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AGRICULTURE : FARMS AND FARMING                                   303


Agriculture !n Early Times..........303



Egyptian Land, Transfer of........304

Israelites, the......................304

Greece ...........................304

Paintings and Inscriptions.........303


Agriculture, Development of, within

the last Century..................305

Agricultural Societies..............305

England and America..............305

Machinery and Tools, Improved.... 305





Cereal Grasses, the.................319

Grains,Climates-adapted to different 319

Indian Corn, or Maize..............321



Wild Oat, the....................320



Sweet-Corn, and Succotash........322


Spelt Wheat......................319


Advantages of, great...............316

Condition of, when opened.........314

Corn, Kind of, best for.............318

Corn, Sweet, for...................313

Crops for..........................313

Cultivation, Planting and..........313

Dairy Products, Effects on.........314

Deterioration after Opening........ 314

Feeding, Method of...............314

Planting and Cultivation...........313

Profitableness of................... 314


Ration of, Daily.................... 314

Remarks........................... 314

Silos................................ 312

Capacity........................ 312

Cost.............................. 313

Cover.......................... 313

Crops, best Time to put, into Silos 313

Filling ; Cost of Filling.......... 313

Filling, Time from, to Opening.. 313
.Fodder, preparing, for the Silo... 313


Location......................... 312


Weight........................... 313

Stock fed on Ensilage, Condition of 314
Value of Ensilage for Mil -­cows.. 314

Value of, for other Stock..........314

Ensilage Congress...................315

Ensilage Crops, Yield of.............313



Food of Plants.....................307


Manure, Domestic Birds............308


Manures, Bone and other...........308

Cheap Home-made.......309

Liquid................... 307

Waste, the enormous...............309

Food Ingredients.—Chemical Terms





Fats................................ 311

Organic Substance.................311

Water.............................. 311


Clover, or Trefoil................... 318

Meadow Grasses, proper Time to cut 318

Red Top...........................318

Timothy, or Herd‘s Grass..........318


Bed, Situation for the..............320

Cold Frame........................321

Dung, Preparation of the..........320


Acre, the..........................305

Government Land..................305

Square Feet.......................306

Square Yards......................305



Asparagus.......................... 332





Carrots..... .......................327

Cauliflower........................ 331

Celery......... ................... 335









Potato-Bug, the..................326

Rot, to preserve Potatoes from... 326

Sweet-Potato, the................326



Squashes........................... 334






Of all the arts essential to human life, that of
agriculture is the earliest. The word originally
means, cultivation of the field, but its practice
began, even before the existence of anything
deserving the name of a field, the first time a
savage undertook in any way to assist Nature in
the processes by which he expected his food.
Long before written history, men had made
great progress in the cultivation of the soil, and
had succeeded in drawing results from the ground,
in many cases such as would do credit to modern
means of cultivation.

Egypt.-—Bible readers will recall its frequent
references to Egypt as a land so rich in corn, that
it not only produced abundance for her own
dense population, but yielded supplies for export.
Diodorus Siculus bears explicit testimony to the

success of the farmers of ancient Egypt He
says they practiced skillfully the rotation of
crops, and that they furnished to Rome an ordi­
nary annual supply of corn of 20,000,000 bushels.
He tells us that they fed their cattle with hay
during the inundation, and at other times te­
thered them in the meadows on green clover.
Their flocks were sheared twice a year, and
their ewes yeaned as often. Remembering that
Egypt is 600 miles long with an average breadth
of 7 miles, its productiveness was wonderful.

Paintings and Inscriptions.Many of these, after
the lapse of two or three thousand years, retain
the distinctness of outline and brilliancy of color
of recent productions. These seem to give con­
firmation to the old saying, There is nothing
new under the sun.” Those referring to rural
affairs disclose a state of advancement at that
early date which may well lead us to speak m



destly of our own attainments. An Egyptian
villa comprised all the conveniences of a Euro­
pean one at the present day. Besides the man­
sion with many apartments, there were gardens,
orchards, fish-ponds, game-preserves, with farm­
yard, sheds for cattle and stables for carriage-
horses. A steward directed the tillage opera­
tions, superintended the laborers, and kept ac­
count of expenditure and produce. In one
painting, in which the sowing of the grain is
represented, a plow drawn by a pair of oxen goes
first; next comes the sower scattering the seed
from a basket; he is followed by another plow;
while a roller, drawn by two horses yoked
abreast, completes the operation.

Transfer of Egyptian Land.The Egyptians at­
tached great value to land, and observed the ut­
most formality in its transfer. In the time of
the Ptolemies, their written deeds of conveyance
began with the mention of the reign in which
they were executed, the name of the president
of the court, and of the clerk who drew them.
The name of the seller, with a description of his
personal appearance, his parentage, profession
and residence, was engrossed. The nature of
the land, its extent, situation and boundaries,
and the name and appearance of the purchaser
were also included. A clause of warranty and
an explicit acceptance by the purchaser followed,
and finally the deed was attested by numerous
witnesses, and by the president of the court.

