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Potatoes.These are among the most important
of cultivated plants, and in universal use in the
temperate parts of the world. The potato is a
native of mountainous districts of tropical and
sub­tropical America, but it is not known where
it is really indigenous. Indian corn and the po­
tato are the two greatest gifts of America to the
rest of the world. No food-plant is more widely
diffused ; it is cultivated from near the equator
to the arctic circle, where it fights for existence
in gardens, yielding small and watery tubers.
Its introduction into Europe prevented the once-
frequent return of famine. But when the whole
dependence of a people comes to be placed on
this, and this fails, as sometimes in Ireland, terri­
ble famine is necessarily the result. Humboldt
calculates that the same extent of ground which
would produce thirty pounds of wheat would
produce looo pounds of potatoes. But the con­
stant employment of potatoes as the chief article
of food is not favorable to the development of
the physical powers, and is consequently unfavor­
able to mental energy. It is calculated that 1oo
parts of good wheat-flour, or 107 parts of the
grain, contain as much actual nutriment as 613
parts of potatoes. The inferiority of the potato
in nutritious power is very much owing to the
comparatively small quantity of nitrogenous sub­
stances it contains, in consequence of which it is
most advantageously used along with some very
nitrogenous article of food, with animal food,
with curds or with cheese. The potato tuber, in
a fresh state, contains about 71 to So per cent of
water, 15 to 20 of starch, 3 to 7 of fiber or woody
matter, 3 to 4 of gum, dextrine and sugar, and 2
of albumen, gluten and casein. There are con­
siderable differences, however, in different vari­
eties, in different stages of maturity, and in dif­
ferent soils and seasons.

Potatoes are raised by planting eyes or cuttings
from the tubers. They are planted in drills made
by the spade or plow. Farm­yard manure is

commonly used; after they are growing, care
should be taken to keep the hills free from
weeds and in loosening the earth. They are dug
for table use long before they are ripe, new pota­
toes being a favorite dish and bringing a large
price in city markets. Potatoes to be thoroughly
healthy should be allowed to ripen, then after
digging they may be stored for winter use. They
should be kept in airy cellars or sheds where the
light is excluded, as this gives them a green color
and bitter taste.

Besides its value as a culinary vegetable, and
for feeding stock, the potato has other important
uses. Its starch is in large proportions and is
easily separated ; hence it is cheaper than any
other kind and much more used. The tubers are
washed, and are then rasped by machinery. The
pulp thus obtained is received upon a sieve, and
is washed continuously by a gentle stream of wa­
ter as long as the washings run through milky,
the milkiness being due to the granules of starch
held in suspension. This milky fluid is received
in vats, in which the amylaceous or starchy mat­
ter is allowed to subside, and where it is repeat­
edly washed, again suspended in water, run
through a fine sieve, allowed to settle, and
drained in baskets lined with ticking. The mass
is then placed on a porous floor of half-baked tiles,
and dried in a current of air, at first of the natu­
ral temperature and afterward raised by artifical

The varieties of the potato in cultivation are
very numerous, and admit of endless increase by
propagating from seeds. A few of those regarded
as the best are here enumerated.

The Early Rose is one of the most popular
varieties. None stands higher.

The Peerless is a larger and more productive
variety, and ripens later.

The Dykeman has long been a standard potato
in the New York market, and is raised in large
[ quantities on Long Island.



The Early Mohawk is a productive variety,
which keeps a place, not on account of superior


quality, but because it is ready to market so

The Peachblow is still a great favorite,
though its popularity is perhaps on the wane.


Its flavor is fine, but it does not come to matu­­
rity till late in the season.


The Kidney is not as much raised for market
as some of the others, but is a productive vari­
ety, and keeps well through the winter.

The Jackson White is a late potato, much
grown for market.

The first potatoes in market in New York are
from Bermuda, and next from the Carolinas and
Virginia. They bring high prices.

Potatoes are subject to many diseases. Dry-rot
and wet-rot indicate the presence of fungi. Po­
tato murrain is one of the chief diseases. The
farmer may safely conclude when these and
other diseases appear that the tubers, from being
too often propagated, have become weak. Po­
tato rust or blast destroys the foliage.

326                                                    THE FRIEND OF ALL.

To Preserve Potatoes from Rot—Dust over the
floor of the bin with lime, and put in about 6 or


7 inches of potatoes, and dust with lime as be­
fore, then more potatoes, using about 1 bushel
of lime to 40 bushels of potatoes. The lime
improves the flavor of the potatoes, and effectu­
ally kills the fungi which cause the rot.

The Colorado Potato-Bug.—But the worst enemy
which the farmer has to contend with is the

Colorado Potato-Bug.

Colorado potato-bug or beetle. This trouble­
some insect has traveled eastward with astonish­
ing rapidity, and has done great damage. He is
one third of an inch long, yellow in color, with

ten black stripes on his wing-sheaths, five on
each. During the winter he is under the
ground. When vegetation starts, up starts the
beetle. The female lays its eggs in clusters on
the under side of the leaf, and the larvæ which
are produced feed upon the young potato-leaves,
becoming beetles in about four weeks after hatch­
ing. Fortunately for man the potato-bug has
many enemies.

How to Destroy the Potato-Bug.—But Paris green,
a poison, is the farmer's principal weapon to
destroy this pest. Persistently used it will save
the crop, and no bad results have seemed ever
to follow either to the ground or the plants. It
may be made and applied as follows : Dissolve 2
pounds sulphate of copper in 1 gallon hot water
in a stone jar. In another jar put 1 pound of
white arsenic and 2 pounds pearlash in 44 pounds
hot water, and stir till dissolved. Mix when re­
quired in the proportion of 1 part of the former
to 5 of the latter, and use with a sprinkler. It is
certain death to vermin.

