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FARMING INDEX - OLD FARM PRACTICES AND REMEDIES FOR ANIMALS, PLANTS AND FIXING THINGS.
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AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING. 319
Ceres, according to the old mythology, was
the daughter of Saturn by Rhea, sister of Jupiter,
Neptune, Juno, etc. Her father devoured her,
along with other brothers and sisters, but after
ward, under the influence of an emetic given him
by Metis, threw her up. She became the mother
of Proserpine, and had various adventures of no
pertinence here, being, among others, the subject
of a myth in which she became symbolical of the
growth of grain. In her worship were held yearly,
among the Greeks, the celebrated Eleusinia, at
which were performed the famous Eleusinian
Mysteries, the meaning of much of which still
remains a mystery. Among the Romans her fes
tivals were styled Cerealia. She is represented
in a chariot drawn by dragons, having her head
crowned with a garland of corn-ears, and holding
a torch, a basket or a poppy in her hand. From
her name is derived the word Cereals.
The Cereal Grasses are the plants which produce
grain or corn ; in other words, all the species of
grass (gramineœ) cultivated for the sake of their
seed as an article of food. They are also called
corn-plants or bread-plants. They do not belong
to any particular tribes of the great order of
grasses, but differ from each other botanically,
perhaps as much as any plants within the limits
of that order. The seeds of the grasses in gen
eral being indeed farinaceous and wholesome,
the employment of particular species as bread-
plants seems to have been determined chiefly by
the superior size of the seed, or by the facility of
procuring it in sufficient quantity, and of free
ing it from its unedible envelopes. Some of the
grains, as wheat and barley, are produced in ears
or close-set spikes; some, as a few of those called
millet, in spike-like panicles; others, as oats and
rice, in very loose panicles. The form and size
of the grains vary not a little, some being round
ish, and some elongated ; maize is the largest;
many of the millets are very small. The plants
themselves vary in size almost as much as their
seeds, the millets being the smallest, and maize
the largest, of ordinary corn-plants.
Climates adapted to Different Grains.—The grains
most extensively cultivated are wheat, barley,
rye, oats, maize or Indian corn, millet and rice.
Barley, oats and rye are the grains of the coldest
regions, the cultivation of the two former extend
ing even within the arctic circle. Wheat is next
to these, and in the warmer regions of the tem
perate zone its cultivation is associated with that
of maize and rice, which are extensively culti
vated within the tropics. The millets belong to
warm climates. Rice is the food of a greater
number of the human race than any other kind
of grain. Maize has the greatest range of tem
perature. Some few other grasses are used as
food here and there in different parts of the
world, whose names may be omitted here. Of
all the cereals, wheat is by common consent ad
mitted to be that of which the grain is best fitted
for the making of bread, although others are to
some extent employed for this purpose. But
some, as rice and maize, are scarcely suited
for it, and other methods are chiefly employed
of preparing them for food. All the grains are
also used to produce some kind of fermented
liquor or beer, and spirituous liquors are ob
tained from them by distillation.
Wheat.—For the successful cultivation of wheat
a mean temperature of at least 550 Fahr. is re
quired for three or four months of the year. The
cultivated varieties of wheat are very numerous.
Besides being classed as bearded and beardless,
the varieties are distinguished by the color, as red
and white wheats. The red varieties of wheat
are usually more hardy than the white, but the
grain is inferior and yields less flour. Red wheats
are more cultivated where the soil is poor.
When the climate is moist, a light soil is most
suitable. Spring wheat is sown and harvested the
same year. Wheat is often sown after green crops.
It may be sown late in autumn when the ground
is very moist, and when other grains would perish.
It remains dormant in the ground during the
winter, ripens in the spring, and is reaped in the
early summer. It is either sown broadcast or in
The wheat-fields in the eastern part of the
United States are usually manured with farm
yard or other manures. In the West the farmers
are saved the expense of enriching their wheat-
fields. Wheat ought to be reaped before it is dead
ripe, unless intended for seed. The value of
wheat depends upon the quantity of fine flour it
contains. The greater part of the husk of wheat
is separated from the flour, and is called bran.
The average yield in England is said to be
36 bushels to the acre. The Census of 1880
gives the production of wheat as 459,483,137
bushels, raised on 35,430,333 acres, an average of
less than 13 bushels to the acre.