The Israelites, along with the Egyptians, Baby­
lonians and Romans, rank as one of the great
agricultural nations of antiquity. When they
reached Canaan, the invading army of more than
6oo,ooo men, with wives, children and camp-fol-
lowers, found “ old corn” in the land sufficient
to maintain them from the day they passed the
Jordan. To each of these 6oo,ooo yeomen was
assigned under an equal division from 16 to 25
acres. This land, held in direct tenure from Je­
hovah their sovereign, was strictly inalienable.
The owners of these small farms cultivated them
with great care, and rendered them highly pro­
ductive. The soil was very fertile, and their dili­
gence and skill kept it in good condition. The
seventh year's fallow, and the burning of the
weeds and spontaneous growth of the Sabbatical
year, prevented the exhaustion of the soil. The
crops chiefly cultivated were, wheat, millet, bar­
ley, beans and lentils, and probably rice and
cotton. The hill districts and neighboring des­
erts afforded pasturage for numerous flocks and
herds, and thus admitted of the benefits of a mixed
husbandry. Not by a figure of speech, but lite­
rally, every Israelite sat under the shadow of his
own vine and fig-tree; and the country as a
whole is described as “ a land of corn and wine,
a land of bread and vineyards, a land of oil-olive

and of honey.” Scripture agricultural allusions
seem natural and appropriate to the modern
farmer, and he can hardly hope greatly to sur­
pass our Saviour‘s illustration of increase, “ some
thirty, some sixty, some an hundred fold.”

Greece.The Greeks conquered the soil they
occupied, and contemptuously improved on the
aboriginal tribes the labor of cultivating it,
while they devoted themselves especially to po­
etry, philosophy, history and fine arts. But
when we find that valleys were freed from lakes
and morasses by drainage, that rocky surfaces
were sometimes covered with transported soil,
and that they possessed excellent breeds of the
domesticated animals, which were reared in vast
numbers, we infer that agriculture was better
understood, and more carefully practiced, than
the allusions to it in their literature would seem
to warrant.

Rome.While Roman arts and sciences, and
general literature, were borrowed from the
Greeks, they created an original literature of
their own, of which rural affairs furnished the
substance and inspiration. The reading of Cato,
Virgil, Pliny and others turns up continually the
very same subjects still handled controversially
among us, so many centuries later. In ancient
Rome each citizen received, at first, an allotment
of about two of our acres, increased after the ex­
pulsion of the kings, to six. These small inheri­
tances must, of course, have been cultivated by
hard labor. Pliny says : “ Virgil is of opinion
that alternate fallows should be made, and that
the land should rest entirely every second year.
And this is, indeed, both true and profitable, pro­
vided a man have land enough to give the soil
this repose. But how, if his extent be not suffi­
cient ? Let him, in that case, help himself thus.
Let him sow next year‘s wheat-crop on the field
where he has just gathered his beans, vetches
or lupines, or such other crop as enriches the
ground. For, indeed, it is worth notice that
some crops are sown for no other purpose but as
food for others, a poor practice in my estima­

China.Here agriculture is held in higher esti­
mation than in perhaps any other country in the
world. On the first day of each year, a grand
ceremony is performed in its honor. The em­
peror, accompanied by his great officers of state,
repairs to the sacred field, and, having offered
sacrifice on an altar of earth, he traces a furrow
with the plow, and his example is followed by
princes and ministers. A like solemnity is cele­
brated by the governor of every province, who
represents the emperor. The agricultural sys­
tem of the Chinese is rude, but effective, and
every inch of arable land is carefully cultivated.
Spade-husbandry and irrigation are carried on

AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING.                                    305

to a great extent. The Chinese have a strong
perception of the value of night-soil as a ma­
nure ; it is everywhere saved, bears a high price,
and is collected in a manner highly offensive to
European notions. In the northern provinces,
the cereals are principally maize, barley and
wheat; but in the south, rice is raised in vast
quantities, and forms the staple food of the peo­
ple. Tobacco and the poppy are also raised in
considerable quantities.


In England and America at the beginning of the
18th century agriculture was of the rudest kind.
But a change was inaugurated just before the
beginning of the present century, traceable more
especially to the operations of the French Revo­
lution. Still greater changes have taken place
in the United States during the last half-century.
Among the causes that have contributed to this
result is the increased circulation of agricultural
books and papers, written by intelligent and
practical men, and more especially the invention
and widespread use of so many labor-saving agri­
cultural implements. Men not yet old can re­
member when all the operations of haying and
harvesting were done “ by hand,” when the scythe
and the cradle, the rake and the pitchfork, were
all the aid the human brain had furnished for
the securing and storing of hay and grain.