Another Method.—Mix 1 pound Paris green
with 10 pounds poor flour or fine whiting. To
use, take a circular piece of wood 4 or 5 inches in
diameter (it may be cut out of a 2-inch plank),
insert a mop-handle in the center, tack on an old
tin can with one end removed for the reception
of the block, punch the other end with holes
through which to sift the compound on the
hills as you pass along the rows, and bore a hole
in the wooden end for the reception of the
mixture, and fit a plug to secure it. The com­
pound should be sifted on the hills while the
vines are wet with dew or rain.

The Census reports the production of Irish
potatoes as follows, in bushels:

1907   ..............................   297,942,000

1908  ..............................   278,985,000

1909   ..............................   376,537,000

1910   ..............................   338,811,00o

In all these years New York has an enormous
lead. In 1850 she raised 15,398,368 bushels, the
next State being Pennsylvania with 5,980,732.
In 1860 New York 26,447,394 bushels, followed
again by Pennsylvania with 11,687,467. In 1870
New York raised 28,547,493 bushels, followed
still by Pennsylvania with 12,889,367. In 1910
New York raised 21,444,000 bushels, Pennsyl­
vania coming next with 14,643,000.

The Sweet-Potato (Batatas).—This is said to be
a native of the East Indies, but is now cultivated
in all tropical and sub­tropical countries for
its tubers, which are highly esteemed as an
article of food, and are eaten either roasted or
boiled; they are sweet, wholesome and nutritious,
but somewhat laxative. The sweet-potato was
one of the products Columbus carried back to
Spain, where it had come to be generally cul-

AGRICULTURE : FARMS AND FARMING.                                   327

tivated by the middle of the 16th century.
There is reason to believe that it is the potato
of Shakspeare and of other early English authors,
and that it was known in Europe before what is
now called the Irish potato was introduced. The
leading varieties are, in northern localities, the
Nansemond and the Southern Queen, and farther
south, the Yam. The mealy ones, abounding in
starch, are best liked at the North, while at the
South the moist or soggy ones, containing more
sugar, are preferred.

Sweet potatoes are generally produced from
sets or slips. To get these sets potatoes are laid
upon the earth of a hotbed, the larger roots split
lengthwise and put the slit side down, and cov­
ered with a few inches of light rich soil. Sprouts
soon appear, which when they have made roots
are broken off to be planted, and the potatoes
returned to the hotbed to produce more sprouts.
The usual method is to lay strips of well-rotted
manure about three feet apart, toward which
a furrow is turned on each side, and on the ridges
thus formed, after being well dressed with the
rake or hoe, the sets or sprouts are planted about
fifteen inches apart. These ridges must be kept
clear of weeds till the vines cover them. Toward
the end of the season the vines take root at the
joints. Where there is no danger from frost
this may be allowed, the vine becoming peren­
nial. But farther north this must be prevented
by occasionally moving the vines, and thus con­
centrating the vitality of the plant in the tuber.
A slight frost kills the vines, when the roots
should be at once dug, dried, and stored where
the temperature can be kept at about sixty

The production of sweet potatoes does not in­
crease with the growth of the country. The
Census returns are as follows:

1850.............................38,268,148 bushels.

1860.............................42,095,026 “

1870.............................21,709,824 “

1880............................33,378,693 “

In 1850 Georgia led off with 6,986,428 bushels,
followed by Alabama with 5,475,294 and North
Carolina with 5,095,709. In 1860 Georgia again
led with 6,508,541, followed by North Carolina
with 6,140,039, and Alabama with 5,439,917. In
1870 North Carolina led, but with only 3,071,840,
followed by Georgia with 2,621,562, and Texas
with 2,188,041. In 1880 North Carolina produced
4,576,148 bushels, Georgia 4,397,778, and Missis­
sippi 3,610,660. Sweet potatoes were raised for
the use of slaves before emancipation, and fell
off about half from 1860 to 1870, the same causes
decreasing the production as in the case of rice.

Carrots. —The carrot is supposed to be native
in countries bordering the Mediterranean, but
has spread to many parts of the world, being

introduced to English gardens early in the 16th
century. In the reign of Charles I. ladies wore
carrot-leaves as an ornament in place of feathers,
and the beauty of the leaves is still occasionally
acknowledged by placing a root, or the upper
portion of one, in water, that it may throw out
young leaves to adorn apartments in winter.
The carrot contains a large amount of what
are called heat-producing compounds, with a
small proportion of flesh-forming matter. A
dried carrot yields by analysis :

Starch and sugar............................ 93.71

Albumen................................... 4.35

Red neutral substance (carotin).............. 0.34

Fixed and volatile oils....................... 1.00

Ash.......................................... o.6o


Carrots promote digestion, and are valuable
as a substantial food for horses and stock. Prof.
Mapes used to maintain that they were useful to
horses, not only for the nourishment in them­
selves, but because the acid they contained en­
abled the animal to digest and assimilate food-
elements which would otherwise pass off unused.
A few carrots morning and night fed to a milch-
cow will improve the quality and the color of
butter made from her milk. The root is a large
bearer, an acre of ground yielding 500 to 1500
bushels. Its cultivation is troublesome, but may
be made profitable.

Carrots grow well on deep soil which has
been made fine by three plowings before sow­
ing. The first plowing should be in the au­
tumn. The manure should be spread broadcast
on the surface before the last time of plowing.
Harrowing should be done twice, and before the
last time the soil should have a dressing of com­
post which will insure a vigorous start for the
carrots. The field should be laid out in ridges
made by plowing through in straight lines,
and on them the seed is sown, which should be
fresh and about four pounds to the acre. If
radish-seed be sown at the same time, the
carrots can be kept weeded, as the radishes
spring up in a few days, thus indicating the line
sown. The radishes are of course marketable,
and may be pulled as soon as ready. Carrots
should be dug and housed for the winter in the
region of New York as early as November. If
cellar-room is limited, pits may be dug in a
sloping piece of ground, and in these hundreds
of bushels of carrots may be placed, covered
well with straw and earth, and provided with
ventilating pipes or shafts.