Spelt Wheat is considered as a distinct species
from common wheat. It is of little value com
pared with many other kinds, but is much culti
vated where coarse flour is used. Lesser spelt,
which is one-grained, and is often called St. Pe
ter's corn, is grown on poor soil. Spelt wheat is
almost unknown in the United States, is sup
THE FRIEND OF ALL.
posed to be native of countries near the Me-
diterranean, and is cultivated considerably in
Switzerland and Germany.
Wheat suffers from the ravages of numerous
species of insects, as the Hessian fly, wheat-fly,
corn-moth and wire worm. Diseases caused by
the presence of parasitic fungi are common.
Bunt, or smut, is one of the most common varie
ties of disease. It is now thought to be caused
by the decay of wheat, or by manure in which in
fected grain-straw has been mixed. It is best pre
vented by carefully cleansing the seed, and even
dressing it before sowing with some substance
which, without destroying the vitality, destroys
that of the spores of the fungus. Flour made of
wheat affected by smut is peculiar in taste and
dark in color.
According to the Census of 1880, Illinois led off
in the production of wheat with 51,110,502 bush
els, followed closely by Indiana with 47,284,853,
and Ohio with 46,014,869. In 1850, Pennsylvania
led off with 15,367,691 bushels, followed by Ohio
with 14,487,351, and New York with 13,121,498.
In 1860, Illinois led with 23,837,023 bushels, fol
lowed by Indiana with 16,848,267, and Ohio with
15,119,047. In 1870, Illinois led with 30,128,405
bushels, followed by Iowa with 29,435,692, and
Ohio with 27,882,159. Illinois produced in 1880
almost as much wheat as in 1860 and 1870 com
In 1850 the wheat product of the country was
a little under five bushels of wheat for each per
son ; in 1880 it exceeded nine.
Rye.—A cereal much cultivated in regions too
cold for wheat, and on soils too poor for any
other grain. Some varieties are best suited for
autumn sowing, others for spring. Winter rye is
extensively cultivated, being the most productive.
The straw of rye is often of more use than the
grains, and so care is shown in cutting and
threshing. As green rye is good for fodder, it is
often cut and kept for use. The grains of rye
when roasted are a substitute for coffee. The
meal made of rye is dark and somewhat coarse,
but used by the peasants of Northern Europe in
bread. New England brown-bread is made of
rye and Indian-corn meal. Rye is much used
for fermentation and distillation, particularly in
making gin and whisky
The product of rye in the United States in
1880 was 19,831,595 bushels.
Barley.—This grain is cultivated more or less
all over the country, being adapted to hot and to
cold climates. The product in 1880 was 43,997,-
495 bushels, of which California produced 12,-
463,561. Its principal use is as a basis of malt, in
the production of beer, ale and porter. Thou
sands who are connoisseurs in the flavor of the
last-mentioned beverages, are entirely ignorant
of the taste of the natural barley-grain. This
cut, showing heads of two kinds of barley, will
a, two-rowed barley; b, sprat or battledore barley.
awaken no recognition in many a man to whom
“ But the cheerful Spring came kindly on,
And showers began to fall:
John Barleycorn got up again,
And sore surprised them all "
will recall the whole of Burns‘s famous ode.
Millet is rarely cultivated in this country for its
seed, but is raised in small quantities for green or
dried fodder. The Hungarian millet or grass is
the most satisfactory variety.
Oats.—A valuable cereal adapted to a moist and
cold climate. They are used mostly as food for
horses, and to a considerable extent as human
food in the shape of oatmeal or grits. There are
many varieties in cultivation, and new ones are
being introduced. A popular variety is the po
tato-oat. Oats should be sown early in the sea
son, as heat checks their growth. They are
generally a paying crop to the judicious farmer.
The production of this grain in the United
States is very large, following in the third place
after Indian corn and wheat. The last Census
returns the acreage of oats in 1880 as 16,144,593
acres, and the product as 407,858,999 bushels, an
average of about 25 bushels to the acre. Indiana
leads with 63,189,200 bushels, followed by Iowa
with 50,610,591, and New York with 37,575,506.
The Wild Oat, although used in some countries
for food, is generally regarded as a weed. “ Its
panicle spreads equally on all sides, the outer
palea are merely bifid, and there are long hairs
at the base of the glumes.” Its seed is some
times used as an artificial fly for catching trout,
but whether the trout were taken by it is not re
corded. These oats should not be confounded
AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING. 321
with the variety so often foolishly sown by young
people, on crowded pavements as well as on rus
tic fields, and which are always weeds.
