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FACTS FOE FAEMERS;

ALSO Foa

THE FAMILY CIRCLE.

A COMPOST OF RICH MATERIALS FOR ALL LAITD-OWNERS,

ABOBT

DOMESTIC ANIMALS AND DOMESTIC ECONOMY;

FARM BUILDINGS;

AND AJJ.

FARM CROPS, TOOLS, FENCES, FERTILIZATION, DRAINING, AND IRRIGATION.



WITU AN APPENDIX ON THE



DISEASES AND CURES OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS.



y... ,.- lUttsttiitfli toitl] Sttel C5ngviil)ings.

I N EDITED BY

SOLON ROBINSON,

AGRICCLTDBAL EDITOR OP THE NEW YORK 'TIlinrNE," iND AUTHOR OF SEVEKAL POPUI^E WOKKS.



VOLUME I.

NEW YORK:
PUBLISHED BY A. J. JOHNSON,

113 FULTON STREET.

CLEVELAND, OHIO :

F. G. AND A. 0. ROWE,

266 SUPERIOR STREET.

1867. .:->v«.>-






Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 186G, by

A.J.JOHNSON,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
District of New York.




DAVIES & KENT,
133 William Street, N. Y.



PLATE I.

(TuE Frontispiece.)

This is the genial face of a farmer, engaged in a work of love for
his calling. It is placed here in opposition to the wishes of the
author. He has been persuaded to allow his face to be seen by
those who purchase this collection of things viseful to a very
numerous class through the solicitation of the publisher, wlio
knows that it will be a satisfaction to them to see how tlieir old
friend looks at the age of sixty. An old friend he will seem to
those who read his earnest appeals for agricultural improvement
twenty or thirty years ago. As a writer and lecturer upon agri-
culture, and extensive traveler to observe its condition in the United
States, few men are better known than the original of this portrait.
Therefore this likeness will be, the publisher believes, highly appre-
ciated as well by those who look upon a familiar face as those who
see it here for the first time.

The author was born a farmer, and will probably end his days
where he now lives (a few miles out of the busy hum of the city),
in the peaceful quiet of his "home in the country," where this
volume of facts for farmers has been prepared as a last legacy of his
good-will to the brotherhood.

Like other farmers' sons of New England, he learned to follow
the plow there, though in early life he became a "Western pioneer, and
while a prairie farmer, became widely known as a writer advocating
agi'icultural improvement, and more widely, in 1841, as the origin-
ator of the National Agricultural Society, and earnest advocate of
State and County societies. His connection with the New York
Tribime since 1850 will make this picture interesting to all its
readers. It is for these reasons that the publisher has incurred the
expense of its production.



PREFACE.



THE AUTHOR TO HIS READERS.

"Facts for Farmers?" "What facts?" "What new theories
have we here in a ponderous volume ? Is it filled with dry dis-
sertations about what farmers should or should not do?" "What
does this author know about farming ?"

The author asks the reader of this book to judge- for himself.
He does not advance new theories. He only collects old ones.
He has made a ponderous volume, not of dry dissertations, but
of short, crisp facts. The book is full of little things ; glean-
ings from many fields ; from all reliable authority ; from conver-
sations of farmers ; from talks at farmers' clubs ; from books a
little ; from personal experience much ; — from the memory of a long
life devoted to the practice and study of agi'iculture, this volume is
born. It is the fruit of years of labor in a great and good field.
It certainly contains much that will be useful to all classes who
till the earth, or live in farmers' houses. It should be in every
rural home, as a work of reference. It is arranged in the most con-
venient form for this purpose. Each chapter comprises one general
subject. Each section embraces a separate branch. Each num-
bered paragrajjh is complete in itself, and conveys an item of infor-
mation. Each subject is completely indexed. As a whole, though
containing much, it is not an encylopedia of agriculture. It does
not pretend to teach all that a farmer should know. That must be
learned by reading, thinking, and acting.



I

iv PREFACE.



