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PUBLISHED BY LUTHER TUCKER & SON, luxuries, the stability of Institutions, the condition of So
EDITORS AND PROPRIETORS, 395 BROADWAY, ALBANY, N. Y.
ciety, the progress of Civilization, the hopes and happiness of Man. Taking the low rates which the farmer has realized for the products of the last harvest, we should
J. J. THOMAS, ASSOCIATE EDITOR, UNION SPRINGS, N. Y. TERMS-FIFTY CENTS A YEAR.-Ten copies of the CULTIVATOR and Ten of the ANNUAL REGISTER OF RURAL AFFAIRS, with one of each like to trace the bushel of Indian corn for which he has free to the Agent, Five Dollars.
THE CULTIVATOR has been published twenty-eight years. A NEW SERIES was commenced in 1853, and the nine volumes for 1853, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 60 and 61 can be furnished, bound and post paid, at $1.00 each. THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN," a weekly Agricultural Journal
of 16 quarto pages, making two vols. yearly of 416 pages, at $2.00 per year, is issued by the same publishers.
received 10 cents in Central Illinois, and find it returning 10 cents more to the inhabitants of that State for carriage to Chicago, and 2 cents there for storage; busying the navigator of our inland seas, and paying him over again all that it has thus far cost, to bring it on to Buffalo; leaving its passing tribute there for another handling, discharging its
The Cultivator & Country Gentleman. slender toll on our canals, and amply remunerating our
CONCERNING "A GOOD CROP."
We all know that the Farmer is frequently styled, in a pleasing figure, the "bone and sinew" of the Country. We are often assured that a prosperous Husbandry lies at the fountain head of prosperity of every other kind, That Agriculture is the great parent of Commerce; the real source of general contentment and welfare; the actual mainstay of a government.
citizens for its transportation over them; again, in our great seaport metropolis, contributing a cent or two to agents, and as much more to insurers, and, finally, freighting our vessels for Liverpool, where it sells at last, at a price nine times as large as that at which it was originally purchased. We should like to point out how it has put dividends into the pockets of railroad managers, and enabled bond-holders, here and abroad, to calculate with certainty that their income will be safe. How it has lightened taxation in New-York, and busied hundreds of working. men all along its way to the Ocean, where the shipowner and the capitalist welcome it as the signal of sure and healthful activity. How it brings back a golden stream, in turn to be disbursed and distributed, or, through the skill of the financier, to accumulate as the source of a well directed system of credit, and diffuse a beneficial sense of confidence and security through every artery of business intercourse. We should like the thoughtful reader on the Prairies, who has accepted the pitiful sum, as it justly seemed to him, for which this bushel of corn was sold, -to go back in mind to the days before the railroads, and consider in what a situation the river blockade would have left him, without their aid in seeking a market. We should like him, if a Patriot-we should like any lover of his Country, at the East or West, to ponder the reverse of all this picture that has just been sketched-a Nation entangled in civil war, without food for its armies-a commerce suddenly brought to a standstill with nothing to sell that others want to buy,-the miseries of Famine, waiting close upon the horrors of the battle field, the losses of the
But do we pause and think of the meaning that is involved in these rhetorical outbursts? Do we not rather wear a knowing smile, as they issue from the lips of the very urbane and affable gentlemen who seek our rustic support at the polls? Are we not sometimes inclined to say, as we read them in our Agricultural papers or listen to them in our Agricultural addresses-"All very well for a pretty period, but I wish you had to follow the plow or swing the scythe for your living, and 'try it on!'" Are we not, in a word, either so suspicious on the one hand of what SAM SLICK or somebody else has styled "soft sawder," or, on the other, so little accustomed to go beyond the limit of our own every-day life, and take a larger view of the affairs and events around us,-that the often repeated testimony to the vital importance of Successful Farming to a Community, to a People, to the World, attracts little or no attention from us-is passed by as a matter of course-and the next time we happen to want a little greater Governmental encouragement for an interest of such surpassing magnitude, are we not quite contented to meet with our usual reception and re-tradesman and the forced idleness of the mechanic. sults-to be promised, and postponed, and snubbed, and forgotten?
