Nature — the manifestations of the Divine Hand.
For I believe it is the farmer's privilege to be the
"most amiable, the most comfortable, and the
most independent man in the world ;" and that
his occupation will admit of more opportunities
for thought and reflection than others ; and that
it is his duty, as well as privilege, to rise, intel-
lectually as well as morally, in his "heaven-ap-
Do not understand me, however, to despise or
disparage other vocations, so necessary to make
up the harmonious whole, in the varied round of
man's toils, and pleasures, and necessities. But
that there is, in the work-shop or manufactory,
amid the clink of hammers and din of machine-
ry, in the counting-house, or in the routine of
the merchant's duties, such an inducement to
nealthy thought, and such a field for noble con-
templation as is spread out constantly around the
"armer, in his free, healthy, out-door employ-
ments, is hardly supposat)le. The silent work-
ings of Nature's immutable laws, in the mysteri-
ous germination of seeds, magic unfolding of leaf
and flower, and maturing of vegetation, and all
the phenomena of attending circumstances, invite
his investigation, and fill him with admiration at
their exquisite harmony and beauty of adaptation.
With them he has constantly to deal, and in his op-
erations it is his study to assist Nature in bringing
forth an abundance of things useful to the suste-
nance of his race, while she beautifies without
instruction, and decks his fields with friendly.
out-of-the-way flowers, and sprinkles sparkling
minerals over the hills.
A pleasing landscape always meets his eye,
agreeable in the diversity of noble mountains,
near or remote, undulating woods and open lands,
and cultivated acres, and fields of "waving grain"
in summer-time, or whatever aspect the chang-
ing seasons may present. No brick walls shut
in his vision, or contract his horizon, but on the
dewy morns of summer it is his privilege to en-
joy the extended view spread before him in all
its freshness and beauty, to drink in the pure,
fresh morning air, often perfumed with the sweet
odors of countless flowers, and in his every-day
vocations to catch the thrilling music of birds,
free as nature's air, in their hedge-rows, or ren-
dering him essential service in the orchard and
garden, besides ministering exquisite pleasure to
his finer sensibilities, if he will but open his soul
to their influences. A pure sky is spread above
him, across which the white clouds serenely ride,
or are suspended in picturesque forms, or in
mountainous, silver-crested masses rest on the
horizon like old snow-capped monarchs ; and all
the grandeur of the rising thunder-storm is his
to enjoy, of which the city inhabitant knows but
Everywhere the tendency is to an ennobling
influence, and if the farmer is not virtuous and
high-souled, if his mind is not cultivated, and the
taste for the beautiful, and an inclination to
contemplation are not within him, the fault is
chargeable to himself, not to his vocation or sur-
roundings. Indeed, all those elevating influences
that poets have sung of, and learned orators love
to tell us of, are constantly surrounding the far-
It would take a long time to recount all the
pleasures the farmer may enjoy if he will ; yet, I
fear that the mass of farmers are insensible to the
charms of agriculture, and plod on like the ox
they follow, as they walk behind the plow, whol-
ly unmindful of the higher life they might enjoy,
and which no one can do so much towards help-
ing him into as himself Perhaps I am telling
you, fellow-farmers, an old story; but let it be
harped in your ears till you leave the sluggish
routine you have followed your life-time, acquire
an appreciation of progress and improvement,
throw off your narrow conservatisms, and adopt
liberal views of life, and you will see then that
your occupation is a noble one, and that you may
ever make it a delightful one.
The occupation of the farmer furnishes him
with an ample field for practical and sound
thought ; a theme for intense study, if he wishes ;
for indeed the science of farming is little less
than a combination of several of the most in-
tensely interesting sciences in nature. The oc-
cupation of the farmer may, and should be, an
intellectual pursuit ; his leisure moments should
be improved in study and reading, and thus he
will be furnished with food for reflection, while
engaged in the physical labor of the field. Far-
mers are, in too many instances, beneath their
calling; if not morally or physically, at least in-
tellectually. Let faruiers cultivate the mind, as
well as the soil. Here is a field productive of
the highest pleasures, and conducive to pecuni-
And now, brother farmers, let us take pride in
NEW ENGLAND FARMER.
our vocation ; it is one there is nothing in to be
ashamed of, but, on the contrary, much to appre-
ciate and be proud of. With less temptation to
viciousness than the city denizens, why may we
not be more virtuous ? AVith less temptations
to prodigality, why may we not increase in this
world's goods as well as they ? With more leis-
ure for study, why not be more intellectual?
