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The St. Charles herald. [volume] (Hahnville, La.) 1873-1993, August 25, 1917, Image 5

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85034322/1917-08-25/ed-1/seq-5/

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ïFe owe hi large
debt for our know
ledge of corn culture
and arc still learning
from him how to in
crease yields of grain
F OOD we must have for ourselves and
our allies, and that we can make this
country the granary of the world Is
due to that magician of the globe—
the aboriginal Burbunk—the North
American Indian.
There are many who hall the red
man as the greatest of agriculturists,
for his work on this continent in de
veloping and cultivating food plants
is been nothing short of colossal. Not only staple
•oducts, but also numerous varieties of edible
•alns, vegetables and fruit, owe their present
ieful forms to his skill. It Is a popular fallacy
iat the Indian was merely a hunter, that he lived
haphazard and hand-to-mouth existence by tish
ig and the chase and that his tilling the soil was
ily an incident of his communal life. It is a late
i.v to give the guerdon of recompense to a race
hi eh so many times kept our forefathers from
arvation and furnished the cornstalk bridge on
hich civilization came to these shores, and yet
ren now credit should he given where It is due.
Most of the valued articles of diet of which the
scoverers and explorers of the early day found
ie Indian in possession was not Indigenous at all,
id many of them came originally from tropical
luntries many thousands of miles distant. The
idlnn tribes made frequent war excursions to
le lower latitudes and brought back grains and
'getables of all kinds which they used as seed.
Maize, or Indian corn, in its present form repre
tnts one of the great achievements of primitive
anters. It came originally, it Is now generally
•cepted, from southern Mexico and was eaten by
ie Maya tribes. At first It was nothing more than
coarse grass on which were tiny ears resembling
ie top of the wheat stalk. Each grain had its own
ivelope of husk. Occasionally even now grains
! corn are found which have their individual
isk. thus showing how the maize of our day
■verts to type. The plant was essentially tropical
id even now after centuries of culture in the tem
;rate zone It Is sensitive to frost.
The tribes of North America saw the possiblli
es of the grain and hastened Its evolution. There
is been crossbreeding since by white farmers, yet
I a matter of fact the corn culture of the present
ly is practically as It came from the hand of the
idlan He has adapted and modified It to various
■étions of the country by a process of careful
■lection. ^ , ,
All the kinds of corn which exist today are de
■ribed In the accounts of the white settlers,
lack and red corn, the white corn, the yellow
,rn are all mentioned, not forgetting the soft,
veet variety, the so-called gummy corn of the
idians. The culture of corn was more than
rmlng—It was a religion. The selection of the
■ed for the next planting was done w th such
ire . the various colorings were so studied and
odified that there grew up u veritable maize t
AlMhe methods of raising corn were taken over
rectlv by the eurly settlers, and although there
lve come into being mechanical appliance« for
owing planting and harvesting, the methods
ive ready not Changed since they were de
■loped by the Indian. The Rround was loosened
1th hoes made either of wood or of bone or
itler or flint with wooden handles. The well
,osen grains were put in holes made by planting
icks. *If the planting season had been delayed
r frost the Indians soaked the grain n wa e
ia t lost time might be made up In
requentJy a little hellebore or some other power
dTug was added to the water This did not ln
,re the grain and either stupefied or killed.anj
the crows which might dig up the seed. Often
mres were laid for the feet of the '»rds. and
,er fantastic human figures were placed m the
>rn clearings, the precursors of the modern scar
•ows The weeds were hoed away from the joung
. in ts. and as the season advanced the young corn
as hilled. The muln work of cultivating corn
as done by women among the Eastern tribes,
Idle in the tribes of the West and the Southwest
ie crop was looked after by the I " en '
The planting of the corn was in n alitj a fes
val as was the harvesting. The success which
tended the development of the scraggly htt e
opical plant to the splendid stalk often 18 feet
11 and with ears a foot and a half long, as spec -
ens of the raising of the Iroquois are described
as due to the zeal and the scrupulous care of the
anters Inspired by romance. Corn in the Indian
adition became the food which came direct from
e breast of Mother Earth. The keeping of the
leï seed was a matter of sentiment and of
fth Mighty Mondamin, committed to the grave.
If to rise again, and it was the duty of the tillers
Now ßed Han Solved
lood Problem^NisDay
S Robert N.Noulèon
• C
- " v ' i
' V <
■ *-^* °'*.*
of the soil that his stalk should he perfect, that
ears should escape the Insect and the blight.
The harvesting of the corn Is in our modern
practice essentially the same process as that of
the Indians. The method of curing and storing
has not changed. The corn was placed In venti
lated structures on stilts, for the eorncrlb every
farmer uses Is an Indian invention also.