Wild Oat (Avena fatua).
Indian Corn, or Maize.—Dr. Sturtevant, in the
Massachusetts Ploughman, tells us : The corn-
plant is only known as a cultivated plant. When
Columbus first reached the shores of the West
Indies in 1492, he found mahiz grown and used
by the Indians, and also in Yucatan upon its dis
covery in 1502. While Cabeca de Vaca was toil
ing his intermittent way from Florida to the
Pacific coast in 1528 to 1536, he found maize
grown in large fields, and stored in cribs, by the
natives of those regions. Cortez had previously
found maize in Mexico, at the period of the in
vasion, and at Cempoalla, in 1519, had eaten
maize made into bread-cakes, and on the march
to Mexico passed amidst flourishing fields of
maize. When De Soto invaded Florida in 1539,
maes occurred everywhere in large fields; and
the same year Marco de Vica found maize grow
ing in New Mexico in fields. In 1540 Vasquez
de Coronado mentions fields of maize in the
valley of San Miguel, and also in store at Cibola;
and it is also mentioned in Castanedo‘s Rela
tions for the same date. Alarcon, in 1540, found
it growing in his journey up the Colorado River,
and Antonio de Espips in t 583 found it under
cultivation by the Concho Indians of this region.
When Cartier visited Hochelaga, now Montreal,
in 1535, that town was situated in the midst of
extensive corn-fields. In 1586 Heriot refers to
maize cultivated in Virginia, and called by the
natives “pagatour ;“ and John Smith in 1606 de
scribes the Indian method of culture then.
Champlain in 1605 found it growing in fields all
along the New-England coast, and describes the
manner of its culture. Our Puritan fathers
found it in store upon their first expedition of
discovery, and speak of the deserted corn-fields,
for the time was winter. The Five Nations, in
1603, made corn-planting their business before
the French arrived in Canada. The Iroquois
raised it in such large quantities that in the inva
sion into the country of the Senecas, in 1687,
some 1,200,000 bushels were destroyed. The
Indians of Illinois cultivated corn when the
country was first described by Marquette in 1673,
by Allouez in 1676, and Membre in 1679. In
Louisiana they had even invented a hoe for its
This list might be indefinitely extended; for
so universal was the use of maize by the aborigi
nes, that its mention is to be found in nearly all
the early chroniclers, and it seems never to have
been grown as a luxury simply, but rather as a
source of supply, and as a staple food. In the
southern country it was so largely grown that
many tribes may be considered as agriculturists
rather than as hunters; in the northern countries
it shared with the products of the chase the
claims of a sustenance. Its merits, too, were
quickly recognized by Europeans, and it soon
found introduction to Europe and a wide distri
bution. It had a strong agency in the settle
ment of this country, as it afforded relief from
starvation to the “ Conquisitors " in the South,
and to plain Miles Standish and his contempo
raries in the North. The Indian made his con
quest the more easy by feeding his invaders from
the produce of his corn-field, and the parched
grain supported him again
in his defense. Among the
more imaginative Indians
of the South maize became
an object of worship, and
a means of conferring hon
or : it formed portions for
gifts, and in one instance
was poured upon the ground
for the trampling of the
horses, as an earnest of
welcome to the Spaniard. ‘
Everywhere the grain sup
plied food, in many places
was parted into a drink, and
the leaves and stalks were
crushed to secure the juice
to be boiled into a sirup or
sugar, and the stalks were
used to form bags and other
material of wigwam use. It
is passing strange that the
corn-plant does not appear upon the coat of
arms of any of the States whose early necessities
There is some reason to believe that this grain
was a native of the East, and thence transplanted
centuries ago to this continent. There is a rep
Maize, or Indian Corn
322 THE FRIEND OF ALL.
resentation of the plant found in an ancient
Chinese book in the royal library in Paris, and
grains of it are alleged to have been discovered
in the cellars of ancient houses in Athens. Some
even hold that it is the “corn” of Scripture.
However all this may be, its use on the eastern
continent was wholly extinct when Columbus
sailed to find the desired northwest passage, and
stumbled, instead, upon America. He intro
duced, or re-introduced, it to Spain. It is now in
general cultivation in the south of Europe, and
supplies a principal part of the food of the in
habitants of many countries of Asia and Africa.