Improved Machinery and Tools.The forerunner
of the goodly fellowship of improved tools which
reinforce the laborer‘s hand, was the clumsy
wooden horserake. Within forty years reapers
and mowers have come into general use ; and
with them seed and corn sowers ; subsoil plows ;
cutters ; cultivators ; threshing and winnowing
machines, and others of great utility. Farmers
have been slow in giving up their old methods,
and in welcoming new ideas. They rejected
book-farming; their knowledge and their prac­
tices were traditional—they did as their fathers
did before them. It takes a great while to edu­
cate the tillers of the soil up to a wise use of
manures, and the application of chemistry to ag­

Agricultural Societies. The formation of agricul­
tural societies in almost every part of the coun­
try, in which men of education and influence
have taken a lively interest, has helped to more
skillful husbandry, to the better adaptation of
crops to different soils, and to more remunera­
tive work. It is hoped that the suggestions and
information herewith given from practical
sources, will be of service to farmers, as well as
to many others who are interested, or may en­
gage, in an honorable, and independent, and a lu­
crative employment



The unit of land measurement in the United
States is the acre, of the same size as the English
acre. Most nations have some measure approxi­
mately corresponding; originally, perhaps, the
land one could plow in a day; so that unifor­
mity is not to be looked for. The values of the
more important corresponding measures are here
given, compared with the English and American

The German morgen above are becoming ob­
solete, as the German Empire has adopted the
French metrical system.

In Square Yards.—An acre contains 4840 square
yards. The chain with which land is measured
is 22 yards long, and a square chain will contain
22x22, or 484 yards; so that 10 square chains
make an acre. The acre is divided into 4 roods,
a rood into 40 perches, and a perch contains 30¼
square yards. Engineers sometimes use, instead
of a chain, a steel measuring-tape, 100 feet long,
each foot divided into tenths. An approximate
substitute may be made of a pole, 16½ feet long,
cut by 24 notches at equal distances into 25

In “Government Land,” a township 6 miles
square consists of 36 sections each 1 mile square.
So that a section of 1 mile square contains 640
acres, a quarter section of half a mile square con­
tains 160 acres, an eighth section half a mile one
way by a quarter the other contains 80 acres,
and a sixteenth section one quarter of a mile
square contains 40 acres. In the government
surveys the sections in each township are nunv-
bered 1 to 36, and the townships are numbered

306                                                    THE FRIEND OK ALL.

from west to east, commencing at the northern
border of the State.

In Square Feet.—An acre contains 43,560 square
feet, so that 436 square feet are one one-hun­
dredth of an acre, and so on. To some, it is
easier to calculate each time from the measure­
ment. Others may find assistance in tables. A
field of any of these dimensions contains one

The side of a square to contain

An English acre is a square of about 70 yards
each way; a Scotch of 77½ yards; and an Irish
of 88½ yards. Every mile of mere hedge and
ditch is about an acre. Roads and fences, 1 rod
wide, occupy 1 acre for every mile of length.


An abundant and never-failing supply of water
is of the very first importance to every success­
ful farmer. Now and then a fortunate man
can have access to copious springs in the
right places, or can draw supplies from hills
above. And others can lift water where wanted
by a hydraulic ram. But the only resort often
has to be, the old-fashioned well or pump. Now
that the driven-well monopoly seems to have re­
ceived its death-blow, water may in a great many
localities be easily and cheaply made accessible
through its means. But whether a driven pump
or a dug well is to furnish the drinking-water
for stock or men, the greatest care should be
taken that a place be chosen free from the small­
est danger of leakage or drainage into it of any
impurity or defiled surface-water. How often
does a farmer thoughtlessly use drinking-water
which a stable, barn­yard, cesspool or other foul­
ness may and does contaminate ! And how often
is the clergyman heard to lay at the door of an
“ inscrutable Providence” the loss of the father,
the mother, the husband or the wife, who has
died of the poison thus unwittingly taken into
the system ! Before you leave this paragraph,
reflect whether this shoe pinches you ; and if
there is a shade of danger, " oh, reform it alto­


What material shall be used for these neces­
sary boundaries, must depend greatly on the
locality and what is there accessible. Where
land has become valuable, the old-fashioned rail

and Virginia fences have to disappear. Before
even these, how picturesque used to appear the
long miles of overturned stumps, the outstretched
fingers of one interlocking with the outstretched
fingers of its neighbor, and conjuring up to the
boyish imagination in the gloaming weird shapes
of Indians and of spooks! Sometimes no better
use can be made of the stones which “ grow” un-
planted and unasked on a farm, than to make
fence-rows of them. The writer remembers
standing on a high hill near New London,
Conn., where the eye, traveling in every direc­
tion, encountered only long miles of stone fence,
no wood anywhere visible except an occasional