So much for'the Indian corn as seen in the so
called corn belt of the United States. Here the
aborigines had developed it Into the lordly plant.
The ingenuity of the Indian farmer came into play
in the Southwest, where lie raised excellent corn
in what seemed a sandy desert. To insure moisture
for the plant the Indian buried the seed a foot or
more underground nt the bottom of a hole bored
out by bis planting stick. The deep-growing corn
is one of the wonders of Hopi husbandry. When
deeply interred Mondamin comes to life, lie sends
some slender roots upward, but under the new
conditions the main roots are not put forth until
they are within an inch nr so of the surface. The
Hopis build wind screens for the further protec
tion of the plant. When the plant at last matures
the part above ground looks like a low bush, and
yet it bears fine, well-formed ears. The United
States government used to try to teach the Indians
of the Southwest how to farm, but now it finds
it about as profitable to go to school to them.
It has been accepted fur many years that in the
Dakotas and much of the Northwest it was impos
sible for the white farmers to grow corn because
all of the varieties tried were killed by frost. Re
cently it occurred to some scientists that despite
the drawback of the weather the Mandan In
dians were raising corn. An expedition under the
auspices of the American Museum of Natural His
tory made a study of the agriculture methods of
the Mandans. It developed that for centuries the
farmers of the tribe had beeu developing a hardy
corn. The seed had been selected from year to
year from stalks which showed no effect of frost.
The stalks of this variety are so stunted that they
are more like shrubs than the plant which is com
mon to other latitudes. Seed corn raised by the
Mandans Is to be sown all through that region,
which, according to the official maps, is not at all
fitted for raising corn, and thus the food supplies
of the nation will eventually be Increased by many
millions of bushels every year.
The secrets of the cultivation of this strangely
acclimated tropical plant were found by an arch
aeologist and not an agriculturist, and were hand
ed over by Buffnlo Bird Woman and others of her
tribe In the belief that they might help the white
neighbors. This, by the way, Is returning good for
evil, for in the early years of the white race on
this continent the Indian was ill requited for all
that he did for us.
World's Most Powerful Searchlight
It is ten feet high, Its mirror has a diameter of
five feet, and It weighs three tons. Its beam is as
brilliant as the sun at eight o'clock in the morning
or four In the afternoon, New York latitude, and
you can read a newspaper by its light 30 miles
away. The heat of its focused beam Is so intense
that It will set paper afire at a distance of 250 feet.
It has a candlepower of more than one and a
quarter billion.
These are a few astonishing facts about the
Sperry searchlight, the invention of Elmer A.
Sperry of Brooklyn, N. Y., who is already known
as the inventor of the airplane stabilizer and ship
gyroscope bearing his name and the first electric
arc light. When the last big air raid over London
was made by Zeppelins, the Sperry searchlights
bathed the big dirigibles In beams of light they
could not escape. According to some London ac
counts the Sperry searchlight is the Zeppelin's
One of the most powerful beacons along the
coast is the Sandy Hook lighthouse. But the
Sperry searchlight Is 22 times more brilliant
than that light. Were the Sperry lamp substituted
for the lighthouse beacon, a ship passing out to
sea could be bathed iu light until it disappeared
below the horizon. By swinging the light back and
forth across the sky it has been made visible 150
miles away. For navy use the Sperry lamp illum
inates a target ten times more brilliantly than any
other projector devised
Equipped with a carriage that permits the lamp
to be turned in a circle and in any direction up to
90 degrees, the giant searchlight is of the greatest
value iu detecting aircraft. The operator cannot
control it near at hand; the great heat prevents
The Indian discovered for himself the ^lence
of Irrigation. Many of the tribes, such as the
Crows and the Apaches, early made use of the
river bottoms for the cultivation of the staple
crop—corn. When the condition of dryness came
they would construct a rough temporary dam of
logs with which they could divert the course of
part of the stream iDto their lands. There were
primitive ditches which distributed the water.
Southwestern Indians, however, were hydraulic
englueers. who played every point in the game
against drought. They, and also the primitive
people who had preceded them, worked out ex
tensive ditches with channels and lateral branches.
These ditches as seen in Arizona ami New Mexico
show how thoroughly the Indians had developed ir
rigation on lines which we would hail in this day
as scientific and efficient. There is much to be
learned even by the farmer who has had the
training of the agricultural college if he will study
the system or irrigation perfected by these tribes
of the Southwest, who in so many respects re
semble the Egyptians. They made the Gila river I
their Nile. and. strange as it seems now, we find |
the people of the Pueblos now taking up the cul- j
ture of an Egyptian cotton under tutelage of the j
United States department of agriculture, and from j
seed brought from the land of the Pharaohs. In j
this region are also seen terraced gardens, which j
are watered in accordance with the demands of ;
approved agriculture. .
