Obrázky stránek

he may have imagined, was to be found the city of Washington, conld never have been more grievously disappointed than when viewing the real state of things, at any time since the city was founded. Sloth, not industry, has held the reins here for ages, until sloth clad itself in the vestments of treason, and undertook to destroy industry and all its works; thence ensued the desolation of civil war.

If the farmers of our country appreciate the present exigencies of the country—and I believe they do—the future has great things in store for them and their successors in the culture of this part of the earth. The suburbs of Washington might have been, and may yet be, beautified and cleansed by the productive labor of unreluctant hands, and made fit for habitations. All of Virginia and Maryland may yet wipe away their tears of blood and become happy and rich in the sisterhood of states-bearing upon their bosoms the fruitage of peace and the garnerings of plenty. So may be blessed other communities and states, now torn by the crimes and devastation of war; and especially Missouri, with its boundless elements of agricultural and mineral wealth that beckon onward the tide of emigra. tion to her borders.

Your friend,



By Hon. Lester Greene. Among the many blessings with which man has been favored by a beneficent providence, the various kinds of fruit hold a prominent place.

The object of this article will be to treat of the small fruits, such as the strawberry, the currant, the blackberry, and the various kinds of raspberry.

And first in the list, and the one that is a universal favorite, stands the strawberry; and among the various kinds, Wilson's Albany seedling, probably, stands first. It is an excellent bearer; the fruit very large and firm, and is probably the best for marketing purposes. The only objection -it is rather tart.

The cultivation of the strawberry has been so frequently treated upon it is hardly necessary to attempt to give any new light on the subject. A sandy soil, mixed with loam, appears to be best adapted to their growth; but they will grow and do well upon any soil that is dry and clean. The ground should be thoroughly worked with well rotted barn-yard manure; the plants set in rows eighteen inches apart, each way, which gives sufficient room to work among them, which is very essential; and, by keeping the runners off, will, the second season, about half cover the ground; and, in this way, will yield more and better fruit than if they covered the whole ground.

Before the commencement of winter, they need a slight covering of litter from the barn, to protect them from the frost before the fall snows. The litter should be partially removed in the Spring.

Of all the small fruits grown, the currant is the most common, and, probably, the most productive. It will yield abundantly, with little or no cultivation; but the fruit, so raised, is of an inferior quality.

The attention that has been paid to the cultivation of the currant, for

the past five years, shows to what an extent they may be improved; and when we compare those commonly raised, or suffered to grow as best they may, with some of the cultivated varieties, particularly the cherry currant, we see how susceptible of improvement are the most common productions of the earth. The small fruit, usually grown, may be increased in size, more than one half, by cultivation.

The currant may be raised from cuttings with more safety and ease than any other shrub; but may be brought into bearing sooner by being rooted before putting out, which may be done by laying down the young shoots in summer, and covering a portion with earth, when in the fall, they will be found to be finely rooted. If raised from cuttings, by rubbing off all the buds but the top one, they may be run up to almost any height. Raised in this way, they are more for ornament than profit; for profit and fine fruit, they should be allowed to branch out. The great secret of success,

if there is a secret, is good soil, thorough cultivation, kept well pruned, and a good supply of the refuse of the wood-yard, which appears to be the best inanure. The small, common currant, is the earliest grown among us; tho cherry is later ripening; the white and red grape are still later.

The cultivation of the blackberry does not succeed in this climate sufficiently to make it an object of raising them. Unless they are protected they are liable to freeze off. The cultivation of the wild blackberry has not, to my knowledge, been attempted.

The different kinds of the red raspberry, have been highly extolled, by some writers, as being very prolific; but my experience and observation differ very materially with such writers. Although an excellent fruit for the table, aside from the worms which infest them, I have not succeeded in having them produced to any amount; and the same with the yellow Antwerp.

The cultivation of the common black raspberry, is deserving of more attention than has been paid to it. It will repay for its cultivation as well, or better, than any of the berries grown among us. It is very hardy in its habits, easily cultivated, and when properly cared for, will yield abundantly. The fruit is exempt from the insects that infest the other varieties of the raspberry; is fine for the table; is easily dried, in which state it may be kept for any length of time.

