MARKET PRODUCTS OF WEST NEW JERSEY.BY J. S. LIPPINCOTT, HADDONFIELD, N. J.
Labor, either of muscle or of mind, is the true source of wealth. It is not by the gains of trade, or successful speculation, that the resources of a nation are increased; but by the harmonious, unimpeded labor of every member in the business for which he is fitted, and the equitable interchange of the products of manual skill, of inventive genius, and of mental toil. Mental labor is properly included among the sources of national wealth, because, though often deemed “ unproductive,” it is the agency by which unskilled labor is directed aright and rendered valuable. "The moral and intellectual growth of a people is also a source of wealth, adding to material gains, while it increases the ability to derive legitimate pleasure from the possession of abundance.
The foundations of our national wealth are laid upon agriculture, manufactures, commerce, and mining. Of these, agriculture is of first importance. It is that which feeds and clothes all other labor, which supplies the material to be transformed by the skill of the artist, and freights our commerce, foreign and domestic. Agricultural labor is, then, the leading and most important direct source of wealth. The skill of the mechanic may improve, the enterprise of the merchant may exchange, but the source of wealth is in the earth, and the cost and profit are alike determined by the results of agriculture. No other branch of human industry has stronger claims upon the fostering care of legislation; for not only upon its prosperity does that of the State now depend, but the future of the nation is closely bound up with its healthy and sustained progress. Upon the conservation, by the present generation, of those forces in the soil to which we owe our wealth of vegetable and animal products—upon our ability to continue, without deterioration, to produce material for food and clothing sufficient for the growing wants of a rapidly increasing people, depends, in a great measure, the future of the nation. What question of material interests is more momentous, or demands more earnest consideration, by those who would legislate for the living as well as for their posterity?
To the prosperity of agriculture we owe most of the increase in wealth, and the consequent civilization and refinement of the present age. This is so obvious, that agricultural statistics are considered by every statesman as a thermometer, indicating, most unerringly, the advance or decline of a nation’s prosperity. Hence the care taken to register these statistics by “those States in which the true principles that regulate trade and productive industry are best understood. Monetary crises have originated and spread rather from ignorance of the actual state of productive industry throughout the earth than from any other cause. The value of agricultural statistics can hardly be overestimated. They form, as has been well said, the key which is to unlock the hidden treasures of maturing nature; the chart which reveals to the husbandman and merchant the great laws of demand and supply, enabling each to work out a safe and healthy. prosperity.”
Though the following is mainly descriptive of the progress and products, with extended notices, of the market-gardening of Camden county, the region with which we are most familiar, the character of the agriculture of the western an southern counties of New Jersey, is therein approximately described.
All that the county of Camden (and a wide district of New Jersey) claims in superiority over the primeval forest, has been the result of unremitting labor and the teachings of recent times. Nature supplied but the crude materials of sands, and clay, and muck; the industrious and skillful farmer has wrought out the problem of existence by aid of foreign material which the neighboring city and the exhaustless “marl” beds have supplied. The soil of the district does not appear to possess the self-recuperative powers enjoyed by many regions whose loams have resulted from the decomposition of hornblende and limestone rocks. These latter, by their decay, give up to the softened material which man, by his labors and the growth of vegetation, converts into soil, a larger share of those soluble mineral ingredients which, though needful to the successful production of human food, are not largely present in the soil of lower New Jersey. Nowhere can more convincing evidence of the immense superiority of the recent improved system of farming, over that pursued by the fathers and grandfathers of the present generation, be found, than in this section of the Union. The success already attained should stimulate to renewed efforts; for it is by no means certain that the limit of improvement has been reached. A very large portion of the eastern counties of New Jersey is, moreover, in a state of nature—wild land, scarcely inferior to much of that which the energy of the West New Jersey farmer has redeemed. The same means, so successful in his hands, must render productive these now unproductive tracts; and it is a leading object of this paper to exhibit the gratifying results of thorough improved culture upon exhausted soils, that the example may be imitated by the despairing or doubting tenant of similar lands yet unimproved. In the midst of the wilderness of East New Jersey, some enterprising agriculturists have already made farms which would be pronounced models in any part of the country, and the cultivation of small fruits and garden vegetables has there been extensively and successfully prosecuted. The low swamp-lands, hitherto esteemed valuable only for their product of white cedar or cypress, (Cypressus thyoides,) the common material for fence rails, are also found capable of redemption, and, when planted with the cranberry, have proved highly remunerative. Capital and labor are now tending largely towards this branch of cultivation.
The success which has attended sundry attempts to redeem this hitherto neglected part of the Union has been so gratifying, that it bids fair to turn the tide of emigration, Many, dissatisfied with the border semi-civilization of the west, and its privations, its extreme climate, and their general unsatisfactory experience, have returned to the east, to find in New Jersey all the advantages of a kind soil, (needing much improvement, it is true, but with fertilizing resources of ready access,) near an unsurpassed market, with a climate unequaled for mildness and salubrity anywhere in the north. To those who contemplate removal from the northeast or the northwest in search of a more genial air—to all who would learn what gratifying results may be attained on a seemingly unpropitious soil, this. record of the experience of the New Jersey farmer cannot fail to prove interesting. Its lessons may be read with advantage by farmers, whether in the east or in the west, whether contemplating removal, or content to rest upon. their paternal acres depleted by the generations that have grown thereupon.
The production of vegetables for the markets of Philadelphia and New York is a leading branch of New Jersey agriculture. The business is locally denominated “trucking,” and those who pursue it, “truck farmers” or “truck men.” These terms, though not found in “Webster unabridged,” are of long-standing use; but whence their origin we have not discovered. “To truck” is an obsolete and now vulgar term for bartering, but for that kind of trade common between the early settlers and the Indians, by which articles of trifling cost were exchanged for others of greater value—as trinkets, for skins and furs. As the term "garden-truck” is often used by farmers who regard the cultivation of the garden as contemptible, the word may have had kindred origin with that which describes the barter of trifles for valuable commodities. The comparison may still appear to hold good; for, from a moderate extent of well-tilled land, the skillful and early producer of market-garden vegetables, or “truck,” receives large returns in substantial sums of gold or greenbacks.
The peculiar advantages, local and general, enjoyed by the eastern bank of the Delaware river to furnish to the epicurean tables of the adjoining city those: delicate, early vegetables, unsurpassed in quality in any other region, as well as those heavy supplies of more common produce indispensable to the health and comfort of the masses, render this district peculiarly worthy of notice. The more favored portion of this region is located immediately upon the river bank, extending northeast to Pensaukin creek, about five miles beyond the city of Camden. From the very early opening of spring in this locality, and the success which attends the early pea culture, it is known as “ Pea-Shore.” On this narrow strip, vegetables have been raised, with almost uniform success, several days or a week earlier than on adjoining lands more remote from the river, and larger sums have been realized from their sale than have been made by the growers located at Norfolk, Virginia, noted for its extremely early products. Here the soil is loose, warm, friable, easily drained, readily penetrated by the rays of the early spring sun, and especially protected by the influence which humidity affords in preventing the escape, by night, of the warmth received by day. The protecting agency of moisture appears to extend from one-half to three-quarters of a mile from the river, and to be modified by the wind prevailing at the time. When the wind is from the west, the later frosts of spring do not affect the river farms, while those a half mile distant may have their early “vegetables seriously injured. Again, in autumn it has been observed that as long as the winds prevail from the west, passing over the river, the late crops of tomatoes do not suffer, while the entire crop.half a mile distant, beyond the low hills, may be entirely destroyed. As if confirmatory of the belief that the protecting influence resides in the presence of humidity, the residents observe that nights which are perceptibly damp give promise of freedom from frost. This region is washed by the Delaware on its northwest side, and has the benefit of a spread of water from one to one and a half mile in breadth, including the low island which may be properly regarded as merely an extension of the water, as it is, in a great measure, a bog. It is thus favored by proximity to a wider expanse of water than the region above or below for many miles, The presence of considerable humidity in the atmosphere immediately over a region, by night, is now known to impede the escape of radiant heat.
This early and productive district is part of that through which the Camden and Amboy railroad passes, and which many observers regard with no very favorable impressions of New Jersey soil for agricultural purposes. An exhibit of the products of a farm lying in this desolate region, so given over to sands and barrenness, (in the opinion of many,) may impress an agricultural mind with its value as a spot whereon to grow profitable crops of early vegetables— the very vegetables for which Philadelphians so extol their markets, and which, indeed, contribute in no small degree to render it a most desirable city for residence.
The following are some of the returns from a farm of about eighty acres, situated thus favorably—a farm which it may be well to say is valued at upwards of $25,000. We will say nothing of the crops of corn, wheat, oats, and hay, which were considerable—adequate, or nearly so, to maintain the stock of horses and cows kept upon the farm—but note only that about 5,000 baskets of tomatoes were raised thereon in one season, which returned upwards of $3,000; more than 1,000 baskets of white potatoes, producing $1,200; 1,000 baskets of peas, which sold for more than $800; and 1,000 baskets of other “truck” of various kinds, which returned $1,000—making an aggregate, independent of farm crops, of upwards of $6,000. To produce these large returns demanded energy, skill and untiring industry, upon a soil admirably adapted to these crops, and most favorably located, as we have remarked, combined with the application of a large amount of manures from the city stables, and a heavy expenditure for fertilizers of several kinds.
The success which attends good farming is the best evidence that can be adduced in support of the claims of New Jersey to the possession of great agricultural advantages. Facts furnish the best reply to the many attacks that have, from time to time, been made upon the State. We have been furnished with the agricultural statistics of the counties of Camden and Burlington, by courtesy of the chief of the Census Bureau, which we append for the satisfaction of our readers who may be interested therein. The details of products, and the value of products of each township, will render these tables of greater interest to their residents, respectively.
From the Census Report of 1850 we learn that there was in Camden county, New Jersey, 731 farms, comprising 53,968 acres of improved land, and 77,416 acres of land unimproved. The latter included all such as was in occupancy and necessary to the enjoyment of the improved portions, though not itself reclaimed. These 731 farms, therefore, embraced an area of 131,384 acres. The distinction between improved and unimproved land is not very clearly drawn, as if is plain, from the result attained, by dividing the total number of acres by the number of farms, the quotient, 180 acres, as the average extent of the farms of Camden county, being quite too great. “Much land which is neither meadow nor wood land attached to the farm has been included in the contents erroneously. If one-half the unimproved be considered as forming part of the farm, the average of each will be found to be 126 acres, and the value per acre $52, according to the Census Report of 1850. The total value of farms (implements included) was $4,804,670. According to the census of 1860 the farms of said county embraced 55,734 acres of improved, and 17,837 of unimproved land. The amount unimproved is thus greatly reduced by the latter census, and more just distinction made between that occupied and useful, and that unoccupied and unproductive. (Seventy-seven, in the report of 1850, is probably an error for seventeen, easily made by a copyist.) The total number of acres, properly considered farm land, becomes, therefore, in 1860, 73,571; and if the farms have not increased in number, the average number of acres in each becomes 100, which appears to be very nearly correct. The total value of farms and implements being nearly six millions of dollars, gives to each acre an average value of 83½ dollars. As the area of the county of Camden is 173,000 acres, there remain nearly 100,000 acres unoccupied, and unreported by the census of 1860. This is mainly comprised in extensive tracts of unreclaimed brush lands and cedar swamps. A detailed comparison of the census tables for 1850 and 1860 will indicate a general advance, and, in some products, an extraordinary increase during the ten years which intervened. Thus the land and implements in the county of Camden were valued at $1,345,440 higher in 1860; the wheat showed a small decline of about 3,000 bushels; rye and oats a considerable falling off; white and sweet potatoes an increase together of about 70,000 bushels; butter exhibits an increased product of about 18,000 pounds, while cheese declined 12,000 pounds; hay an increase of 1,658 tons; sheep declined 618, and swine 1,227; neat cattle increased but 618; horses increased 195, and asses and mules declined 124; while the value of animals slaughtered was nearly doubled. The returns of orchard products were, in 1860, but half those of 1850, having declined upwards of $10,000. The market garden products had advanced from $42,301 to $193,738, an increase of $151,437, or nearly 360 per cent. The last census inquiry was made five years ago, and cannot exhibit the aggregate products of the county at this time. These are no doubt much in excess of those of 1860, the crops of many kinds gathered in 1864 having been of extraordinary yield, and above the average of some years previous.
The county of Burlington, adjoining Camden on the northeast, is much more extensive, and exhibits, according to the last census, much greater aggregates of products and value, having nearly 900 more plantations, and an extent of improved and unimproved territory of 324,983 acres, or nearly three times that of Camden. Here, also, is-exhibited a general advance in value and production which is very gratifying. If we may believe the report, of improved lands nearly 85,000 acres have been taken into cultivation during the ten years prior to 1860; the farms improved in value to the extent of five and a half millions of dollars; the wheat increased 25,000 bushels; rye and oats together increased about 112,000; corn 1,100,000; white and sweet potatoes together upwards of 190,000; buckwheat 7,000; wine 640 gallons; butter increased 5,606, while cheese declined 141,782 pounds; hay showed an. increased product of nearly 20,000 tons; sheep 903; swine 1,590 more; cattle of all kinds 3,076 increase; and horses and mules were, together, in 1860, more numerous, by 1,763 than, in 1850; while the value of animals slaughtered increased $275,000. The orchard product was almost identical in value with that of 1850, while the market garden product advanced from 51,639 dollars in 1850, to 267,217 dollars in 1860, a gain of 215,578 dollars, or about 418 per cent. increase in ten years.