Though not perfect, farmei's will find ^his book a useful one. ■ If
not invaluable, I hope it is one that they can not afford to do with-
out. In its compilation, the author has enjoyed many facilities
and much experience ; he has also labored under many difficulties,
while daily engaged as an agricultural editor of a great daily and
weekly paper. You will find here stored up for future use many
of the valuable little items that you have read approvingly from
time to time but have forgotten, useful to every man's family, and
worthy of preservation. Usefulness instead of elegance has been
aimed at. I have given more facts than theories. I have often
given the opinions of several upon the same subject, and, as some
of these vary, I leave the reader to adjust differences.

In trying to avoid diffuseness, I have left much for inference, and
purposely treated subjects in such a manner as to induce readers to
make further research. A word of explanation. At the end of the
volume you will find a list of individuals, nearly five hundred, some
of whom are eminent authority in agricultural knowledge. These
individuals have materially aided the author in producing a work
which has been long needed by the American farmer, gardener,
fiorist, fruit-grower, and housekeeper. From all these he has drawn
matter, sometimes with, and sometimes without, credit to individ-
uals, when facts have been condensed from their articles. Con-
ciseness has been a study ; else, how could twelve hundred subjects
be crowded into a thousand pages ? Those whose articles I have
used, must not complain that I have pruned too closely, or failed to
give credit in all cases where credit is due. I freely acknowledge
my obligations to all.

This book is one that may be opened at any page, profitably,
to occupy five minutes' leisure. It is printed in such large, clear
type that it can be easily read. The author and publisher hope that
it will be. Then it is illustrated as no agricultural book published
in America ever has been. Look at the many large, handsome.



PREFACE.



steel engravings ! These alone are worth the cost of the whole
volume.

Farmers! you are earnestly invited to'read, if nothing more, the
titles and contents of chapters, and their subdivisions of sections.
If you do that, and find nothing that promises instruction, lay the
volume aside. If so far it is promising, turn over its pages, glanc-
ing at the black-letter titles of paragraphs. Of one thing be as-
sured ; lengthy as the volume appears, it is not made so by extreme
dilution ; the last chapter is better than any that precedes it.
Throughout, no subject is lengthily treated ; no subject is treated
that does not contain something useful to some one ; something that
you can not always remember, but which you should always have
at hand, convenient for frequent consultation.

To those who know the name of the author — and the number is
large — I hope this book will be a welcome bequest. I hope it
will be the means through which that name may live in love and
honor with your children and children's children around many an
American hearthstone.

Of the author's portrait, a word. It is the publisher, and not the
author, who inserts it. It represents him correctly, as he is at the
age of nearly sixty.

In conclusion, I earnestly hope these Facts will be an acceptable
offering to a very large number of those whose prosperity I would
promote, for I am one of the Brotherhood of American Farmers.
To them it is commended, with the love and respect of their old
friend,

SOLON ROBINSON.



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER I.

DOMESTIC ANIMALS.

PAOS

Section I.— INTRODUCTION TO FACTS ABOUT STOCK 13

Sec. II.— swine 10

This Bection embraces facts about the best breeds, and best mode of feeding, gross and

net weight, etc.
Sec III. — COWS : What is a, good cow, and how to choose one; food necessary; health;

profit ; kind for butter-making 31

Sec. IV. — BEEVES : Eecord of the largest known, and their weights 51

Sec v.— STATISTICS OF THE NEW YORK CATTLE JIARKET, and Improvements in

Breeds and Weights 50

Sec. VI.— feeding CATTLE AND CARE OF FAR.M STOCK : Selecting calves ; shelter ;

training ; lundness ; value of kinds of feed ; use of salt ; watering ; diseases of cattle .... CO
Sec. ^^I.— sheep HUSBANDRY : Breeds of sheep ; care and management ; weight of hay

necessary ; mutton and its use ; shearing and care of wool 81

Sec Vin.— HORSES AND MULES : History of the horse ; varieties ; how to use ; proper

size ; color ; diseases ; treatment of colts ; how to shoe horses ; breeding horses and

mules ; horse gearing 97

Sec IX. — POULTRY ; Full description of all kinds of poultry, and proper treatment 123

CHAPTER II.

SMALL ANIMALS AND INSECTS.