Would that we had the space, the ability, and the data, in the midst of the pregnant illustrations now to be found on every side, of the truth of all that was ever claimed for Agriculture by its most fluent eulogists-to point out in fitting terms the manifold channels through which its successes and failures affect all trade, manufactures, comforts and
And we should like to have it borne in mind, that, while, with abundant food and no market, there may be fewer luxuries, there is yet little peril of starvation. That, with scarcity of food-no matter how vast the other resources of a country-its poorer classes must suffer first, and, in their suffering, involve at length all others, from highest to lowest,-as finances are deranged, paupers multiplied, business grows stagnant, and discontent con
stantly spreads. That, with productive harvests and ready
THE AGRICULTURE OF NICARAGUA. LETTER TO THE COUNTRY GENTLEMAN FROM HON. A. E. DICKINSON, UNITED STATES MINISTER.
EDITORS COUNTRY Gentleman-How little man knows of a country from its written history! A bare mention of its location, mountains, rivers, lakes, minerals, chief towns, form of government, the number and complexion of its inhabitants, and the most prominent incidents in its annals-and the subject is considered as exhausted, while the true character of its people, animals and vegetables, and the peculiar qualities of its soil are entirely over
The history of a country which describes it in such a manner that an observing man, if dropped into it blindfolded, without a knowledge of his route, could not, on emerging to the light, detect his location from its written history, is worse than useless, because it only serves to confuse and mislead where it is intended to be a teacher and a guide. That history which gives but the meagre outlines of a country, though true as far as it goes, is nevertheless as much a libel upon its subject as the careful painting of a human skeleton with all its truthful hideousness, would be upon the living, breathing beauty of the human form. When nature is fully and truthfully portrayed, and all the gaps filled up, we behold at once a symmetry and harmony, and fitness of everything which goes to make up one grand and majestic whole, which we utterly fail to see when half of her parts are left out.
Who, then, can compute, in any calculation of dollars and cents, of guineas and shillings, of francs and cen-looked. times, the results, present and remote, that hang upon the prevalence of fine weather or frosts, of rains or drouths, of carelessness or skill, of short-sighted improvidence or far-seeing discretion in the management of the Soil,-in a particular time at a particular place? That we have the sure promise, that "seed-time and harvest shall never fail," is indeed true; but is it not accompanied with the warning that he shall not reap, who does no more than watch the seasons in their progress—that he shall not eat, whose industry and energy are found unequal to those emergencies into which at any time he may be plunged? Let us bear in mind the fundamental position which Agriculture occupies-not as a thing to be lightly spoken of with the smile of self-satisfaction, or in the flowery rhymes of the school-boy, but as involving us in a trust the responsibility of which is incalculably great,—as rendering us, not the almoners of God's charity to the world, but the agents As no two things are exactly alike, and as soil and cliof His beneficent provision—a provision which, like the mate have so much to do with the fashioning of man, anitalents of the parable, is susceptible of ten-fold improve-mals and plants, one would suppose that the picture of a ment, if we embrace every means of accomplishing it country could as easily be taken with pen and pencil as which He places within our reach! the likeness of Washington or Jackson, which a common school boy with a little practice can draw on a board with a coal, with sufficient accuracy for any observing Union man to recognize.
The time seems to us an appropriate one for a single word of caution. The London Mark Lane Express has repeatedly urged during the course of the past season, that our power of producing a surplus of grain for foreign markets, is now-as some other English journals have ranked our government-quite at an end; and, as recently as the number for Sept. 30th, a correspondent of that journal dating from New-York, decided, entirely we presume to his own satisfaction, that "this is likely to be the last year that England may expect any shipments of breadstuffs to a large amount," from the United States! Whether such predictions are to be falsified, rests entirely with the Farmers of the Country; if, discouraged by prices which ill reward their labor, they neglect the extra effort that ought to be put forth-in view of the large number who have left farming for fighting,-to ensure the timely performance of spring operations, in the best manner and on a scale as large as possible, we may find the country suddenly carried next year from an extreme of plenty to a condition of comparative scarcity, and our importations of foreign goods resumed, without our having produce of any kind with which to pay for them. We confess that we anticipate no such result. But it is wise to avoid all risk, and to err, if error there be, on the side of plenty.