Turnips (Brassica rapa).—The turnip, generally
regarded as a native of Great Britain, has long
been cultivated, and is to be found in every
garden of the temperate and cold parts of the
world as a culinary esculent. It is also exten-



sively grown in fields for feeding cattle and
sheep. There are two distinct classes of turnips:
the Common, or English, or Round, with the
root rounded and often broader than long, and
having usually lobed, hairy and rough radical
leaves; and the Swedish or Russian turnips, often
called “ ruta­bagas,” having larger, more elon-

American Improved Ruta­baga.

gated and more solid roots, and with the radical
leaves smooth and covered with a bloom, like
those of the cabbage. There are yellow and
white varieties in both classes. They like a
loamy soil, midway between the extremes of
clayey and sandy. The flat Dutch is a round
quick-growing kind much liked, and must be
sown early. Ruta­bagas and the field-crop
should be sown later, and are usually planted
in drills.

Strap-leaf Red-top.

Notwithstanding their value as food for cattle,
the amount of nutritive matter contained in them
is very small, ruta­bagas showing about 87 per
cent and the common kinds over 90 per cent of

water. Some varieties grow to an enormous size,
often weighing more than twenty pounds. Of the
ruta­bagas, the white French variety has its root
entirely under ground, and is a great favorite for
the table.

The American Improved Ruta­baga is much
grown, and possesses a very delicate flavor.

The White Dutch is an early kind, white, and
of medium size.

The Yellowstone is a profitable variety for mar­
kets ; light yellow, and sweet.

The Strap-leaf Red-top is well known. A flat
turnip, showing purple above ground and white
below, with flesh very white and delicate when

The Cow-horn, on good soil and under proper
cultivation, yields enormously. It is about a


foot long and three inches in diameter, showing
green above ground and white below. This
variety is not only good on the table, but is
grown extensively as a field-crop.

Beets.— The common beet (Beta vulgaris) is a
native of the shores of the Mediterranean, but is
now in very general cultivation both in fields and
gardens, chiefly for the sake of its large succu­
lent and generally carrot-shaped roots, which
are used as food both for man and for cattle, and
from which also sugar is largely extracted. The
variety chiefly cultivated in gardens is known
as Red Beet, from the color of the root, which
also more or less appears in the leaves and leaf­
stalks. The sub-varieties are very numerous. In




some the root is rather turnip-shaped than car­
rot-shaped, and the size and color also vary
much, some being of a deep blood-red or even
almost blackish color, both externally and in­
ternally ; and others of a much lighter red, and
internally even white. It forms a favorite pickle,
and is also very agreeable as a boiled vegetable
when properly dressed. The seed is sown so
late in spring that the plants may not produce
flowering stems the first year, which, when it
occurs, renders the root fibrous and useless.
Mangel-wurzel, so valuable as a field-crop for
food of cattle, is, in general, regarded as merely
a larger and coarser variety of the common beet,
in which the red color is comparatively little
exhibited, although some botanists have, on very
slender grounds, endeavored to erect it into a
distinct species. The White Beet of our gardens
is now also generally supposed to be a mere
variety of the common beet, with little or no red
in its roots or leaves, and a comparatively slender
root. It is cultivated for the sake of its leaves,
which are used in the same manner as spinach,
and form an excellent substitute for it, especially
in the beginning of spring.

Chemists have calculated that
18 tons of mangel-wurzel are
equal to 15 tons of Swedish tur­
nips, or 7½ tons of potatoes, or
3½ tons of good hay, each quan­
tity containing the same amount
of nourishment. But these roots
may be grown upon less than an
acre of ground. The beet­root
is regarded also as being the
least exhausting to the land.
Among the best kinds are
The Long Orange, suitable
both for garden and for field
growth. This variety takes its
name from its color and the
length of its root.

The Long Smooth Blood-Beet
is the old standard variety, which
still keeps its place at the head
of the market.

The Dark Red Egyptian Beet
is another variety becoming
popular. It is round and flat in

The Early Blood-Beet is a
round variety, and the earliest
in market.

John M. Bailey before referred
to says he raised on an eighth of an acre 225
bushels of long red mangels, and on an adjoin­
ing eighth 160 bushels of yellow globe mangels.
The average of these is 1540 bushels ; at 60 tons
to the bushel, a little over 46 tons to the acre.


Long Smooth Blood-

The production of sugar from beets has long
been an important industry on the continent of
Europe, but did not get a foothold in Great Britain
till 1868-9, in which years Mr. James Duncan
completed a factory at Lavenham. He had pre­
viously contracted with various farmers in that
neighborhood to raise beets for him at the price
of 20s. per ton of clean roots delivered at his
factory, with the option to the growers of re­
ceiving back the resulting pulp at 12s. per
ton if removed as made. This enterprise has
been followed by others of the same sort. Ex­
perience has shown that the small roots are
richest in sugar, and that 2\ pounds per root is
the best size to aim at. The part of the bulb
that grcws above ground contains very little
sugar. The objects aimed at therefore are, to
have a large weight per acre of roots individually
small, and as little of the root as possible exposed
to the light. This is accomplished by sowing
the crops in rows about 16 inches apart, and
leaving the plants close to each other. The re­
turn of a single year from 571 acres of land
cultivated by 32 growers was 7855 tons, an
average of 13¾ tons per acre, the 89 best acres
averaging 17 tons per acre, and the 62 poorest
averaging 8 tons per acre.

The Pulp.—Mr. Duncan did not sell back to
the farmers all the pulp he made, having at one
time 500 tons remaining on hand. This he of
course wished to preserve without deterioration ;
and it is curious to see that, the year before M.
Goffart announced his discovery of Ensilage,
very nearly his methods were successfully em­
ployed with this beet-sugar pulp. “ On a piece of
dry ground a trench is dug out about seven feet
wide by one foot deep. Into this trench the
pulp is firmly trodden by the feet of the laborers,
and gradually drawn to a point, precisely as is
done in storing roots. The whole is then
covered with earth to the depth of twelve
inches; and thus stored the pulp keeps well for
two or three years. In using it, a thin crust
from the outside is rejected. Three tons of this
pulp are estimated to be equal in feeding value
to one ton of good hay. Mr. Duncan regards
any preference for fresh-made pulp as a mistake;
as in his own practice he finds that pulp a year
old is a better feeding material than when newly
made. In one season he fattened 50 cattle on
pulp three years old, and in another summer
he had 60 cattle consuming the surplus of the
previous year.