Sec. X. — BEES : Their history, use, and value, management, and reasons for keeping 157

Sec. XI. — BIRDS : Reasons for preserving ; their food ; and laws for protecting 170

Sec XH. — ENTOMOLOGICAL : What are insects, and what kinds infest and injure various

crops, and how to detect friends from foes, and various remedies 203

Sec Xin.— wild AND TAME ANIMALS OF THE FARM : Dogs, cats, rats, mice, moles,

rabbits, squirrels, gophers, skunks, toads, goats, camels, and breeding fish for family use. 248

CHAPTER III.

THE FAEMEKY.

THE BTJILDINGS, TAKDS, WELLS, CISTEKNS, AQDEDUCTS, AND STKUCTURES NECESSABY TO
CAKRT ON THE BUSINESS OF TIIE FARM, BRIEFLY DESCRIBED.

Sec. XIV.— FARM-HOUSES : They should be convenient, roomy, light, ventilated ; their in-
fluence upon character ; old-style farm-house described 275











viii CONTENTS.




PiOE




Sec. XV.— cellars, CHIMNEYS, AND ICE-HOUSES : How to build them, and their






proper size and use ; how to etorc and keep ice 288






Sec. XVI.— THE BAKN AND ITS APPURTENANCES : Location, size, and use of barns ;






stables, how to build ; stable yards and cheap sheds 299






Sec. XVII.— WATER FOR THE FARMERY : Cisterns, size, cost, and how to build ; aque-






ducts and wells, how to construct ; hydraulic rams 308






Sec. XVIII.-STACKING AND STORING GRAIN ; CORN CRIBS, PIGGERIES, AND






PIG FEEDING ; SMOKE-HOUSE, AND CURING BACON ; FRUTT-DRYING HOUSE. 318






Sec. XIX— ECONOMICAL FARM BUILDINGS : Balloon frames, concrete walls, and other






cheap styles of building ; how to make balloon frames, and their cost 325






Sec. XX.— ROOFS AND ROOFING : Paints and whitewash for farm buildings ; nails ; mor-






tar ; farm gates ; sawed shingles, their value, and how to preserve shingles 332






Sec XXI.— LIGHTNING CONDUCTORS : Protection of farm buildings from fire ; windmills






and their use 342






CHAPTER IV.






DOMESTIC ECONOMY.






Sec. XXII.— the FOOD QUESTION : Quantity, quality, variety, adaptation, adulteration.






changes produced by cooking, water for cooking, and effect on health 351






Sec. XXIII —the BREAD QUESTION : Varieties ; quality ; how to make bread and yeast,












Sec. XXIV.— SUBSTITUTES FOR BREAD, in green corn, dried corn, pop-corn, hominy, and






cracked wheat, and how to cook them .• 389






Sec XXV.— EXCERPTA OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE FOR HOUSEWIVES : Economy of






lights; use of tea, coffee, and sugar; preserving fruits, pork, hams, and beef; remedies






and disinfectants ; beds and bedding and carpets, etc 396






Sec XXVI.— domestic WINES, CIDER, AND PRESERVES : Rules of wine-making






from various fruits, and cider and vinegar making 419






Sec. XXVII.— hygienic : Preparation of food for the sick ; remedies for poisons, bites.






and stings 435






Sec XXVin.— the DAIRY : Butter and cheese making ; how much milk for a pound of






butter ; Aldemey butter ; dairy room and utensils ; working, salting, and packing butter 441






CHAPTER y.






THE GARDEN AKD ITS FEUIT8.






Sec. XXrX.— PLEASURE AND PROFIT OF GARDENING : Origin and history of veg-






etables 461




Sec XXX.— garden CULINARY VEGETABLES: Protection from insects; value of va-




rious things for food ; chiccory culture ; what should be grown in the garden ; number of






plants upon an acre 470






Sec XXXI.— the FLOWER GARDEN: Varieties and cultivation of flowers ; suitable soil .






and preparation ; lists of choice flowers ; flowers grown as a crop 500






*





CONTENTS. IX



A PAGE

Sec. XXXII. — LAWNS : How to make and how to keep them ; trees and plants suitjvblo for

lawns ; botanical names of trees ; roses and their cultivation 515

SeC. XXXIII.— HOT-BEDS : Cold frames plant protectors ; how to make and use hot-beds. 521
Sec. XXXIV.— small FRUITS OF THE GARDEN : Currants, varieties and cultivation ;

strawberries, variety and growth ; raspberries ; blackberries ; quinces 530



CFAPTEE VI.