We are much pleased with samples of the "Woodruff Patent Portable Barometer," advertised in another column by CHARLES WILDER of Peterboro, N. H., and sent us by the Advertiser. The contrivance for securing ready portability, as described in his advertisement, is equally simple and effective; the workmanship of his Instruments appears to be all that can be desired, and the prices are certainly not extravagant. Samples of the styles retailing respectively at $12 and $8, may be seen at this office.
I do not propose to give at this time such a history as I recommend, but briefly to call the attention of the readers of the COUNTRY GENTLEMAN to the
DIMINUTIVE SIZE OF THE CATTLE OF NICARAGUA,
And, I might add, of Central and South America, so far as my observation has extended. The cattle in these localities are about one-half the size of those of the eastern, middle and western States of North America. I have never seen a bullock slaughtered here that would weigh 500 pounds in the beef, nor have I ever heard of one that weighed 800 pounds. The average nett weight of cattle here does not exceed 300 pounds, while in the Northern States it is as high as 600, and I have seen whole droves of cattle in the New-York market that would average 800 pounds each in the beef. Indeed it is no uncommon thing for several to be slaughtered during the holidays weighing in the neighborhood of 1,500 pounds each. The nett weight of "Washington," the heaviest bullock which I recollect of being killed for beef in the States, was, if I remember rightly, over 2,100 pounds.
I have been thus particular with regard to weight for the reason that Mr. Squier, with some other historians, represents the cattle of this country to be quite equal to those of the United States. It is possible, however, that they mean the cattle of the Southern States, which, like those of all hot climates, are inferior in size to those of
more northern latitudes.
I know full well how deceptive the cattle of this coun
try are, with their long, large horns carried high in the air, and yet there is no excuse for writers who make such gross mistakes, even on subjects with which they are not familiar. There are millions of hides exported from these countries, thousands of which annually reach the NewYork market, whose average dry weight falls below 22 pounds each. The average weight of green hides in NewYork being about 80 pounds, and the hides of two cattle weighing but 300 pounds each being always heavier than the hide of one whose weight is equal to both of them, and assuming the weight of green hides to be twice the weight of dry ones of the same dimensions, which is not far from being correct-and it is not difficult, even from the hides alone, to draw a pretty strong comparison in favor of the cattle of the United States.
climates. His average weight in this country would fall
THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM-TREES-LUXURIANCE OF THE
With the vegetable kingdom the difference is still greater, and in favor of this country. It is difficult to draw a comparison, however, as I have never seen but two plants growing wild here, which are of natural growth in the northern States, unless the "cedar" here is the black walnut there, which is quite probable, though it is much larger and heavier here than there, and different in many other respects. All timber here contains more than The difference in size and weight is not greater than double the ash that the same amount does in that country. in shape. With limbs as well formed as those of Flora alkali. The soil is made from the out-pourings of volIndeed everything in this country is highly charged with Temple, and their hind feet well set under them, they are ready every time to walk, trot or run, and can kick about canoes, and has for ages been enriched with the ashes of as sharp as a deer, to which they bear as close a resem-like all others that it has withstood the worst cultivation burning mountains, which has made this country so unblance in form and carriage as they do to our cattle at home. While the heavier bodied cattle of New-York possess twice the strength and drafting power of these, the latter possess equal advantages over the former in speed and endurance on the road. It is no uncommon thing for them to travel with their accustomed load 30 or 40 miles per day, and I have heard of their being driven 50 miles per day with the thermometer at 85 deg., which I have no reason to doubt. The ox here does all the team work, both on the farm and road, yet I have never seen his tongue out in the hottest of the weather. The horns of a three year old bull are frequently as slim and delicate as a heifer's, but they thicken with age, and do not show a wrinkle for each year, nor diminish in size near the head in extreme age, as they do in our country.