Burlington county was divided, according to the Census Report of 1850, into 1,638 farms, which were valued in 1860 at seventeen and a half millions of dollars. The farms averaged 112 acres each, and were estimated worth $63 75 per acre, or about $20 per acre less than the farm lands of Camden. Upwards of 300 square miles of Burlington, near the Delaware, extending twelve miles there from, is a fine fertile loam; the rest of the county is sand, or a sandy loam. About 100 square miles of Camden contains the same superior soil as that in the western part of Burlington; the remainder, 173 square miles, is sandy, and cannot be so readily improved. One-half of Burlington is thus of excellent quality, while only about one-third of Camden is highly productive. This difference in the relative extent of the improved soils may account for the more rapid development of the larger county.
|Number of acres in farms||6,132.75|
|Number of acres arable||4,852.00|
|Number of acres woodland||1,280.75|
|Average acres in each farm||102.21|
|Average acres arable||80.82|
|Average acres woodland, &c||21.34|
|Average acres in each farm in 1860:||100.62|
|Value of farms||$747,130.00|
|Value of implements||22,526.00|
|Value of products||271,128.00|
|Average value of farms||12,452.16|
|Average value of implements||523 81|
|Average product of each farm||4,518 80|
|Average value per acre||121.82|
|Average value in 1860||83.50|
|On sixty farms reported, there were in January, 1865:|
|Horses, 236, valued at||$26,432|
|Mules, 34, valued at||6,290|
|Milch cows, 446, valued at||16,948|
|Calves, 315, valued at||$5,300|
|Fatling cattle, 102, valued at||8,325|
|Sheep and lambs, 191, valued at||1,295|
|Swine, 512, valued at||16,671|
|Chickens, &c:, valued at||2,800|
|Average horses, to a farm||3.68|
|Average mules on 14 farms||2.42|
|Average cows on 58 farms||5.10|
|Average value of horses||$112.00|
|Average value of mules||185.00|
|Average value of cows||38.00|
|Average value of fatting cattle||81.61|
|Average value of sheep and lambs||6.75|
|Average value Of swine||32 56|
|Wheat, bushels||8,188||Valued at||$20,499|
|Rye; bushels||664||Valued at||1,237|
|Indian corn; bushels||27,194||Valued at||44,505|
|Oats, bushels||3,498||Valued at||2,635|
|Buckwheat, bushels||159||Valued at||190|
|Turnips, bushels||4,636||Valued at||2,364|
|Carrots, bushels||1,877||Valued at||1,450|
|Mangolds, bushels||50||Valued at||20|
|White potatoes, bushels||36,185||Valued at||46,848|
|Sweet potatoes, bushels||15,772||Valued at||16,738|
|Hay, tons||1,797||Valued at||43,842|
|Sorghum, gallons||307||Valued at||400|
|Market garden products, growth of 1864:|
|Cabbages||151,812||Value of cabbages||$16,581|
|Tomatoes, baskets||18,025||Value of tomatoes||10,555|
|Egg plants, baskets||856||Value of egg plants||234|
|Watermelons||7,230||Value of watermelons||696|
|Citron, baskets||5,631||Value of citron||2,068|
|Squashes, baskets||281||Value of squashes||131|
|Peas, baskets||3,566||Value of peas||3,195|
|Beans, baskets||926||Value of beans||150|
|Cucumbers, baskets||885||Value of cucumber||200|
|Peppers, baskets||442||Value of peppers||300|
|Sugar corn, baskets||1,794||Value of sugar corn||1,088|
|Rhubarb||Value of rhubarb||500|
|Asparagus||Value of asparagus||1,051|
|Small fruits||Value of small fruits||1,116|
|Apples, baskets||9791||Value, of apples||$7,381|
|Pears, baskets||659||Value of pears||386|
|Peaches, baskets||822||Value of peaches||477|
|Butter, milk, and cheese||$9,454|
|Farm products, excluding horses, mules, and cows||$34,391|
|Market garden products||37,855|
|Total products of sixty farms||271,138|
|Value of horses, mules, and cows||320,798|
|Value of farms||$747,130|
|Value of implements||22,526|
The average product, per acre, of the sixty farms above referred to, was as follows: Wheat, 15 bushels; rye, 10; corn, 40; oats, 33½; buckwheat, 10; hay, 1.52 tons; white potatoes, 85½; and sweet potatoes, 94 bushels per acre.
By tables prepared for the Department of Agriculture it appears that in 1864 the average yield of wheat in New Jersey was greater than that of any other State except. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut—Rhode Island haying exhibited a return of 15 bushels, which was identical with that of New Jersey;.while Massachusetts exceeded by one,-and Connecticut by but one and a half bushel. -New Jersey thus still continues to be one of the leading States in wheat production, though not in absolute product, but in yield per acre.
In the production of corn in 1864, during which this crop suffered greatly from drought in some sections of the State, New Jersey was excelled by Vermont, Illinois, Iowa, and Minnesota. New Jersey produced, 31⅔, Vermont 38⅘, Illinois 33, Iowa 36⅔, and Minnesota 33 bushels per acre, The average product of the sixty farms under notice, which exhibit a fair sample of the productiveness of. West Jersey in the better cultivated districts, is thus, even in a season of drought, greatly in excess of that of any of the most favored western States in the yield of corn. This yield, it will be seen, was forty bushels to the acre.
The product. of hay per acre in New Jersey, in 1864, equalled or exceeded that of every other State, Iowa and Kansas excepted, and fell below these States by but a small fraction of a ton. New Jersey was estimated to have yielded 1.57 ton per acre. The above sixty farms produced 1.52 per acre—a close approximation to the estimated return.
The yield of oats, in 1864, per acre, in New Jersey, was exceeded by that of Vermont and Rhode Island only, and but by half a bushel per acre. Most of the States were surpassed by New Jersey in the production of oats, by from four to ten bushels per acre. Thirty-two and one-third bushels was the estimated yield throughout the State; in our district, as deduced from reports of the farms before referred to, the average yield was 33½ bushels.
|No. of farms||Acres occupied by each crop||Total product in bushels||Average product of each farm in bushels||Average product of each acre in bushels||Average number of acres in each farm in each crop|
The foregoing tables of farm crops, averages and values, need no further elucidation, except the remark that there is necessarily an overestimate therein; because the produce, such as grain and hay, which have been transformed into beef, butter, calves, milk, cheese, and chickens, has been already valued and included in the aggregate. This is necessary in order for comparison with the report of the Census Bureau, where no distinction is made between vegetable products sold directly and those transformed into animal and again enumerated as such.
The above statistics, derived from less than one-twelfth of our Camden county farms, clearly show what energy, combined with skill and capital, can produce upon the soil of New Jersey. From the reports received we will extract a few detailed examples, which may serve to incite the owner of a poorly worked and indifferently paying farm to emulate the enterprise of his more successful fellow- farmer.
We may premise that there are few such farms as that whose products we are about to name, and that fewer farmers can bring to the active duties of their profession greater skill or intelligence than can the owner of these acres. ‘He is not only a business man, but he is also intelligent, and by education cultivated. But such farms might be seen almost everywhere did their owners but make them what they might become; such men might abound did our young farmers who now seek to dabble in some “respectable” profession, but receive that higher order of education of which they are lamentably deficient, and apply their improved abilities to the redemption of their State from agricultural and political contempt.On this superior farm there were produced in 1864—
|225 bushels of wheat on 9 acres, average 25 bushels per acre||$693|
|550 bushels of corn on 10 acres, average 55 bushels per acre||935|
|65 tons of hay on 40 acres, average 1.67 ton per acre||2,080|
|10 tons of straw on 9 acres; average||225|
|2,000 bushels of white potatoes on 103 acres, average 112½ bushels per acre||1,600|
|Cabbages on 9 acres, average||2,150|
|Various market-garden products on 8 acres||1,700|
|Sundry other crops||575|
|To which may be added for swine $370, and calves $325; the first consumed a portion of the corn, and may not be properly included. Add the, latter, with half the value of swine||400|
|We find a total aggregate product of||10,358|
If swine should not be included, we find about $10,000 total product of this fine farm of 100 acres, which doubtless is still much beneath its capacity for production, estimated at the rates for produce which ruled during the year past.
The expense of conducting a farm producing thus largely was correspondingly heavy, and the net returns to the owner were not of so surprising an amount as to tempt any one in good paying oil business to leave his wells to turn farmer, or any gold gambler, who is rolling up thousands by a happy turn, to envy the successful Jerseyman, unless they could at the same time appreciate his untroubled conscience and his peaceful repose. But they are certain gains, and though slowly made at the expense of thought and diligence, have not among them “one dirty shilling.”
There are many farmers in Camden county who cannot rest satisfied with indifferent cultivation and meagre crops, whose high farming is attended with corresponding results. Witness one among several well authenticated returns before us, freely given by the public-spirited and enlightened cultivators, who are superior to petty selfish interest, and have reported their crops in full for the benefit of the Agricultural Department and their fellow-workers.The following is the product of a farm. of about 107 acres of arable land in 1864:
|236 bushels of wheat grown on 9 acres, at the rate of 26¼ per acre||$626.36|
|1,460 bushels of corn grown on 174 acres, at the rate of 83.42 per acre||2,190.00|
|102 tons of hay grown on 46 acres, at the rate of 2.21 per acre||3,060.00|
|1,680 bushels of white potatoes grown on 11 acres, at the rate of 152 per acre||1,600.00|
|592 bushels of carrots grown on 1¼ acre, at the rate of 473 per acre||460.00|
|2,000 cabbages grown on ½ acre||160.00|
|200 bushels of turnips||132.00|
|950 pounds of butter||515.40|
|3598 quarts of milk and cream||328.72|
|Calves, swine, beef||382.00|
|Chickens and eggs||221.00|
|30 loads of straw||380.00|
|Value of aggregate products||10,055.48|
|Corn, 400 bushels, brought||660.00|
|Corn, (300 bushels remain for sale)||450.00|
|Hay—60 tons will be sold||1,800.00|
|Potatoes, 1,630 bushels||1,550.00|
|Butter, milk and cream||665.12|
|Eggs, chickens, &c.||140|
|Leaving for consumption—|
|Corn, 760 bushels, worth||$1,080.00|
|Hay, 42 tons, worth||1,260.00|
|Straw, 30 loads, worth||380.00|
|Potatoes, 50 bushels, worth||50.00|
|Carrots, 592 bushels, worth||460.00|
|Turnips, 200. bushels, worth||132.00|
|Butter,&c., 250 pounds, worth||200.00|
|Pork,$156, beef,$155, worth||311.00|
|Chickens, eggs,&c., worth||70.00|
To produce the above crops there were purchased and applied 220 one-horse cart-loads of horse-stable manure, four tons of superphosphate of lime, 1,200 bushels of lime, and forty bushels of ground gypsum or plaster. A herd of dairy cows was kept, and a strong force of horses and mules; which swelled, with the straw and corn-stalks, the products of the cow and stable yards. The soil of this farm is a very strong loam, tillable only by heavy labor in dry weather, and incapable of cultivation in wet. Heavy drainage is demanded and has been applied and is continued yearly. The course of cultivation may be partially illustrated by the following outline. It has been the practice to lime the sod one year (or immediately) preceding the plowing, with about eighty bushels of quick-lime per acre. The plowing for corn is done in the fall, as deeply as possible, that by freezing and thawing the clay may be ameliorated, The only manure applied was a compost consisting of 150 pounds of superphosphate of lime, (or 200 pounds of poudrette, and fifty pounds of fine bone-dust,) one bushel of gypsum, and five to ten bushels of charcoal-dust to an acre. This, compost was strewed along the drills, which were four and a half feet apart, and the seeds dropped in the drill by hand, one foot distant from each other, The ground was kept constantly stirred and every weed eradicated.