THE OECIIABD.

Sec. XXXV.— PROPAGATION, PLANTING, AND CULTIVATION OF TREES : Time to

transplant ; preparation ; protection ; labels for trees 555

Sec. XXXVI.— the ART OF PRUNING, GRAFTING, AND BUDDING : How and when

to prune : how and when to bud and graft ; how to make wax 570

Sec. XXXTIL- APPLE AND PEACH TREES: Their general management; select list of

apples, and descriptions ; peach-trees, how to grow ; how to treat an old orchard 579

Sec. XXXVin. — CHERRIES : Best varieties ; soil, situation, and cultivation ; history, use,

and value ; grafting and budding 594

Sec. XXXIX.— PEARS : Soil, situation, cultivation, and varieties ; select list of sorts; when

to gather and how to ripen ; is the cultivation profitable GOl

Sec. XL.— PLUMS, NECTARINES, APRICOTS, MULBERRIES, AND OTHER FRUIT :

How to transplant fruit ; choice selection of plums 612

Sec. XLI.— MISCELLANEOUS MATTERS ABOUT FRUIT CULTURE : Cranberries as a

crop ; how to grow them ; best varieties ; cider-making 621



CHAPTER YII.



THE VINEYAED.



Sec XUI.— HOW TO PLANT AND CULTIVATE VINES : What sorts to plant ; history of
varieties ; profits of culture ; grape-growing in California 630

Sec. XLIIL— CULTLTIE OF GRAPES FOR WINE : Rules for wine-making ; wine from
various kinds of grapes ; rules of a French wine-maker ; rules of American wine-makers 657



CHAPTER Yin.

CEEEALIA.

Sec. XLTV. —WHEAT, RYE, OATS, BARLEY, MILLET, BUCKWHEAT: Preparation of
soil and fertilization ; quantity of seed ; harvesting, stacking, and storing ;, thrashing and
cleaning ; profits of wheat culture ; oats, how and when to sow ; cultivation of barley ;
buckwheat ; millet 6C7

Sec. XLV. — INDIAN CORN : Its liistory ; product ; profit as a crop ; when to plant, and
how to cultivate ; great yield per acre. North and South ; how to store com, and how to
measure in bulk ; seed corn, and varieties ; broom corn 709



CONTENTS.



CHAPTER IX.

THE GRASSES, THEIK CULTIVATIOK AND USE.

PAGE

Sec. XLVI.— mowing AND PASTURE LANDS : Seeding land ; varieties of grass ; what
is grass ; wliat Icinds are rscommeujed for cultivation ; clover, its cultivation ; harvest-
ing seed "48

Sec. XLVn.— haying AND HAYING MACHINES : Hay caps ; stacking ; how much hay
land should produce, and how much it is necessary to provide ; how to measure hay in
bulk "72



CHAPTER X.

EOOT CE0P8 AND SUGAR CROPS.

Sec. XLVIII.— POTATOES, TURNIPS, BEETS, CARROTS, PARSNEPS, ONIONS : How to
plant and cultivate, and how much they should produce ; history of the potato ; charac-
ter of varieties ; importance of the crop ; what seed should he used, and how planted ;
substitutes for the potato ; sweet potato culture ; turnip culture ; carrots as a crop, and
sowing and cultivation ; onions as a crop, how grown, and profits 785

Sec. XLIX.— CHINESE SUGAR-CANE, AND SORGO-SUGAR MAKING : Preparation and
time of planting cane ; soil and situation ; harvesting ; manufacturing, and yield and
profits as a crop 822

Sec. L.— MAPLE-SUGAR MAKING : Tapping trees ; spouts, buckets, and boilers ; process of
manufacture ; cost, yield, and profit of maple-sugar 835



CHAPTER XI.

FORESTS AND FENCES.

Sec. LI.— TREES AND TREE PLANTING ; WOOD OR COAL FOR FUEL : What trees to
plant, and how and where ; descriptive list of trees ; value of various trees ; how to make
timber durable ; how to season fuel 845

Sec. LII. — FENCES : Their cost ; kinds most economical ; laws regulating ; how to make
hedges, stoue walls, wire fence, and farm gates ; how to kyanize fence posts ; waste of land
around fences ; portable fence, its use 8C1



CHAPTER XII.