On the Continent.—In a single year there have
been produced 1,025,000 tons of beet-sugar and
250,000 tons of molasses, representing a value, at
$120 for the sugar and $15 for the molasses, of

330                                                    THE FRIEND OF ALL.

nearly $127,000,000. Russia produces the finest
quality of beet, instances being known in which
the root yielded 10 per cent of loaf-sugars. It is
said that in Europe the erection of a beet-root-
sugar factory enhances the value of the neigh­
boring land. The success of the enterprise was
greatly owing to the enterprise of Franz Carl
Achard, who at almost the close of the 18th
century took up the work a Berlin chemist had
undertaken nearly fifty years before. Louis
Napoleon states that while Achard‘s experiments
were going on, the British Government, alarmed
lest his discoveries should injure British colonial
interests, offered him anonymously 50,000 thalers,
and afterward 200,000 thalers, if he would report
that his experiments resulted unfavorably. The
offer was rejected with contempt, and the suc­
cessful results of his experiment made public.
This may be so; and again, there might be better
authority for such a statement than “the nephew
of his uncle.”

In the United States.—Unsuccessful attempts
were made to introduce this industry here as far
back as 1830, information being scanty, and the
yield of sugar from beets at that time in Europe
only 4 to 5 percent. In 1838 David Lee Child
(the husband of Lydia Maria Child) made at
Northampton, Mass., 1300 pounds of beet-sugar.
There the matter rested again for 25 years, and
but very little was really accomplished till 1870,
when the Alvarado Sugar Co. in California be­
gan work, and the industry has since assumed
large proportions. Land planted on a large
scale with sugar-beets near one of the California
factories averages 12 tons to the acre, and near
another 8 tons; while the average yield of sugar
is 160 pounds to the ton of beets, or about 8 per

While the sugar contained in the beet is in
itself identical with cane-sugar, the composition
of the beet offers obstacles to the manufacture of
sugar not present in the cane. The percentage
of sugar in the former is about two thirds that of
the latter, and the juice is highly charged with
impurities which must be removed. Prof.
Chandler, in Johnson s Cycloftœdia, writes: “ The
manufacture of sugar from the beet consists of the
following operations: 1, washing and cleaning the
beets; 2, extracting the juice; 3, defecation by
lime and heat; 4, carbonatation, removal of the
lime with carbonic acid ; 5, filtration, to remove
suspended impurities; 6, filtration through bone-
black ; 7, evaporation to a thin sirup ; 8, second
filtration over bone-black; 9, evaporation to
crystallization; separation of the sugar from the
molasses. The first molasses is evaporated
again, to furnish a second crop of sugar, and a
third and fourth crop are subsequently obtained.
The final molasses is too offensive in taste and

smell to serve as food, and is diluted and sub­
jected to fermentation and distillation for the
production of alcohol, the residue from the dis­
tillation being evaporated to dryness and cal­
cined for the production of potash.”

Bailey reports 252 bushels yield of sugar-beets
on one fourth of an acre. This rate gives 1008
bushels to the acre; at 60 pounds to the bushel,
60,480 pounds, amounting, at $5 per ton, to over
$150. Where sugar-beets can be marketed near
by, their raising seems a profitable business.

The varieties of sugar-beets mostly raised in
the United States are the White Sugar-Beet,
Vilmorin's Improved White Sugar-Beet and
Lane's Imperial Sugar-Beet. This last is the re­
sult of careful selection in this country, and is
recommended as being hardier, more productive,
and containing a greater percentage of sugar.

Cabbage.—This plant, Brassica oleracea, is a
native of the rocky shores of Great Britain, and
in general cultivation as food for man and cattle.
The ordinary forms are often called by the gen­
eral name of white cabbage, to distinguish them
from the red cabbage, of a deep brownish red or
purplish, mostly used for pickling. It contains
more than 90 per cent of water, and affords little
nutriment. Its digestibility varies according to
the state in which it is partaken of. Raw cab­
bage alone is digested in about two and a half
hours, with vinegar in two hours, and boiled
cabbage needs four and a half hours. Immense
quantities are used by the Germans, at home and
here, in the shape of sauer­kraut.

For cabbages, the ground must be highly
manured, deeply dug or plowed, and thoroughly
worked, to insure good, full-sized heads. A
heavy, moist and fresh loam is the most suitable.
The early sorts are sometimes sown early in
autumn, protected in cold-frames through the
winter, and transplanted early in spring; but
more generally at the North they are sown very
early in the spring in hotbeds, or later in the
open ground. In the mild climate of the
Southern States, where they will stand the win­
ter, they are planted out in the fall. One ounce
of seed will sow a bed 40 feet square. The plants
are usually set in rows about 2 feet apart, and 18
inches between the plants in rows.

Cabbages are an exhausting crop when wholly
removed from the soil, and on this account are
sometimes grown with advantage on spots
greatly enriched by irrigation with sewage or
otherwise, and where the succeeding grain-crop
is expected to suffer from over-luxuriance. In
favorable circumstances 30 or 40 tons may be
grown on an acre.

The Early Jersey Wakefield is a leading early
cabbage, of medium size, good quality, and sure
to head. Will grow to 7 and 8 pounds each.

AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING.                                    331

Henderson’s Early Summer is another early
cabbage, coming in about ten days after the
Wakefield ; but being of nearly double the size,
it may be classed as the best large early cabbage.
Its short outer leaves allow it to be planted very
close—about 12,000 to the acre. They sometimes
grow to 15 pounds. This kept up would make
an acre yield 120 tons.

