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Amador ledger. (Jackson, Amador County, Calif.) 1875-19??, June 15, 1906, Image 4

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An Agricultural Education.
The following interesting account
of the life work of Edgar J. Hollister
is sketched by Mrs. Grannis, who has
had the opportunity of personally ob
serving some of the results of his
wonderful activity. Except for Dean
Holllster'a retiring modesty regarding
his own performances, Mrs. Grannis
says that it would be possible to pre
sent many more stimulating Incidents
of difficulties overcome. All in all,
his life work is doing much not only
for American agriculture, per se; but
for the advancement of the idea that
brainwork-farming pays, and that
there is as promising a field in this
line of endeavor as in any of the mer
cantile or Industrial occupations.
Through Toil to Troimph.
Anna C. Grannis
It Is a far cry from a Canadian
farmer boy in the sixties to the Dean
of Agriculture to-day in a rising insti
tution In the West, yet, by the applica
tion of science to practical farming,
such a change has been wrought by
Edgar J. Hollister, a soil expert of
wide reputation.
No agricultural college opened Its
friendly doors to this young pioneer,
nor was the Canadian government so
deeply interested at that time as now,
in Its farming population. Books on
the subject were few and fell woefully
short of the mark, yet he knew neither
discouragement nor dismay.
A call from western Ontario, his
birth place, came in 1873 and In re
sponse, some time was spent in set
ting out peach orchards, the work los
ing its irksomeness because of the
Study which accompanied It More
over, at this point a company was en
gaged In reclaiming some twenty-five
thousand acres of land by the drainage
of an inland lake. The young man as
sisted in some of the surveys and was
in touch with the chief engineer of
the work. His enthusiasm was
aroused by the anticipation of the re
sults which would come from the ad
dition of such a large acreage, which
hitherto worthless, was now, by re
ducing it to cultivation, to be made
productive.
After some further years of study
and preparation Mr. Hollister became
Interested In the organization of a com
pany for the development of a
large tract of swamp. The lund was
cleared of brush and reclaimed to
cultivation, buildings erected, ma
chinery installed and a system of
farming, very nearly perfect, was
established. Fields of six acres were
made to produce an income of $3,
000.00 each, while others of four acres
produced $1,800.00. Of the latter $1,
200.00 was net; while thirty-five acres
was made to yield $14,000.00 gross at
an expense of $8,000.00. Of course,
these were special crops such as cel
ery, onions and other vegetables
SLOW PROCESS OP NATURE.
In some instances five years is the
period allowed for the reclamation of
land by the slow process of nature
after the drainage has been obtained.
Even then these lands may fall to
produce paying crops, because of their
deficiency in essential elements such
as lime, potash, phosphoric acid and
magnesia. These are some of the
forces which go to make stability in
plants. It is true that such lands con
tain a large percentage of nitrogen,
accumulated from the decomposition
of vegetable matter annually produced
In low places. However, this nitrogen,
which would produce growth were It
available, Is in an unknown quantity
and available only when sufficient
moisture is present, yet does not pro
duce the same results upon crops as
nitrogen derived from other sources,
such as bone, dried blood or barn
yard manure.
To make these lands productive im
mediately after drainage, It is neces
sary to correct their acid condition by
the use of lime and by disintegration
of the soil particles, thereby Increas
ing their powers to retain water and
absorb oxygen. These forces together,
will act on potash and the three abso
lute essentials to plant growth are ni-
tropen. phosphoric add, potash, and
phosphoric acid and make them
available as plant food.
Mr. Hollister visited Florida and se
cured a tract of land which for five
years was used experimentally. Al
though he was in one case much handi
capped by inadequate drainage, which
It was not found practical to improve,
the results were, however, very satis-
In 1895, in Canada, the next field of
operation, a pbenominal ■access re
sulted in eighteen months. Here Mr.
GUY ELLIOTT MITCHELL
Hollister proceeded upon the theory
that, climatic conditions being equal,
certain crops are adapted to certain
soils, and that planting those which
will bring the greatest revenue will
enhance the value of the land, Inspire
the people with enthusiasm and en
courage development In all lines of
trade. For example, Kalamazoo,
Michigan, was once surrounded by
bogs and flats worth scarcely $10.00
an acre. After the incoming of the
Hollanders, who began raising celery
on these supposedly worthless la- "•,
$000,000.00 was brought annually to
the town by the sale of this vegetable.