Springfield, Nov. 7, 18i59. J. A. A.
Erratum. — In my article on "Tobacco versus
Useful Crops," recently published in the Farmer,
(Nov. number of monthly,) read in the state-
ment of expenses, for "topping, mowing, &c.,"
topping, worming, &c.
THE CliOSINQ YEAR.
"We take no note of Time
But from its loss ; to give it then a tongue
Is wise in man."
The poet means the passage of Time. No time
is lost, that is well spent. There is, we suppose,
in reality, no such thing as the lapse of time : —
It is all NOW, to the Eternal Mind. What pass-
es, and decays, and disappears from our view, is
the finite, that upon which the elements act and
change from one form to another.
The object of life that is clearly indicated both
by Nature and Revelation, is Progress ; pro-
gress, not only in subduing and replenishing the
earth, but Progress in the attributes of the soul.
We are to
"Learn the mystery ot progression duly:
Not to call each glorious change decay ;
For we know we only hold cur treasures truly.
When it seems as if they passed away.
Nor dare to blame God's gifts for incompleteness ;
In that want their beauty lies ; they roll
Towards some infinite depth of love and sweetness,
Bearing onward man's reluctant soul."
If there were no change, there would be no
progress. We call it the work of Time, — it is as
much the work of Eternity. All is tending to
the great work of perfection — upward and on-
ward towards the Infinite that has created and
governs all. JVotJiing retards and alloys but sin.
Nature is as active and more consistent in her
progress, than man. She clothes the earth in
the richest attire, and gives perfection to plant
and animal, that they may re-appear in still more
beautiful forms. The mighty forests fall, and in
their progress come to us again greatly increased
in value. Mountains and hills yield to the gen-
eral law, by gradually finding their level, and un-
folding the rich treasures which have for ages
been hidden in their deep recesses. And so the
"tooth of Time" will touch the proudest works of
"I saw him grasp the oak, —
It fell ; the tower, it crumbled ; and the stone,
The sculptured monument that marked the grave
Of fallen greatness, ceased its pompous strain.
As Time came by."
Now that another year has passed, — while its
last shifting sands are noiselessly gliding out, it
becomes ^(s, brother travellers, to review this pe-
riod of Time, and see what progress we have
made towards the divine life, the end and object
of all. Has it been satisfactory? Does the bal-
ance sheet stand fair, and the soul serenely wait
the verdict of the Great Judge ! Then all is well,
— for there has been progress in the very heart
of life, and the celestial streams lovingly down
into the terrene world.
The year that has passed ! It has brought to
most the checkered scenes which it never has,
and never will, fail to bring. Sickness, and
death, and separation ; poverty, and want, and
disappointment ; sad and touching words, sting-
ing realities ! They mark the progress of exis-
tence everywhere, —but they come all too often,
and mainly through our own want of wisdom.
Cannot we profit by the past? Let us lay this
inquiry upon our hearts, and see that every fu-
ture thought, and word, and deed, is prompted
by that wisdom which is better than rubies, and
that shall be our stay and comfort in every time
Farewell! then, Old Tear! It has been rich
in blessings, and among the best of them have
been the pleasant associations with those who
habitually read these columns, and for whose pros-
perity and happiness our frequent communings
have excited a sympathy almost as lively as for
those that gather around our own hearth-stone.
Then let the Old Year go, — let others come and
go, and give us no anxious thought, while we
strive to progress in virtue and heavenly wisdom
as well as in material things.
For the New England Farmer.
Mr. Editor : — In your issue of Oct. 15th,
Mr. "Aquila" has attempted to read me a homily.
He says that all seed-eating birds, such as the
yellow bird, deserve a full share of the denuncia-
tion for scattering the seeds of injurious weeds.