The rotation observed is that usual in the district. First, corn on a turned pasture sod; second, white potatoes, which prepare the ground thoroughly for wheat, which follows; third, grass-seed is sown on the wheat in the autumn and clover-seed in the spring following; fourth, after this the grass is mown for three years, and pastured for one year, when it is again ready for turning under by the plough to feed, by its decay, the crop of corn to be therein planted in its turn. The success attained is the result of abundant drainage, deep plowing, ample fertilizing, and close attention to the eradication of weeds by constant and thorough culture.Another farm, thoroughly. tilled by its intelligent and progressive owner,(but larger than the preceding by a few acres, produced; in 1864, the following respectable array of crops:
|300 bushels wheat, on 10 acres; at the rate of 30 bushels per acre||$750.00|
|800 bushels corn, on 10 acres, at the rate of 80 bushels per acre||1200.00|
|84 tons hay, on 33 acres, at the rate of 2½ tons per acre||2520.00|
|1,615 bushels white potatoes, on 10 acres, at the rate of 161½ bushels per acre||2500.00|
|312 bushels sweet potatoes, on 2 acres, at the rate of 156 bushels per acre||700.00|
|100 bushels turnips||40.00|
|200 bushels carrots, on 1 acre||160.00|
|Sundry small crops||362.56|
|Swine 24, weight 4,900 pounds, at 16 cents||800.00|
|Calves 6, weight 1,200 pounds, at 10 cents||120.00|
|Aggregate product of farm||9532.56|
Two hundred cart-loads of manure were purchased and applied, 55 loads of street dirt, and 100 tons of green sand “marl.” A dairy of superior cows is kept, and six horses and mules, and a flock of sheep.The following was the product of a farm in Stockton township, in that desolate region so little admired by the passing agriculturist, on his way to or from New York or Philadelphia. This farm comprises eighty acres, and is valued at $25,000, or more than $500 per acre. To its worth its products will testify:
|92 bushels of wheat, on 8 acres, at the rate of 12 bushels per acre||$248.40|
|10 bushels of rye, on 1 acre, at the rate of 10 bushels per acre||17.00|
|200 bushels corn, on 5 acres, at the rate of 40 bushels per acre||350.00|
|11 tons hay, on 6 acres, at the rate of 13 ton per acre||220.00|
|1,136 baskets white potatoes||1238.00|
|18,000 cabbages, on 5 acres, at the rate of 3,600 per acre||720.00|
|4,876 baskets tomatoes||3155.32|
|469 Baskets citrons||187.60|
|88 baskets squashes||37.60|
|1,092 baskets peas||834.40|
|58 baskets beans||29.00|
|136 baskets cucumbers||102.00|
|350 baskets peppers||210.00|
|75 baskets sugar corn||45.00|
|102 baskets apples and pears||94.50|
There were applied of purchased manure 450 cart-loads [a "cart-load" was probably widely understood in 1865, but it doesn't stand the test of time. It's a horribly-imprecise measurement. The one bit of translatable quantity was a Texas source that stated that a cart could carry up to 5 tons. Was this the kind of cart the author intends? -ASC], 2 tons of guano, 1 ton of bone-dust, and 2 barrels of superphosphate of lime.
The large products of a few acres confirm the maxim that a small farm well tilled. will produce the largest returns per acre. The exhibit is here, as elsewhere, the gross results; with cost. of. production we do not concern ourselves; every farmer may judge of the expense attending high farming for himself, always bearing in mind that it is, if judiciously conducted, abundantly: more remunerative than the ordinary indifferent scratching called farming.On less than eight acres there were raised in 1864 the following crops:
|350 baskets of white potatoes, which were sold for||$400|
|444 baskets of sweet potatoes, which were sold for||413|
|100 baskets of turnips, worth||60|
|200 baskets of carrots, worth||160|
|158 baskets of sugar corn, worth||135|
|65 baskets early peas, worth||35|
|900 heads of cabbage||54|
An extraordinary yield of tomatoes was destroyed by an unusually early frost. Notwithstanding the gross results exhibit a return of $143.68 per acre, this small farm lot, it is unnecessary to say, was already in high condition, having received heavy dressings of manure, street dirt and marl, for many years past, and as heavily cropped and thoroughly worked by its skillful and industrious owner. To the crop of 1864 there were supplied 75 cart loads of manure, 125 loads of street dirt, and 40 tons of marl.
We have returns of products of farms of 90 acres and upwards which do not exhibit crops of the gross value of $2,000, though favored by the help of a herd of cows. The reason is obvious no manures were purchased by the careful cultivator, no return was made of phosphoric acid and potash to supply the waste from continual cropping.
On eleven acres, the product in cabbages in. 1864, which was an extraordinarily favorable season, both as respects the perfection of crops and prices; 41,000 cabbages were grown, which sold for the large sum of $3,274.53, This is nearly $300 per acre. A wagon load of these cabbages, containing 800 heads, sold for $100.
On two acres, which of course had received the benefit of the applications to many previous crops, there were grown, in 1864, 300. baskets, each ⅝ of a bushel, of early potatoes, which sold for $1 25 each, and returned $375; 7,500 cabbages, which sold for $10 per hundred, $750; making a total gross return of $1,125— an average gross product per acre, scarcely exceeded by any yield of which we are cognizant, a large return for egg-plants only excepted.
The above yield off cabbages is exceeded by that given by another skillful farmer, whose aggregate of sales from fourteen acres exeeeded $5,500—an average product per acre of quite $392. Some of these cabbages brought $15 per hundred, and the best load sold for $115.
The largest product of cabbages was that given upon 30. acres, which reached the large amount of 175,000, and sold for about $9,000; but in productiveness per acre this must yield to the second above noted, which is certainly extraordinary, The farm upon which the cabbage crop was given, which sold for $9,000, produced also, in 1864, upwards of 100 tons of hay, besides other farm crops. The hay was probably worth $2,500 to $3,000, and swells the total of products to $11,500 or $12,000 for these two items alone. Upon the same farm, now in the -hands of a citizen, the former owner was unable to maintain his family, but eked out a precarious existence by cutting wood, &c.
Sweet potatoes were remarkably productive in the season of 1864. From returns perfectly reliable we learn that on 6} acres there were grown 1,700 baskets, or at the rate of 261 baskets (or 163 bushels) per acre, which sold for $1,700, or at the rate of $261 per acre. By the same grower there were produced 22,000 cabbages on 10 acres, which. sold for $2,000. A crop of early potatoes was raised by the same energetic farmer, which returned, from 3 acres, upwards of $500. Turnips were sowed on the drills without ploughing, and a crop of 1,400 bushels raised therefrom, which brought $420. This sum, with the proceeds of the early potato crop, amounted. to upwards of $900, or quite $300 per acre.
Farming and vegetable growing are not conducted on small plots only with success. We have had returns of potato growing on a scale of considerable magnitude. On thirty-two acres there were raised, in 1864, 3,274. bushels of white potatoes, which sold for $4,800. On the same farm, upwards of 40:acres produced nearly 50 bushels of corn to the acre, though the season was quite unpropitious, or more than 2,000 bushels, which, at present. rates, are worth quite $3,500. On the same farm, cattle to the value of $6,000 were fatted.
It must not be supposed, nor is there any probability that the above recitals of large crops and heavy returns per acre, under high manuring, and large expenditure for fertilizers, will induce the reader to imagine that these are very common cases, or that the farmers of Camden county are rapidly becoming rich. There remains the per contra—the debit side—where poor farming without capital, small spendings by timid, old-fashioned men, who decry all the innovations which the agricultural press is continually urging upon their attention, result, as it should, in poor returns, which have kept, and ever will keep, such farmers poor. Some of these men are scarcely making their expenses. They are deriving no advantage from the present high rates of farm produce, because they have no surplus to sell; while they are oppressed by the increased cost of every article entering into the list of domestic expenditure. These not having moved with the tide, will be left stranded when it retires.
The record is before me of a farm of 100 acres, nearly all arable, from which less than $2,000 gross product was taken. Nor is this a solitary case. This poor exhibit is made for a farm of good quality, capable of largely increased product, as is proved by the returns of that adjoining it of similar soil, &c. The latter, about 90 acres arable, presented a gross return of more than $7,000. The yield of hay of the latter was 2½ times greater; that of corn, nearly twice as great; of potatoes, 2½ times; turnips, 4 times larger in the well-tilled farm than on that poorly managed. Both farms are occupied by tenants, but of very different character, education, and capacity.
From another farm of thirty-six acres the gross returns were made: of but $375, which may be placed on the scale against another of twenty-five: acres, which showed an aggregate value of crops of about $2,500, Finally, we have received returns of total products of a farm of one hundred acres in Camden county, whose aggregate yield for 1864 amounted to $15,000, the sales of vegetable products alone having exceeded $12,000, a yield and gross product unsurpassed by any other cultivator with whose success we have become acquainted.The following statement was made to the Burlington County Agricultural Society, by J. and S. Butterworth, extensive farmers of that county, and will show the products and profits of their farm during the year 1863. There are 248 acres in this farm, exclusive of 20 acres of woodland pasture:
|220 tons of hay, at $14||$3,085.00|
|900 bushels white Kentucky wheat, at $1.75||1,575.00|
|300 bushels potatoes; at 50 cents||150.00|
|4,800 bushels corn, at 75 cents||1,350.00|
|60 head of beef cattle, at $70||4,200.00|
|75 sheep at $4.50||337.50|
|75 lambs, at $4.50||337.50|
|280 pounds of wool; at 70 cents||196.00|
|12,000 pounds of pork, at $6||720.00|
|1 yoke of fat cattle||250.00|
|Advance in 80 head of fat cattle||$2,180.00|
|Advance in 75 lambs, at $4.50||337.50|
|Advance in 75 sheep||75.00|
|280 pounds of wool, at 70 cents||196.00|
|1 yoke of fat oxen||100.00|
|300 bushels of potatoes, at 50 cents||150.00|
|12,000 pounds of pork, at $6||720.00|
|50 tons of hay, sold at $14||700.00|
|4 tons of straw, at $10||40.00|
|600 bushels corn, at 75 cents||450.00|
|840 bushels white wheat, at $1.75||1,470.00|
|Value of the farm of 268 acres, at $125 per acre||$33,500|
|4 horses, at $125 each||500|
|1 pair of oxen||140|
|60 neat cattle, at $32 each||1,920|
|75 sheep, at $3.50 each||262|
|50 swine, at $5 each||250|
|Labor employed and board of men||1,150|
|Seeds (seed wheat deducted from net profits)||60|
|Wear and tear of buildings, fences, and implements||500|
|Fertilizers purchased, (500 bushels of lime, at 14 cents)||70|
|Capital invested in farm and working material||39,112|
Net profit, as stated above, $6,948 50; being 17 7-10 per cent. on the investment.
The above farm is located in the “green sand marl” region, and 300 tons of this fertilizer are annually applied; but as this is digged on the farm, the cost of digging only. is included in the above account.
While New Jersey is unsurpassed in the excellence of her market-garden products, in the aggregate she is exceeded by New York alone.
According to, the census of 1850, the product of New Jersey was valued, at $475,242, and in 1860 at $1,542,155—an increase of quite 210 per cent. Delaware, and Virginia exhibited the same growth; Maryland increased 150 per cent.; Pennsylvania 100 per cent.; but all the seaboard States, except South Carolina and: New York, were equalled, or surpassed by New Jersey in their gain in the ten years from 1850 to 1860. In South Carolina garden products were quadrupled, and nearly the same growth appears in the State of New York, New York and New Jersey produce most of the vast supplies of green vegetables consumed in the great cities on their borders. As the population of the city of New York increased but 56.27 per cent., Brooklyn 175.37 per cent., Philadelphia 695.43 per cent, in the ten years under notice, and the market-garden products of the States which supply the vegetables in demand.in. these. cities have, during the same time, known a growth of from 210 to 370 per cent., we may conclude that either a much larger quantity was consumed by each family than formerly; or, that the price had proportionably advanced. As there does not appear to have been any material advance in prices before or during 1860, the first conclusion is sustained. Whether this increased consumption of vegetables, has arisen from the increased attention to early production, to the cheapened supply of small fruits, to greater demand for winter preservation in air-tight cans, to superior horticultural knowledge, or to greater regard for health, we cannot determine. All these influences have, perhaps, combined in producing a greatly increased consumption of a variety of food which cannot but be advantageous to both producer and consumer.
By examination of the way bills of produce received at Camden, (which is one of sixteen platforms where market:garden vegetables are received for transportation to New. York,), we learn the following interesting statistics:
There were received at the Camden depot, and shipped to New York—
From May 18 to June 6, 1,877 barrels of peas.
From June 19 to July 2,3,298 barrels of beans.
From June 28 to August 10, 9,831 baskets of tomatoes.
From July 9 to August 19, 2,281 barrels of cucumbers.
Prom August 2 to August 17, 1,016 barrels of citrons.
From August 3 to December 31, 15,660 barrels of sweet potatoes.
From July 20 to September 23, an enormous freight of peaches.
The above peaches and sweet potatoes were not all the product of this State. A very heavy freight business was done in produce by the line of steamboats, the bills of which we have not examined. Peaches are grown in Monmouth county, New Jersey, to a very large extent. So great is the supply from that region, that it has been estimated that there has been sent thence to New York alone, an amount equal in bulk to all the fruits consumed in Great Britain, and at a cost less than ten per cent. of the European prices.
Were we able to obtain returns of produce received at the way-side platforms which line the road, the aggregate would appear enormous—sufficient, indeed, to stagger belief, and exhibit in strong colors the dependence of New York upon the productions of "poor Jersey.”
The growers of early market vegetables. enjoy but short respite from: active labor during the winter. Their attendance on the markets for the sale of late- keeping produce has not ceased before they open the spring campaign with preparation of hot-beds and ploughing for the crop of early peas. Their teams, also, have been busy during the winter in hauling stable manure from the wharves or landings on the creeks where it has been deposited, unloaded from the sloops and flat-boats which navigate these streams. The sloops, carrying from 125 to 200 one-horse cart-loads of manure, are floated up on the tide and return by the current. Their services are invaluable to the farmers of the interior, bearing, as they do, a burden of heavy and bulky material which could not be economically conveyed by wagons to the same distance from the City. Districts situated in the vicinity of such streams and landings are, in consequence; more readily cultivated than those more distant, and agriculture in general declines in proportion to the remoteness from the facilities commanding a cheap supply of manure. The lands in the interior of New Jersey have not been in demand, mainly because they are distant from the source of supply of enriching agents, and can never compete with those more favored by proximity to creeks or the Delaware. The farmers who reside within a moderate distance of the "green-sand marl" pits employ their teams during the winter in hauling immense quantities of this fertilizer. Many deem it worth hauling upwards of five miles, and apply many tons of? the heavy material annually to their land. The “marl” thus carted has been bought by the rod in the ground, reaching to the depth it is found possible to dig without interference by water, which is from 8 to 12 feet. A square rod will sometimes furnish upwards of 100 to 120 tons, and must be dug and thrown out atone operation by a strong gang of men, many of whom are professional diggers, and expert at handling their peculiar long-bladed semi-cylindrical spades. The rich dark-green material, quite moist, is easily cut like new cheese, and a full gang will throw out half a rod readily in a day. Large quantities of this "marl" are conveyed on the Camden and Atlantic railway to various points between Camden on the west, and into the interior eastward, at rates varying in 1865 from eighty cents to one dollar per ton. An ordinary four-wheeled gravel or dirt car will hold about 14 tons.