The fence of the future seems destined to be
of wire. Its cheapness and strength, and the
little room it occupies, are continually drawing
it into favor. Just back, we read that every mile
of mere hedge and ditch occupies about an acre
of ground. The wire fence occupies almost lite­
rally nil. An occasional club inveighs against
the unsportsmanlike character of a wire fence.
John Leech made pictures of hunting horsemen
brought to grief over the invisible but strong
barrier. Certainly, one may sympathize with the
noble quadruped thus overthrown. But for the
biped bestriding it, any latent feeling is qualified
by the hope that every accident may help the
downfall of such survivals as riding over culti­
vated fields and gardens in pursuit of vermin
whose life an utterly absurd law preserves, that it
may give opportunity for this very mischief.

The barbed-wire fence is coming into wide­
spread use. Like the driven-well patent, the
patent under which this fence is made has been
vehemently attacked as a monopoly, and at its
present status the case looks as though it will
be found untenable. Where there must be a
fence—and there are now a great many more
than are needed—do let us have as little of it as
will answer the purpose. How beautiful upon
the fields and meadows shows the green growth
clean up to the roadside, the passing eye wander­
ing unobstructed, except by the infrequent post,
and yet the growing crops as safe as behind an
English hedge! At last, everywhere, utility and
beauty may be expected to meet and mingle,
and on that which serves its purpose best the
accustomed eye looks with delight. Let us have
our fences as infrequent as possible, and those
that remain as near invisible as may be.

There is a certain picturesqueness and beauty
about a well-kept hedge and ditch that please
the eye. Suppose we compromise the matter
and enjoy with our might what other people,
and especially our English cousins, maintain at
their own expense for public delectation. As
a great poet remarks: “ The stars are very well

AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING.                                   307

where they are; I do not want them any nearer.”
Let us enjoy the hedges, but without thought of
cultivating any such on our own land.


According to the old legend, a good farmer
will have a good barn, though he and his family
have to live in a shanty. This may a little over­
state the matter, but it is plain that if the farmer
is to be dependent for his living on his stock and
his products, whatever he neglect he must not
neglect his products and his stock. Take care
of them, even at the expense of the necessary
sacrifice, and they will take care of him. But
his barn and his home ought always to remain
apart a little distance; if across the road, the

Every farmer thinks he can best plan his own
barn : and this ought to be true. He needs, if
he can get it, a side hill, so that he can drive
loaded teams into the barn from the ground-
level, and often he can embank an inclined plane
from the opposite door, that the empty wagon or
cart may be driven on and down and out, instead
of having either to turn or to back out. Under
his main floor he can easily contrive cow and ox
stable, hay-press, storage room, and whatever
else his special needs may require. There
should be shafts through which food, etc., may
be passed down from above, and good ventila­
tion everywhere. His roof should project so as
to have windows at the end which he may keep
open and yet not wet his hay. Under or near
his barn he should provide ample silos, in which
he may preserve the ensilage that shall make his
stock laugh and fatten the sides and pocket of
owner and family. And there or elsewhere he
should provide room where every vehicle and
utensil he uses may be kept safely under cover
and within walls. How “ shiftless” to Aunt
Ophelia seems the too frequent sight of wagons
and carts in the sun and rain, the hay-rake and
reaper and mower out of doors when not in use,
and sleighs baking in the heat of summer—per­
haps even harness hung in an open shed.

But even more shiftless than this is the waste
of many a barnyard. How often does one see in
such a place manure going to waste that would
greatly increase the owner's crops! If a passage
through many a barnyard is necessary in wet
weather, how perilous and filthy the transit is!
A great piece of water highly flavored with am­
monia “and sich” sending up its perfumes, and
“ custards of Nature, pancakes of the earth,” of
all ages and consistencies, cover the ground,
and foul the feet-coverings. The writer was
once walking with the late Prof. Mapes by a
heap of several cords. “ That,” said the profes­
sor, “is night-soil, treated with charcoal-dust,

and headlands.” “ Night-soil ?—there is no
smell.” “ No smell ? I can‘t afford to let it
smell; if there is any odor, my cash is evaporat­
ing.” How much such wealth smells to heaven ;
and the resources which properly husbanded
would give improved health, comfort and abun­
dant opportunities for improvement, escape, foul
the air, load the clothes and boots, pollute the
persons, and threaten the health of the family
in barn, yard or house !


Food of Plants.The food of all plants is very
much alike. The great mass of vegetables is re­
solved into carbonic acid, water and ammonia,
on being subjected to heat or burned in a fire.
It is these same substances which constitute the
chief food of all plants. The light of the sun
enables plants to decompose and assimilate car­
bonic acid and ammonia, and to manufacture out
of them the various products they contain. All
organic substances yield these by slow decompo­
sition, as well as by combustion. It is for this
reason that such substances increase the fertility
of land when added to it.