The Marblehead Mammoth Drumhead is the
largest of the late cabbages. Heads have been
grown weighing 60 pounds.

The Green Glazed succeeds well in southern
latitudes, and enjoys immunity from the attacks
of insects. Heads are glossy pea-green.

The Premium Flat Dutch is probably more
extensively grown than any other variety. It is
for fall and winter use.

Cauliflower.—This is a species of cabbage greatly
modified by cultivation. The leaves are not the
parts used, but the flower-buds and their stalks,
or, properly speaking, the inflorescence of the
plant, forming a head or compact mass generally
of a white color. Any soil on which common
cabbage will grow will also produce cauliflower;
but as the product is more valuable it will repay
extra manuring and preparation of the soil.

For the spring or summer crop sow the early
varieties about the middle of September, and
when two inches high transplant to two inches
apart, into a frame covered with glazed shutters,
where they must be protected through the win­
ter ; in the spring transplant to two and a half
feet apart, into soil prepared as recommended
for cabbage. Sow the same varieties for succes­
sion in a hotbed in March, and transplant when
large enough. For the autumn crop sow the late
varieties in April or May in the open ground,
and transplant like winter cabbages. In dry
weather water freely, and as they advance in
growth hoe deep and draw the earth to the stems.
As they begin to head they should be well
watered. One ounce of seed will sow a bed of
forty square feet.

Lenormand's Short-Stemmed is a large late
variety, with well ­formed heads of superior

Erfurt Early Dwarf is a favorite variety for
the market; very early, fine compact heads, and
of fine quality.

Henderson's Early Snowball.—Henderson says
of this: It is the earliest of all cauliflowers.
Sown at the same time and under the same con­
ditions with ten other kinds, on the first of
March last year, we had heads of the Early Snow­
ball, measuring nine inches in diameter, ready
by June 10—about one week earlier than any
other sort. Besides, of this variety, every plant
formed a fine head; in addition to its earliness
and greater certainty to head than any other sort,

its dwarf habit and short outer leaves allow it to
be planted as close as 18 or 20 inches apart each
way, so that from 12,000 to 14,000 can be set out
on an acre.

Beans.—The common bean is divided into two
classes, dwarf- or bush-beans, growing a foot or
two high, and pole­ or running-beans, trained to
climb bushes or poles. They are highly nutri­
tious, containing 84 per cent of nutritive matter,
while wheat has but 74, The bean contains
more nutriment for horses than the oat. Baked
beans with pork are a favorite dish at the
North, and one so hearty that it is a great favor­
ite with men performing hard labor on the farm.
It is a traditional New England dish. Great
quantities of beans are pulled before the pods
harden, and either eaten as “string-beans,” or
pickled before eating.

Bean Leaves and Flower.

The bean originated in Persia, and the Egyp­
tians were the first to cultivate it. Afterward,
on some religious scruple, they gave it up.
Pythagoras forbade his disciples to eat it, teach­
ing that it was made at the same time and of
the same elements as man, had a soul, and suf­
fered transmigration.

Years ago, Mr. Mechi, a distinguished British
agriculturist, in a hot dry summer, looked long­
ingly on his bean-crop, then at its full growth
and its green pods filled with soft pulse. He
mowed the needed quantity each day, cut it up,
and fed it green to his stock ; and with the most
satisfactory results. The quantity of green food
per acre yielded by a full crop of beans used in
this way is very great. This gives a hint in the
direction of ensilaging the bean, and it is to be
hoped that experiments with it may be made and



Beans should be planted as early in the spring
as the ground can be worked, from two to four
inches apart, in drills from 24 to 30 inches apart.
As soon as the plants are in full blossom, and
the lower pods begin to set, pinch off the tops;
this will insure the filling of the pods and hasten
the maturity of the seeds. A strong, heavy soil
with a considerable portion of clay is needed to
insure a good crop. Beans are sensitive to frost
and cold, and should not be planted before the
middle of spring, when the ground has become
light and warm. Hoe often, but only when dry,
as earth scattered on the leaves when met with
dew or rain will cause them to rust, and greatly
injure the crop.

The Golden Wax is one of the best of the
dwarf- or bush-beans. The pods are large, long
and brittle, and entirely stringless. It excels
both as a snap-bean and as a shell-bean.

The Early Red Valentine is another dwarf,
early, productive, tender, succulent, and of excel­
lent flavor; continues longer in the green state
than most of the varieties.

The Large White Lima is one of the best
known ana liked varieties of pole-beans.

Dreer's Improved Lima comes earlier to matu­
rity, and produces a large yield and extra quality
of bean. It is also claimed that it produces
more shelled beans to the pole than the large

The Dutch Case-Knife is a very productive
variety, and one of the earliest; sometimes used
as snaps, but generally shelled. Some prefer the
taste and flavor of the Case-Knife to those of the

Peas.—Webster says : “ When a definite number
is referred to, the plural is written peas, as two
peas, five, peas ; but when an indefinite quantity or
bulk is spoken of, it is written pease.” But we fol­
low common usage in printing the plural as above.
The garden-pea has come down to us from the
Greeks and Romans. Sir Humphry Davy found
in 1000 parts of pea-flour 574 parts of nutritive
matter. A more modern analysis gives

Water............................................     14.1

Casein...........................................    23.4

Starch...........................................    37.0

Sugar...........................................      2.0

Gum.............................................      9.0

Fat...............................................      2.0

Woody fiber.....................................    1o.o

Mineral matter...................................      2.5


There are innumerable varieties both of the
field-pea and the garden-pea, those of the latter
being so much the products of horticultural art
that they cannot be preserved without the utmost
attention. Some of the kinds of garden-peas
have long stems, and require for their support

stakes of six or eight feet in height; others are
of humbler growth; and certain dwarf kinds,
preferred as most convenient in many gardens,
succeed very well without stakes.