It is an incontrovertible fact that seeds having
their flinty coverings broken, will never germi-
nate. Mr. Aquila, nor any other equally scien-
tific man, ever saw any seed-eating bird swallow
a seed without first breaking its coating, for it is
the kernel required for sustenance, which is not
obtainable with its indigestible covering. So
much for seed-eating birds, which I protect, hav-
ing erected several houses on high poles for their
^^Videre est credere." Fruit, or pulp-eating
birds never eat the seed of fruit, if it is avoida-
ble ; the seed of the pear or apple they never
eat ; but their stupidity, or greediness, never
discards the seed of small fruits, and that every
seed has its germ perfect, after having passed
the bird, is a fact not disputable. He says, "many
times have I seen robins follow the plow, picking
NEW ENGLAND FARMER.
up every worm and bug that came in their sight.
How did he know that they did not discriminate
picking up only such as suited their fancy ?
"Aquihi" asserts that he has seen, this very
season, a robin fly from a fence, pick up worms
and swallow them, when a cherry tree was quite
as near. Was it a Tartarian, an Oxheart, a Reine
Hortense, or some Canadian cherry, a robin
proof fruit ? if so, it ought to be disseminated ;
a cherry, in reference to which robins will play
the Hottentot, and eat worms in preference,
would be a godsend to fruit-growers.
Let us, in moulding the character of the rising
generation, inculcate a spirit of justice, aid and
protect each other, and the time will come when
every man can sit under his own vine and tree,
and enjoy the fruit of his labor, lawfully protect-
ed from freebooters and poachers.
South Danvers, Mass. J. S. Needham.
HOLBHOOK'S UNIVERSAL PLOW.
We have several times spoken of this plow in
terms of commendation. The opinions formed
of it were gained by actual field trial, op several
occasions, and were in accordance with those of
some of the best plowmen in Middlesex county.
Quite recently we spent half a day in the field,
where several plowmen whom we had never seen
use it before, held it and used it with several of
its different mould-boards and cutters.
The first experiment was with the interval
mould-board, which laid the furrows over flat in
a very handsome manner. The next was the
mould-board used for stubble plowing, with a
common cutter. This gave a furrow ten inches
deep and twelve inches wide, and when the team
was kept exact, the plow would pass along for
several rods together without any guiding. The
cutter being taken off, the skim plow was attached
to the beam, making what is called the double
ploiv ; by this arrangement the skim plow cut the
sward about two inches deep and laid it hand-
somely away on the bottom of preceding furrows,
while the stubble mould-board that followed,
rolled up the soil from below, breaking it into
thousands of pieces, and laying it into a seed-
bed, only needing the passage of a harrow to
prepare it for the reception of seeds as fine as
onion or carrot. We are confident that this mode
of plowing will save a very considerable amount
of labor in the after cultivation of the crop. The
next trial was in the use of the stubble mould-
board on stony land. This was a place in which
we had never seen the plow used before, and it
certainly accomplished what we had not expected
of it. The ground had not been plowed for
twenty years, was nearly as thick with stones as
they could lay, and flanked occasionally with the
roots of bushes. Yet we never saw a plow work
steadier or better. In passing over a large stone
it would catch in more readily, and work up to
and away from the stone, with more ease and cer-
tainty than any s7i07't plow we ever saw.
The last trial which we witnessed that day was
in a meadow. The plow was rigged with a wh^el
cutter and a very long, tapering mould-board.
Six stout oxen were attached to it, but the off-ox
of each pair was enabled to travel on the sward
— instead of the bottom of the furrow — by hav-
ing an iron rod start from about the centre of the
beam to the forward end of the same, and stand-
ing off from it about six inches in front. The
furrow slice was cut ten inches deep and sixteen
inches wide, and the meadow — three-quarters of
an acre — was completed without a baulk or bad
place in it, and a harrow passed over it twice
would have fitted it admirably for being laid
down to grass !
The furrows in all these trials were not laid
over by guess work, but were as scientifically
moved as is the locomotive, or printing press, or
power-loom. The most indifferent beholder
could see beauty, as well as utility, in the opera-
tion. We hope our plowing readers will look at
this new plow for themselves.
For the New England Farmer.
GARDEN AND FIELD WORK.
Is the fall or spring the best season to trans-
plant trees? In replying to this question, I would
say that it depends upon the weather and state
of the ground. If, during the fall, we have warm
days accompanied with rain, extending the
growth to a late period, the wood being unripe and
succulent, I should rather hesitate in commend-
ing the fall ; on the other hand, if the ground is
dry, and the early frosts oeing sufficient to take
off the leaves, the wood of the last year is well
ripened, I should commend, in this latitude, to
set the pear, apple, cherry, currant and goose-
berry in the fall. The peach, apricot and necta-
rine, I should invariably set in spring.