Farmyard Manure.This stands at the head of
all fertilizers in common use. It consists of the
excrements of stock, their litter, and the refuse of
their fodder; usually first trodden down in suc­
cessive layers, and partially fermented in the
farm-yard, and thence removed and left in heaps
where, by further fermentation and decay, it be­
comes a dark, moist, homogeneous mass. It is
thus the residuum of the whole products of the
farm, minus exported grain, and that portion of
the other crops which, being first assimilated in
the bodies of the live­stock, is sold in the form of
butcher-meat, dairy produce or wool. In apply­
ing farm-yard manure to land, there is thus a re­
turning to it of what it had previously produced,
less the above exceptions, and such waste as gas­
eous exhalation or liquid drainage may cause
during the process. Of course the value of the
manure is dependent upon the richness of the
food of the animals producing it, and the reten­
tion of its properties against exhalation and
drainage. The richer the food upon which stock
is fed so much the richer the manure produced.
Stock fed upon straw and water leave a very in­
ferior manure, that requires to be largely supple­
mented by other materials.

Liquid Manures.The urine of all housed live­
stock ought to be carefully retained, and ab­
sorbed in the solid matter of the manure-heap.
Its surplus should be collected into a suitable
tank, where it may be made available. English
and Scotch farmers in general endeavor to have
all the liquid excrements of the stock absorbed by
the straw, and carried out in the solid form. But



often much more is produced than could be dis­
posed of in this way. In a large farm near Glas­
gow the drainage of a dairy of 700 cows flows in
a full continuous stream into a tank containing
30,000 or 40,000 gallons, whence an engine pumps
it to various vats on the highest points of land to
be irrigated. From these heights it is distribu­
ted where needed, miles of iron pipe being used
in taking it up and down. But experiments on
this scale are a matter more of interest than of
use to our readers ; and the profit of such opera­
tions, so conducted, is still a moot point.

Guano.—Next in importance to farm-yard ma­
nure, comes guano. This substance is the dung
of sea-fowl, and is found on rocky islets in parts
of the world where rain seldom falls. The drop­
pings of the myriads of birds by which such places
are frequented have in many cases been permit­
ted to accumulate during untold ages, and are
now found in enormous deposits. The princi­
pal supply has hitherto come from the Chincha
Islands, on the coast of Peru. Less than forty
years ago a few casks were brought to Liverpool.
In 1872 there were imported into Great Britain
118,704 tons, valued at £1,201,042, and in the
same year into the United States 14,309 tons,
valued at $423,323; and 4209 tons, valued at
$60,865, were gathered from islands, rocks and
keys belonging to the United States. The qua­
lity of guano varies greatly, but in good speci­
mens there are 65 to 80 per cent of organic mat­
ter and fixed salts. The dung of birds, from its
including both liquid and solid excrements, is
superior as a manure to that of quadrupeds. On
the grasses, guano is sown broadcast in the early
part of spring, when vegetation begins to start.
At this time the roots take it up and prevent it
from being washed out of the soil. But clover,
being a deep-rooted plant, is best dressed with it
in autumn, that the roots may store up its active
principles till spring, and the plants be in a more
vigorous state for the next summer‘s growth. It
is too soluble to apply to early autumn-sown
wheat. In moist springs, when there are abun­
dant rains to wash it in, it forms an admirable
top-dressing for winter wheat. For spring-sown
wheat and other cereals, no manure has a more
powerful influence. The usual dressing is 300 to
400 pounds for cereals. The stronger the land the
more may be profitably applied.

Domestic Bird-Manure.—Pigeon‘s dung has long
been in high repute as an excellent fertilizer,
and brought a high price in days when portable
manures were scarcely to be had. It is now little
heard of, guano, the excrement of fowls which
feed upon fish, being superior, weight for weight.
The manure of domestic poultry is usually mixed
with the general heap, but it could be turned to
better account if kept by itself. It has been re­

commended to strew the floors of poultry-houses
daily with sawdust or sand, and to rake this
with the droppings into a heap to be kept under
cover and used like guano.

Night-Soil.—Baron Liebig is credited with the
saying that an adult human being can be made
to keep fertile an acre of ground. An untold
quantity of fertilizing material thus produced is
more than wasted every day. The products of
the water-closet, both liquid and solid, should be
deodorized and composted by mixture with dried
peat, ashes or dry earth of a loamy nature. The
privy vault or box should be easily accessible at
all times, and ought to be kept well supplied
with a mixture of these absorbents. No better
fertilizer than this exists under the sun ; about 10
bushels of the compost will be a good dressing
for an acre. In China no other fertilizer is used,
and about 400,000,000 of people exist on the
crops nourished by it. The dry earth-closet in­
troduced into England by the Rev. Mr. Moule,
and the Wakefield closet in the United States,
are most powerful auxiliaries of the agriculturist,
and deserve the highest commendation.