It is one of the ironies of fate that in Oklahoma |
and other regions where the Indian and the Cau
casian race meet in competition in agricultural
arts, as, for instauee, in the county fairs, that
many prizes are awarded to our first farmers.
This especially applies to corn and other cereals.
The great help w-hlch the work of the Indian
will be to this country will no doubt be shown
later when an effort is made to utilize to the full
the products which he has so much developed. The
shortage of wheat, as reported, shows much could
be done in the cultivation of corn, the planting of
which in many parts of the country begins In
.Tune. This grain Is put in this country in much
the same category a6 the Great Chan of Literature
placed oats when he declared that it was a grain
used in England for horses and in Scotland for
men. The people of the United States have been
shipping large quantities of corn for use of other
nations as human food and reserving their own
supply principally as feed for horses.
Modern science has given us wizards in the arts
of hybridization, like Luther Burbank, and yet
with all the knowledge which civilization has ac
cumulated it has never been better served on this
continent than by the real founders of our agricul
tural resources—the American Indians.
that. He must stand 50 feet away. At that dis
tance he is able to focus accurately upon any
moving object. Because the rays projected by the
lamp are nearly parallel, there is no diffusion of
light over a wide area. The beam is concentrated.
When the searchlight is being operated, the
temperature of the arc is 9,000 degrees Fahrenheit
—7,000 degrees higher than the melting point of
the metal holders of the carbons. Consequently,
iu order to prevent these parts from melting, a
current of air Is forced, by means of a motor
driven blower through the carbon supports and \
discharged through the heat-radiating disks that
surround the holders. In the Beck lamp the hold
ers are sprayed with alcohol to prevent them from
The several factors which combine to make the
Sperry lamp so powerful are the small electrodes,
the special carbons used, the manner in which
they burn and the parabolic mirror.—Popular
Science Monthly.
The teacher was trying to show the children
how it was that our forbears were so ignorant of
other countries. She talked for an hour about
the lack of knowledge of navigation, the small
ness of ships and the fear of the unknown. Then
she noticed that Jimmy was not attending.
"Why was it that we know so little about other
countries 400 years ago, Jimmy?" she said, spring
ing the question upon him.
"Please, miss," said Jimmy, without a mo
ment's hisitation, "because we weren't born."
. CROSS. Ilfpartcie
culture Oklahoma A. and M c >llem*.
Plauts will not do their best unites
they are cultivated Intelligently. 1 ro
quent, shut low cultivation is essential
for all garden crops. Deep cultivation
does considerable barm because it de
stroys the feeding roots of plants. It ;
also leaves the surface of the soli
ridged, thus Increasing the evaporating
surface, with Its consequent loss of
soli moisture. Deep cultivation should
be utilized only as a Iasi resort for the
destruction of weeds which cannot be
destroyed by the shallow cultivating
Implements. Cultivation is primarily ,
for the purpose of saving moisture, i
Weeds will seldom bother if the ground
is properly cultivated. A crust should
never be allowed to form after rains. :
As soon as the soli will break up read
A-' -
. \ 'U V
Ailment Usually Caused by Ani
mals Eating Green Feed.
Consumption of Spoiled Feed Such as
Potatoes and Beets May Also
Cause Trouble—Make Changes
in Feed Gradual.
Bloating in cattle is a common ail
ment which can be prevented or han
dled by almost any farmer, according
to Dr. J. H. Burt, assistant professor
of veterinary medicine in the Kansas
State Agricultural college.
"This disease is usually caused by
animals feeding on green feed, such as
clover, alfalfa and green corn that fer
ment readily," said Doctor Burt. "The
consumption of spoiled feeds such as
potatoes and beets may cause it. Sud
den changes in the feed. Inflammation
of the rumen, and a weak peristaltic
movement of the paunch resulting
from disease or Insufficient nourish
ment are frequent causes.
"The paunch or rumen occupies the
left side of the abdominal cavity, hence
the distension of the abdominal wall
by the collecting of gas in the rumen
occurs principally on the left side.
The gas forms quickly and the dis
tended wall is highly elastic.
"The animal stops eating and rum
inating. the ears droop, and the back
may become arched. In the more se
vere cases the walls of the abdomen
are distended on both sides, the res
piration is quickened, the pulse small
and quick, the eye? are prominent, and
the mucous membrane congested—
these are the usual symptoms. Death
results from asphyxia, caused by the
distended paunch interfering with the
movement of the lungs. The treat
ment Is both preventive and medicinal."
