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The farmer and mechanic. [volume] (Raleigh, N.C.) 1877-1885, January 03, 1878, Image 4

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January ,j, 1
84
THE FAEMEE AND MECHANIC.
ORGAX OF THE BOARD OF AGRICULTURE
Organ of Industrial Class3S of North Carolina.
EIGHT PAGES-FOETr- EIGHT COLUMHS-
TEICJIS: TWO JMILLAHK A YEAK,
$1.10 for Six Months, Cash in Advance
KANDOLi'II AUiJOTT SHOT WELL,.
MANAGING EDITOR.
John D. Cameron,
John S. Long,
W. C. Kerr,
A. K. Ledoux,
C. B. Denson,
Nat. A. Gregory,
Contributing
Editors.
ADVERTISING RATES:
One Iollar per Inch, first Week ; flfljr
centM enli itiibwequeiit insertion.
One ; two , OneTTwo lhree fiiz One
wetk m-eks Jv. .mo, mos. mos. year.
1 in. 81.00 tl-SU So.S y.5o Slo.tw
Z in. Z.W, Zm .".UUi ;.UJ a.Tr. li.OO 23.00
3 t 3.UU; 4."0 9.MjjlU.0O 14.00 Zt.iM 3U.U0
4 in 4.CMJ! .U lu.Uo 1.UU 28.00 -0.t0
rw! 6 KJ V.0 14.0 19.0" 24. U0 40. UU
Ufi 12 0 16. Mi i'J.O 2.UJ 35.U oJ.OU 7i.(HJ
ltol 20 U' 23.m 11.00 lO.tO 4j.0l rg.OC 2o.0j
TRANSIENT ADVERTISING IUUSt be FKE-
FAI1).
nr Advertising collected reeularly on the
first day of t-ach month.
jfT- All liuxiness pertaining to the Office will
be addressed
FARM Eli AND MECHANIC,
llaltiyh, X. C
LOGICAL PROCESSES FOR
THE NEW YEAR.
It has been repeatedly urged,
that the operations of the iarin,
should be thought out. The culti
vator should not levy his tax upon
the soil, as the old English kings
levied a tax upon their subjects, as
a mere matter of caprice or despot
ic ownership. The faculty of rea
son is the divine treasury of the
soil. It is the storehouse of every
energy, capacity and impulse. Out
of it comes the creative inlluence,
which shapes the masterpieces of
science, of political forethought
and of physical industry. Even
the Fine Arts, illustrated and
adorned by the imagination, derive
all their method, suitability and
force, from this department of the
intellect. The question is, what
will the cultivator do with it,
through the new year upon which
he is entering! Will he lend a too
willing ear to Hope, which is a
pleasant guest in trouble, but a
treacherous friend in matters of
business? .Many a victim, who has
failed to think out his profit and
and loss in the past, hopes that
he will do better in the future,
and rushes blindly into the same
mistakes, which have already nearly
effected his ruin. How many a
cotton producer, who might have
made money raising nothing but
sweet potatoes, continues to over
look every question of climate, la
bor and soil, and exhausts himself
down to the very last inspiration of
nerve-force and the very last dollar
of capital, that he may at last ride
into bankruptcy on the patent ties
of a cotton bale. He hopes, that
the present year will be better than
the past. There is not the sem
blance of a rational principle, upon
which to found his expectations.
All the suggestions of his intellect,
and the facts of his experience tes
tify airainst the wisdom of his con
elusion. But the mad dog of cot
ton culture has bitten him, and the
hydrophobia of a phrensied imagi
nation has attacked every energy
of his being. How many a young
husbandman thinks that he is
breathing a religious spirit into the
new year, in adopting the errors of
his ancestors. He fears a sort of
sacrilege, in departing from the old
paths, notwithstanding he has been
dwelling in the same little cottage,
and tilling the same unproductive
fields ever since the dav of his ma
jority. He also has been drinking
in the syren voice of hope. Some
how, contrary to all the dictates of
reason, and the revelations of his
own knowledge, he thinks there is
life in the old land vet, and ex
pects that the same old implements
and tillage will yet turn up a gold
mine, where Ills fathers endured
povcrtv before him. Such delusions
are almost incredible, and vet thev
fasten upon the experience of ma
ny. Another foe to a, hard, practical
thinking out of the future, is what
may be called guessing at result..