William Cobbett tried to introduce it as a regu
lar crop into Great Britain, but unsuccessfully.
No variety yet tried can be ripened in the ordi
nary seasons of that country. The best and most
productive varieties require about five months
from planting to ripening.
Indian corn is by far the most productive of all
the cereals, yielding sometimes an increase of
8oo for one. It succeeds best in light, rich, deep
and rather moist soils, and is generally planted
in hillocks, a few grains in a hill. It is generally
made the first crop in newly cleared land. Its
uses are various, and so widely known as not to
need enumeration. The late discovery of ensi
lage opens a new field, whose extent it is impos
sible at present to conjecture. And not only is
this grain the most productive grown, but it is
exceedingly rich in the elements of food.
This grain takes the lead of all others in ex
tent and importance in the United States. The
in 1910 an average of over 27 bushels to the
acre. In 1850, Ohio led off with 59,078,695
bushels, followed by Kentucky with 58,672,591,
and Illinois with 57,646,984. In 1880 Illinois
led with 325,792,481 bushels, followed by Iowa
with 275,014,247, and Missouri with 202,414,-
413. Thus Illinois and Iowa in 1880 produced
more Indian corn than the whole United States
did in 1850.
Let Whittier bid the farewell to Indian Corn
THE CORN SONG.
Heap high the farmer‘s wintry hoard ! heap high the golden
No richer gift has Autumn poured from out her lavish horn.
Let other lands exulting glean the apple from the pine,
The orange from its glossy green, the cluster from the vine.
We better love the hardy gift our rugged vales bestow,
To cheer us when the storm shall drift our harvest-fields with
Through vales of grass and meads of flowers, our plows their
While on the hills the sun and showers of changeful April
We dropped the seed o‘er hill and plain, beneath the sun of
And frightened from our sprouting grain the robber crows
All through the long bright days of June its leaves grew green
And waved in hot midsummer's noon its soft and yellow hair.
And now with autumn's moonlit eves, its harvest-time hat
We pluck away the frosted leaves, and bear the treasure home.
There, richer than the fabled gift Apollo showered of old,
Fair hands the broken grain shall sift, and knead its meal of
Let vapid idlers loll in silk around their costly board:
Give us the bowl of samp and milk, by homespun beauty
Where'er the wide old kitchen-hearth sends up its smoky curls,
Who will not thank the kindly earth, and bless our farmer-
Then shame on all the proud and vain, whose folly laughs to
The blessing of our hardy grain, our wealth of golden corn !
Let earth withhold her goodly root, let mildew blight the rye,
Give to the worm the orchard's fruit,—the wheat-field to the
But let the good old crop adorn the hills our fathers trod:
Still let us, for his golden corn, send up our thanks to God !
Sweet-Corn, and Succotash.—Certain varieties of
maize are cultivated with special reference to
their use in a green state, and have been de
veloped into what now bears the name of sweet-
corn. Country boys, and grown-up men who
were boys in the country, know how eagerly the
corn was invaded when the ears were first fit to
roast, and how delicious the milky kernels are,
even if half done inside and scorched and black
ened outside in the extempore outdoor roasting
pit improvised with a few stones. And to the
most experienced and educated palate, sweet-
corn fresh plucked and properly boiled is a
dainty dish, whether alone or joined with beans
in succotash. But eaters who are too fastidious
to eat the corn from the cob, lose half the glory.
The teeth themselves yearn for the cob, and can
not be quite placated if the pleasure legitimately
theirs be thrown away on a piece of senseless
steel. And a dish of succotash properly made
leaves one in doubt whether the savory com
pound, or its regal constituents separately, be
Sweet-corn should be planted for a succession
of crops every three weeks from April to July in
hills three feet apart each way, and six seeds in a
hill; cover about half an inch, and thin out to
three plants. These distances should be made a
little greater or less, according to the variety
grown and the richness of the soil. The taller
the variety and the richer the soil, the farther
apart should be the hills.
Stowell's Evergreen is a favorite variety, not
early but very productive; is of large size, four
teen to sixteen-rowea, very tender and sugary,
remaining for a long time in an eatable con
AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING.
Early Narragansett and Early Marblehead are
newer varieties in high esteem.