In ten years' time the land increased
in value to $900.00 an acre.
In 1899, a trip was made to Colo
rado where the people were farming
under irrigation, and here the growers
DEAN B. J. HOLLISTER.
were taught the economical use *>t
water and the method of creating a
favorable environment for plants. A
visit was made to Maryland, where
experiments with soil and plant life
added still further to the experiment
er's fund of knowledge, but in 1901,
the most difficult and seemingly Im
possible work was to come, i.e., the
reclaiming of tidal lands on the north
shore of Long Island Sound. The De
partment of Agriculture already had
had a man in the field, who had re
ported the feasibility of reclamation
but by slow processes, and that in
vestigation revealed too many failures.
In spite of this, Mr. Hollister had
sufficient knowledge, gained experl
mentally, to suggest success, added to
which was the further information
gained during a four years' residence
in Washington, D. C, for the express
purpose of consultation and co-opera
tion with the experts of the Depart
ment of Agriculture. An experiment
was first made on a small tract on the
south side of Long Island, where the
salt bog had simply been taken up
and thrown inside of a dike, con
structed of lumber sufiiclently strong
to withstand the tide. This bog was
made smooth and even, and chemically
treated in the month of August. By
the *-t of October the surface was
covered with a beautiful growth of
tame grass six inches high. This
might certainly be termed, "A Quick
Process Route." Work on a sixty
acre tract on the north side was begun
in June and completed in December Of
the same year. On this land, covered
the previous autumn with salt water,
nine hundred bushels of turnips were
produced on two acres during the
first season. Rye, oats, celery and
vegetables throve on the same tract
The following year twenty acres
were seeded to meadow land in April.
By August it was covered by a beauti
ful tv-rf, strong enough to hold up
cattle pastured thereon. The remain
ing portion of the sixty acres pro
duced luxuriant crops of vegetables
and corn. A year later the meadow
yielded four tons of hay to the acre
and was considered a great demon-
WINONA BOY.S SELECT
ING WHEAT FOB SEED.
WINONA PABE SCHOOL
FOB GIBLS.
s stration of the productiveness of these
l lands under applied science.
M MAKING SEA LAND PRODUCE.
A Another equally successful experi-
m ment was conducted by this "Wizard
o of the Soil" on this same tract, viz.,
t the transforming of a five-acre tract
o of sea sand to a loamy condition. The
s soil was first treated with chemical
f fertilizers and in the fall rye was
s sown, which covered the ground in
w winter and made a full growth the
f following spring. This crop mi
p plowed under In Jane and followed by.
a crop of corn sown broadcast The
corn was plowed down In the fajl and
the sand lot planted In rye. It Will be
seen that in this process nature was
being assisted by moisture and sun
light to change sand into rye and corn
stalks. Then the sand, by the natural
process of decomposition of these
grains, brought about a complete
change in the physical condition of
the soil.
The work of this interesting man
attracted the attention of many people
pursuing scientific agriculture, among
whom was H. J. Heinz, the pickle
manufacturer — 57 kinds — who is in
terested not only in the culture of the
vegetable kingdom but in the -tel "t
ual growth of boys, and through his
activity Mr. Hollister was elected
Dean of Agriculture at the Agricul
tural Institute of Winona Lake, In
diana. Ilere he was seen last sum
mer, handling his crops of embryo
farmers who seemed imbued with his
enthusiasm and whose first harvest
received encomiums from five thou
sand visiting farmers, who unani
mously adopted resolutions endorsing
the work.
EDUCATING FOR SMALL -'ARMS.
A plan Is now taking tangible form,
which will lead to the establishment
of small farms comprising five to
twenty acres each. On these farms
young men will be taught combined
scientific and practical agriculture.
They will also demonstrate the pos
sibility of getting an income and genu
ine happiness from their investments
which may well be envied by the
salaried man or the man of moderate
capital in the city. It is believed too,
that this work will have a wholesome
effect upon the farmers throughout
the country. An increase of even
$100.00 In the revenue of each farmer
when multiplied by five million, would
establish the prosperity of the Ameri
can Nation, the bulwarks of which
are its farming population.