"We would not underate guessing as
an accomplishment. We have
known nianv scholars and thinkers
in popular esteem, who were after
all nothing but accomplished guess
ers. They possessed a sort of shrewd
perceptive faculty, which seemed
to penetrate into men and things
by the power of intuition. They
Mastered mathematics, the dead
languages and physical science in
the same way. Hut we have not
the slightest idea, that this sort of
thing will do for agriculture. In
deed, we know it will not. Have
not the unsuccessful tillers of the
soil,all around us,been guessing and
has not guessing caused the land to
mourn for its nakedness, poverty
and sorrow? What are these men
doing, when, without studying the
nature of their own soil, tiie con
stituent tenemnts of certain crops,
and the chemical principles of ma
nures, they persist in making their
farms a sort of Procrustean bed,
upon which must be stretched out
a certain harvest, which they have
determined to produce, whether it
is suitable or not? Are they not
blind leaders of the blind? Are
they not guessing their way along
a road upon which if they would
take reason as their guide, they
would soon fill the land with glad
ness, plenty and rejoicing ? Most
unquestionably they are. And yet,
some of these very men object to
agricultural journals, and throw
the weight of their inlluence against
the dillusion of learning through
the earth. But, thank Heaven,
the number of this latter class is
small. The farmers themselves are
taking this matter in hand, and
driving the selfish money-changers
out of the temple which the have
polluted.
We say, that a cool, deliberate
reasoning from cause to effect, is
the system which must be applied
to the operations of the farm.
Many persons seem to think, that
logic is simply a part of a college
curriculum, but is not to be em
ployed as intellectual furniture for
the battle and struggle of life. This
is a serious mistake. It is as much
as to say, that a skillful mechanic,
after learning the use of his tools,
is to cast them aside as utterly use
less. Agriculture is a contest with
the soil, with the great agents and
forces of the physical universe, and
with the unruly tempers and un
measured ignorance of men. When
a cultivator starts upon the race of
the new year, he should study his
facts, be sure of his premises, if he
would lead on correctly to his con
clusions. Does he wish to know,
whether a certain improvement will
work well in the midst of the ob
stacles and slow developments of his
own land? Let him master the
principles of the new discovery or
invention, thoroughly digest the
condition and requirements of his
own soil, and the most diffi
cult part of his work is already ac
complished. Is he puzzled by the
backwardness of human industry
as to its results, by the almost uni
versal paralysis of the vigorous limbs
of agriculture in certain sections of
the earth? Let him take as factors
in the problem the political agents
of the day. Let him know, that
the infinite decrees as enshrined in
physical law, in the nature of the
climate, in the abundance or
paucity of color, in the character of
the land, in the duration of the
seasons, are potential elements
which cannot be overlooked. In a
word, from the smallest and most
insignificent matter on the farm,
up to the highest measure of agri
cultural intelligence and exertion,
from the barest and rudest neces
sity, up to the achievment of the
richest luxury, the secret of success
is to be found in a sensible and
logical application of facts and ma
terials. Here is the path of victo
ry, of honor, and of opulence for
the new year. We do not say, that
there will not be sighs and groans
of disappointment along this path.
No sky is without its clouds, and
no year can close without its crown
of suffering. But an intelligent
and persistent industry never fails
to bring its reward, L g.
I
OUR OLD FIELDS.
Everv country has some peculiar
feature in its agricultural practice
which impresses itself upon th
landscape and imprints itself upon
the memory of the observer. The
trim hedges of England are insepa
rably associated with rural beauty
and prosperous husbandry. The
broad fields of France, undivided
bv hedge or ditch, and colored with
the tints of different crops, are
spread before the eye like an endless
carjet of ever-varying hues ; and
the plains of Italy, with the same
beauties as the fields of France, are
additionally adorned with long lines
of trees gracefully festooned with
the luxuriant vine, attractive as
well to the eye as to the palate. All
this betokens taste, thrift, industry
and prosperity. It remains to the
Southern States to add its mite of
peculiarity in the shape of a fear
ful anti-climax in a form where
deformity displaces beauty, where
negligence antagonizes thrift, where
indolence overcomes industry, and
7
where poverty shrouds itself in the
ruins of prosperity the Southern
States spreads out her old fields to
the gaze of the world ; and whether
proudly or otherwise, they challenge
attention.