CURRANTS AND GOOSEBERRIES.
Currants, (the White Dutch is the finest va-
riety for general culture,) gooseberry, (Hough-
ton's Seedling.) blackberry, (Dorchester Seed-
ling,) raspberry, (Franconia Red,) can be cul-
tivated with profit, and under circumstances as
described above, the fall is a good time to set
Trees that have been grown from seed the
past summer, such as the peach, pear, apple and
quince, that have not attained to a greater
growth than six or eight inches, had better be
taken up and laid in, as it is called, in a shady
place, covering them slightly with litter, suffi-
cient to keep them frozen through the winter, as
they are apt to be thrown out by the frost if suf-
fered to remain in the seed bed.
Grape vines trained upon a building or wall in
a warm exposure are exceedingly apt to be
NEW ENGLAND FARMER.
killed, particularly the wood of the previous
year, by the warm days in winter. These should,
after the fall of the leaves, be taken down and
laid along upon the ground, that they may not
be exposed to the alternate freezing and thawing
of that season.
more importance to discover and introduce vari-
eties which are capable of general and out-of-
door cultivation, than of such as require the aid
of expensive buildings and artificial heat. The
modes of artificial culture are already sufficiently
understood, and the kinds which require it, are
not likely to be improved or increased in num-
ber. It is far different with our native grapes.
It is very desirable to find or produce those
which will ripen early, and which are of more
In our hot and dry climate, the Peruvian
guano, when applied to the land in spring, often
fails of producing any marked effect; on the con- ,, „ i i i
trarv, if applied in the fall, spreading it over' excellent flavor and texture than the common
the soil of our gardens, and turning it in by the h'aneties ; and also that the mode of managing
spade, we shall find it a good fertilizer, as well as them should be more generally understood,
more lasting in its effect than when applied in ^o doubt the noble bunches of hot ho
The usual rate of manuring is! grapes which we see at horticultural exhibitions
present a more engaging outside to visitors than
any of the native varieties either do, or probably
But if the object of their exhibitions be,
April or May.
about three hundred pounds to the acre.
INSECTS — CHERMES.
The currant is subject to a curl or thickening
of the leaf in spring, produced by a minute in-
sect called chermes. I have found that by apply-
ing air-slaked lime around the bushes early in the
spring, I have entirely succeeded in keeping off
this pest. I have also for some years applied
spent tan around the gooseberry, (Houghton's
Seedling,) with marked effect, in staying the rav-
ages of the gooseberry worm. J. M. IVES.
Salem, Nov., 1859.
as it is presumed to be, to encourage a taste for
gardening, and also for that kind of gardening
which will be more useful, then it would seem
tliat the latter should claim the greatest share of
attention. Artificial cultivation is within the
reach of but few. Out-of-door cultivation is open
to every one, both in city and country, who has
a house to live in. The former must be confined
mainly to the rich, and those who cultivate for the
market ; while there are none so poor that they
cannot, with a little pains and at almost no ex-
jpense, raise fruit enough for their own use by the
latter method, if they only knew the kinds they
should select, and the principles on which they
should be managed.
The success which has attended the recent at-
tempts at the improved cultivation of our native
varieties gives good ground for expectation that
by continued attention a still greater improve-
ment may be attained. What is needed is ap-
preciation and encouragement. The foreign cul-
ture will take care of itself, and is not likely to
become any better than it is. The native is yet
in its infancy, and needs all the aid which emula-
tion or reward can give it. E. N.
Remarks. — Excellent suggestions — they lead
us in the precise direction which ought to be
EXTRACTS AND REPLIES.
ABOUT FATTENING TURKEYS.
Will you, or some of your correspondents, in-
form me of the best mode to fatten turkeys ?
Whether to shut them up, or to let them run at
large, and what kind of food to give them ?
Oakham, Mass., Nov. 1, 1859.