The earliest preparation of hot-beds in Camden takes place among the “Pea-Shore” truck men, who, about the 20th of February, generally bestir themselves. These beds are of the usual kind—depth of about 14 inches of good fresh horse manure, well, shaken up, and then slightly compressed, being deemed sufficient. On this about four inches of mellow, dark soil is spread, and the seeds of early tomatoes, egg-plant, &c., sown in drills, In the choice of seed the growers are-especially careful, well knowing that their success depends in great measure upon the early ripening quality of the plants. Some successful raisers of early tomatoes carefully select the earliest, smoothest, fairest, and. largest for seed, year after year, and thus secure a variety which can compete with any to be had at the seed stores, not always so carefully selected, The best seed of early tomatoes is generally scarce, and, at times, commands as much as six dollars a pint. The seeds are sown rather thickly in the hot-bed, and the plants are carefully watched, aired on proper occasions at mid-day, and covered with old hay during stormy or cold weather, When the plants have attained the height of four or five inches, and are proportionally strong, they are carefully drawn and transferred to a cold frame, also covered with glass, and having a few inches of rick old soil and old manure beneath. In this they are "spotted out" about four or five inches apart each way. Under glass, again carefully watched, ventilated, covered with hay, in windy, stormy; or cold spells, they grow and develop abundant. roots, acquire, a stocky, habit, and, as soon as all-danger from frost is past, (generally about, the first week of May,) they-are ready, after a slight, exposure without glass by day, to endure the trials of the outer world. Tomatoes and egg-plants having been, placed under favorable conditions in the hot-beds, the early peas next, require attention, should the earth have become dry and. ready for the plough. This is often, on the light, warm soils, in sheltered fields, (where this vegetable. is, most successfully grown, as-early as the middle of February, or, at the latest, the 1st of March, but has been delayed some years, to so late as the 25th of March. The preparation of this crop is a simple ploughing and furrowing,in drills 2½ feet distant. Stable manure, well rotted, is lightly strewn along the drills from one-horse carts at the rate of about 12 loads per acre, a very light portion only being needed, as the product is removed. before ripening, and demands but a small amount of nutriment. The peas are sown by hand, (thrown by the handful along the drills rather thickly,) or by seed drills by some, and covered by a one-horse plough. The culture demanded is a scratch harrowing to loosen the crust as they are appearing above the ground. This is followed, when the peas are a few inches high, by a horse cultivator, the back teeth of which should throw the earth towards the young plants. The process is repeated when the vines have grown to 6 or 12 inches high, after which they will take care of themselves until they are ready, for picking for sale. The practice of ploughing towards the plants is less in vogue than formerly. The kind of seed sown is the growth of the district, carefully selected, and of long understood qualities for earliness, and productiveness. Such seed has sold as high as $20 per bushel. Dan O’Rourkes have, been planted, but were not so early the first year, growing. too rank; but the growth of the second season was as early as the ordinary varieties., An early, pea grown in Canada is planted by some with good success, northern-grown seed having generally an early-growing quality. The peas formerly grown in Virginia for our markets were raised from, seed the product of Camden county. Peas are planted by the best growers expressly for seed, no pods being taken therefrom for market, experience having proved that those selected for seed from the earliest ripening pods will prove the earliest to mature the following year. The early pea may be planted or sown in the autumn, and is sometimes thus early committed to the earth in the more southern counties of this State, but we are not aware that any advantages result therefrom, which are not counterbalanced by the loss caused by mice and decay in the ground. They are said to appear ten or fifteen days earlier, but they are thin in the rows, and the practice of fall planting is not encouraged by the results. From the 1st to the middle of May the early pea will be in bloom, and the earliest, pickings made have been from the 16th of May to the 18th of June, or about three weeks from the date of blooming. The demand for early peas to supply the Philadelphia and New York markets is very large. The high prices paid on their first appearance attest the craving of the good citizens of the latter city for this delicious esculent. Nearly 5,000 barrels of early peas have been carried to New York from Camden in one season, most of which were the product of this district. The first picking was received in 1864, at, Camden, on the 18th of May, and amounted to three barrels only on the following day fifty-six barrels were received, and the daily receipt and shipment ranged from twenty to thirty barrels until the 26th, when seventy barrels were despatched; after which they reached, on some days, to upwards of 325 barrels, or nearly 1,200 baskets per day, but rapidly declined until.the 6th of June, when, the demand from this region ceased. In 1864 there were forwarded to New York from the Camden depot alone about 2,000 barrels, or nearly 7,000 baskets of early peas. More than 1,000 barrels daily have been taken to New York from the way stations in this district. The first picking has commanded at Camden for several years past, from $1 to $150 per basket, containing five-eighth of a bushel. Three and a half baskets will fill a barrel, and the early growers have received from $3.50 to $6 per barrel. The latter highest price has been paid only since the competition from Norfolk has been destroyed. The price rapidly declines, sometimes at the rate of a dollar a barrel daily, until, they soon are not worth the cost of picking, which is from fifteen to eighteen cents. per basket. The value of shelter by belts of evergreen trees is well known to growers of early peas. Plots, of which we have knowledge, thus protected from the northwest and northeast, have returned to the grower more than others of five times the same extent, similarly treated and planted at the same time, because of their early ripening by but two or three days in advance, The second crop of peas is obtained from the “Marrow-Fat.” These are planted in very sandy ground from the middle of March to the 1st of April, and are ready for picking when the early peas have. disappeared from the market If very early they may bring the grower $1 per basket, but generally, not more than 75 cents, and decline soon to 40 cents or lower They are, of course, sold only in Philadelphia (The early peas are often planted, in drills five feet asunder, and the intermediate space reserved for cucumbers. By this course of cultivation and reservation for a succession, four crops may be taken from the ground in one season, Thus when the peas have grown to the height of four or more inches, and need no further working, cucumber drills are made intermediate, and seed planted as usual. When the peas have been removed, the cucumber vines occupy the space thus made. vacant. After the last cultivation of the cucumbers the drills formerly occupied. by peas are planted with sugar corn, which will have attained some growth by the time the cucumbers have ceased to repay gathering and conveying to market. The vines are then immediately removed, the corn cultivated, and when this has been done for the last time, the space made vacant is sowed with turnip seed broadcast, (generally with the purple top flat white variety,) which continues to grow until late in the season. A few years of such treatment may prove exhausting despite the heavy manuring practiced, and it is esteemed both restorative and economical to sow clover seed upon such land, cut one crop, and again plough under, either for early potatoes, corn, or the round of trucking as above, or for tomatoes alone. Superior crops of rye are sometimes grown on land thus “trucked,” or on which sweet potatoes have been grown for several years.
While the peas are growing, the asparagus has made its appearance, sometimes as early as the first of April, but generally about the 20th, in this district. This plant is a fixture, occupying the entire ground for many years, and_producing, under judicious cultivation on soil well adapted to it, very large crops for a long succession of seasons. It, however, eventually declines in productiveness, and becomes an undesirable tenant, (not “at will,” but an "entailed” possessor,) so difficult is it of eradication. A successful grower of asparagus in Camden county has described his process as follows, which. appears to be satisfactory for field culture: Late in March select a light sandy loam, free from weeds and grass, for the site of the plantation. With a one-horse plough, draw furrows four feet apart, and follow-with the largest two-horse plough, repeatedly returning in the same furrows. Follow this with shovels, and remove the loose earth to the depth of sixteen inches, throwing it into ridges, between the furrows. Spread the best stable manure in the furrows to the depth of three inches, and thereon place the roots, which should have grown two years in the, seed, bed. If placed twenty inches apart upon the manure in the trenches, they will continue to yield longer than if more closely planted, as the roots in time become, by the formation of offsets and new crowns, inextricably complicated and interlaced. The plants are lightly covered with a hoe by drawing the top soil upon them. The half-filled trenches should be kept free from weeds, and the next season, if the plants have well grown, it may be filled even with the former surface. In the spring of the third year the young shoots may be partially cut for market, care being observed to retain a portion of them for the healthy growth and due vitalizing of the roots. To obtain the strongest and earliest growth, stimulating application are useful; and for this purpose night-soil with a proportion of salt is a specific manure. This, however, is seldom applied by the market-gardener on a large scale. The roots from old beds about to be destroyed have been very profitably used to obtain a forced growth. The very high prices which asparagus commands in the New York market, in January, February, and March, render this a profitable mode of disposing of the old roots, By planting a succession every six years, and using the old roots when torn out, a constant supply of plants for this purpose may be had, while the newer beds will furnish the crop in its season. The tenderness of this vegetable depends much upon high manuring and its rapid growth in a warm soil. In many parts of the north of Europe asparagus is forced in the beds themselves without disturbing the roots. Trenches are dug beside the asparagus and filled with hot manure, and the beds covered with the same material to the depth of six inches. In very cold weather the beds are covered with frames. Asparagus thus treated is neither stringy nor tough, but tender and succulent as in its proper season. Such treatment, however, enfeebles the plants, and to restore them to their former strength they must be permitted to grow, without cutting, as freely as possible during the succeeding summer. Some localities produce better results in asparagus growing, despite the manure used, though no giant growth can be obtained without profuse enrichment. On Coney Island, on the south side of Long Island, near New York, asparagus is grown of extraordinary size and delicacy, and epicures have resorted to this locality to partake of the luxury of spears of over an inch in diameter, and so tender as to be edible a foot in length. The presence of salt in the soil is of importance—indeed, in- dispensable to mammoth growth, and may be spontaneously supplied at Coney Island. Asparagus raised on the sea-shore in northern Spain greatly surpasses our product, as also does that of the London market-gardeners, who produce heads three of which will weigh a pound. The Spanish asparagus is stimulated by the drainage of sewers flooded over the salt sea sands whereon it is grown.
The large growers of asparagus cut it daily for the Philadelphia market, using a knife adapted to the purpose, chisel like, with a long shank or handle. The young shoots, which have just protruded their green or purple heads above ground, are removed from the crown of the root by cutting several inches beneath the surface, to obtain the delicate blanched and succulent growth. These are prepared for sale by arranging them into bunches of about one pound each. The shoots, having been cleansed by washing, are placed before the operator on a table having a front ledge of six inches in height, and a series of pins, arranged by fours, for the reception of the piles of shoots. Between these pins is arranged a semi-cylindrical iron plate, with the concavity upwards, into which the shoots are laid, their ends in contact with the front ledge. Over each bunch, as piled to the proper height, a strap is placed, which, passing through the table, is tightened by a spindle or ratchet turned by a crank. Several of these cylinders, strapped, &c., are arranged upon the table, adapted to bunches of different lengths, When tightened, the strings, which had previously been laced beneath, are tied, the strap is relaxed,the buts cut smoothly, and the bunches are ready for market.
In March grass-seed and clover-seed are sown; timothy (Phleum pratense)— the herds grass of New England and New York—is, however, generally sown in the autumn on the wheat. Planting the early peas may continue for a week or more as the weather and the ground will permit, as both are, at, this season very variable, About the last of March or first of April ploughing has commenced for oats by. the few farmers who grow them; their place in a rotation in Camden county is commonly supplied by white potatoes.
Ploughing has, however, commenced about the middle of March, or earlier If the season will permit, on ground sufficiently dry. The more sandy ground intended for sweet potatoes is sometimes turned in February; that for white potatoes is not generally fit for the plough until later, though the earliest varieties are sometimes planted by the 17th of March, or the day dedicated to “Saint Patrick.” The corn stubs are knocked over by careful farmers while the ground is frozen, and are then easily buried by the plough. Others grub them out and cast them to their cow-yards, or waste them in filling gulleys. The ground is ploughed thoroughly but not deeply for white potatoes, (six inches being the average,) and furrows opened for drills two and a half to three feet apart, according to the strength of the variety to be grown. One of the most judicious and successful growers of white potatoes in Haddon township cultivates sundry varieties which ripen in succession. Each kind may thus be committed to the ground and digged in its turn, without encroaching one upon another, or too much hurrying the labor required by each. The manure applied to potatoes is that of the horse-stable and the cow-yard, composted with “green sand marl” in the proportion of four loads of the former to one of the latter. This compost is applied at the rate of thirty one-horse cart-loads to the acre. A small portion of fallen lime has sometimes been thrown upon the heaps immediately before applying the compost, with advantage, it is believed, to the potato; being immediately covered, its otherwise injurious effects may be avoided.
