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rience of the author; but, taken as a whole, your committee do not feel warranted in recommending it to a premium.




REPORT ON AN ESSAY ON THE CULTURE OF POTATOES. The committee appointed by the Farmers' Club, to report upon "An Essay on the Culture of Potatoes,” beg leave respectfully to report:

That they have critically examined an essay presented for the premium of the Institute, and endorsed "NEW JERSEY," and find it to be a full and valuable paper. This essay includes all the pertinent and efficient points of culture now known, while the descriptive portions are worthy the approbation of your committee. The remarks on the use of tools and preparation of the soil are equally approved, while the remarks on storing, preserving, etc., are full and efficient.

Your committee would suggest the propriety of awarding to this essay the silver medal of the Institute.


NEW YORK, February 3, 1863.


REPORT ON SEEDLING POTATOES. The committee to whom was referred the specimens of seedling potatoes, presented by Mr. D. A. Bulkeley, Stone Hill Farm, Williamstown, Mass., respectfully report:

That three varieties of seedling potatoes were exhibited, viz: the Bulkeley Seedling, the Prince of Wales, and the Monitor.

The exhibiter furnishes the following information in relation to these potatoes :

The Bulkeley Seedling has been cultivated for the past three years with entire satisfaction; they are light red in color, and keep well.

This potato grows very large vines, and produces good sized potatoes, often ten to fourteen fit for the table in a bill.

The other two varieties are new, and were distributed last spring for the first time. The Prince of Wales is a very large white potato, very early, and are a fine variety for baking.

The Monitor is also a very large potato, with a pink eye. They keep well, and are not apt to sprout; they spread a little more in the hills than the other varieties, and are very superior, both for boiling and baking.

The above potatoes were exhibited at the Farmers' Club on the 2d of December last, and were much admired. One of your committee tried the various kinds for table use, and reports very favorably of their cooking qualities.

Mr. Bulkeley has devoted much time and attention to the improvement of this valuable esculent, and your committee take great pleasure in recommending that the silver medal of the Institute be awarded to him for the best peck of seedling potatoes. Respectfully submitted.


WM. S. CARPENTER, NEW YORK, January 31, 1863.


REPORT ON SEEDLING GRAPES. The committee to whom was referred the specimens of seedling grapes offered for premiums, respectfully report :

The two specimens offered to the inspection of your committee were, the Adirondac grape, from Mr. John W. Bailey, of Plattsburgh, Clinton county, N. Y., and the Fancher seedling grape, from Mr. F. B. Fancher, of Lansingburgh, Rensselaer county, N. Y.

Your committee have given the subject due consideration.


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The bunches and berries of this grape are of a very large size; the berry is round and slightly transparent; the quality is very good, being sweet and pleasant, pulp very tender, parting very readily from the seed; resembling somewhat the Black Hamburgh in color.

The vine was found growing in the grounds of Mr. J G. Witherbee, at Port Henry, forty miles north of Whitehall, in latitude 44 deg. The hills at the base of which the vine grows are some 200 feet high, and shelter it on all sides.

The vine is similar in appearance to the Isabella; the points of difference noticed may have been owing to the difference in exposure and training; but it is earlier in ripening—the large size of the bunches and berries, and the lighter color of the fruit; the clusters are very compact, and the berries nearly round, while the Isabella is oblong. The leaf is larger, rougher and thicker than the Isabella, and the wood is long jointed.

THE FANCHER SEEDLING GRAPE. This is a good grape ; it has all the characteristics of the Catawba, and your committee and others, without being informed that it was a new grape, pronounced it the Catawba. From the small quantity of grapes sent, and the late period at which they were received, your committee consider injustice would be done the exhibiter by passing judgment upon it this year.

We therefore recommend that the silver medal of the Institute be awarded to Mr. John W. Bailey for the Adirondac grape. Respectfully submitted.


NEW YORK, Feb. 2, 1863.



INSTITUTE WAS AWARDED. The potato is a native of South America, and in the vicinity of Quito is known under the name of papas. It was cultivated in Virginia as early as 1584, and the colonists made free use of it as food.

The potato is a species of a very large family of plants to be found almost everywhere. Some individuals of this extensive family are poisonous, while others, such as the egg plant and the tomato, have yearly gained favor, until at present they are extensively used.