Bone and other Manures.—The employment of
bones as a manure is one of the greatest mo­
dern improvements in agriculture. They are ap­
plied either simply reduced to small fragments
or a coarse powder called bone-dust, or, after un­
dergoing chemical preparations of various kinds,
as the basis of highly valuable artificial manures.
All the substances which enter into the compo­
sition of bones are desirable additions to the soil,
but particularly the phosphates. Phosphoric
acid, usually found in combination with mag­
nesia, and more particularly lime, enters into the
structure of every plant and animal; it is a sub­
stance, therefore, which cannot be dispensed
with either in the vegetable or animal economy.

Soda can be easily obtained in the form of
common salt, but as this substance is usually as­
sociated with potash, the one is found in the
dung-heap as well as the other. Common salt
is applied to corn-crops that are growing too
rapidly. The salt has the effect of stiffening the
straw, and rendering it less liable to lodge. Salt
is also used with great success in growing man­
gel-wurzel, as this is a plant which was origi­
nally taken from the sea­shore.

Potash is a substance most essential for all our
cultivated plants ; its market-price, however, is
so high, that farmers seldom apply it directly to
the soil. They employ certain crops, such as
clover and turnips, to gather it up for them in the
soil. These are consumed on the farm by cattle
and sheep, and as little potash enters into animal
tissues as a permanent constituent, it is mostly
returned to the dunghill in the excrementitious
matters. Farm­yard dung thus possesses a value



of its own, by supplying this constituent, which
cannot be bought economically in the market.

All perennial plants, such as grasses, are ena­
bled to extract phosphoric acid from the soil
more readily than annual plants, owing to their
numerous and well-developed roots, which are
ready, even at the beginning of the growing sea­
son, to draw supplies from a large mass of soil.
Grasses, therefore, are only benefited by phos­
phoric manures when the soil is more than usu­
ally deficient in phosphates. If grass­lands are
sterile, it is easy to ascertain if a deficiency of
phosphoric acid is the cause, by adding calcined
or crushed bone, and watching their effect. An
experiment of this sort is a much better guide
than any analysis of the soil.

The Enormous Waste.John Stuart Mill, follow­
ing his legal preceptor John Austin, prates of the
“ niggardliness of Nature.” But the great source
of human poverty is not any niggardliness on the
part of Nature, but ignorance, neglect and lazi­
ness on the part of man. There are very few
farms on which a scanty living is now made by
hard work and rigid frugality, where a generous
one may not be had, with less labor and more
brains. In the single article of manures, fortunes
go to waste yearly all over the country. As in
any commercial business, it is not necessarily
hard work that wins, though hard work is every­
where wanted ; it is what the New Englanders
used to call “ faculty,” gumption ; old Dr. S. H.
Cox called it “ spizarinctum.” The treasures that
lie in ensilage were uncovered by a Frenchman
of business : and yet how open they have all
along lain ! The mere judicious putting back
into the soil of all waste and refuse matter
produced from the soil, with judicious supple­
menting of the elements taken wholly away, is
the secret. Bailey, in the “Book of Ensilage,”
says : “ I am experimenting upon an old run­
down farm, which, in 1877, could keep but 6 cows
and one horse. I have now in my barn (Dec 1,
1880) sufficient hay to keep 6 horses, and forage
in my silos ample for the sustenance of 60
head of horned cattle, nearly 200 sheep, and 60
swine. I may also state, that during the past
three years I have bought no hay or manure.”
This he lays to ensilage; but he saved his ma­
terials with jealous care as well as depended on


Everything on a farm should be utilized; even
the outflow of the kitchen-slops should be dis­
charged on a bed of swamp-muck. Good wood-
ashes weigh about 60 pounds to the bushel; of this
6¾ are soluble in warm water. They are worth to
the farmer from 60 to 70 cents per bushel as a

fertilizer; if leached, they are worth perhaps a
quarter of that sum. They are excellent for all
crops, altogether unequaled for fruit-trees, and
in a most unfavorable season 250 bushels of
potatoes have been raised from 1 acre dressed
with them.

Ashes from Soil by Spontaneous Combustion.Make
your mound 21 feet long by 10½ feet wide. To
fire, use 72 bushels of lime. First a layer of dry
sods or parings on which a quantity of lime is
spread, mixing sods with it; then a covering
of 8 inches of sods, on which the other half of
the lime is spread, and covered a foot thick,
the height of the mound being about a yard.
In twenty-four hours it will take fire. The lime
should be fresh from the kiln. It is better to
suffer it to ignite itself than to effect it by the
operation of water. When the fire is fairly
kindled, fresh sods must be applied; but get a
good body of ashes in the first place. It may be
fairly supposed that the lime adds full its worth
to the quality of the ashes; and when limestone
can be got, burn a small quantity in the mounds,
which would be a great improvement to the
ashes, and would help to keep the fire in.