It is a wonderful feature in a
country so lately in a state of na
ture ; in a country, within the
memory of living men, unbroken
almost in its forest sanctuary, and
so lately the abode of the savasre
that the memory of lijs fearful
cruelties still carries terror in its
recital ; in a country so lately
opened up to cultivation that the
wonderful exuberance of its virgin
soil gave wealth to the generations
just gone by, by only the applica
tion of the rudest form of labor ;
and in a country yet so new as still
to be held out as lure to the over
crowded peoples of the old world as
the happy refuge against want and
the very hot-bed of agricultural
richness ; but a country, in fact, so
scarred, so seamed, so blotched, so
stripped, that many portions of it
might seem to have been transport
ed bodily from those fated regions
bevond the seas, where time and
war, and blighting tyranny and a
fierce sun had turned the land to
irretrievable desert.
These old fields stretch from the
Potomac to the Gulf of Mexico ;
from the Atlantic to the Mississip
pi, and are the the distinct results
of lands too cheap and labor too
unskilled ; to which may be added
as corrollaries to the othor two, sta
ple crops imperative in their de
mands for rich soils to produce them,
and rapacious in their exactions on
forest lands to procure them.
It may very well be doubted
whether the cotton gin was, after all,
a real benefit to the South, since it
over stimulated its industry at a
time when the instrument of that
industry was the unskilled labor of
the negro slave. And it certainly
does not admit of a doubt, that
apart from the question of proper
ty, negro slavery was the heaviest
weight that was ever hung upon
the neck of agriculture. It was
animal power, nothing more, and
only a little more intelligent in
comprehension than the mules it
used, not a particle more interested
in results than the brutes them
selves. It was this labor and no
other that was at the command of
the cotton and tobacco planter, and
under the impulse given to cotton
cultivation by Whitney's invention,
the forests in the older Southern
States fell before the axe as if a tor
nado had swept through them, com
pelling that forward movement to
newer regions, ending in encroach
ment upon the reservations of the
persecuted Indian, in violation of
national faith, in bloody war, and
acquisition of territory tainted with
such shameful antecedents; and
leaving behind a track of desolation
that still makes its reproachful ap
peal to the eye. The tobacco plan
ter, circumscribed within narrower
limits because of the comparatively
local character of his product, was
not less ruthless and reckless in his
operations, and each year's work
witnessed a fresh creation of " new
ground," and an enlarging area of
old field, thrown out to wash and
gully, or to be meagerly coated with
a scanty herbage of broom sedge.
the miserable compromise between
vegetable life and death ; and so the
negro and the great staples have
branded upon the features of the
landscape its ineffacvably character
istics. If the landscajK? were the
only sufferer, painful as is the pic
ture it presents, it might le en
dured, because kindly nature lias a
tender wav of gently tending the
wounds on the bosom of mother
earth, and wreathing around her
scarred visage a graceful mantling
of newer forms of life to conceal
deformity. But we use the word
"ineffaceablv" seriously and sadly
when we have in view so much that
is bevond the power of nature's
hcalin? art. Whoever has seen the
country along Hyco creek, in the
counties of Person and Caswell,
and along County Line creek in the
latter county, will realize at a glance
the utter hopelessness of any reno
vation throughout time. Steep,
Sliarp Illlle, oiKceocieu -im
-1 1 'IT, , .A 1 r-rf
recklessly cleared and cultivated to
the verv water side, now present the
appearance of the hills bounding
the great western plains, torn, gul
lied, washed, wasted and verdure-
less, never more to be enlivened by
anv green thing, but cursed to end
less barrenness, because there is no
foothold for vegetation. And all
over the State all over the South,
Hyco and County Line are repro
duced in mournful frequency.
Increase of population may give
increased value to land, and make
the work of reclamation to some
extent practicable and profitable.
There are vast quantities of old
field that may, in the course of a
generation or two, bereclothed with
trees ; there are other tracts that
skill and industry may even now
restore to fertility ; there are many
that are absolutely past human
skill. But, at least, an end can be
put to the farther growth of old
field territory bv more careful at
tention to the area of cultivation
now in use. lhere is growing skin
in agricultural practices, there is
growing population which cannot
find new lands to clear up, and bet
ter still, there is a growing scarcity
of forest land and increasing value
attached to what remains, and
therefore an end approaches to the
creation, on an extended scale, of
any more "old fields."
J. I). C.
FATTENING HOGS.