The mode of planting found most convenient to insure a proper succession of ripening and digging is as follows The earliest variety, the Michigan White Sprouts, are dropped upon the manure in the furrows, about two and a half feet apart and fourteen inches in the drill, the sections being of good size, having one or more eyes. Larger cuttings are deemed desirable for the production of a strong, early growth, and earlier maturity. Next is planted the Buckeye; which receives the same treatment. The Dykemans are next in order, followed by a variety which has received the popular name of “Monitor.” This is a very productive kind; under good treatment 30 bushels of seed having returned 507 bushels, 185 of which grew on three-fourths of an acre, (or at the rate of 250 bushels per acre,) in 1864.(1) These “ Monitors” were grown in drills two feet nine inches apart, and fourteen inches in the row. The fifth in the series are the Peach-blows, which, from their strong growing habit, require drills three feet apart and from fourteen to sixteen inches in the row. The last variety completes the series, and is committed to the earth about the last of April or early in May, and may continue to grow until frost has destroyed the leaves. The cuttings planted for a late crop are placed in the furrow and the compost thrown upon them; for early crops it is deemed advisable to place the cuttings upon the manure, that it may earlier receive the influences of the spring sun. A short time before the sprouts of the potato should appear the ground receives a harrowing, to level the tops of the ridges formed by the closing furrows which have covered the drills. When grown sufficiently to bear cultivation, they sometimes receive a ploughing, by which the earth is thrown towards the row, but generally level cultivation is deemed better, and a horse-hoeing, when weedy or the soil is baked, is all-sufficient. The field of ten acres on which the above named varieties of white potatoes were grown, had produced a good crop of corn in 1863, the year previous. This corn had been treated with a compost of unleached ashes and hen manure, a handful to two hills, and was planted on ground which had been in sod for three years. The product of the ten acres was 2,584 baskets, or 1,615 bushels, (or 1614 bushels per acre,) which sold for upwards of $2,500. The average yield per acre of white potatoes was in 1864 but 85 bushels. The prices per basket of five-eighths of a bushel, which were received early in the season, ranged from $2, $1.70, to $1.40. For the late potatoes $1 per basket was obtained.
The experience of the above successful grower is unfavorable to the continued use of guano as a fertilizer for the potato. Though the first crop may be benefited, and perhaps hastened thereby, those following are not so favorably influenced. On lands which have received heavy dressings of green-sand marl, guano does not prove of much value; the ingredients useful to vegetation existing in the more cheaply obtained green-sand. Immediately after the removal of the crop of potatoes from each plot of two or more acres, it is ploughed twice, six inches deep. The ground is then manured broadcast with cow-yard manure and street dirt, except the plot which produced the earliest variety—that not having been taxed so heavily by the crop of short season and diminished growth. This dressing of manure is moderate, at about the rate of twenty-five cart-loads per acre. It then receives a rolling, and the wheat is sown broadcast at the rate of rather more than two bushels per acre. The Mediterranean is exclusively cultivated. The seed is then ploughed in, a one-horse plough being used, and the field is again thoroughly rolled.
The crop of wheat raised by the careful cultivator whose process we have described, is generally unsurpassed in his district. The young growth of wheat thus early sown has made its appearance before his neighbors have sowed their fields. No growths of wheat have appeared to us as forward as those of our friend; none more promising were seen by the writer during journeys made in the autumns of several years past, throughout the length and breadth of the wheat region of southeastern, middle, and northern Pennsylvania. His success is the result of thorough culture and early seeding, upon a soil not naturally adapted to the-growth of heavy crops of wheat. His crop for 1864 returned 300 bushels, or fully 30 bushels per acre; that of his neighbors generally did not produce one-half this average, that for the entire county having been but thirteen bushels. An instructive lesson may be found in the above recital of successful wheat culture that should stimulate others to greater care in the preparation of the ground and to early seeding for this important staple.
Early after frost has left the ground and a moderate warmth has penetrated it, the rhubarb makes its appearance; its leaves unfolding as if by magic. In this latitude its first appearance may be from the first week in March to the middle, or later. By the 10th of April the leaf stems are oftentimes sufficiently grown to be fit for market, These stems should be about ten inches long below the leaf before the pulling should commence, and, as the season advances may be permitted to extend in length. To remove the leaves properly they should be grasped separately, as near the root as possible, so as to secure the entire length in perfect condition, The leaves, as they are gathered, should be placed in small piles, and, as soon as may be, removed from the sunshine to shelter, to be “bunched” and put into merchantable shape. This is a very simple process, but may be described as follows Place the leaves upon a high and large table, before which stands the “buncher,” who collects the leaves of uniform length to form one bunch, (less regard being paid to thickness,) to the number of four to seven, as size or custom may indicate. Holding this in his left hand, the ends made even by a slight tap against his body, it is placed in a rack on a small table, where it is kept in position by pegs or pins three inches high, before and behind which strings had been previously placed by boys, who at once tie it as tight as possible, and then cast it over to a fourth assistant, who washes and trims it, and places it in a pile ready for the market.
In this manner four persons can pull and bunch five hundred bunches in a day. That which is gathered in the afternoon should be taken to market the next morning, thus securing its freshness, and avoiding injury by heating, to which it is liable when closely packed. Early in the season but a small portion or none of the leaf should be removed but later, as the stems become longer, they must be more closely cropped, which may be done by one or two quick strokes with a sharp knife. The stem-ends should not be cut unless broken or ragged. The varieties of rhubarb under cultivation are numerous, and various in quality and early fitness for market. That known as Myatt’s Linneus is at present most esteemed, and is grown from sections of the roots having one eye or bud.
The process followed on a large scale in this section may be thus described A deep rich loam is the best soil for the growth of rhubarb, though it will grow in any kind of soil if drained and properly manured, The ground selected should be mellowed deeply with a two-horse plough, and if the subsoil be hard it must be also broken up. Divide the plot by furrows accurately, four feet each way, and at each intersection remove the earth, making a square hole a foot or more wide and fourteen inches deep. After two rows are thus prepared, into each hole throw a forkful of good stable manure. If the manuring be delayed until all the holes are made, a cart cannot pass over the ground. - The manuring thus accomplished, drop a section of the roots to be planted near to each hole. One assistant should hold the root in the proper range of the rows, the crown being at the depth of two inches beneath the level of the surrounding soil, while another throws in sufficient earth to hold it in its proper position. The hole should then be filled up and the earth trodden solid about the plant. No leaves should be removed from the rhubarb until it has attained one year’s growth. If planted in the autumn a stronger growth may be obtained than if put out the following spring, and may prove more remunerative.
After the crop is established, manure broadcast every fall or winter with at least a one-horse cart-load of stable manure to every hundred hills. Peruvian guano may also be profitably sown over the ground in early spring. The cultivation deemed necessary is performed in early spring, as soon as the weather will permit, by passing a cabbage plough along the rows as near as possible, throwing the furrow away from the plants, running as deep as the roots will admit. This should be done in both directions, and the ridges smoothed down by the hoe-harrow, and repeated when requisite. After the leaves have expanded, the hoe-harrow or cultivator will alone be needed for keeping the ground clean and mellow.
Rhubarb, planted at the distance of four feet each way, may be expected to
yield fairly for four or five years without resetting, which is necessary when
the plants appear to decline. To obtain a succession of prime growths it is
best to have a portion of new ground planted yearly, and as much cleared of
roots as may have become unproductive. The old ground may, however, be
replanted; and old beds may be partially renovated by dividing the crowns
with a spade, and removing one-half and permitting the other to remain for one
or two years longer. The blossom stalks which appear from time to time
should be industriously broken out, for if left to perfect themselves they will
shorten the life and diminish the productiveness of the parent plants. The leaves should never be entirely removed from a rhubarb plant, as it would be
injured by total stripping. Commence on one side of the “patch,” and gather
from a portion only of the rows each day. A better article will thus be
secured, and the plants from which leaves were removed on the first day will
have an opportunity to recover in readiness for a second contribution. “After
the middle or end of May no more leaves should be taken from the plants, that
their summer growth may prepare them to endure the gatherings of the next
year. If planted at the distance of four feet, an acre will contain 2,722 plants,
and, if well managed and near to a good market, should produce an average
clear profit of $200 per annum during the five years it is in high producing
condition. But so variable are the demand and price that no definite profit
is certain, and so prolific is the nature of the rhubarb plant that any market
may be easily overstocked with its product.
[There seems to be a missing transition in the original article as the above text was uncerimoniously spliced onto the paragraph below. I have taken the liberty of separating them into separate paragraphs. -ASC]
Late in March or early in April the tomato plants are removed from their seed-beds and “spotted ” out under extensive glass structures or “cold frames,” where they are planted about five inches apart upon a good soil enriched with old manure. Here they require careful nursing and sheltering from the cold and changing skies and rains until they become large and stocky, and the weather has become warm and settled, which is generally about the 1st of May. The plants are then carefully removed and planted in a light loamy soil, in hills about six feet by four feet apart. In each hill a small shovelful of well decomposed stable manure, or a compost of four-fifths manure and one-fifth street-dirt, has been placed. If spread in drills the entire length the results are by some deemed better at the rate of fifteen or more one-horse cart loads per acre. The tomato plants are easily inserted deeply either by a dibble made of an old fork handle sharpened to a point, or by thrusting the hand forcibly into the soil. Very deep planting is approved, as new roots are thrown out nearer the surface, and the plant becomes more robust. Clean cultivation with the horse-hoe or cultivator only is needed until the vines have become so large as to impede the work. A very early ripening may be hastened by removing the upper part of the plant after the first and lowest tomatoes have set and obtained half their size. The lower half-grown fruits soon enlarge rapidly, and ripen earlier than if the whole crop had been retained. From 200 to 500 baskets of tomatoes may be readily raised on one acre, on soil adapted to their early growth, and in sheltered localities, or‘ where shielded from late frosts by the influence of water. They are brought into market as early as the last of June or first of July, and are readily sold at very high prices. A skillful farmer in Gloucester county, New Jersey, received in the summer of 1863 sixty-six dollars for seven baskets, or four and three-quarters bushels. In the summer of 1864 the same grower obtained twenty dollars for two baskets, the earliest in the market; others, resident on “Pea Shore,” received five dollars per basket for their tomatoes. In the same district of Stockton this vegetable is extensively grown, and from the favored location and early ripening large sums are realized therefor. Nearly 5,000 baskets, raised by one of these successful “truck-men,” returned, in 1864, more than $3,000. That season was, however, unusually favorable as respects product, demand, and high prices. Another skillful cultivator of tomatoes grew about 8,000 plants on less than four and a half acres, for the product-of which he received upwards of $1,000. His earliest gathering was made on the 2d of July, and for these he received $5 per basket, and for the first hundred baskets, which were gathered in about ten days from the first ripening, $4 25. The second crop of tomatoes is grown from plants obtained from seed sown in drills in the open air, The large smooth red and the Feejee are popular. The season is oftentimes cut short by frosts early in or near the middle of October, and vast quantities of the fruit destroyed. If gathered in anticipation of frost, and placed beneath glass on straw, a large proportion of those half ripened may be secured and partially matured for market.
Egg-plants receive a treatment resembling that given to the tomato, but more careful nursing is demanded while in the seed-bed. Some growers have found them highly profitable, one of the most successful in Camden county having sold 600 baskets, the product of three-quarters of an acre, for $400. For the earliest product he received $3 per basket, and the entire return was at the round rate of $567 per acre.
About the middle of April the preparation of the hot-beds for starting the sweet potato, for the production of sprouts, is commenced. Much of the soil of the district of New Jersey is adapted to the growth of this admirable root. No other northern State produces the sweet potato so abundantly or in as great perfection. Her product in 1860 was more than one million bushels, which nearly equalled that of all other northern and western States combined. In 1862 the Agricultural Department estimated the growth of the sweet potato in New Jersey at 1,634,832 bushels, valued at $1,226,126. The crop of 1862, thus estimated, surpassed all other northern and western States in aggregate product. Most of the southern States greatly surpass New Jersey in the amount of product, North Carolina and Georgia having produced in 1859 more than 6,000,000 bushels each, Alabama 5,000,000, sundry others from two to four millions of bushels, where it appears to be the great- staple vegetable product. Though adapted to a warmer climate, it attains in our State, in favorable seasons, a degree of perfection which leaves nothing to be desired, Such a season was that of 1864, which was remarkable for its product, both in quantity and quality, and for remunerative prices. The return of this crop varies from 100 to 200. baskets and upwards per acre, the latter being an exceedingly favorable yield, From six and a half acres there were taken in 1864 1,700. baskets, which sold for $1,700. Upon three acres 800 baskets (or 500 bushels) were raised, which sold for $1,000. On two acres 600 baskets (or 185 bushels per acre) were produced in 1864, which yielded per acre about $300 gross revenue. The above is not, however, a fair exhibit of regular annual returns for the anxious care, the labor and expense, which is sometimes poorly remunerated by an indifferent crop and diminished prices.