Mr. Hollister is also directing a
work of reclamation of a large tract
of salt meadow on the Connecticut
coast which, when reclaimed, will be
used for the purpose of Intensive
farming, thereby firmly establishing
the fact that these lands may be used
to furnish employment and bring
wealth and happiness to the people.
Thus each day reveals some new
progress, and farming, that once
seemed a hopeless, hapless drudgery,
is being shown a golden highway to
an ever increasing success.
Value of Alfalfa to Farm Animals.
The Bureau of Animal Industry of
the Department of Agriculture has re
cently published a study by I. D.
Graham of the use of alfalfa for the
growing and fattening of animals in
the Great Plains region. The results
attained by experiments, while of in
estimable value to live stock growers
In the region mentioned, may well be
STUDENTS CLEANING OUT A DBAIN AT WINONA.
considered by stockmen in other sec
tions.
Some of the questions considered in
the experiments were the composition
and digestibility of alfalfa, the calcu
lated cost of nutrients supplied by al
falfa and other feeding stuffs, the
value of alfalfa hay cut at different
periods of growth, alfalfa as a pastur
age, soiling, and hay crop, alfalfa meal,
and the value of alfalfa, fresh and
cured, for different kinds of farm ani
mals and for poultry. The importance
of this crop as a honey-producing
plant was also considered.
Finely ground, kiln-dried alfalfa
hay, called alfalfa meal, has given sat
isfactory results as feeding stuff. The
commercial article is made from se
lected alfalfa and mixed with sugar
beet molasses in the proportion of 75
per cent, alfalfa and 25 per cent, mo
lasses.
Horses and mules, it is stated, thrive
on alfalfa pasture, and while alfalfa is
too rich a food for mature horses un
less used in combination with some
other roughness, it is an excellent feed
for young ones, as it seems to contain
Just the elements necessary to develop
bone, muscle, and consequent size.
Caution should be used, however, in
feeding alfalfa to horses, particularly
if they have not been accustomed to
it. Like other concentrated feeds, it
seems to stimulate all the physical
processes to such an extent that vari
ous disorders of the digestive system
may appear. This is particularly no
ticeable in the urinary and perspira
tory glands.
When alfalfa is fed to horses in con
siderable quantity the grain ration
must be proportionately reduced and
an abundance of other roughness fur
nished. When horses have attained a
mature age and it is desirable to
change from other hay to alfalfa, this
change must be very gradual, and the
alfalfa selected for this purpose should
be more advanced in growth at the
time of cutting than that which is to
be fed to cattle or sheep. As a general
statement, very ripe alfalfa hay is the
best to use for working and driving
horses, while that prepared in the
usual way — that is, cut when the field
is about one-tenth in bloom — is better
for the colts. In any event, horses that
are fed alfalfa hay must be given
abundant exercise.
For dairy and beef cattle and for
sheep, alfalfa has given very good re
sults. As regards the use of alfalfa
hay for pigs, it is considered better to
cut it early, so that a larger proportion
of leaves may be saved and conse
quently a larger proportion of protein
conserved. While late cutting, after
the leaves have fallen somewhat and
the stem hardened, is better for
horses; for pigs, especially growing
pigs, the crop should be so harvested
as to save the largest number of
leaves. Experience teaches also that
the third or .fourth crop is better for
pigs because it is softer and more pal
atable. It is 'always wise to provide
some sort of a trough or rack with a
floor in it for feeding alfalfa to hogs.
Alfalfa in its green state, or when
used as hay or ensilage, is a first-class
poultry food. Poultry will pasture on
it during the summer and thrive. It is
best for poultry to use the last cutting
of alfalfa, as it is softer in texture,
has a larger proportion of leaves, less
woody matter, and is more succulent
than any other cutting. "While poultry
of all classes will eat alfalfa hay, or
at least the leaves from it, and thrive,
it is undoubtedly a better practice to
chop or grind it and mix it with a
grain ration. A good practice is to
steep the alfalfa hay In hot water and
let it stand for several hours before
feeding.
The Irish Potato.
A rich, sandy loam is best suited to
the production of Irish potatoes, and
the fertilizers employed should contain
high percentage of potash. The main
crop of Irish potatoes for family use
should be grown elsewhere, but a email
area of early ones properly belongs in
the garden. The preparation of the
soil should be the same as for general
garden crops.
