Trimble.--I find the Buckeye in favor in Monmouth county for two reasons. It sells well in the market, and the crop comes off in time to sow wheat upon the ground, which is well prepared by digging
the crop. For quality, there is no sort superior to the old Mercer. Perhaps the best for use at this season is the old blue Pinkeye.
Mr. Bergen.-There is a kind brought here from Nova Scotia that is excellent at this season. There are several sorts called Mercers. I have grown two, quite distinct. My yield is from 80 to 200 bushels per acre. The Mercers have given some of our Long Island farmers 300 bushels per acre. The Carter is a poor yielder. The Peach-blow potato requires a longer season than the Mercer, and is not good if grown in a wet season.
Prof. Nash.-The Carter is the best potato in Massachusetts, the Mercer next, and a small yielder; not as good as Peach-blows. Perhaps the Mercers grown there are not the same sort as those so highly commended here.
Mr. Bergen.—As a general rule, the kind of potatoes that grow the largest tops exhaust the soil most, without regard to quantity or quality of roots. It is so of other crops. I grow the Ox-heart cabbage for early market sales, and the large Drumhead for late. The receipts per acre are about the same, but the early is the most profitable because it exhausts the soil*the least.
CURING THE POTATO DISEASE. Mr. A. R. Lemen, of Watervliet, Berrien county, Mich., writes again, affirming his belief that he has discovered a certain, sure remedy for the potato rot, and wants the $10,000 which was offered some years ago by Massachusetts, which we said this Club was ready to guarantee. Mr. L. asks, " What evidence do you require of the fact that I can do what I say?"
Mr. Robinson.-Simply the evidence that will positively prove the thing you call a fact true.
Mr. John G. Bergen.- I believe that I can grow potatoes free of disease, if I grow them
upon land so poor that it will not produce more than 20 or 40 bushels upon an acre.
TREE COTTON. Mr. H. C. Stebbins, of Barns, Shiawassa county, Mich., wants to know if the tree cotton seed advertised is a humbug.
Mr. Robinson.—The Club has already given its opinion in full, that the tree cotton is a humbug, and we again caution people not to buy seed that is represented as producing trees that bear cotton in any, Northern State.
Flax CULTURE. Mr. Fayette Shepherd, of Wellington, Ohio, writes the following valuable information to those who desire to sow flax:
“In common with many others, I rejoice that flax is to be sown more extensively this spring than formerly.
“To relieve those who would sow, but have not the fine, well pulverized soil recommended by your Club, I would give my experience in flax raising. Having turned over more soil than I had seed plant, I sowed a part of it to flax; to my utter astonishment it was tall, well-coated, excellent. Having been taught to sow flax on a well pulverized soil, Í mentioned the fact to my neighbor, a mile from me, whose crops surpassed all others. His reply was, 'I always sow flax on greensward.'”
Prof. Nash.--If sod ground is used for flax it must be finely pulverized on the surface with a harrow, and the seed covered with a bush drag.
Mr. Wm. R. Prince.--It appears to me that the whole question is in a nut-shell. Pulverizing the soil is not the most essential to grow flax; the most important point is, does the soil contain the proper nutriment suitable to the flax? I should say an old grass field would be very suitable, the number of fine roots would pulverize the soil better than nearly any WISCONSIN WILD FRUIT. Mr. Wm. R. Prince.—Mr. Robinson read a letter last week from Mr. D. K. Beal, about a wild fruit that he called a cherry. In this he is mistaken; the fruit is a plum. It is the Prunus Pumila of Pursh, and Corasus Pumila of Torrey and Gray. The bush is the size of a currant bush, fruit large for a wild fruit, about the size of an Ox-heart cherry, flavor like chokecherry, but not so astringent. It spreads by the roots, which send up shoots wherever the soil covers them. They grow in very sandy soil.
THE TIME TO Sow FLAX. Dr. Trimble.--In old times, when Pennsylvania farmers used to grow a flax crop every year, they made a point of sowing it on Good Friday. The rotation was generally corn upon sod, then oats, then flax, They took care to make the soil
ACCLIMATION. Mr. Prince gave the following as his opinion upon this question: In this regard there exist very erroneous views. No plant or animal has ever been acclimated in the existing race by any change of location; such amelioration attaches only to their progeny. Seminal reproduction can alone effect any such change, and then only gradually through succeeding generations. This results from a great natural law, by which every animal, tree, or plant partakes in a degree of the character of the climate and soil where it is generated.
A BARREN GRAPE VINE. Mrs. Mott, of Potsdam, N. Y., says: “How shall I treat an old wild grape vine ? It never has seen a knife; hangs full of blossoms every year, and never has any fruit. Now, how shall I treat it to make it bear ???
Mr. Robinson.—The vine is probably one of the barren sort, which flower regularly and are very odorous, but never produce fruit. There are many such wild vines.
Mr. John G. Bergen.—The best thing to do with it is to graft it with some approved variety, or dig it up and plant a young vine.
Mr. Fuller.-Cut back to the lowest healthy spurs on the vine; if cut back too much, in a single year the roots will decay.