This form of acute indigestion can
be largely prevented by practicing pre
ventive measures, according to Doctor
Burt. All changes of feed should be
gradual, especially if the ration fed
is heavy, or the new ration consists
largely of green, succulent feed.
Cattle pasturing on green clover or
alfalfa should be kept under close ob
servation. It is not advisable to pas
ture cattle on clover <i r alfalfa which
Is wet with rain or dew.
Bloating usually can be quickly re
lieved by puncturing the wall of the
paunch with the trocar and canula.
The operation is simple and generally
Is not followed by unfavorable results.
The instrument is plunged through the
walls of the flank on the left side,
midway between the border of the
last rib and the point of the haunch.
The trocar is then withdrawn from
the canula. After the gas has escaped
through the canula, the trocar is re
placed and the Instrument Is removed.
The instrument should be thoroughly
boiled after being used, and kept clean
until again needed.
In bad cases it may be necessary to
remove part of the food through an
opening made in the side. This will
require the services of a veterinarian.
It Is advisable to wash the skin
with some good antiseptic before In
serting the instrument. In bad cases
it is sometimes well to give the cow
a dose of Epsom or Glauber's salts dis
solved in plenty of water. One should
add two to four ounces of turpentine,
or three or four teaspoonfuls of char
coal. This will absorb the gases ac
cumulating in the pRuneh.
ily and mu stick to the implements, get
busy. Endeavor to keep a shallow dust
intib h upon the surface of the ground
at all times when the soil is dry
enough. Weeds will be destroyed al
most as soon as the weeds- germinate.
The small toothed implements are best.
Hand wheel hoes are Invaluable In
gardening. They are much more effi
eient. and besides are more easily ma
nipulated. than the ordinary hand hoes
so commonly used.
Fertilizers re high-priced this year,
but with the prospects for high-priced
crops there seems to he little doubt
that thetr use will be profitable.
Nitrates mid phosphates especially
should receive consideration.
More intensive methods of cultiva
tion must come. Give the plants proper
care and they will respond In a sur
prising manner.
Cornmeal, Middlings, Corn Gluten and
Meat Scrap, Is Good for Forc
ing Growth.
< 'hicks do well on a grain ration,
but they do a great deal better when
once they are started on u wet mash
ration and are fed alternatively two
feeds of wet mash per day with three
feeds of grain, the latter being given
morning, noon and night and the wet
mash being given about ten in the
morning and three in the afternoon.
For forcing growth and maturing tho
cockerels for market ns quickly as pos
sible such a method of feeding is ftir
superior to the ••rdinary straight grain
ration method. The following mixture
makes a very palatable mash: Equal
parts by weight of cormnenl, bran,
middlings, corn gluten feed and corn
meal meat scrap.
Some Have Mothering Instinct and
Will Brood Solitary Chick Peep
ing Plaintively.
There Is all the difference in the
world In hens as mothers. Some hens
have the mothering instinct. If there
Is a solitary cold chick peeping plaint
ively in her neighborhood, she stops
to brood it. She will starve herself
before she will fall her children. They
may peck at her eyes, sit on her back,
tweak her wattles—she bears it all.
When she broods her babies, she
brings her warm body into contact
with their wee backs. She fluffs out
her feathers, and spreads her wings
until the growing chicks almost crowd
her off her feet.
Self-Boiled Lime-Sulphur, or Any Wet
able Sulphur, Applied In Spray
Is Recommended.
Wherever peaches are grown exten
sively the pencil scab develops sooner
or later. An extended study of the
life history of the scab and the organ
ism producing it proves it n parnsite
which winters In the mycelial stage on
living twigs. As a control, self-boiled
lime-sulphur, or any fine wetable sul
phur, applied In spray. Is recommended
as satisfactory.
Where Fowls Cannot Move Around Un
restricted Movable Yards Should
Be Made Use Of.
Goslings grow rapidly if given an un
restricted range of good gras«. If free
range cannot be furnished movable
yards should be built and moved fre
quently. Close watch should be kept
and the yard moved just as soon as
the grass gets short. This occurs in an
amazingly short time, as goslings eat
large quantities of grass.
Couth Offers Exceptional Opportunities
for Betterment of Run-Down
Cotton Plantations
Dairying offers exceptional oppor
tunity for the bettering of run-down
tenant farms. In the South this sys
tem is becoming mort» popular every
day on farms whose value anil fertility
have been so greatly lowered by con
tinuous cropping with cotton and to*
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