In a recent bulletin on farm vege
tables, the department of Agriculture
recommends that for late potatoes, th»
rows should be 2% to 3 feet apart,
■and the hills 14 to 18 inches apart in
the rows. Lay off the rows with a
one-horse plow or lister, and drop the
seed, one or two pieces in a place, in
the bottom of the furrow. Cover the
seed to a depth of about 4 inches, using
a hoe or a one-horse plow for the pur
pose. One to three weeks will be
required for the potatoes to come up,
depending entirely upon the tempera
ture of the soil. The ground may even
freeze slightly after the planting has
been done, but so long as the frost
does not reach the seed potatoes no
harm will result, and growth will be
gin as soon as the soil becomes suf
ficiently warm.
As soon as the plants appear above
the ground and the rows can be fol
lowed, the surface soil should be well
stirred by means of one of the harrow
toothed cultivators. Good cultivation
should be maintained throughout the
growing season, with occasional hand
hoeing, if necessary, to keep the
ground free from weeds. Much de
pends upon cultivation. Toward the
last the soil may be worked up around
the plants to hold them erect and pro-
tect the tubers from the sun after the
vines begin to die. When the tubers
are fully ripe the vines will be quite
dead, but digging should not be de
layed too long, as the potatoes will
make a second growth In case wet
weather should set in, and weeds will
start seriously interfering with har
vesting the crop. On a small scale,
dig with a spading fork, and on a
large scale, use either one of the spe
cial digging machines or a turning
plow, which latter will cover up a
good many potatoes. A late crop may
be planted during May or early in
June in the North, and harvested late
in autumn, when the frost has killed
the vines.
After digging the potatoes, they
should never be allowed to lie exposed
to the sun, or to any light while in
storage, as they soon become green
and unfit for table use. Early pota
toes especially should not be stored in
a damp place during the heated part
of the summer, keeping best if cov
eiad over in a cool, sbady shed until
the autumn weather sets in, after
which they can be placed in a dry
cellar or buried in the open ground.
The ideal temperature for keeping
Irish potatoes would be between 30°
and 40° F., but they w-il not with
stand any freezing.
A thousand bushels of potatoes
have been raised on one acre. How
many farmers, who chance to read
this, have raised 200 bushels on an
equal plot? And there are some
who can not grow 100 bushels on their
acre.
Mary was Diseased.
Mary had a swarm of bees,
And they, to save their lives,
Must go wherever Mary went—
r . 'Cause Mary had the "hives."
There were about one million deaths
in India from plague last year.
A set of Scottish bag-pipea cost*
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Japanese Jinrlklshas are being estab
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Asia.
There are 4,537 textile factories la
Japan.
The national debt of France Is 1100 1
la bead. |
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"THE WHITE COMPANY."
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„_ _ — this oat and send to-day and we win tell
OLD WIT, yon how to get one jtm. Otre shortage.*
E. L. O'Connor Mfg. Co., 1271 B'way. N. Y.
COR YOUNG MEN
1 SEEKING OPPORTUNITY,
j" ; ■
Investigate the grand
possibilities there are in
agriculture. Trained men
for extension work j are
now in great demand. We
can help you make your
own future.
ADDRESS!
Winona Agricultural Institute,
Winona Lake. Indiana.
f|f|| ■ ■ Can gave a Lor of Wnrfc
wHi I I gar, **** q of M<?n? "
■ BHHH Can lncrta>9 Your ComtorU
:] %P Can Increne Your Profit!
jff^ It yon are Interested In those thlngt {*
H\\ f&k werdmcetosandyoaoarnewbookahoat
$m ELECTRIC BTE^..u
W ELECTBUr HaB dd I flOB
"H jjore than million and a quarter of them are
la cse and several hundred thonisnd farmers say
that they are the best InTeetment they ever made.
They'll Bare you more money, more work, gtrs bet-
ter serrloe and greater satisfaction than any other
metal wheel made— because They're Mad* Baiter.
By every test they are the best Spokes united to
the bub. II they work loose, your money back.
Dont boy wheel* nor wagon until yon read oar
book. It may save you many dollars and It's free.
ELECTRIC WHEEL 00,
Box 263 Qufcnoy. Bis.
ELECTRIC

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