A FRENCH JELLY. Another lady wants further information about the method given at a former meeting of the Club: Will you please tell us how long it must be stirred, and if any other kind but loaf sugar will answer ?”
Several methods were suggested in reply to a letter presented by Mr. Robinson, asking information. The one most approved was the following: Pass the currants between rollers so as to burst each currant—then press out the juice-place the juice, in a perfectly clean copper or brass vessel, over the fire, heating slowly until it simmers, being careful not to permit it to boil, or the aroma of the currant will be lost-skim until scum ceases to rise, then pour the hot juice on to loaf sugar, broken, and held in a
wooden tub-stir until the sugar is melted by the hot juice, then pour into glasses or other vessels; when cold it will be found to have jellied most perfectly. When currant jelly is thus made, it is of a bright color, and not blackened and without aroma, as when the sugar and juice are cooked together. It should be remembered that water boils at 212°, currant juice at about 213°, while currant juice and sugar require 240°, and at this latter temperature the more volatile portions pass up the chimney, while the mass is darkened in color and frequently so disorganized by the heat as not to form a firm jelly.
THE CATHEAD APPLE OF MAINE. Mr. Edward C. Chase, of South Yarmouth, Me., commends very highly an apple grown in that section, known as the Cathead apple. “It is the best early apple in the country; is ripe by the first of September; color, red; flavor, tart; and commands a high price in market. They are but little known out of this county." Mr. C. offers to send scions, if any one wishes to propagate them.
WHY HENS EAT FEATHERS. A poultry raiser says the cause of hens eating feathers is a want of lime. He says:
In the discussion it was stated that the hens were well fed, and supplied with fresh meat, and confined. Now, such feeding would stimulate their laying qualities, and if in their confinement they could not find lime for the shells of their eggs, their instincts taught them to take the next best substitute, which was the feathers. Now, it should be known to all who keep poultry, and especially when in confinement, that a supply of lime, such as old plaster or pounded oyster shells, is absolutely needful for their healthy existence and reproduction; and, when it can be obtained, a portion of pounded slate, mixed with their soft food, will enrich the flavor and quality of their eggs. Adjourned.
JOHN W. CHAMBERS, Secretary.
April 23, 1863.
Mr. Edward Doughty, of New Jersey, in the chair.
SUBSTITUTE FOR COFFEE. Mr. I Butts, of Cambridge, Vt., describes a substitute for coffee, grown from seeds found in a chest of tea: "The plant, while growing, looks like the old-fashioned coffee bean, but it grows much taller, and does not taste like it, and it makes a nice cup of coffee, that few can tell from Java.
“The stalks are seven feet tall, filled with seeds from within a foot of the ground to the top. It is as easily grown as corn; is planted in rows or hills, like beans, one seed in a place, about the middle of May."
Prof. Mapes thought the best substitute for coffee was okra seed.
JAPAN RICE Mr. Wm. S. Carpenter.—Here is a sample of rice from Japan, which grows like wheat upon upland, and is said to produce as well as the common lowland rice. The kernels appear to be somewhat different, though coated with the same gritty husk. I shall plant these grains, and see what they will produce.
Mr. Solon Robinson.-Upland rice is nothing new, as it has been grown to a large extent in this country, producing 50 or 60 bushels per acre, but its cultivation in South Carolina has not been as profitable as that grown upon flooded lands.
OTHER THINGS FROM JAPAN. Mr. Carpenter. This country is already indebted to Japan for a good many valuable things. The best melon (the white musk) that we have came from there, and we are getting new plants and seeds from that country every year.
Mr. Wm. R. Prince.-For upwards of 25 years, nearly all our gardens, both in this country and in Europe, have been decorated with plants from China and Japan-I may say fully one-half-the lilies, spireas, wigelias, &c. An impression seems to be very prevalent that the shrubs and plants from those countries are not hardy; but it should be borne in mind that a great portion of those countries is as cold as New York, and therefore nearly all their plants will grow with us.
Mr. Şolon Robinson.—The best thing that we have received from Japan is tea, which is far superior to any, or at least to most of that from China. It is the very best we have in this market.
NEW FIBER PLANT. Mr. A. S. Hart, of Tompkins county, N. Y., sends a sample of the fiber of a plant called “Musk," or “Mountain mallows." which he thinks "would be profitable for the paper manufactory. It is easily raised; how long it will live I don't know, but it lives through the winter here and grows thrifty. My wife has it for an ornament. I read The Tribune, and see that considerable is said in your Club about something for making paper. If this plant is worth mentioning, show it to the Club and see if it has
value." No one present recognized the plant by the names given, nor the fiber, though all thought it appeared likely to be valuable.
Mr. Wm. R. Prince, Flushing, L. I., would be glad to have Mr. Hart send him a specimen of the plant, or at least inclose some leaves, flowers and branches, and description, to enable him to ascertain the botanic name and character, which he would do and report.
WILD BUCKWHEAT. Mr. James P. Smith, of St. Peters, Minnesota, sends samples of the seeds of the wild buckwheat, and his plan of getting rid of the pest. He says:
“My plan to eradicate this pest is to plow early enough in the fall for the seed to come up, and the frost will kill the plants. If I cannot finish