"We did not reach the main point
of loss in treating of this subject
last week. At this season, all over
the State, hogs arc confined to rail
pens, with probably a few boards
thrown over, intended for their pro
tection. Pine straw or oak leaves
are used as litter, with poles at the
bottom to keep them off of the
ground. Pork is dear enough when
caught up and managed as we have
described. But in this absolute
waste of manure is the greatest
"leak in the hog-trough." Ex
posed to the influences of heat, air
and rain, of course decomposition
takes place at once. The tvreal
properties of the manure pass into
the atmosphere. The earthy por
tion is washed through the leaves
and cracks of the rails into the soil.
And if the farmer removes the rails,
scrapes up the soil and scatters the
leaves he gets but the mineral sub
stances of the manure, whilst nearly
all that is really valuable (eertainlv
to our clay soils), the nitrogen, has
escaped from him and gone back
into the general store house, the
air. AVe should estimate this loss
certainly one half. Now, if in
every ton of corn (or :J0 bushels)
there are seven dollars and seventv-
five cents worth of manure and one
third of that is lost, who can calcu
late this vast amount of fertilizing
matter that in North Carolina is
thrown away. If there is not so
much as our estimate, that there is
a great loss none will deny.
Not long since we had just passed
a neighbor s pen for fattening pork,
and remonstrated with him for this
thoughtless management. Stand
ing some hundreds of yards off
looking at his field of tobacco, he
was giving his different experiments
in cultivation, fertilizers, &c., and
our eye caught a narked difference
in the crop clear across the field,
He explained tha: the large and
creeu was where the stable manure
left off, and the yellow ami smaller
was where the hog pen nanure be
gun. Now, was there any good
reason for this difference ? The
horse was fed on corn and fodder
principally, with oats and oat straw.
Thw hog had corn almost exclusive
ly. Com and oats are quite equal
in manurial value. Then was it the
straw and fodder that gave the
hor?e the advantage ? Not if agri
cultural chemists kuowanvthing of
the relative value of these two ar
ticles, (seed and straw) for manure.
Then is it not the most reasoi able
conclusion that the hore was rather
at a disadvantage as to food, but
the shed under which he was fed
made him more than the equal of
the hog. The manure of the one
was leached, the manure of the
other was unleached. The one was
subjected to the influences of the
sun, rain and air, the other was
pressed close and compact, and hid
from these influences.
N. A. G.
FLUE FISH.
Maj. H. A. Gilliam, writing to
the Department in answer to inqui
ries, gives some particulars of the
habits and characteristics of this
highly prized lisli ; though he did
not wriie for publication :
"Bui few blue fish have been
taken on our coast this winter.
They are taken only between New
York and Hatteras, not above or
below, until last fall, when a few
were taken on the coast between
Ocracoke and Beaufort. Their
movement is southward. They
come south for food, which they
find in November and December in
immense shoals of fat-backs, which
school near shore. Fat-backs are
known north as moss-bunkers, and
arrives south as bug- fish and fat-
backs. They arc generally in great
abundance in November and De
cember on the Virginia and North
Carolina coast.
The blue fish are about thirl y
inches long and average about eight
pounds to the lish, and are of a
uniformity in size that is wonder
ful. They swim among the break
ers near shore, where fat-back,
shad or other small fish abound.
They live on fLd alone, and are
rapux-ious.
Many small vessels come south
to fish, on our coast every season,
bringing boats and nets and a sup
ply of ice for packing. The lish
are gilled while pursuing their bait
or prey; the meshes (six inches)
let the small lish through and gill
the blue fish. This season there
are no fat-backs on our coast.
The water ha3 been clear and not
being tempted by pursuit of food,
the blue fish go under the net, or
otherwise evade it. There have
been and are still great quantities
of blue fish but no fat backs and
none of any consequence have been
caught not a teeth (if the average
quantity.
In the months of March and
April, blue lish, porpoises and
sharks collect in great numbers at
our inlets Ocracoke, Hatteras,
New Inlet and Oregon, and play
sad havoc wkh the shad and her
rings that are making their way to
our waters.
It is said by the natives that the
water is blooded for msles by the
havoc. I have told vou what I
know about the blue lish. We can
not hatch it. If we could prevent
sts reproduction, it would add very
greatly to the quantity of fish that
come into our sounds.
OIL FROM COTTON SEED.
Cost of machinery, not including
motive power, necessary jto work up
100 barrels of cotton seed per day,
? 5,000.