all live in cities or villages, and bring everything from the ever devised by man to exhaust a soil. The inhabitants farm to the place of residence to be consumed, without the least particle ever being returned to renovate the soil; and not satisfied with this system, that would in time exhaust any other soil, they sow their corn for fodder, and pull that and the grass up by the roots, with much of the light soil sticking to them, so that when brought in the rain for the animals, which are kept in the towns, the water that runs from the cart loads looks as black as tar water. And this course has been pursued for the last 300 years, with two and sometimes three crops of corn per year, or an alternate crop of corn and tobacco. They are now nozzling up their cornfields with erooked sticks drawn by oxen, to plant tobacco, and that which has been set 15 or about bull figHTING—THE COWS AND HOW TO MILK THEM. 20 days looks better, darker colored, and more thrifty Bull fighting, which at home is one of the things we than any other I ever saw in my life, not excepting that read of, and in countries adjacent to this is occasionally which I have seen growing on the bed of a coal pit. All talked of, means something here, and only becomes in the manure that accumulates here is hauled off and thrown teresting when they have succeeded in killing one or two into the rivers, holes or ravines. They never think of of the sportsmen, or crippled them for life. When an ex-spreading it on to their farms or gardens. No one seems pert sets out with a lasso fastened to a well trained horse, to know whether it would do good or harm, as I have never and captures one of these clean-heeled, slim-horned gen-seen the first man that has tried it on either farm or gartlemen, then when the animal makes his defiant bow, and den. And yet with all this destruction of soil, if one of turns his wicked horns upon his captor, good-bye to horse the farmers has the calentura, or from any other cause and rider, unless he has a sure companion at hand to lasso and hold the animal from the other side; and then if man or horse is killed, as frequently happens, it only increases the sport, and they never stop to wink, but another dashes in to fill his place.
The cows of this country generally give about as much milk as a goat, say from two to three quarts per day. Before they milk the cow they always tie the calf to her fore leg. Then they carefully crawl up behind the calf, and the cow is cheated out of what little milk she has, under the supposition that she is giving it to her calf. To attempt to milk the cow without having the calf tied to her fore leg would be considered by the natives as simply preposterous. Besides being "kicked into the middle of next week," they would fail to get a single drop of her milk, which she wouldn't think of giving down to anybody but her calf.
does not plant his land every year, it will in the course of one season be covered over with a heavy growth of vegetation, ten, fifteen or twenty feet high, as thick as the hair on a dog. I have seen one tree that I was credibly informed was sixteen months old, which was 25 feet high, and 34 inches in diameter, and I have seen the leaf of a plantain put out and grow in one week to the enormous size of 34 feet in width, and ten feet in length. There is nothing in the whole vegetable kingdom to which
can compare the plantain tree as it stands in the full beauty of its wide spreading leaves, looking so green and fresh and luxuriant, as though it must have sprung into life but yesterday.
A WONDERFUL TREE, WHICH "GROWS BOTH WAYS."
But the most remarkable tree of all others, and one I never heard of until I saw it, (and yet there are thousands of them on the Polvon and the other rivers that run into On the cattle estates the milk is manufactured into the bay of Punta Icaco,) is one which commences in the cheese, resembling what is known in the United States as middle and grows both ways. That is to say, the body of pot cheese, with the exception that this is pressed. It is the tree commences-according to size-ten, twenty, largely used by the inhabitants, and brings from 10 to 12 thirty or forty feet from the ground, with a hundred or a cents per pound in the market. One hundred cows in this thousand branches running thence to the ground, and country will make no more, however, than twenty-five in spreading in the shape of an inverted tunnel, and if the the northern States, as the former do not give more than tree is five feet in diameter, none of the branches being one-fourth the quantity of milk which the latter do, and more than two inches through, yet so close together that even that not half so rich. Butter is, as it were, unknown a bird could not fly through between them. The branches here, though it can be made of an inferior quality with shooting upward are very numerous but larger, and the great pains. Good butter can be brought here, however, tree looks as though it did not make the least differenco from the Northern States, if well made and properly pack-which end it stood on. Cut the lower branches all off and ed for a hot climate, which in time will be done to a great extent, to the mutual advantage of both countries.