They grow well upon any dry soil, if kept clear from grass weeds. The plants should be set in rows, five feet apart, each way. They can be obtained in any newly cleared timbered land, or around the fences of unthrifty farmers. The best plants for putting out are those that have taken root from the canes of last year's growth, the ground being clear. When put out, they should be well covered with the refuse from the woodyard.

They require but little care, further than keeping them trimmed, which should be thoroughly done as soon as the fruit has all ripened, by taking out the old canes, as they last but one year, and all but three or four of the new ones; and those left, after growing to a sufficient height, say four feet, should be clipped off, which will cause them to branch out and forin a fine bush, unless it is desired to increase the plants. If suffered to grow, they will reach the ground, and take root from the top. In this way they may be renewed, by suffering one from each hill to take root between the rows; after being rooted for one year, the old ones should be removed, which will leave them in the same form they were at first. They last for six or eight years, without renewing.

The white cap, or white raspberry, I have had but little experience in raising. They are a fine berry, and are said to yield well. Their growth and habits are very similar to the black raspberry. January, 1863.



By Hon. A. Wilcox. It is known to the most casual observer that there are only a few cultivated in this region, notwithstanding the great number of varieties known, and I purpose to treat of the culture of the few kinds known to be adapted to this locality. Having been accustomed to use them cooked in different ways, and being, from my earliest recollections, very fond of the article, I may have taken more interest in their culture and management than I should otherwise have done.

What may be said in this essay will be confined to the author's experience, as this subject appears to have been much neglected by agricultural writers. This neglect may be attributed to the fact that they were not a staple article. Within my recollection a fair article would command about five shillings per bushel in the Albany market. This price does not compare favorably with the present quotations, which range from $2 to $3 per bushel.: This advance in price is mainly caused by the war; but when we take into account the great amount of nutrition in each bushel, and the length of time they may be preserved without losing any of their valuable qualities, with no other process than to be stored in a dry place, it would seem that they are not very dear food for man at their present value, espe cially wlitn compared with other articles of provisions. I have been of the opinion for many years, that they were profitable food for any family when their cost did not exceed three dollars per bushel. My experience has been, in cultivating garden varieties, that the early red-eye bush have proved most profitable, especially so when polling materials were not at hand; but I would recommend to those who are fond of succotash, to raise the well known case-knife and white-lima- the latter on account of its superior qualities and the uniform high price it commands in our city markets. There are many other kinds worthy of cultivation; but it is presumed that most persons, having a garden, are tolerably well posted in their culture, although I cannot say as much of the agriculturist, with his broad acres, who should more extensively raise the field varieties. In our cold climate, it would be advisable to cultivate early varieties only.

The usual practice for raising this article has been to plant the seed at the same time, and in the same hill with the corn. The effect has been to check or retard the growth of both. Many years ago I adopted the following method for planting, with good success :

Alternate hills of corn and beans were dropped about twenty inches apart, in rows. Distances between the rows-three and one-half feet The ordinary cultivator was used before hoeing and hilling. Before hoeing

the shares were inverted. Two acres produced thirty-five bushels, while there was no perceptible difference in the yield of the corn from the rest of the field. The next year I raised one hundred and fifteen bushels from a little less than seven acres, managed in the same manner as those of the year previous. The seed planted was of the small white variety. I have raised more than thirty bushels, of the same kind, on a single acre when planted, or rather sown in drills, about two feet between the rows, without the corn. The quantity of seed required to the acre, when beans is to be the only crop, should be from twenty-eight to thirty-two quarts; when planted with corn, sixteen to eighteen quarts per acre. Any soil that is well adapted to a production of corn, will produce beans, if the tillage is thorough, which is all-important. When convenient, plant on land where corn or potatoes grew the year previous.

When corn and beans are cultivated together, I would advise the cutting of the corn-stalks, near the ground, as soon as the corn is sufficiently matured, that it can be done without injuring the grain, as it will facilitate the ripening of the beans. When help was to be obtained, I have cut the corn and pulled the beans at the same time—especially when the weather indicated frost, preferring to have not only the beans, but also the corn, severed from the ground before the frost made its appearance. Stacking beans on the ground where they grew, I have practiced with good success. Stakes should be driven in the ground, and stones, or blocks of wood placed around them. The beans may then be stacked four to six feet high, placing the roots next to the stakes.