A successful grower has favored us with his method of culture, which we cannot do better than give entire for the instruction of those who may wish to cultivate this choicest of esculent roots. Moderately good sweet potatoes may be raised further north than New Jersey, on a warm soil, and large crops have been grown in northern Pennsylvania, where we would not have deemed success could be obtained. The product was not, however, commended to our taste by that flavor and dryness which result from growth upon a properly selected soil, under a warmer sky. The sweet potato requires a sandy soil or a sandy loam. Land is generally chosen which has been in corn or a vegetable crop the previous year, though it is a common practice to plant the same ground with sweet potatoes season after season. In the latter they seem to grow as well as they do in freshly chosen ground. Having been ploughed as for any ordinary crop, but not deeply, the ground is furrowed out with a one- horse plough three feet each way if to be planted in hills, over three and a half feet apart if in rows, the plough running twice in the furrow. A forkful of horse-stable manure is then, if for hills, placed at each intersection of the furrows, and well covered by hand with a hoe. If to be grown in rows, the manure is scattered evenly along the row and covered by turning two good furrows directly upon it. The field is then ready to receive the plants. The manure should be applied freely, and be of good quality. It should have been well forked over until fine and mellow, to avoid as much as possible increasing the evil effects of drought by presenting to the plants their food in lumps, which readily become dry and unavailable, and which, if once in that condition, will certainly remain so throughout the season. When grown in rows a larger number of plants are required than when grown in hills. Both methods have their advocates, but if the sprouts are placed from twenty inches to two feet apart. in the row a better crop is generally obtained for the same amount of labor and money expended. The young sprouts or plants are grown from “seed potatoes,” selected from the previous year’s crop, which should be of middle size, and of short; compact shape. These are*placed in hot-beds, made up from about the first to the middle of April, in the ordinary way. The manure, fresh from the horse stable, having been evenly shaken into the bed or frame to the depth of twelve or eighteen inches, is pressed down by the weight of the laborer upon a board laid thereon. The board is removed, and the whole evenly covered with about three inches of rather dry sand. Upon this the “seed potatoes” are carefully placed, close together, though not actually touching, and are then covered with about three inches of good sand or loam. Great care is observed that the right degrees of heat and moisture shall be maintained. If the heat become too great it may be checked by piercing through the bed into the manure with a rake-handle, thus allowing the excess of heat to escape. Moisture must be regulated by the watering-pot, which should be used on clear days only, and about noon. If the heat or moisture become excessive, the potatoes will rot; deficient heat with moisture may cause the “black-rot.” If the plants become infected with the latter, it will prove worse than useless to endeavor to use them. Heat and dryness kill the sprouts, or prevent their growth; and even when moderate dryness is combined with other influences favorable to growth, though sprouts apparently good may be produced, they will not possess well developed fibrous roots. Experience alone can teach that wisdom in minutie which will command certain success, The bed should be exposed to the sunshine on every clear day, and covered with hay or straw at night, and in rainy weather protected from excess of moisture by a covering of boards. The sprouts will be ready for transplanting in about a month, and planting commences from the 15th to the 22d of May, and continues from two to four weeks. When the time for removal has nearly arrived, the plants should be exposed to the open air, to harden them for the field. The sprouts are drawn by taking hold of but one at a time, and gently extracting it in order to avoid disturbing the mother potato, from which, if undisturbed, a second crop may be obtained. A bushel of good seed properly managed will produce 1,200 or 1,500 sprouts at the first pulling, and three-fourths as many at the second. Those obtained later are often as good as the earlier growth.
Good, strong, stocky plants having been obtained, they are rapidly and expertly transferred to the soil, the operator using no implement but his bare hand. Dashing aside the crown of the hill or ridge, he thrusts his open hand into the yielding sand, and with the other inserts the plant, covers and compresses it, and if the ground is too dry, waters it. In a week or two the field must be examined and replanted wherever cut-worms or other insect larve may have destroyed the first setting. Clean culture, with the hand-hoe or iron garden rake and horse cultivator, is now required until the vines have covered the ground. About the middle of August the ground should be “tended” for the last time, by ploughing to the rows or ridges, and cleaning up the balks. To perform this thoroughly, the vines must be loosened from the soil to which they have attached themselves by small roots along the main stem, and turned over or out of the way by means of sticks or by the hand. Before gathering the crop, the vines are cut off close to the hill with a sharp hoe. The potatoes are then ploughed out and thrown into rows to dry, when they are readily sorted for market.
To fit them for preservation they must be lifted before the weather indicates a degree of cold sufficient to freeze the ground, or, in this latitude, before the 25th of October. Those intended for winter storage should be gathered before the middle of October, put up in barrels or shallow boxes, and placed in a dry, warm situation. When placed in barrels in the open field, and carefully handled, they will be more readily preserved during winter, other circumstances being favorable—slight bruising from rough carriage proving injurious to them, if designed for winter use. When large quantities are reserved for spring sales, houses are erected expressly for their preservation. These are generally two stories high, built. of wood, and so arranged that the potatoes may be stored therein in boxes about two feet deep, placed in tiers, with spaces of a few inches between for ventilation, and extending from side to side of the house to within a foot of the weather-boarding. The source of heat is a fire in the cellar, from which the warmth is caused to circulate equally and freely throughout the building. Thus arranged and carefully tended, maintaining a nearly uniform moderate heat, sweet potatoes may be preserved until late in the following spring. No chaff, shavings, or other material is needed; careful packing and handling, and uniform moderate heat, being the only requisites for the attainment of perfect success in the preservation, for the entire season, of this admirable root.
Are sometimes successfully grown in cold frames, covered in cold weather by sash, and exposed at all times in warm or fair weather. Seeds are placed in a piece of inverted sod about four inches square, and arranged side by side in a low frame, having a back of but four inches, to prevent excessive growth from reflected heat. Seed sown in this manner about the 20th of April, and duly sheltered and exposed to the air at proper times, will be ready to set out by the 16th of May, after which they will require shelter from late frosts. Cucumbers are now grown in drills or rows about five and a half feet apart, the plants being three feet asunder in the row. The manure, which should be well rotted, is sprinkled along the furrows, in preference to more condensed manuring in hills or beneath each plant only. A most successful grower of early cucumbers, whose practice of early forcing the plant, or rather of protecting it in its infancy, is that described above, has thus picked fine full-sized fruit, to the amount of many baskets, as early as the 28th of June, for which he received, in 1864, seven dollars per basket. The ground upon which these early cucumbers were grown was exposed, having no shelter from the north or northeast.
The cabbage crop is a very important one in Camden county, where it receives the cultivation it requires to command success. The past season was unusually favorable to its growth, heavy crops, at compensating prices, having been obtained. Upwards of 20,000, by one grower, were raised on four acres, which sold for about $1,500. More than 40,000 were obtained by another most successful grower from about eleven acres, which returned a gross sum of nearly $3,300; and a third produced, on thirty acres, 175,000, which were sold for $9,000. The season of 1864 was exceptional in the product and profits of this crop. Whole fields sometimes refuse to head, and the care and expenditure for labor and fertilizers, which are heavy, are, in great measure, lost. The ill success of many who would grow this important vegetable may be oftentimes found to arise from their indifference to choice of seed and injudicious culture, rather than from the season. This may appear more clear by a description of the method followed, with almost uniform good results, furnished by one of our most intelligent and enterprising young farmers. His paper we will give nearly entire, the result of experience on a large scale.
“Having experimented in cabbage-growing, on soils varying from a light sand to a heavy loam, we find that a medium rather sandy loam will give the best success. But whether the soil be light or heavy, the indispensable elements of success are, carefully-grown seed, a high enrichment, and thorough cultivation. We have been in the practice of sowing the seed about the 5th of May; have delayed it until the 20th; but the sooner the seed can be started and grown to sufficient size to escape the ravages of the cabbage flea, (Haltica striolata,) the better. There are two methods of preparing the seed-beds, in each of which we have been successful in growing good plants. The variety most esteemed for winter consumption is the drum-head. “Select a piece of dry, sandy ground, spread thereon guano at the rate of five hundred pounds per acre, and plough or spade it in shallow, then harrow and rake smooth, producing a fine mellow soil before planting. Take a board eight inches wide and about twelve feet long, having straight edges on each side. Standing on this board, draw a straight drill along each edge with a spade or trowel, and sow the seed along it as thickly as may be deemed judicious, erring rather in excess than other- wise. Shift this board along the seed-bed, repeating the process of drill-making and sowing, as described. We have planted cabbage seed with good results by manuring the ground in drills three feet apart, ridging with a plough, smoothing the surface nearly level with the surrounding soil, and then planting in a broad band thereon, and covering lightly with earth. his latter method permits horse cultivation, but in neither case must the earth be suffered to become hard or weeds be allowed to grow among the plants.
“The great difficulty to be overcome by the grower of cabbage plants arises from the ravages of the flea beetle. This pest sometimes sweeps whole beds, attacking the tender plants as they break through the ground, and continuing to feed on them till the second leaf is well developed. To prevent this evil, and destroy the pest, we have tried soot, sulphur, guano, ashes, a coop with hen and chickens among the plants; but the remedy has, in most instances, proved worse than the disease. The last has, however, in some instances been successful; though, as the chickens became large, the cabbage plants became, in turn, a prey to their insatiable cravings. With all the care taken the seed-beds will at times present a sorry appearance, and afford but an indifferent supply. It is safer to make two plantings, even if side by side, ten days or two weeks apart, the latter planting frequently proving the only source of supply. By the 10th of June the plants should be growing rapidly, and stand three or four inches high, with strong stems, ready to pull and set out. Meanwhile the ground selected for the crop has been thoroughly ploughed and furrowed into drills three feet apart, with a one-horse plough, going twice in each furrow. If the soil is not already in “excellent heart,” a liberal supply of well-rotted manure is spread along the rows and covered at once. If the soil be in good condition guano is applied in preference, and is spread along the drills at the rate of from 200 to 300 pounds per acre, and covered. Guano stimulates to early and rapid growth, and appears to be the specific manure for this vegetable. The entire field having been prepared in this way, poles are set up, and a marker (made of five half-inch slats placed edgewise and parallel, 25 feet apart) is drawn by hand to and from across the ridges covering the furrows, making five lines at each traverse over the breadth of the field. After the first tracing has been made the poles are dispensed with, one runner of the marker returning in one of the lines previously made. The tracing across is sometimes made by lines three feet asunder, which throws the field into squares of three feet, requiring 4,840 plants to the acre. if marked or laid out as described, 24 feet by 3 feet, 5,808 will be needed for planting each acre. The latter mode is rather preferable, as the distance is sufficient, though the plants finally entirely cover the ground, while nearly 1,000 more heads may be taken therefrom.
"When ready for planting, and the ground in proper condition, just after a rain, the plants are pulled and carefully packed in baskets. A boy precedes two men, his basket strapped by his side, and can readily drop for them, one to each furrow. Taking the plant in the left hand, and dashing aside the crown of the ridge with the right, which is then plunged into the soil, the young cabbage is inserted nearly up to the leaves, and the earth lightly pressed around it. Plants drawn from a sandy seed-bed are furnished with a mass of fibrous roots, which contribute greatly to growth and ability to withstand the sunshine while taking fresh root in the soil. If the weather be dry, and no rain in prospect, a pint of water poured around four hills will prove sufficient, in most instances, to sustain life and induce growth. It is desirable that the leaves of the plant should start as near to the ground as possible, and that they be regularly planted to secure cultivation on all sides. The after treatment is very simple; a horse hoe, or cultivator being used to keep down the weeds, and render the ground mellow. Cabbages must be kept growing from the time they are set out until perfect heads are formed. If they receive a check from weeds, or a hard surface-soil around them, they never recover therefrom. Constant vigilance is, therefore, demanded to keep in action their growing energies. By the first of October the leaves should be closing in rapidly and forming heads. The more forward will continue to grow, will burst and “go to seed” if’care is not taken to pull each one so advanced sufficiently to break its roots slightly. A slight crack on the top of the head indicates over-ripeness, and further advances may be thus prevented.
“Before any cabbages have been cut for market the field should be searched thoroughly, and a selection made of plants for the production of seed, which should be marked by a stake inserted beside them. This selection must be made with great care, and the parents of the future generations of cabbages should stand upon short but not too thick stems, with dense, hard, and well- developed heads, having fine soft veins, and but few spare leaves around them. Those intended for seed should be pulled up just previous to burying the main crop, taken to a dry spot and laid on the ground, their roots upwards and towards one another, forming a semicircular pile, the heads pointing outwards. This pile is completely covered with earth to the depth of eighteen inches, a little heavier on the northern side, which will preserve them unharmed in this latitude throughout the winter. The crop may be cut and carted to market any time previous to December, as they are injured by freezing and thawing, but will withstand a continuous frost without much apparent injury. By the last of November, or first of the succeeding month, preparations should be made for burying those intended to be sold during the winter or following spring.
"Three rows of cabbages are pulled up the entire length of the field and placed in one continuous line, lying on their sides, the roots pointing towards the furrow about to be opened. With a two-horse plough open a drill, returning in the same to widen and deepen it. The workman standing astride the furrow, with his left hand draws the cabbage into the furrow, head down and roots out, and tucks the leaves under and around each one before passing to the next. The entire field is thus planted, while the covering is quickly performed with a one-horse plough by throwing a furrow just sufficient to cover the cabbage on each side, leaving the roots exposed. A covering of but two inches affords ample protection, and permits their ready extraction as well as thawing during an “open spell.”
"Those who would command success in cabbage-growing on a large scale, should select the heads and grow the seed for themselves. If compelled to buy, they cannot inquire too closely into the integrity of the parties selling, and their method of raising seed. Seed grown from stalks after the removal of the head, or from cabbage which did not (and perhaps never would) form a head, will dis- appoint the grower of this crop. Unscrupulous seedsmen will sell such seed, knowing it to have been thus raised; though plants grown therefrom must be degenerate, and will surely cause vexation and loss to their cultivator. Complaints from this cause alone are heard every season, and the dishonest practices of dealers who would palm off such worthless trash, called seed of their own growing, should be severely exposed.”