The planting for an early crop of garden-peas
should be made in the spring, as soon as the
ground can be worked, in a warm, dry situation,
and covered about three inches. The ground
must have been manured the year previous, or
the peas will be apt to grow too much to straw.
Use thoroughly decomposed manure, if any, just
before planting. The height to which all peas
grow depends in a great measure upon the rich-
ness of the soil and the wetness of the season.
They are usually planted in double rows from
three to four feet apart, and those requiring it
bushed when about six inches high. The larger
and later sorts do better at a greater distance
apart, leaving a broad space for planting low-
growing vegetables between. They should be
kept clean, and earthed up twice in their growth.
As soon as the peas are gathered the straw must
be pulled and removed. In dry weather the peas
should be soaked five or six hours before plant­
ing, and if the ground is very dry they should be
watered in the drills. From one to two bushels
are generally required to an acre ; one quart of
the smaller sorts will sow about 120 feet, and of
the larger sorts about 200 feet of drill.

The American Wonder stands at the head of
the very early peas. It is a seedling, the result
of a cross between the Champion of England and
the Little Gem ; it is one of the earliest wrinkled
peas in cultivation, of the finest quality, and won­
derfully productive; its great distinctive feature,
however, is its compact and dwarf growth, sel­
dom exceeding ten inches in height.

Laxton's Prolific Long Pod is in great favor
among the second early varieties. It is very pro­
ductive, with long pods containing 10 to 12 peas
each. Is about four feet high.

The Champion of England stands very high
among the not-so-early varieties. It is of deli­
cious flavor and a profuse bearer.

The Marrowfats are the peas of our boyhood,
at which period their taste seemed matchless.
The White attains a height of six feet. The
Black-eyed Marrowfat does not grow nearly as
high, and is extensively grown as a field-pea;
hardy and productive.

In our northern markets the earliest peas are
from the South, and especially from South Caro­
lina, whence they begin to be shipped early in

Asparagus is a hardy perennial that, under pro­
per management, when planted in the right kind
of soil, will produce crops for an indefinite length
of time. When well grown and carefully bunched
it is sure to meet with a ready sale. The demand

AGRICULTURE: FARMS AND FARMING.                                   333

for it has always been good, even when other
vegetables were dull and selling at low prices.

Soak the seed twenty-four hours in tepid water,
and sow early in spring in rows a foot apart, and
keep clean by frequent weeding and hoeing. At
one or two years old transplant to permanent
beds. The ground should be trenched, or dug
over, two feet deep, burying plenty of manure—
decayed leaves, leaf-mold, rock-weed or kelp,
when it can be had,—and mixing it thoroughly
with the soil. Lay out the beds four and a half
feet wide, and draw three drills, fourteen inches
apart and six inches deep, lengthwise of each bed ;
place the roots in them, a foot apart, in their
natural position, and cover four inches deep. A
rich sandy loam is most suitable. Every autumn,
after clearing off the stalks, spread on a covering
of manure, to be forked in, with a good dressing
of fine salt very early in the spring. A new bed
should not be cut over before the third year.

The quality of asparagus will mainly depend on
the strength of the soil; it is a voracious plant,
and can readily digest any amount of the strong­
est manure food, which is better to apply on the
surface in autumn, to be forked in early in
spring. Salt is also an excellent application to
asparagus beds. The brine from beef- or pork-
barrels produces strong and vigorous growth.

The Colossal almost monopolizes the aspara­
gus market, some great seed-merchants raising
and offering no other variety.

Smalley's Defiance is very early, of good size,
tender, and of delicious flavor.

Melons.—The melon, as its botanic name, Cu-
cumis melo,
indicates, is of the same genus with
the cucumber, an annual, supposed to be a na­
tive of the sub­tropical parts of Asia, and to have
derived its name from the Greek island Melos.
With us they divide into two great varieties, the
muskmelon and the watermelon. They adapt
themselves to different climates, though they
grow to the greatest perfection in southern lati­

Muskmefons.—Plant late in spring, in hills five
or six feet apart each way, well manured with old
rotten compost; scatter a dozen seeds to a hill,
and after they are out of danger from bugs thin
to three or four plants. When they have four or
five rough leaves, pinch off the end of the main
shoot, which will cause the lateral branches to
put forth sooner. It will strengthen the growth
of the vines, and the fruit will come earlier to
maturity. A light, dry, sandy soil and a dry
atmosphere are most suitable. Melons should
not be planted near other varieties, if it is de­
sired to preserve them pure. They have arrived
at perfection when the stem will cleave from the
fruit. A very rough netted skin is the surest
indication of a high ­flavored fruit.

Favorite varieties of muskmelons are :

Nutmeg.—Fruit nutmeg-shaped, skin deep
green, finely netted ; greenish yellow, rich and

Cassaba.—A muskmelon of extraordinary size
and delicious flavor; weight from 12 to 15 pounds.

Green Citron.—Fruit medium size, deeply net­
ted ; shape nearly round, from six to eight inches
in diameter ; flesh green, and of rich, delicious

Large Yellow Cantaloupe.—A good-sized, near­
ly round fruit, netted and slightly ribbed ; flesh
salmon-colored, thick and musk-flavored; an
early and productive variety.

Large Yellow Musk.—The largest variety, long
oval shape, deeply ribbed ; flesh thick, light, sal-
mon-colored and of peculiar musky flavor; early
and productive. This variety is used in its
green state for “ mangoes.”

Watermelons.—Plant in hills, six to eight feet
apart, in May. Select warm, light, dry ground,
and in preparing the hills let them be dug out
broad, and deep as the soil will permit; fill at
least one third full of the best decomposed stable-
manure, and mix thoroughly with the soil, filling
up a little above the level of the ground. The
plants will fruit better by occasionally pinching
the leading shoots off the vines. One ounce of
seed will be sufficient for about one hundred

The Ice-Cream watermelon is a favorite variety
of medium size, nearly round; color pale green;
white seed, thin rind ; flesh solid, scarlet, crisp,
of delicious flavor.