Barn-Manure, Substitute for.Dissolve a bushel
of salt in water enough to slack 5 or 6 bushels of
lime. The best rule for preparing the compost
heap is, 1 bushel of this lime to 1 load of swamp-
muck, intimately mixed; though 3 bushels to 5
loads makes a very good manure. In laying up
the heap, let the layer of muck and lime be thin,
so that decomposition may be more rapid and
complete. When lime cannot be got, use un-
leached ashes—3 or 4 bushels to a cord of muck.
In a month or six weeks overhaul and work over
the heap, when it will be ready for use. Sprinkle
the salt water on the lime as the heap goes up.

Manure from Large Bones without Expense.Take
an old flour-barrel, and put into the bottom a
layer of hard­wood ashes; put a layer of bones on
the top of the ashes, and add another layer of
ashes, filling the space between the bones with
them ; then add bones and ashes alternately,
finishing off with a thick layer of ashes. When
your barrel is filled, pour on water (urine is bet­
ter) just sufficient to keep them wet, but do not
on any account suffer it to leach one drop; for
that would be like leaching your dung-heap. In
the course of time they will heat, and eventually
soften down so that you can crumble them with
your finger. When sufficiently softened, dump
them out of the barrel on a heap of dry loam,
and pulverize and crumble them up till they are
completely amalgamated into one homogeneous
mass with the loam, so that it can be easily
handled and distributed when required. You
may rely on it this manure will leave its mark,
and show good results wherever used.

310                                                    THE FRIEND OF ALL.

Fish-Compost, Substitute for Bone-dust, Manure from
Fish-Refuse, etc.The fish owes its fertilizing value
to the animal matter and bone-earth which it
contains. The former is precisely similar to flesh
or blood, consisting of 25 per cent of fibrin, the
rest being water; and their bones are similar in
composition to those of terrestrial animals. As
fertilizing agents, therefore, the bodies of fishes
will act nearly in the same way as the bodies and
blood of animals ; 100 pounds, in decaying, pro­
duce pounds of ammonia. Hence 400 pounds
of fish rotted in compost are enough for an acre.
The great effect is due to the ammoniacal por­
tion ; for it renders the herbage dark green, and
starts it very rapidly.

Home-made Guano of Unequaled Excellence.Save
all your fowl-manure from sun and rain. To pre­
pare it for use, spread a layer of dry swamp-muck
(the blacker it is the better) on your barn-floor,
and dump on it the whole of your fowl-manure;
beat it into a fine powder with the back of your
spade ; this done, add hard­wood ashes and plas­
ter of Paris, so that the compound shall be com­
posed of the following proportions : dried muck,
4 bushels; fowl-manure, 2 bushels; ashes, 1
bushel; plaster, 1½ bushels. Mix thoroughly,
and spare no labor; for in this matter the elbow-
grease expended will be well paid for. A little
before planting, moisten the heap with water or,
better still, with urine; cover well over with old
mats, and let it lie till wanted for use. Apply it
to beans, corn or potatoes, at the rate of a hand­
ful to a hill; and mix with the soil before drop­
ping the seed. This will be found the best sub­
stitute for guano ever invented, and may be
depended on for bringing great crops of turnips,
corn, potatoes, etc.

How to Double the Usual Quantity of Manure on a
Farm.—Provide a good supply of black swamp-
mold or loam from the woods, within easy reach
of your stable, and place a layer of this, one foot
thick, under each horse, with litter as usual, on
the top of the loam or mold. Remove the drop­
pings of the animals every day, but let the loam
remain for two weeks ; then remove it, mixing it
with the other manure, and replace with fresh
mold. By this simple means any farmer can
double not only the quantity but also the quality
of his manure, and never feel himself one penny
the poorer by the trouble or expense incurred,
while the fertilizing value of the ingredients ab­
sorbed and saved by the loam can scarcely be

Twenty Dollars’ Worth of Manure for almost Nothing.
—If you have any dead animal—say, for instance,
the body of a horse—do not suffer it to pollute
the atmosphere by drawing it away to the woods
or any other out-of-the-way place, but remove it
a short distance only from your premises, and

put down four or five loads of muck or sods,
place the carcass thereon, and sprinkle it over
with quicklime, and cover over immediately
with sods or mold sufficient to make, with what
had been previously added, 20 good wagon-loads,
and you will have within twelve months a pile of
manure worth $20 for any crop you choose to
put it upon. Use a proportionate quantity of
mold for smaller animals, but never less than 20
good wagon-loads for a horse ; and if any dogs
manifest too great a regard for the inclosed car­
cass, shoot them on the spot.