FERTILIZATION.

Sec. LIII.— THE ART, USE, AND ECONOMY OF MAKING, SAVING, AND APPLYING
MANURES AND FERTILIZING FARM CROPS : Color, fineness, and moisture of ma-
nure aflects its value ; nitrates, muriates, sulphates, lime, plaster, and bones, how to
apply ; guano, its history and use ; muck, its value ; sea-weed and other matters ; value
of salt ; sjiecial manures for various crops ; soiling to save manure ; manuring with
clover ; water, its value as a fertilizer 877



CONTENTS. XI



CHAPTER XIII.

IRRIGATION. DRAINING. PLOWING. FAR5IING TOOLS.

PAGE

Sec. LIV.— irrigation AND TILE DRAINING : Value of irrigation ; its practice in Italy
.ind other countries ; what lands are most henefited ; tile draining, its importance, cost,
practice, and profit ; how and what land should be drained ; the mole-di'aining plow .... 904

Sec. LV.— plows AND PLOWING : History of cast-iron plows ; subsoil plows, and their
use and value ; steel plows and steam plows ; other farming tools ; labor saved by using
farm machinery , 917



CHAPTER XIY.

SOUTnEEN STAPLE CEOTS — COTTON, CANE, EICE, TOBACCO.

Sec. LVL— history, GROWTH, AND MANUFACTURE OF COTTON : History of the
cotton gin ; upland cotton ; sea island cotton ; how cotton is grown, picked, and pre-
pared for market ; profit of the culture ; flax cotton 928

Sec. LVII.— sugarcane CULTIVATION : Statistics a^ its culture in Louisiana ; yield of
sugar per acre ; cost of making, and how it is made ' 943

Sec. LVni. — RICE : Its cultivation, production, and preparation for market ; yield per acre ;

value and profit ; statistics of rice plantations ; upland rice 948

Sec. LIX. — TOBACCO : Its history, cultivation, production, and profits ; exports and con-
sumption of tobacco ; effect of cultivation upon the soil ; its culture in New York and
Connecticut ; rules for cultivation, curing, and packing 953

Sec. LX.— CULTIVATION OF HEMP, FLAX, AND OTHER FIBROUS PLANTS : Hemp ;
soil and climate ; how it is sown, harvested, and yield per acre ; cost and profit ; effect
upon the soil ; flax cultivation ; how to prepare the soil, sow the seed, and quantity per
acre 965



CHAPTER XV.

GLEANINGS OF THE FIELD.

Sec. LXI.— MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS OF USEFUL KNOWLEDGE TO FARMERS : This
last chapter embraces many things not classed under other titles, such as temperature for
seeds to germinate and grow ; nutriment in food substances ; weights and measure of
grain ; measuring land ; proverbs and maxims for young and old farmers, farmers' wives
and children ; maxims of health ; things to be thought about ; how to dress skins, fix
pumps, mend pipes, and prognosticate the weather ; farmers' clubs ; farm laborers ; farm
accounts ; farm economy, and finis 971-1010

APPENDIX.

DISEASES AND CURES OF DOMESTIC ANIMALS 1031



INDEX TO ILLUSTRATIONS.



Plate I. — Likeness of the Author Frontispiece.

Plate U. — Frontispiece of Chap. I. , illustratrating the subject of Domestic Animals Page 13

Plate in. — Frontispiece of Sec. III. Tliis Plate is intended to answer the question, " What

is a good Cow ?" It also exhiliits tliffurent breeds of Cattle 31

Plate IV. — Different Breeds of Cattle — Durham, Devon, Hereford, Ayrshire, Dutch, and Al-

demey Bulls and Cows 44

Plate V. — The Milk Mirror, showing how to select a good Cow, and form of Teeth at dif-
ferent Ages 48