If we would believe the reports that are so sedulously put forth by enthusiastic, imaginative, or interested writers for the agricultural journals, we should suppose that fruit-growing is uniformly a productive business in the district of which we treat. But this is far from the truth. So far from being uniformly profitable, the product is on the decline, and the business has been abandoned by many farmers. Entire orchards have been rooted up, not because, as some would have us believe, the owners did not give their trees judicious treatment, pruning, &c., but because the crop is too precarious. A heavy crop of apples, occurring once in eight or ten years, will not satisfy the owner of broad orchards, spreading their shade over everything beneath, and unfitting the soil for any other crop. The farmers of Camden county cannot afford to raise winter-keeping apples, as the shade of the trees costs more than the crop is worth. So long as western New York, a region adapted to fruit-growing, can supply apples in unlimited quantities, we will not occupy with orchards land worth from $200 to $400, and which will pay exceedingly well if cropped with market-garden vegetables and small fruits. Our own orchard of twelve acres of prime trees has not borne a fair crop of fruit for eight years past, nor have we had from long rows of winter varieties one apple that could be esteemed excellent. The early summer kinds appear to be productive in some instances, and are worthy of more attention in sheltered locations.
Enthusiastic writers, who judge of the fitness of a district for fruit-raising by the returns for one season, which is exceptional, have praised our district as of high excellence in this respect. Such, however, is not the case. Western New Jersey is not well adapted to the growth of winter apples or pears, though occasionally large crops of good fruit are raised. We are satisfied that much injury may be done by this indiscriminate praise of the district, and that some may be induced thereby to expend means and labor upon a business that must prove, as it has again and again proved, unremunerative.“
In the production of small fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, we doubt whether the river townships of Burlington county have been surpassed. The following reliable returns and statistics will exhibit the extent, productiveness, and profits derived from this business, which will probably add to the surprise that some readers may already have felt in scanning the vegetable wealth of “poor Jersey.”
In the immediate vicinity of Moorestown, Burlington county, New Jersey, there were grown in 1862 more than 6,000 bushels of strawberries, which, at the moderate rate of $3.50 per bushel, produced a return to the farmers of that vicinity of at least $20,000. On ten days an average of 600 bushels a day, and on one day 700 bushels, were carried to Philadelphia, from this neighborhood alone, by one avenue to market, Large amounts are taken to the same city from this district over other roads and by water conveyance, and to New York by rail. The quantity thus seeking a market probably quite equals that above named in amount and productive returns; and we doubt not that from this small district of a few square miles 12,000 bushels were produced, and realized to the skillful growers upwards of $40,000 in the year 1862. One farmer, whose strawberries are sent to New York, devotes forty acres to this crop; and another received for one day’s picking, sent to that city, $300. Two hundred and ten bushels of strawberries have been raised on one acre, which sold at nine cents per quart, realizing $600.
By the reports made to the West Jersey Fruit-growers’ Association, in 1864, from the townships of Burlington, Chester, and Cinnaminson, all in Burlington county, there were under cultivation and producing fruit, during the preceding season in said townships, 272 acres of strawberries, 40 acres of raspberries, and 99 acres of blackberries. Of the above 272 acres of strawberries, 200 were comprised in Burlington, 47 in Chester, and 25 in Cinnaminson. The aggregate product was 12,596 bushels, or 403,072 quarts, and the amount received therefor $45,345. The general average yield per acre was 55 bushels, viz in Burlington 40, Chester 68, and in Cinnaminson 56 bushels. The average price obtained was $3.60 per bushel, or 11¼ cents per quart, which is 50 per cent. greater than for five years previous.
The above is-much below the possibilities of strawberry production. One unusually large crop of Hovey’s Seedling and Lady Fingers was reported from Chester, which returned from 1.46 acres 8,000 quarts, or at the rate of 166 bushels per acre.
The second annual report of this useful association, which should be more generously patronized by the horticulturists of the district, whose interests it must greatly advance if but properly aided and encouraged, contains more details of the progress of small-fruit cultivation in our midst. But four townships reported in 1865 an area under cultivation in strawberries amounting to 488 acres, of which 220 were in Burlington, 200 in Beverly, 40 in Chester, and 28 in Cinnaminson The total product of these 488 acres in bearing was 27,924 bushels of fruit, yielding the sum of $164,633. The general average product per acre was 58½ bushels, and that for Burlington 40, Beverly 75, Chester 65, and Cinnaminson 54 bushels. The average gross sum obtained per bushel was about $5.90, which is a very large increase over that for 1863.
A general progress is apparent in the extent of cultivation and productiveness. But occasionally crops have been raised three times as large as the general average reported above. Seventy bushels have been raised in the township of Cinnaminson upon one-third of an acre, or 210 bushels to the acre, The premium crop of 1855 yielded 1,052 quarts on twenty rods of land, being at the rate of 263 bushels, and yielding more than $1,200 per acre, after deducting every expense for manure, hoeing, picking, sale of fruit, and interest on the land. Cannot such crops be frequently or regularly raised? And what was that combination of favorable influences? “And can they not be again commanded, and that upon a large scale?
Such extraordinary returns should serve to stimulate fruit-growers to inquiry into the causes which have conspired to produce these magnificent results, which can doubtless be again obtained. That moderate crops continue to be grown indicates that some radical error exists in the common mode of cultivation. The committee on fruits, reporting to this association, asserts that thorough preparation of the soil before transplanting is of the first importance; that the ground should be deeply ploughed in the fall, and liberally enriched with a well-prepared compost; that much closer attention should be paid to the adaptation of varieties to the peculiar soil to be planted; and finally recommends more thorough cultivation in the beds, to admit of which a more systematic distribution of the plants and removal of a large proportion of the minor growths should be practiced. The mode of cultivation almost universally adopted is to plant in rows five feet apart, and one foot in the row. The vines are trained across the beds, and set in as they are ready for forming roots. Beds three and a half feet wide are thus made, and a path eighteen inches wide is formed between them, Thus trained, on ground deeply ploughed and manured, a crop may be insured the first fruiting year. As they are planted early in April, the following year generally finds them productive. They soon become infested by grass and ¢lover, and some growers deem it more profitable to renew the beds than to prepare the old by laborious weeding for a second crop.
The varieties cultivated are Wilson’s Albany, Lady Finger, Hovey, French’s Seedling, Downer’s Prolific, and Cutter’s Seedling. Of the older varieties, Bartlett, Austin, and Triomphe de Gand, and many others, have been generally discarded, not having proved reliable. On light or sandy soil it is labor lost to plant the latter-named kind, as it, in common with many others, among them the Lady Finger, Scarlet Magnate, &c., demands a good, strong loam. The Early Scarlet, May Queen, Iowa, and Downer’s Prolific, and some others, will succeed on a light, sandy soil; but land of this character should not be chosen for the production of the finer strong-growing varieties. Russell’s Prolific upon small plots of strong, gravelly loam, has produced a very fine crop of the finest fruit, and it is, in the esteem of the fruit committee of the W. J. F. G. Association, one of the largest and most productive strawberries; but larger experience is needed to establish its claims to preference.
The cultivation of the raspberry is deemed of considerable importance in the townships of Burlington, Chester, and Cinnaminson. Forty acres were devoted to this fruit in 1864, which yielded from 20 to 60 bushels per acre, which, at 30 cents per quart, a probable average price received, produced a gross sum of $15,360. The varieties grown are the Philadelphia, Doolittle Black, the old Purple Cane, and the two kinds of Allens. Nearly-all others have been rejected as tender or unproductive. At present the Philadelphia stands unrivalled as a market berry, being hardy, of large size, and exceedingly productive. It has yielded over 200 bushels per acre, and the fruit during last summer found ready sale at from 40 to 60 cents per quart at wholesale. It never fails to produce an enormous crop, and has been thoroughly tested as regards endurance of heat and cold. The variety is not new, though but recently disseminated, having been found wild in a wood near Philadelphia twenty-five years ago, but so highly prized that no plants were spared to the public for fifteen years. The demand now exceeds the supply. Four thousand plants were sold by one nurseryman in Burlington county, for $500. In 1863 there were nearly one hundred acres in the aforenamed townships devoted to the cultivation of the blackberry—Burlington reporting 75, Chester 11, and Cinnaminson 13, which yielded 5,264 bushels of fruit. This was an average product of 53 bushels per acre—Burlington producing 50, Chester 68, and Cinnaminson 66 per acre. The price per quart averaged 103 cents, or $3 30 per bushel, and for the entire product $17,915 were received. The New Rochelle or Lawton and the Dorchester were the only varieties found adapted to field culture. In 1864 reports were received from five townships, in which one hundred and eighty-nine and a half acres were devoted to the growth of the blackberry; and of these Burlington occupied 100, Beverly 50, Chester 18½, Cinnaminson 13, and Centre (in Camden county) 8 acres. The entire product was 9,189 bushels of fruit, which sold in market at about $4 80 per bushel, and realized $44,107. This crop was much reduced by drought in one township, but the net returns were larger on the whole than in 1863. The prices obtained for small fruit in 1864, it has been shown, were much in advance of those for 1863. Unusually large profits were the consequence, if estimated in the inflated currency of the day. An exhibit of a few crops raised by individuals, and gross returns received, may prove of interest to any readers, who prefer bald facts to theories or generalizations.
One of the most successful growers of small fruits produced, on 3½ acres, 4,575 quarts of strawberries, for which he received $975; on 2¼ acres, 6,675 quarts of blackberries, which sold for $900.52; on 2½ acres, 2,226 quarts of raspberries, which returned the gross sum of $747.50; a total by one grower, on but 8¼ acres, of 13,476 quarts, which produced a gross return of $2,623 02, or at the rate of $307 per acre.
Another very skilful grower of small fruits produced, on 2½ acres, 4,608 quarts of strawberries, which are equal to 144 bushels,and sold the same for $867.84. His blackberries, on one acre, produced him 1,600 quarts, or 50 bushels, and sold for $240; an aggregate of $1,107 84 from 3½ acres, or $316 per acre.
A third grower, evidently an expert, raised on 2¾ acres, strawberries which sold for $1,200, or at the rate of $436 per acre. One of the above gentlemen sold strawberry plants, which increased the income from his small plat to the sum of $504 per acre.The following crops of Lawton blackberries were reported, raised in Camden county, in 1864:
|1,143 quarts on 1⅛ acre, at the rate of 1,016 per acre||$172.50|
|12,304 quarts on 8 acres, at the rate of 1,538 per acre||1,436.00|
|365 quarts on ⅛ acre, at the rate of 2,920 per acre||49.00|
|1,000 quarts on ⅕ acre, at the rate of 5,000 per acre||110.00|
The largest plantation of eight acres thus produced 384 bushels, at the rate of 48 bushels per acre, and sold at $3 74 per bushel, or nearly $180 per acre. Large crops of blackberries have been raised on the same ground from which, one month previous, an excellent crop of strawberries had been gathered. The blackberry tied closely to wires, headed back during summer, and pruned in the spring, does not materially interfere with the strawberry plants around it, and a succession of fruits may thus be obtained from the same ground.
In Burlington county, on ten acres of thin land, from which the sand formerly
drifted like clouds before the wind, six hundred and fifty bushels of Lawton
blackberries were gathered in 1862. The same plantation yielded seven hundred in 1863, and in 1864 eight hundred bushels, A résumé of the report
made to the West Jersey Fruit Growers’ Association, which does not include
the entire area devoted to small fruits in the counties of Burlington and Camden,
affords the following gratifying exhibit:
|Acres||Yielding in bushels||Which sold for—|
The cranberries grown in New Jersey are, it is well known, of superior quality. Under proper cultivation they prove very productive and attain a size and quality unsurpassed elsewhere. As an example of their productiveness, we may state that a part of the plantation of W. T. Bates, of Cape May county, has produced at the rate of 1,300 bushels to the acre, or one bushel to a space of three square feet. This must not, however, be regarded as the ordinary yield. Favorable seasons have exhibited a product of upwards of 400 bushels of superior cranberries, which command the highest market rates. The product of cranberries, as reported to us in 1864, was much less per acre than the-above. One grower in Burlington county raised, on 25 acres, 1,000 bushels, for which he received $8 per bushel, doubtless a net profit of at least $6,000.
Let not the shopkeeper or the mechanic, who has read “our farm of two acres,” or “four acres,” or even of “ten acres,” and deemed it “enough” for him if he could grow such crops thereon—who has pored over the fascinating pages of such writers who have the faculty of making the reader utterly oblivious of the toil by which the crops were raised—imagine for a moment that compensation for hard work does not form much the greater part of this seemingly large amount of returns per acre. Let him not for a moment suppose these products are the spontaneous growth of the Jersey soil, and that he will there find “another lubber land where the houses are tiled with pancakes, and chickens ready roasted cry, ‘come eat me.’" Labor—continuous labor, early hours, broken rest, wearing watchfulness, are the price; and this oftentimes but indifferently paid. High remunerations are found only on soils and in locations specially adapted to produce early and abundantly. The results enumerated in this paper cannot be attained everywhere, even with high manuring and all the expenditures of toil and care and skill.THE GREEN-SAND MARL OF NEW JERSEY.