The Black Spanish is another excellent varie­
ty, round, very dark green, with scarlet flesh and
black seeds, very thin rind and rich sugary flavor,
sweet and delicious.

The Scaly Bark watermelon is a new variety
first brought into general notice at the Atlanta
Exhibition in 1881. The skin is dark green and
looks as if covered with fish-scales, although quite
smooth. It is said to be an unusually produc­
tive sort, the average weight of the melons being
35 pounds, although it is not unusual for specimens
to reach 65 pounds in weight. The flesh is light
crimson, solid, tender and of exquisite flavor, but
its peculiar value lies in the fact that it remains
in choice eating condition from ten to fifteen
days after being pulled. This with its very tough
yet thin rind will make it a most valuable sort
for shipping purposes. Already some of the
largest melon-growers south believe that it must
displace all other sorts on this account alone.

Varieties of melons have such a tendency to

mix that growers generally restrict themselves to

a very few kinds, taking care that their borders

are not contiguous one to another. An attempt

was made in California to produce sugar from

334                                                  THE FRIEND OF ALL.

watermelons, but the industry was not a success-
ful one.

Melon-vines are in especial danger from in­
sects, and seed is therefore sown freely, that
enough may succeed; and it is often necessary to
dust the vines with lime or ashes.

Cucumbers.—The common cucumber is a native
of tropical Asia. Cucumbers succeed best in
warm, moist, rich loamy ground. They should
be sown in small pots in a hotbed or hot­house,
in January, February and March. They should
not be planted in the open air until there is a
prospect of settled warm weather. Plant in hills
about four feet apart each way. The hills should
be previously prepared by mixing thoroughly
with the soil in each a shovelful of well-rotted
manure. When all danger from insects is past,
thin out the plants, leaving three or four of the
strongest to each hill. The fruit should be
plucked when large enough, whether required
for use or not, as, if left to ripen on the vines,
it destroys their productiveness. Sixteen or
eighteen hills well grown will supply an ordi­
nary family.

Early Russian.—This is the earliest variety in
cultivation ; fruit produced in pairs, and the first
blossoms usually make fruit; small, hardy and
productive, and flavor pleasant and agreeable.

Improved Early White Spine.—An improved
variety of the well-known White Spine, which
has succeeded better than any other variety for
forcing on a large scale. Medium size, deep
green, flesh crisp and of fine flavor.

Green Prolific.—One of the best varieties for
pickling. It is a very uniform producer, hardly
ever yielding cucumbers too large for pickling,
and is immensely productive. With good culti­
vation 2oo,ooo may be produced upon an acre.

Early Frame.—This old and popular variety
has not lost its hold on public favor, for the table
or for pickling. Medium size, straight and
handsome, and makes a beautiful pickle that
keeps well.

Squashes.—These, as well as pumpkins, are
members of the gourd family, modified by long
periods of cultivation into delicious edibles. For
practical purposes they fall into two great divi­
sions, one the summer- or bush-squash, the late
varieties forming the winter-squash.

They are of vigorous and luxuriant growth, and
will well repay generous treatment, although they
will grow after a fashion almost everywhere.
They should not be sowed until the weather has
become settled and warm. Light soils are best
suited for their growth. The hills should be pre­
pared for seeds in the usual way, a couple of
shovelfuls of well-decayed manure being mixed
with the soil of each hill. Hills should be three
or four feet apart each way for the bush varieties,

and six to eight feet for the running sorts. Put
in each hill eight or ten seeds, afterward thinning
out so as to leave three or four of the strongest

White Bush Scalloped.—This is an early, flat,

Scalloped Summer.

scallop-shaped sort, light cream-colored. It is
called “ Patty-Pan" in the Southern and Middle

Boston Marrow.—A much-esteemed variety,
coming in about ten days later than the bush
sort. It is a good keeper, and of unsurpassed

Bush Summer Crookneck.—This is the richest


and best sort for summer; very early and pro­
ductive ; fruit orange yellow, ‘with warty excres­

The Hubbard is one of the best late squashes,
the finest table-squash known, the quality being
about equal to the sweet-potato. It has a hard
shell, and will keep three months later than the

Pumpkins.—These can be grown on any good
soil that is warm. They are excellent for pies,
and for feeding to cows. They are usually
planted in corn-fields where the vines can grow
to a great length, but can be profitably raised in
fields by themselves. Plant in hills eight feet
apart. One pound of the common field sorts
will plant from two hundred to three hundred

The Large Cheese is hardy, very productive, and
superior in all respects to most of the field-grown

The Large Tours, or Mammoth.—This is a
fine French variety, very productive, and grow­
ing to a large size, often weighing from 1oo to
150 pounds.

Tomatoes.—This plant is a native of tropical
America, probably of Peru, and has come into
general use only during the last fifty years. The
old Indian name was tumatl or tomatl. Older
English writers call it love-apple which name it



still bears in Italy and France. The tomatoes
earliest in northern markets are from Bermuda.

Sown in a hotbed, green­house or elsewhere,
keeping the temperature not less than 6o°, in
late February or early March. When about two
inches high prick them out singly in small pots,
and nurse carefully in frames, and when the dan­
ger of frost is past plant them out in a sheltered
situation, where the sun may get at them. To
hasten the maturity of the first fruit which sets,
pinch off the extremities of the tops and all the
secondary shoots which afterward appear above
the flowers. For early crops plant them about
three feet apart in well-manured hills. On heavy

White Solid Celery.

soils, not suited to yield early crops, four feet is
near enough. Water freely at the time of trans­
planting. The vines often have to be supported
by bushes or frames, and the fruit must be thin­
ned out when there is danger of breaking.

The Trophy is one of the best tomatoes in cul­
tivation. The fruit is large, generally smooth,
solid ; ripens early, and is of fine quality.

The Canada Victor is one of the earliest, of
medium size, very symmetrical in shape.