The size of man is also less here than in temperate
turn it bottom end upwards, and stick the top in the mud, and it grows, they say, just as well. And as though not content with growing either end up, it would seem as
points, for docility, for quiet and peaceable disposition,
though nature had given it a monopoly of the surrounding soil by furnishing it with a seed about two feet long, shaped like a round steel-pointed arrow, with a slight bulb near the pointed end, which makes it so much the heaviest that it invariably strikes point downward as it falls from the tree, and sticks straight up in the ground, however hard it may be, or if it falls in the water, it is sufficiently dense to reach the bottom, where it commences growing at once. If this letter was not already quite too long, I would give you my reasons at length why plants have so much the advantage over animals in this country. In short the Boil and climate are so favorable to vegetable growth, that the plants get the start to such a degree that they absorb the ammonia, and draw so largely upon the vitality of the atmosphere that they starve the whole animal creation out of one of the essential elements of growth, not even ex-swine knows very well that large and heavy hogs will alcepting the dogs, tigers and lions, which are the most miserable, poverty-stricken creatures that ever were thought of in a country where cattle, mules and horses are so abundant in the forests, and easily killed by beasts of prey.
I have not forgotten my promise to write and send you some portions of my last year's agricultural address, which I should have done ere this had I not left my memoranda, which, however, I have written for and expect soon
[For the Country Gentleman and Cultivator.]
ways command from 50 cents to $1 more per 100 pounds in pork markets than those hogs which will weigh only from 200 to 300 pounds when dressed. Many farmers adhere to the Berkshires in preference to all other breeds, because they have such small bones, and make most superior meat, not only hams, shoulders and bacon, but mess and prime pork. Still all must acknowledge an inferiority of size. Nevertheless many contend that what is lost in size is most abundantly made up in quality of meat; and for home consumption I am quite inclined to concur in this opinion.
THE RED RUSSIANS.-Many farmers in this county, contend that the Red Russians cannot be beat, when the object is to fatten swine for market; because they are of a larger size, and if they are a little coarser than the
Agricultural Notes in Monroe Co., N. Y.--No. IV. Berkshires, or Chester Whites, and do not assimilate as
In passing through many portions of Monroe Co. one is impressed with a great many features in the agriculture of the county, which may be looked upon as worthy of more universal adoption, and which may properly be considered as the true basis of progressive agriculture, while he meets with a still greater number of circumstances, systems of management and farm practices, which may be set down as tending to deterioration, or retrogressive agriculture. It will not be my design in this place to say much, except in regard to the practices of good farmers.
One very prominent characteristic in the agriculture of Monroe county is the rearing and fattening of swine for market. I think I never have been in any locality in the Empire State where so many good swine are reared as there are raised in many portions of this county. It is no uncommon thing to see on a single farm from twenty to fifty swine, and sometimes as many as seventy, of a very
There is quite a variety of different breeds, and are all considered good, although when compared with each other there is a marked superiority of some over others. In some instances we meet with the full-blooded Berkshires, and the Suffolks, the Chester Whites, and the Red Russians; and then there are crosses, at pleasure, between any two breeds which are desirable. Of course nearly every breed appears to possess some superior points of excellence over those of some other breed. One man who has the full-blooded Berkshires is sure that they have no equal; while another, who has received a pair of pigs by express from some one of the eastern States, at a great price, is sure that the Chester Whites are the ne plus ultra of the genus Sus; while another thinks there is nothing equal to the red Russians.
In comparing the merits of the various breeds it has appeared to my mind that it is proper to be influenced more or less by circumstances, and after hearing the "hog stories" of a great many men in favor of their own particular breed, I will simply write what I think about the matter, whether it pleases Mr. A. or displeases Mr. B.
THE BERKSHIRES.-For form and symmetry, good
much fat, nor as readily as some other breed, which many good farmers contend they do not, they will return as much net profit in the end as any other breed, because they are larger, and therefore, will command a greater price per hundred pounds.