For many years past the potato has been subject to a disease known under the name of the rot. There are three or four forms in which this disease makes its appearance, such as the dry, black and wet rots. Since this difficulty first assailed the potato crop almost every person who cultivated à rod of ground has tried experiments in the hopes of finding some specific to prevent its ravages. Although thousands of pages have been written emanating from various sources, each proposing remedies, still no definite remedy is yet known. Some varieties are less subject to this disease than others. For instance, I have grown Prince Alberts and Mercers on the same piece of ground, both kinds received the same treatment, culture, manure, etc., etc., and while four-fifths of the latter was destroyed by the rot, the former were sound and free from disease.

Early planting has been practiced by many who grow this crop for profit, and from my experience, and what I have collected from others, the plan is quite likely to prevent disease.

Another and very important point should receive the cultivator's attention: this is, to free the soil from any stagnant water, and to have the ground replete with sufficient available material to perfect the crop. Some writers have asserted that the rot was an inherent disease, and that water was an agent in its development. There eeems to be some truth in this statement, for I find that potatoes begin to decay first in low or moist places.


The kinds of potatoes cultivated in different parts of the country are too extensive for me to catalogue in this paper. I will merely mention the popular varieties that are grown to supply the demand of some of the northern cities.

Among the early varieties of known reputation are the following: Early Junes, Dykemans, Algiers, Buckeyes, Davis' Seedling, Jackson Whites, Pellham’s Seedling, (recently introduced and very early). Of the late sorts are the White Mercers, N. J. Mercer, Peachblows, Prince Alberts, Rough and Ready, Western Reds, Carters and Blue Mercers.

Many varieties that were grown for home consumption and market purposes ten years ago have been since discarded, owing to various causes, such as their propensity to rot, small yield, lateness of ripening, etc. The Mercer potato is probably more subject to rot than any of the above mentioned kinds, still it has such a high reputation for quality and flavor, it usually bringing the highest market price, its cultivation still continues. The Peachblow, a potato introduced a few years ago, has rapidly gained popularity, and now ranks as a fine quality potato. It grows to a large size, yields paying crops, besides being well flavored. The only serious objection to its culture is that to mature it requires the whole

With market gardeners this is a great fault; they usually harvest the potato crop early enough to sow spinach, turnips or sprouts, but with the Peachblow this cannot be done.

The Prince Albert is another variety of recent introduction and now extensively cultivated. It bears different reputations for quality in different localities. In some districts it is considered fair, in others very poor. All agree, however, to its very large yield per acre. A responsible farmer who has cultivated potatoes for a number of years, told me a short time ago that it would pay him better to grow Prince Alberts and sell them at twentyfive cents per bushel, than to sell Mercers at the usual market price.

Where the Prince Alberts are grown on a clay loam and the land is in good heart, the quality of the potato is fair. On such soils


the yield is very large; I have frequently grown 300 bushels of this variety to the acre.

The Buckeye has been cultivated quite largely in some parts of New Jersey, and it is spoken of highly by those who have grown it. There is a serious objection to this kind ; when the potato is grown to a large size it becomes hollow in the center; this causes it when cooked and cut open to have an unsightly appearance.

PREPARATION OF THE SOIL. The potato appears to do well on nearly all soils, if properly prepared and manured. In the southern counties of New Jersey, on their sandy soils, they grow fine potatoes, using no other fertilizer but green sand marl, which is found in great abundance in that district. The potato also yields abundantly on the clay soils when deeply cultivated and freely fertilized. For the latter class of soils fall plowing is very essential, as the alternate freezing and thawing during winter leaves it in fine tilth for spring. When the land is sufficiently dry in April to work, plow and fallow in the same furrow with a lifting subsoil plow, and continue to do so until the field is done. Sandy soils may only receive the latter treatment as fall plowing will not materially benefit them.

• When the ground is plowed, harrowed, cultivated or otherwise disturbed, mark out furrows three feet apart with a double moldboard plow, about six or eight inches deep. When it is not convenient to subsoil after the surface, then run a one-horse subsoil in the bottom of the furrow when opened..

The manure is then spread, and in the drills the potatoes dropped from eight to ten inches apart in the rows and covered with about three inches of soil. When the plants are four inches high a few inches more of covering may be added.


The usual mode among farmers is to cut their seed potatoes in pieces, leaving one, two or three eyes to each piece, and cutting a few weeks before the time of using them, so that an artificial skin may be formed by the drying of the exuding starch, before being placed in the ground. Others plant small potatoes, selling or otherwise disposing of the large ones. They claim that as large a crop is produced from cut or small potatoes as when large seed is used. It is evident that if the small potatoes are constantly used for seed, the quality and quantity must lessen each year.

My own experience has been in favor of a directly opposite method ; the largest crop of potatoes I produced was from planting whole seed, not less in size than a hen's egg, planted in ground

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