The Conqueror is another fine early variety, of
good size, uniform in shape and size, color deep
red ; flesh solid, of rich, mild flavor, ripens well
clear to stem, and does not crack.

Celery.—This plant is a development from the
wild smallage, which is about two feet high, has
a tapering slender root, an unpleasant odor, a bit­
terish acrid taste, and almost poisonous qualities.

For the first crop sow early in March in a gen­
tle hotbed, and for the main crop early in April
on a warm sheltered border, and water carefully.
The plants must be transplanted as soon as they
will bear handling; plant out at intervals until
the middle of July. The ground for this crop
should be dug into trenches two spades deep and
one foot in width, banking up the soil on each
side of the trench. In all cases let the distance
between the trenches be such as will furnish suf-

Incomparable Dwarf.

ficient soil for earthing up the plants. The bottom
of the trench should be covered six inches deep
with thoroughly decayed manure, and then cov­
ered with one or two inches of soil for planting.
When planting upon the surface instead of in
trenches is adopted, the soil should be very rich
and deep, and the plants placed in rows three
feet apart, and from six to eight inches apart in
the rows, according to the size of the variety.
Place the plants about eight inches apart in the
rows, removing them with a good mass of roots;
keep them well supplied with water. Earth up
the plants as they advance in growth, but leave
the hearts uncovered until the final soiling. This



operation of earthing should be performed only
when the plants are dry, and at the final occasion
neatly slant and smooth the soil so as to throw
off the wet.

The Giant White Solid is the variety most
commonly grown; clear, white, solid, crisp.

The Boston Market is a favorite variety, re­
markable for its tender, crisp and succulent
stems, and its peculiarly mild flavor; the Boston
market-gardeners grow this almost exclusively.

Mammoth Red.—This is the largest grown, at­
taining under good cultivation the great weight
of ten or twelve pounds, and is perfectly solid.

Incomparable Dwarf White.—A very dwarf
late white, of stiff, close habit, solid, crisp and

Lettuce is a hardy annual and one of the most
generally cultivated and popular of vegetables. It
is divided into two classes, the Cabbage or Head
lettuce, and the upright sorts known as the Cos
lettuce. Lettuce grown in field may be planted
between cabbages ; and as it matures long before
the cabbages need the space, the economy is
evident. The best seed should be saved for
planting, which should be done in autumn,
and the plants moved into cold-frames which
are kept covered during severe weather. For
family use seed may be sown in hotbeds early in
the spring, to be transplanted as soon as the
weather will permit. By planting seed in suc­
cession and transplanting, the table will be well
supplied during the season. Lettuce for winter
market is an extensive business near large cities;
and in its production large use is made of hot­
beds and forcing-houses.

Tennis Ball is a black-seeded lettuce, which
forms a close, large head, with a few outer leaves;
a favorite forcing variety.

Boston Market is a superb variety, which grows
very compact, and is white and crisp; one of the
best for forcing.

The Large India is one of the largest varieties,
which withstands summer heat better than most
kinds; forms an immense solid head, which cuts
white, brittle and almost transparent.

The Paris Green Cos is one of the best of the
Cos varieties. Grows upright with long, narrow,
dark green leaves. It should be tied up to blanch
a week or ten days before cutting.

Onions.—The nativity of the onion is not cer­
tainly known, it being credited sometimes to
India and sometimes to Egypt, as in each of
these countries it has been cultivated from a re­
mote antiquity. In Spain and Portugal a raw
onion is frequently eaten like an apple, and often
with a piece of bread forms the dinner of a work-
ing-man. It is very nutritious, containing a large
quantity of nitrogenous matter and of uncrys-
tallizable sugar, with an acrid volatile sulphurous

oil resembling that of garlic, which, however, is
largely dissipated by boiling.

The onion thrives best in a rather deep, rich
loamy soil, and, unlike most vegetables, succeeds
well when cultivated on the same ground for
successive years. The best culture requires that
the ground should be deeply trenched and ma­
nured the previous autumn, and laid up in ridges
during the winter to pulverize. As early in the
spring as the ground is in working order com­
mence operations by leveling the ground with a
rake, and tread it firmly; sow thinly in drills
about a quarter of an inch deep and one foot
apart, cover with fine soil and press down with
the back of a spade or a light roller. When the
young plants are strong enough, thin gradually
so that they stand three or four inches apart.
Keep the surface of the ground open and free
from weeds by frequent hoeing, taking care not
to stir the soil too deeply, or to collect it about
the growing bulbs.

Extra Early Red.—Rather smaller and flatter
than Large Red, close-grained and heavy; fit to
gather the last of July, and keeps well.

Wethersfield Large Red.—The staple variety of
Eastern growers; large-sized, deep red, thick,
nearly round, fine-grained, pleasant-flavored and
productive ; an excellent keeper.

Yellow Dutch.—The common yellow variety;
rather fat-shaped, and of excellent flavor. Good
to keep.

Large Italian Red Tripoli.—As its name indi­
cates, an Italian onion ; an excellent variety of
quick growth and mild flavor. Grows to two and a
half pounds.

Rhubarb.—The roots of this plant have long
been famous for their medicinal qualities. The
best comes from Turkey and China. Russia
rhubarb used to stand at the head of all, a strict
supervision being exercised by government offi­
cials over all offered for export, a supervision
which has been abandoned. The rhubarb of
gardens is derived from different species of
Rheum, especially R. rhaponticum and R. undu-
latum. The parts chiefly utilized are the fleshy
footstalks of the leaves, much used for puddings,
tarts and pies, as well as for stewing.

Sow in spring in a seed-bed, in drills one foot
apart. Cultivate well during the season, and in
the autumn or following spring transplant the
roots into deep, rich soil, from three to four feet
apart. They are fit for use about the third
spring after planting. The most expeditious
mode to procure a supply is to plant roots already
grown, which will come into use immediately.

The Linnœus is an early, large and tender va­

The Victoria is a very large variety, and is later
than the Linnæus.

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