The diameter of each should be from two to three feet. It may not be generally known, that the straw is not only valuable for sheep, but also for horned cattle.


By Hon. Lester Greene. The cultivation of flax, and its preparation for the manufacturing of cloth, as a substitute for cotton, has occupied, and is still occupying the public mind in this country, particularly the Northern States, more than any other branch of agriculture. It has induced the offer of large sums of money for the preparation of the fiber, and the invention of machinery for manufacturing it into cloth ; but as yet has not entirely succeeded.

The present high price of cotton will necessarily increase the amount offered, and induce greater exertions to discover, or invent, machinery to manufacture it into cloth.

Formerly, the raising of flax, to a certain extent, was the business of every farmer ; but the cheapness with which cotton cloths have been furnished for the past few years, has entirely done away with it as an article of domestic manufacture.

It was raised, quite extensively some fifteen years ago, in the Southern part of this and Montgomery counties. The object then was, the seed : the straw, or fiber, was burned to get rid of it, for a few years. About ten years ago, there was a machine put up in the town of Minden, at Hallsville, for cleaning flax. The value of the flax, I am unable to state ; probably it was not profitable, as the machine was kept in operation but a few years.

In Oneida county, there has been some attention paid to the raising of fax, both for the seed and fiber. The flax is mowed or cradled, and after separating the seed from the straw, it is passed through machinery to break it without rotting. Prepared in this way, it is used for stuffing mats, cushions, &c. Another process is, to rot the flax after thrashing, and by machinery separate the fiber from the stalk. This is sold as tow, and is used, to some extent, in the manufacture of fine paper, and is used extensively in the manufacture of ropes. Prepared as first stated, it is, at the present time, worth from thirty-five to forty dollars per ton. Tow is now worth from one hundred and thirty to one hundred and forty dollars per ton.

In the county of Chemung, and some of the western counties of this State, considerable attention has, the past year, been paid to its cultiva. tion; the principal object being the fiber, the seed being a secondary object. It is asserted that they have succeeded, at Lockport, in getting up machinery to prepare it for the spinning-jenny; that, with à portion of cotton, it may be successfully spun and made into cloth But it appears, from the report of the committee, appointed by the State Agricultural Society, to investigate the matter, that they are not satisfied of its success, sufficiently to warrant the payment of the bounty offered by the State, which is two thousand dollars.

In Rensselaer county, the past year, it has been raised quite extensively, particularly in the vicinity of Lansingburg. Farmers there, after preparing the land for the seed, received twenty dollars per acre for its use. The flax is pulled by hand, rotted, and by machinery is cleaned. This quality is worth, at the present time, from thirty to thirty-two cents per pound, or about six hundred dollars per ton.

The general opinion is, that flax is very exhausting to the soil; but with how much truth, I am unable to say. In the days when every farmer raised flax, and wheat was one of the staple crops of this section of country, wheat succeeded well after flax. In 1845, I sowed fifteen bushels of seed, the object being the seed; I raised one hundred and sixty-one bushels, The crop was secured in good condition, and instead of burning the straw, as was then the fashion, it was fed; cattle were fond of it, and came out in the spring in fine condition. In 1846, I sowed ten bushels; but that season the blight struck it when in blow; the consequence was, but little more than the seed.

Oats, succeeding these crops, did well. My impression is, that it is not more exhausting than crops generally.

The soil best adapted to the growth of flax, is said to be sand, mixed with clay; or a soil that produces barley, is well suited to flax. Ground, intended for this crop, should be thoroughly manured and plowed deep the season preceding; but prepared for flax, shallow plowing is best.

The all-important questions with the farmer is, will it pay? The seed, at the present time, is worth about three dollars per bushel ; and the price paid for the flax would warrant the belief that it would be profitable. The amount of seed raised per acre, will vary from ten to fifteen bushels, where seed is the object, it being sowed much thinner than when the fiber is the

« PředchozíPokračovat »