The machinery consists of a.
huller, screen, revolving oven, hy
draulic press, and mill for grinding
seed after hullimr.
o
Ono hundred bushels of cotton
seed produce thirty bushels of meal
or cake, worth 85 cents per bushel
of fifty pounds, (used as a fertilizer
or for feeding stck,) and thirty-
. five gallon? of oil, worth r.
j jr gallon.
j The 5ivd, when kept in b ; .
j very liable to heat, and grea:
! sometime? sustained bv nt ta!-
care to prevent heating, a- :L, -are
thus rendered useU :
making.
The aboe
from Mr. A.
Kalei-xh.
f;H't: were
M. Vuli...
To tho Peoule of Nnrt h r?i r, . i -
It is know u ua that
dience to a prisiuii of ti.e ;.
constitution of e-ur State, the it .
Session of the Legislature pa- ;
bill establishing a 1 e a: si: ;,;
Agriculture. Immigration a-..
tiatics, and lor the pr'te ; . :.
fcheep 11 u-bandry. Lariv at;,
adjournment of the (iem ral A
bly the Board of Airra , .
missiouer, Secretary ami i :
ojH'ned an olliee ani ia:.-
this eity ami went .r;;es: !
work to carry out that u;se j:..
1011 of our organic lavs. lnnuim
able ditlicultie.- beset our eil--:;
reason of our inexoerieiiee ami ;
absence of a heart and appree..i!
co-operation on the part ! :iian
those w noia we desired to I .
and vet we have met with a -;..-so
far, .hieh is most eiieo;na :
In tli. first place t he ( ' ium i - -
er 1 1a -tablism d a corp.- I n , :.
and in.elligeut corrcspMn lent -even
e untv in the Mate, ni"-;
fanners, w ho ie trust uoi l h :
ports monthly of the state t ;
eroiiS. t.ie Weather, the he
I 7 -
and all other kindred topn--; ei,.,
ling an intelligent man at an m
ment to make a fair estimate ...
natural comlit ion.
In the second Itlaee. We have
tablished a laborator at 'i;aj
Hill, and secured thes-riee-skilled
analwieal chemist u!i 1:
been acu ' ely engaged in ie-;m j
il l !
i iiu in iiii i i hi. i iii umi.- i i i i ' i - iti
I 4- .... I . i . . i I . I
...II - tl... 1 ... I I
uciai ieiun.ejs winen nae ii.v.ii
so extensively in Use among t m r pe
pie, and in the ignorant pinvlri
of which so much lmpe.-nn-n n
i i i . i .
oeeii jMacm en ano so into u ui'i.
wasted. Manv of the more u:;
Jess brands have been driven !i
i i . .. . it. ...... i i
uie Jjiaiei hiiiim ine gmnj
been made still belter, ami
commercial value ot ail imre g.
erallv understood. lie i- now
gaged jn analysing sugar b-
grown in various parts ol tin ;.
to determine the quant;; , .f se-;.
rine matter they will pibc
this climate, with a v lew to the
tablisbmeni of sugar manul...
if found to be favorable. lb
also ready and prepared, umb-i
Board, to analvse all soil-, n;;.'.
and substance whatever, ;h.- ;;
be deemed of importance ti in
terests of agriculture.
In the third place, w e have , ;.
gurated the artificial popag.i'.
of lish, with a v iew to iv.;. .
our waters, once so full "I p.....
pleasure to our people, 'i' .,
to make the ino-t of t he pa-; -
weyetiuav be considered -nee. -in
progress made in this jij.-e-More
than half a million of
shad were obtained and cu-;
the Tar, Contentnea, .eu- ,
Fear, Yadkin and Catawba
and we have now a quar!-r :
million of the eggs of n,e d ,:
nia salmon in the proce-- oi
ing in our establishment, at
nanoa Gap in the Blue 1;..:.
These are to be distributed in
cool waters of our ri ver head - am- -the
mountains. Should th- ;;
tation to those streams be . -iished.
the quantity can be nr.
plied indefinitely, and an a '. . '
public sentiment can no d- .
made to inlluence the prop.-r
lation to secure the clearing o .
obstructions in the river-.
Time and space forbid th .v
should attempt to tell you v. ha
Board have tried to do in the
of obijiiningstatistics, inducing '
migration, establishing a mu- '
and many other matters. Milk'
to say, thev have attempted inn
and accomplished something
. i ...: l ...... , . f
eacn mrecuon; aim one
.n.f...-t 4 f til. .if ! 1 . .) I I ll I . I I I 1 I I I I
1VUU3L '-'. LilVll tl.vill'i- ......
has been the renewed interest whic
!
has been awakened tlirougiiout u

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