These are some of the arguments, pro and con.
Mr. Isaac Bower, North Chili, who has had much experience in raising swine of various breeds, thinks that a cross between the Red Russian and Berkshire produces a very superior kind of swine, not only for market but for home consumption. He showed me some fine shoats of this cross, which approximate the nearest to a perfect breed of swine of anything that I have ever met with. They possess, in addition to all the good points of the Berkshires, greater length, quite as much or greater breadth, and larger frames, and are as docile and quiet, and apt to fatten as any other breed.
Mr. Bela Dunbar had recently received by express, a pair of Chester Whites, which were very nice indeed; but when they were compared with Mr. Bower's shoats of about the same age, the product of the Red Russian and Berkshire-I was compelled to think Mr. B.'s pigs the best.
We called at the residence of Mr. Wm. Gridley, who owns a small farm, and has some very good cattle of grade Durhams, and a good herd of Berkshire swine.
On making inquiry for his good improvements in agriculture, we met with none worthy of recording, excepting his rat and mouse-proof corn house, beneath which was a hog-sty. The floor of the corn house is about four feet from the surface of the ground, and the outside was provided with a system of movable slats, which could be drawn along in stormy weather, over the spaces between the main slats, which are nailed to the timbers of the building.
This arrangement subserves a two-fold purpose. One is, to exclude the rain and snow in stormy weather, which is liable to find its way between the timbers, or into the joints, thus hastening their decay; and another object isand a very important one too-to open large spaces in fair weather, for the admission of a good supply of air, to cure and dry corn in the ear.
Raising Field Peas
Is another prominent feature in the agriculture of this county. In almost every locality where I passed through, and on almost every farm, there would be a field of peas,
and on some farms there would be a very large field of instances they are fed to sheep during the foddering season, them. It was no uncommon occurrence to see fields con- and small shoats, and swine of all kinds, are wintered on taining some fifteen, some twenty, and even in some in-them, and they thrive well. stances, forty acres of peas.
The kind of peas which are most commonly raised, are what they call the Canada field pea. The fruit is rather small, although the yield per acre is good; and so far as I was able to learn by inquiring of those who were pointed out to me as most successful and thorough farmers, the pea crop is about as profitable a crop as any other that they are accustomed to raise.
Those who are accustomed to raise much peas, usually aim to have a good lot of shoats in a thrifty condition, as soon as the peas are matured enough to feed, when they commence feeding them in vines, three times, daily, as many as they will eat without wasting any. Sometimes the vines are fed in the pens, and sometimes they are fed in the fields. Those farmers who appreciate the value of good manure, make a vast amount of it when their swine are being fatted, while those who do not value it as highly as they should, feed their peas in the highway, or in any other convenient place, where they will not be troubled with the labor and expense of hauling it, and spread it on the fields. Many farmers commence feeding the peas in the vines, while many of them are quite green; and in this way they can be fed for a long time before they become so hard that it would be more profitable to grind them, than to feed them whole.
The quantity of seed per acre varies from two and a half to three and a half bushels; and the yield per acre varies according to the fertility of the soil, and the manner of cultivating it. Some farmers receive not more than ten bushels per acre, while many who make and apply a good burden of barnyard manure, obtain over thirty bushels per acre, in many instances, although that amount is a very large yield, and much more than the average number of bushels throughout the county.
Modes of Harvesting Peas.
I visited several farms where the peas were being harvested, and it was truly surprising to see what a laborious and expensive job some farmers would make by the manner of harvesting them.
In many instances tney gathered them into heaps about the size of a good forkfull, by rolling them, as it is termed. This is done with a grass scythe, by running the scythe into the uncut peas, and then by continuing to step backwards, rolling them over and over, cutting off some and pulling up others, until a bunch is collected large enough for a forkfull. But this is a very slow way of harvesting them.