Remarks. — Turkeys are sometimes placed on
a comfortable roost in a dark cellar, and will fat-
ten rapidly ; but it is a cruel process to deprive
the birds of the cheerful light. A better way is
to feed them liberally for two months before
their flesh is wanted. Give them a variety of
food, such as corn, oats, wheat or barley, and
once a day a mess of boiled potatoes mashed
while hot with Indian meal, mingled with scraps, _ ,, ■ n /- xt i -»t
. . , . , . , ,. , ,. In your monthly Farmer for November, Mr.
bits of fresh meat, or in the want of them, a ht-jQ^orge Morrison asks, "If you, or any of your
tie lard or tallow, just enough to season the correspondents, can tell him where he can get
■whole. If they are fed regularly on such food,! witch grass seed, and at what price, per bushel?"
and have a supply early in the morning, they For my part, I tbink he will not be able to find
„-n * _ui u I -11 .• t Imuch of the seed that will germinate; but if he
will not ramble much, and will continue to grow •,,•,,, ,, ^ i i u u
,, „ r , rr., , 1 I will just take the trouble, he can buy up anv
as well as fatten freely. There may be a better iq^^j^^jfy of ^.^^^^^ ^nd 1 will risk their growing
way than this, but if there is, we have not learned I anywhere. I guess there will be no fear of their
it. !not taking, even if he takes very little trouble
jwith them. If he would apply to me, I would
sell him a lot pretty cheap.
CULTIVATION OF NATIVE GRAPES.
I have noticed in many of the distributions of
premiums for specimens of grapes, that, to judge
by their relative amounts, the greatest impor-
tance is attached to the cultivation of the foreign
varieties. It seems to be worth considering,
whether, if the general interests of the fruit-
growing and fruit-consuming community are con- j being about to change my place of residence, and
sidered, a different principle might not be adopt- [having on hand a quantity of excellent soft soap
ed with advantage. It would seem to be of | which it was not convenient to remove, I re-
HOW TO MAKE HARD SOAP.
Seeing in the monthly Farmer an inquiry aa
to the way of making hard soap, 1 will, in reply,
give my experience. Some twenty years ago.
NEW ENGLAND FARMER.
marked that I wished it was hard soap. My hus-
band, who was something of a chemist, said, it
could easily be done, by heating it and adding
common salt. I did so, adding the salt a little
at a time, and trying it, by cooling a little of it.
When I found a thick scum rise to the surface,
it was dipped into tubs and allowed to stand un-
til next day. The hard crust was then taken off,
melted and poured into moulds, and when cold,
cut in bars and dried. It proved very good —
the older and drier, the better. Meg.
I think the disease in the trees of your "Still
River" correspondent is evidently caused by a
species of bark borer.
I have, within a few years, had one tree de-
stroyed, and two others seriously damaged by
this insect. It usually attacks the tree on the
south side, although this is not invariably the
case. I know of no remedy except digging them
out with a knife. I have seen a description of
this borer in some of my agricultural periodicals
recently — think it was the Country Oentlemaii —
but cannot now refer to it. I believe, however,
it takes some two or more years to complete its
growth, which would give time to destroy it be-
fore serious mischief was done, if the trees were
closely watched. Wm. F. Bassett.
Ashfield, Mass., J^ov., 1859.
I saw in the November Farmer a formula for
artificial guano ; would night soil be better as a
substitute in place of garden mould ? I see you
have referred to Dr. Reynolds — will he please
answer the question ? A. l.
For the Nets England Farmer.
THE LABGE BBONZE TURKEY.
Mr. Editor: — Having been requested to fur-
nish for the JV*. E. Farmer a description and his-
tory of these noble birds, with my method of
raising, I would say, as to their history, the first
I heard of them was at Point Judith some years
since ; from there they were brought into this
county, and by judicious crossing with other
families of the same breed, their size has been
increased until I was able to show a male bird
last April, which weighed 39 pounds. The hens
are much smaller, yet I have one weighing over
20 pounds, and a friend of mine has one weigh-
ing 22 pounds. I knew a one-year-old cock, after
it was dressed, weigh 32 pounds, and have known
10 young ones dressed in winter, to weigh 200
weight. These were, of course, extra birds, but
a cock well cared for seldom weighs less than
from 25 to 27 pounds, when dressed, at one year
old. For tame and quiet habits, beautiful plum-
age, and fine, delicate, juicy flesh, I think they
have no equal among domestic turkeys. The
plumage of the cocks is thick and glossy, with
metallic reflections, rendering them exceedingly