Darling's Extra Early is very popular, and,
as the name shows, one of the first kinds to ripen.
The Mammoth Sweet is a very large late
variety, the ears having usually 16 rows of ker
Rice.—This is one of the most useful and ex
tensively cultivated of all grains, supplying the
principal food of nearly one third of the human
race. Originally a native of the East Indies, it
is now cultivated in all quarters of the globe, and
almost wherever the conditions of warmth and
moisture are suitable. It is an annual, varying
from one foot to six feet in height. Its cultiva
tion is most extensively carried on in India,
China, Cochin-China and other south-east parts
of Asia, Japan, Egypt and several of the South
ern States of the Union. A good specimen
yields the following to analysis:
Nitrogenous matter................................ 7.44
Fatty or oily matter............................... 0.70
Rice contains, therefore, according to the
prevalent views of modern chemists, a smaller
amount of flesh-forming substances, and a larger
amount of fat-forming or heat-giving substances
than any other grain. As a food it is peculiarly
well adapted for hot climates, as it appears to be
Rice (Oryza sativa).
almost a cure for dysentery and other bowel
complaints, independently of which it is a suffi
ciently nutritious food without being heating.
Owing to the small quantity of gluten which it
contains it is capable by itself only of an imper
fect fermentation, and is unfit for being baked
into bread. It is, however, subjected to fermen
tation in many countries. The beer made from
rice by the Japanese is called saki, and is in
general use among them; but before being
drunk it is heated in kettles. Several kinds of
rice wine are made by the Chinese, some of them
highly esteemed and very intoxicating. A spirit
is distilled from the lees, called shou-choo or sam-
choo. The common arrack of the East is made
from rice, and rice is also employed to a very
great extent by distillers in Britain.
The origin of the growth of rice in America is
referred to the latter part of the 17th century,
when a vessel from Madagascar is said to have
brought a sack of the grain to Charleston, S. C,
which was planted there and yielded largely.
The culture spread, and eventually it became the
staple product of that State, and was nowhere
else grown so extensively until after the war of
the rebellion. The mode of culture best adapted
to the plant in South Carolina has been found to
be by irrigation, and it is chiefly grown where
the land is overflowed by the tides. The cultiva
tion of rice spread rapidly from the beginning
into most of the Southern States, and even so
far north as Missouri, Tennessee and Illinois.
But of late years rice has been most successfully
cultivated in Louisiana, where it is grown on
lowlands subject to overflow from the river,
with due precautions against a possible crevasse.
The water is conveyed by ditches and laterals,
and is alternately turned on and drained off, as
the condition of the plant and its progress may
demand. When mature, the water is finally
drained off, and the grain is cut and left to dry.
After threshing, it is winnowed and placed in
sacks, ready for the mill or market. The “ up
land " rice is dry cultivated, and is claimed by
some planters to be better than the lowland, but
the yield is not so generous.
Rice has a long and harsh beard, which is not
removed by a simple threshing process. Ma
chinery has to be provided to which the pro
ducer carries his crops. The milling process de
velops three products: first, or prime rice,
seconds, or broken rice, and the flour of rice.
Only about half the yield is left as prime rice.
Of course the method of cultivating lowland
rice on the coast has proved very deleterious to
the health of white men, developing malarial
fevers, which, however, the negro rarely takes.
On the Mississippi and other rivers, the cultiva
tion of this crop does not seem to produce more
unhealthy results than the cultivation of other
crops in the same sections. There is, however, a
profit in its cultivation, the net revenue of six
different planters amounting to $140 per acre.
THE FRIEND OF ALL
The production of rice in the United States
is on the increase. The returns are:
1908 ............................... 31,851,000
1909 ............................... 32,239,000
1910 ............................... 33.039.000
The product of South Carolina alone in 1850
was 159,930,613 pounds, fifty per cent more
than that of the whole United States in 1880.
Rice production in 1910 remained substan
tially at the figure of 1909 or somewhat over
1,000,000,000 pounds of rough rice. No year
previous to 1909 produced so large a crop; it
exceeded the average of the previous five years
by 25 per cent. The price of rice, however,
has declined, so that the crop of 1910 was
worth hardly $16,000,000, or about the same as
the crops of 1906 and 1907. This value has
been exceeded in 1908 and 1909, so that the
value of last year's crop was about 2 per cent
below the five year average.
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