Plate VI. — Breeds of Sheep and Swine 81 and 19

Plate VII. — Frontispiece of Sec. VIII. — Portraits of celebrated Horses, and Illustrations of

different Breeds 97

Plates VIII. and IX. — Illustrations of the Teeth of Horses at all Ages, showing how to

judge the Age from One to Eighteen Tears 106

Plate X. — Frontispiece to Poultry, Sec. IX 12.3

Plate XI. — Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Swans, and Pea Fowls 140

Plate XII. —The Bee-Keeper at his Work 157

Pl.\te XIII. — The Farmery of Farmer Snug and Farmer Slack — Frontispiece of Chap. in. . 275

Plate XIV. — Frontispiece of the Garden and its Fruits, Chap. V 461

Plate XV. — Frontispiece to the Flower Garden, Sec. XXXI 500

Plate XVI. — Frontispiece to the Orchard, Chap. VI. — A Dessert fit for a Farmer — A Kural

Scene and rich collection of Fruit 555

Plate XVII.^Frontispiece to Chap. Vin. — Cerealia, representing Insects injurious to Wheat ;

also Grapeyine Pests 667

Pl-ite XVIII. — FrontLspiece to Sec. XLV. — Illustrations of Insects which are injurious to

Farmers, and others which are beneficial 709

Pl.\te XIX.— Frontispiece to Chap. IX.— The Grasses 748

Plate XX. — Frontispiece to Chap. XIV. — The Cotton Plant and Cotton Field— Gathering

the Crop 928

Plate XXI. — Insects injurious to Cotton and Corn 942

Plate XXII. — Frontispiece of Sec. LIX, — Tobacco in all stages of Growth and Curing for

Market 953



PLATE II.

(Page 13.)

Every American farmer will look upon this picture with pride.
It is a fitting illustration of a chapter upon Domestic Animals. It
contains representatives of a weU-stocked farm, assembled in the
farm-yard on the south side of one of the farmery buildings in one
of the sunny days of spring, which are so well calculated to make
such a collection of well-fed animals feel, as these look, full of
gladness. There is no danger that such hogs as these will destroy
young lambs and poultry. Here we see the sheep and lambs, goats
and kids — goats that yield valuable fleeces, which are described in
this chapter — the work-horses and brood-mare and colt — the mules
and their progenitor, who is in an attitude of war with a well-fed
heifer that is absorbed in admiration of the peacocks on the roof
of the poultry-house. How surlily the bull looks upon the white-
faced cow, which is deeply interested in contemplating the two hens
that the cock has just called to enjoy a few grains of corn ! By the
earnest looking of one cow and two horses, we judge that they see
their good friend and master approaching. Geese, ducks, turkeys,
rabbits, and pigeons, and a boat on the water, enhven the scene,
which, altogether, is one of tranquil beauty. It is a scene to con-
template and admire. It teaches a lesson. It will stimulate many
a young man to a determination to become the owner of such a one,
or sometliing equally worthy of the artist who desires to represent
American farm life. It will stimulate all, we hope, who look upon
this pictorial index of this chapter to read it carefully.



FACTS FOR FARMERS.



CHAPTER I.

DOMESTIC ANIMALS.

SECTION. I-INTROL)UCTION TO FACTS ABOUT STOCK.

HE very foundation of all farm improvement is the

domestic animals which consume the coarse products

of the farm, such as are not fit for human food, or

growu in greater abundance than is needed for

that purpose, which, being so fed, are converted

into milk, butter, cheese, beef, pork, mutton, wool,

leather, and the many other valuable animal products.

But above all are animals valuable to the farmer, because

they convert the coarse products of the farm into manure,

without which the owner can not produce food for his own

sustenance.

Viewing, then, as I do, successful farming as based upon
^ r^ stock, it seems to me very fitting that I should make the
treatise of it the leading chapter of the volume. And as swine are more
universally kept by all classes of Americans, and the flesh more universally
used every week in the 3'ear, it will be very proper to make this branch
of farm-stock the leading subject.

I am not going to give learned dissertations upon stock-breeding, nor, in
fact, long essays upon this or any other subject, but such little fugitive facts
as come to hand, in short paragiiiphs, consecutively numbered for reference,
with black-letter titles to each subject, to attract attention, and so arranged
that facts may be gathered at a glance, and valuable information obtained
during leisure moments whicli might otherwise be lost.

Many of the statements given are not only for the purpose of giving



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