The direction to use a hotbed occurs so often,
in notices of half-tardy annuals, that we feel we
shall be materially aiding those who are their own
gardeners if we give a few simple directions on
the subject of a hotbed composed of stable ma­
nure, the most frequent and useful form in which
it is to be found.

The Preparation of the Dung is a matter of great
importance, and if the bed be expected to retain
its usefulness for any length of time it should be
well worked previous to being used. If obtained
fresh from the stable-yard, and found to be too
dry, it should be well watered and thrown lightly
together to ferment; this will take place in the
course of a few days, and three or four days after­
ward it should be completely turned, well shaken
and mixed, keeping the more littery portion to
the interior of the heap ; a second turning and
watering may be necessary, although one will be
generally found to be sufficient; when thus
cleaned of its rankness the bed may be made.

The Situation for this should be dry under­
neath, sheltered from the north as much as pos­
sible and fully exposed to the sun ; it should be
built up from two feet six inches to four feet
high, and wider by six inches every way than the
frame to be placed upon it. The dung should
be well shaken and mixed while being put to
gether, and firmly pressed by the feet. The
frame should be kept close until the heat rises,
and three or four inches of sifted sand or ashes
should be placed on the surface of the bed ; in a
few days it will be ready for use; but air should
be given night and day while there is any danger
from the rank steam, and if the sand or ashes are
drawn away from the side of the bed they should
be replaced.

When the hotbed is used for seeds only noth­
ing further is necessary; they are to be sown in
pots or pans, placed or plunged in the bed, the
heat of which will soon cause them to germinate.
As this will after some time decline, what are
called linings should be added; that is, fresh, hot
fermenting (but not rank) dung applied about a
foot in width all round the bed; this renews its

AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING.                                    311

strength, and will greatly aid its successful ma- ]

A Cold-Frame is formed by placing the ordi­
nary hotbed-frame upon a bed of light rich soil
in some place in the garden where it will be pro­
tected from cold winds. They should both be
shaded from the sun by mats during the middle
of the day.

The frames may be made of common boards,
with a post in each corner. The front should be
enough lower than the back to give the needed
slope to carry off rain. Cross strips should be
put every three feet, strong enough to support
the sashes. Sash-frames are easily bought, and
ought to be of well-seasoned wood.


The American Agriculturist, Jan. 1879, con­
tained the following:

Water,—If a piece of wood or wisp of hay be
dried some time in a hot oven, more or less
water will be driven off. The water in feeding-
stuffs varies from 80 to 90 pounds in every 100
pounds of young grass or fodder-corn, to only 8
or 10 pounds to the 100 in dry straw or hay.

Organic Substance.—If the dried wood or hay be
burned, most of it will pass off as gas, vapor or
smoke. The part thus burned away is the or­
ganic substance. The residue—

The Ash—contains the mineral matters, that is,
the potash, lime, phosphoric acid, etc., of the plant.
The most important part for our present purpose
is the organic, the combustible matter. This
consists of three kinds of ingredients, albumi­

noids, carbo-hydrates and fats. The main point
in economical feeding is to secure the right pro­
portions of these at the lowest cost.

Albuminoids—also called protein compounds, pro-
and flesh-formers—contain carbon, oxygen,
hydrogen and nitrogen. Thus they differ from
the carbo-hydrates and fats, which contain no
nitrogen. The name albuminoids comes from
albumen, which we know very well as the white
of eggs, and it is found in milk. The fibrin of
bone and muscle (lean meat) and the casein
(curd) of milk are also albuminoids. Indeed, the
solid part of blood, nerves, lean meat, gristle,
skin, etc., consists chiefly of albuminoids. In
plants they are equally important; plant albumen
occurs in nearly all vegetable juices, especially in
potatoes and wheat, casein or legumin in beans
and peas, and fibrin in the gluten of wheat, the
basis of what farmer-boys call “wheat gum.”
Clover, bran, beans, peas, oil­cake, and flesh and
meat-scrap are rich in albuminoids.

Carbo-hydrates consist of carbon and hydrogen.
The most important are starch, sugar and cellu­
lose (woody fiber). They make up a larger part
of the solids of plants, but only a little of them
is stored in the animal body. Potatoes, wheat,
poor hay, straw and cornstalks consist largely of

Fats have more carbon than carbo-hydrates,
and like them have no nitrogen. Fat meat, tal­
low, lard, fish-oil, the fat (butter) of milk, and
linseed-oil are familiar examples of fats. Indian
corn, oil­cake, cotton­seed and linseed are rich
in fatty matters. [The last three are also rich
in albuminoids.]


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