When peas are ground into meal for horses and neat cattle, they are usually mingled with an equal amount of oats and Indian corn, as the meal of peas is quite apt to operate as a laxative when fed to horses or neat cattle. Ground peas and Indian corn and oats, or wheat bran, in equal quantities, which is fed to stock of almost all kinds, I can testify is most excellent feed for calves during the foddering season, and good also for cows that give milk, for increasing not only the quantity but the quality of it. Let a good cow have good cornstalks and good hay daily, and be slopped with the meal of peas and Indian corn and wheat bran, and there will be no complaint about poor and thin milk and white, sickly looking butter.
Peas before Wheat.
As peas usually take possession of the soil when it is in a good state of cultivation, the crop is considered to be a good one to precede a crop of winter wheat, as the soil is left remarkably clean, and in good tilth, with only once plowing and harrowing for the reception of the seed. In some localities, however, where there is a preponderance of clay in the soil the ground is plowed in autumn after the pea crop has been removed; and the next spring, after being plowed, spring barley or wheat is sowed or drilled in, when a very remunerative crop is obtained, providing the soil is not too wet for a good crop to grow. So far as I made inquiry, both among good farmers and bad ones, they prefer to raise a crop of peas before sowing winter wheat to allowing the soil to remain in summer fallow, unless the soil is so overrun with noxious weeds as to need summer-fallowing to subdue and eradicate them.
I saw a great many fields from which a crop of peas had just been harvested, which were almost as clean as a summer fallow, which has been well taken care of-and much cleaner than many fallows which were in so good tilth, that a man could excavate a hole with his boot, down to the subsoil, with very little exertion.
Peas an Exhausting Crop.
Many good farmers with whom I conversed on this subject, contend, that a crop of peas will exhaust the soil less than any one crop of cereal grain. They contend, that by their broad system of large and porous leaves, they obtain far more nutriment from the atmosphere, than those plants which are supplied with very thin and small leaves; and that they stifle the growth of noxious weeds, which exhaust the soil. This coincides quite favorably with the theory of some vegetable physiologists, that leguminous Another way is to rake them with the old fashioned plants exhaust far less than cereals. But, I am inclined horse rake, or with a revolving rake while the vines are to believe, that this depends in a good degree on circumwet with dew or rain, so that they will not waste by shell-stances. Peas and beans also, are leguminous plants, and ing. When they are gathered in this way, there will be I am well satisfied that they exhaust the soil much more vines beneath the winrows, which the rake does not pull than we are willing to admit. It is not denied that leguup or sever from the roots. In such instances, the win-minous plants draw a good supply of nourishment from rows are thrown into bunches with forks, when those that have not been loosened with the horse rake, must be pulled up or broken off with the fork, which makes much unnecessary labor.
The best and most expeditious manner of harvesting them, and which was adopted in some instances, is to rein the horse away from the unraked peas as soon as the rake was filled, and empty it on the ground where the peas had been raked. According to this plan of harvesting them the horse and rake must be turned around every time the rake is emptied. But this is a much more expeditious and easier way than either of the others to which allusion has been made.
I observed that the best farmers did not allow their peas to become dead ripe before they were harvested, but that many of the pods would be quite green when they were raking them. When they are allowed to become quite ripe many of the pods will be so ripe that a great many will be lost by shelling.
When a farmer has a large field of peas, as they are very bulky, it is not practicable to house them, therefore they are put usually into very large stacks, and in some
the atmosphere until fructification commences; and could they be removed from the soil before the fruit begins to form, they would exhaust but little, providing they could be consumed on the farm, and the manure returned to the soil. But, when plants are allowed to stand until all the seed has come to maturity, a large quantity of the nutritive matter of the soil is sucked up in forming that seed, which, of course, exhausts the soil.
As a very small proportion of the nutritive matter taken from the soil to produce the wheat crop, is ever returned to the soil in the form of manure, wheat is considered a very exhausting crop. It not only exhausts the soil where it grows, but it impoverishes the farm, as no other field is improved in fertility, while another may be somewhat impoverished. But as peas are about all consumed on the farm where they are produced, when the system of farm management is as good as it should be, in order to render farming a paying, and at the same time a progressive system of agriculture, they may be set down as much less exhaustive to the soil than either of the cereals, unless they were consumed in the same manner. A crop of peas when properly consumed by stock