The district to which the foregoing observations have mainly applied belongs to the cretaceous division of the geologist, and corresponds to the chalk of Europe. It comprises beds of clays, of sand, of gravel, and of green-sand or “marl.” The section of the county of Camden to which the attention of the agriculturist has been chiefly directed lies in the western half, and is of quality much superior to the southeastern portion. The latter is included in the tertiary, and is mainly covered with sand and sandy loam, sometimes capable of producing crops under good culture, more frequently unfitted to endure any other burden but scrub oaks and dwarf pines. Wherever the sandy soil is underlaid by several feet in thickness of clay, cultivation might be conducted with promises of compensation; but where sand follows sand to the depth of many feet, perpetual drought must wear out the efforts of any useful plant to maintain an existence, and scrub oaks and stunted growths generally are but evidence of this lack of continued supplies of moisture during the growing season. Any person desirous of learning the capability of any part of this region may satisfy his inquiries by examining the growth of the crop already on the ground, (the bushes and trees,) or by boring with a common auger having a long shank, and thus determining the depth of the sand and the underlying clay. A sandy loam upon an impervious clay subsoil is often the most valuable for the growth of market-garden vegetables; but where we do not find an underlying clay of five or more feet in thickness, no useful result can follow the efforts of the cultivator. There are wide tracts of such sandy loams, or even of stronger texture, which are capable of improvement, because thus underlaid by a more retentive subsoil, and within reach of the marl deposits. Without resources from outside, they cannot probably be rendered productive. It is an error to suppose that these deposits of sand are worth but little. On the whitest of sands, resembling a sea beach, we have seen excellent crops of Catawba and Isabella grapes grown, even surpassing many we have observed on what would seem to have been much more congenial soil, and in districts esteemed for their fertility. “In some parts of the southwest coast of France, vineyards are planted on the sand dunes or low hills of the coast, and the grapes produced thereon are among the best grown in France. Vineyards are planted on this sea sand, and fresh sands from the salt shore regularly applied, alternated every other season with ordinary manure. The vines being cut down, and the soil raised rapidly, covers the old stocks, which, as fast as buried, throw out new roots, and thus the vineyard is constantly renewed. This practice has been followed for two centuries with success, we may well presume. Nothing is needed in such sands but a due supply of organic matter and-alkaline earth. At Truro, on Cape Cod, where the traveller would imagine himself almost beyond the region of agriculture—where he sees little else but drifting white sand, and scarcely any vegetation except a few stunted pines and poverty grass—Professor Edward Hitchcock was shown a piece of ground on which there were annually grown fifty bushels of Indian corn to the acre. The soil did not differ from the white sand around it, except in containing abundance of fragments of clam shells and enough organic matter to give it a dark color. Having extracted these shells, that is, all the carbonate and phosphate of lime, and burned off the organic matter, his analysis proved that nothing remained but the pure white sand of the cape. If thus the seemingly most irreclaimable and unpromising wastes may by art be rendered productive, how much better results must await the hand of skill and enterprise when applied to our far more hopeful stretches of unoccupied lands. Over much of this hitherto neglected region the beneficial effects of our “green-sand marl” are yet to be widely exhibited. Some remarks on the composition, value, and accessibility of this extraordinary deposit of fertilizing material, almost unique in character and extent, may here be deemed appropriate.
The rapid improvement in agriculture in a large part of lower New Jersey is to be ascribed, in a great measure, to the intelligent employment of this so- called marl, which is found in the central and southwestern region in immense deposits. The belt or strip of land under which it is found extends obliquely across the State, from Sandy Hook southwest to Salem; its length is about ninety miles, and its breadth fourteen at its eastern, and six miles at its western extremity; and its area nine hundred square miles, or five hundred and seventy- six thousand acres. This deposit of fertilizing material has been worth millions of dollars to the State, through the increased productiveness of the district to which it has been applied, as well as the influence it has exerted in awakening and fostering a livelier interest in agricultural improvement.
The region of country in which it is found has been redeemed from desolation by its use. Before its application much of the neighboring land had become nearly worthless through exhaustive cropping. Some of these lands, even in Camden county, which, in 1830, were not worth five dollars an acre, are now valued at upwards of one hundred dollars; and others could be named which have gained more than pristine fertility, and would readily sell at two hundred dollars. On most of these latter farms marl is abundant and largely applied. Others, removed from five to fifteen miles from the marl beds, have been equally benefited by its liberal application.
Green-sand marl continues to be used in increasing quantities in all parts of the State of New Jersey to which it can be cheaply transported, and is rapidly aiding in bringing the most unpromising soils to a high degree of fertility. Lines of railroad have been constructed expressly for conveying it to distant points more cheaply and expeditiously. The business of transporting marl to distant points is yet in its infancy. There were carried on the Jamesburg railroad, in 1864, upwards of 14,000 tons of Squankum marl, which was distributed over a country from seven to twenty miles distant from the pits. The Burlington railroad carried from Pemberton, in eight months, 15,000 tons, which were distributed along the line of that road, the Camden and Amboy, the Delaware and Raritan canal, and into Pennsylvania. The demand upon these lines will fall but little short of, if any less than, 50,000 tons per annum., The Camden and Atlantic railroad conveyed, in one year, upwards of 10,000 tons, and the West Jersey railroad has commenced the transportation of marl to the country along that line of road, and of the Millville and Cape May roads, where the demand is such as to warrant preparations for an annual sale. of 100,000 tons. The enlightened policy of conveying fertilizers at the lowest possible rates sufficient to cover cost, is alone needed along this road to render the business very large, and to amply repay, by the improvement of the district and increased productiveness and consequent enlarged traffic, for the far- seeing liberality.
The above exhibit of the burden of marl transported upon rail and by water forms but a small proportion of the amount distributed from the pits in a year, The great consumption still is in the vicinity of the “diggings,” whence it can be hauled by teams. By this means 10,000 tons have been taken from a single pit in one year, and distributed over the region, from one to six miles distant. Numerous pits are opened along the line of outcrop, and almost every farm favorably situated has a “marl hole,” as it is locally termed, thereon.
It may be said that the region under notice is peculiarly situated as respects a market and a supply of cheap fertilizers, enjoying, in these respects, unusual advantages. This is in a measure true, but a wide region of New Jersey, and the adjacent States of Pennsylvania and Delaware, is of almost equally ready access to the great agent which has regenerated West. New Jersey. The vast beds of green-sand marl are but partially developed and but imperfectly worked, and are capable of supplying a much wider district with the elements of fertility. The foregoing record of the results of the application of this remarkable deposit will; we trust, aid in disseminating a knowledge of its value, and extending its application into States which border on New Jersey, to which it may be readily conveyed by rail or by water. The business of shipping this material is but in its infancy, and the demand must increase with a knowledge of its economic value. Having power equally valuable on soils remote from its region, it will probably yet overflow the country in every direction as rapidly as. the facilities for transportation shall be increased and the expense diminished.
The following analysis of marl from the second and third beds will be found especially interesting to the farmers of Camden county, where the first-named are largely applied. he first table will fairly represent that at White Horse; the second, that obtained from the pits of David Marshall, near Blackwood town, the analysis of which was made by George J. Scattergood, of Philadelphia; the third represents the Clementon marl, from the pits of George Adams.
For the first and third of the above analyses we are indebted to the very valuable reports of William Kitchell and Professor George H. Cook, superintendents of the State geological survey. This survey was most unwisely suspended in its incipiency, and much of its valuable fruits lost, because of incompleteness. Seven years later, in 1864, it was resumed under the supervision of Professor Cook, who brings a hearty application of the value of the results to be obtained by a thorough scientific inquiry into the undeveloped resources of the State. His second annual report for 1864, just published, is an outline of labors for the past year, and a prelude to many others to follow, ere a final report shall make known to us the yet unexplored stores of mineral wealth hidden in our rocks and soils, and which scientific research, under liberal State patronage, can alone render available.
|White Horse||Blackwood T||Clementon|
|Potash||5.637||5.010||(soda + potash) 5.375|
|Prot. oxide of iron or green vitriol||--------||22.740||14.930|
|Alumina, or pure clay||23.875||6.610||6.000|
|Silica, or pure sand||54.430||48.500||56.200|
From the report of Professor Cook we extract the following table of analyses of sundry “marls,” spurious and genuine. The first is that of a spurious variety digged by Messrs. Ten Eyck, in Middlesex county; a similar bed is found on the farm of J. Stokes Coles,on the Atlantic railroad, four miles from Camden, and has been applied to a moderate extent with as moderate results.
The second is an analysis of a characteristic specimen from the first marl bed, or the lowest well-marked. stratum, from the pits of J. B. Crawford, Monmouth county. This first bed is not as valuable in the district southwest of the middle portion of Burlington as in Monmouth, where it is much esteemed. The third is an analysis of that from the second marl bed. This is an average of the green-sand which traverses the marl. region from the Atlantic to the Delaware bay. It is from the marl pit of R. Dickson, Woodstown, Salem county.
The fourth represents the composition of the third’ bed, or upper stratum, lying southeast of those before named. It is from the pits of Hugh Hurley, Shark river, Monmouth county, and is an average of the stratum seen from Deal to Clementon, in Camden county.
These analyses will exhibit to the reader the remarkable fertilizing value of the “green-sand marl,” in which potash and phosphoric acid form so large a proportion.
|Oxide of iron||31.50||16.93||19.80||18.70|
|Carbonic acid and loss||-------||5.92||-------||-------|
An increasing tide of immigration is tending toward the uncultivated lands of southern New Jersey, and those who purpose to remove thereto should be informed of the healthiness of the region, as well as its capacity for the production of the necessities of life. Much has been written by parties more or less interested in the sale of lands; how reliable we will not pretend to determine. One of the peculiar advantages possessed by the lower counties of New Jersey is the mildness of the climate in winter. This is a feature of extreme value to many northern men who may desire to change their habitation. To those whose families have suffered from the rigors of northern winters near the seaboard, and have drooped under frequent colds and rheumatism, or are threatened with pulmonary disease, the climate of southern New Jersey may prove of inestimable value. In one settlement more than one-half the families fled to the South to save the life of one or more members, who have, in many instances, been restored by the change.
The study of the comparative-climate of lower New Jersey, as of the Atlantic States further south, and the western States in the same latitudes will illustrate the facts that the summer mean temperature of the peninsula of New Jersey is the same or higher than the same mean throughout the breadth of Virginia, from northeast to southwest, along the foot of her main ranges of mountains—as warm as the same district in middle North Carolina and northwestern South Carolina, middle Kentucky, southern Indiana, middle Illinois, and northern Missouri. Its summer mean is therefore greater than that of any part of Pennsylvania, Western Virginia, Ohio, northern Indiana and northern Illinois, or the States north of all these. Its winter mean temperature is the same as that of middle Virginia at the foot of her mountains, as middle Kentucky and southern Indiana and Illinois, and southern Missouri. She has not fastened upon her those climatic features which are termed fickle, by which she is subject to great diurnal ranges of temperature, and great and sudden changes in the seasons.
Such changes from one extreme to another are well known in the west, but though sometimes extreme, are experienced less frequently and less severely in lower New Jersey. Her winters are therefore much less extreme than those places in the same latitude in the western States, while her summers are about as warm.
According to the census of 1850, the deaths from consumption were in the following proportions to the whole mortality, viz: In Maine 22½ per cent.; New Hampshire, 22; Vermont, 24; Massachusetts, 17⅔; Connecticut, 16⅔; Rhode Island, 21. In 1843, the percentage in Massachusetts reached 23½. In the middle States, New York, in 1855, exhibited a percentage of 17; New Jersey, in 1850, 14⅙; Pennsylvania and Philadelphia, 12½; Maryland, 11½; and Delaware about 10 per cent.
By the census of 1860, the percentage of deaths from consumption, though generally higher for all the States named, was again much greater in the eastern New England States than in Delaware, Maryland and southern New Jersey. Deaths from all diseases of the lungs bore nearly the same proportion, ranging in Maine from 35 per cent. to 33 in New Hampshire and Rhode Island; 30 in Vermont and Massachusetts; 28 in Connecticut; 25 in New York; 22 in Pennsylvania and Maryland; 24 in New Jersey, and 21 per cent. in Delaware.
Thus in New England, generally, the deaths from consumption alone were, in 1850, twice as great as in Maryland, Delaware and Philadelphia; which districts correspond, in climatic peculiarities, more closely with the peninsula of lower New Jersey than would the entire State for which the percentage is given. For all diseases of the lungs, the percentages of deaths in New England are from 10 to 14 per cent. higher than in Delaware, Maryland and New Jersey; and the chances of freedom from consumption are doubled, and the probabilities of escape from fatal pulmonary complaints increased upwards of 75 per cent., in the more southern locality.
Great variations of temperature and humidity in a climate generally cool and damp, afford conditions extremely favorable to the production of various forms of diseases of the respiratory organs, as is well known. These diseases appear to increase as the temperature decreases with like conditions of humidity; at least such appears to be the case along the seaboard of the eastern States. Diseases of the respiratory organs, of which consumption is chief, appear to have their maximum in- New England, on the seaboard of Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and to diminish towards the south and west in a rapid rate of decrease. The mild winters of Philadelphia are well known to many northern sufferers from weak or diseased lungs, who make an annual pilgrimage to this shrine of Hygeia to escape the rude, raw northeaster, and the fogs and cold of the eastern seaboard, or the scarcely less unpropitious region of western New York.
The following table will exhibit the mean temperature and the extreme heat and cold of sundry places north and west, which may serve to exhibit the relative mildness and equability of the climate of lower New Jersey.
The records for Camden county and for Cumberland county have been care- fully compiled and reduced, and though made at points forty miles separate, have much in common, and may be accepted as the best exhibit of lower New Jersey climate accessible.
The resident of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, or middle New York, may, by a glance at this table, perceive how much he would gain in ameliorated temperature by removing from a district where, in January, the low degrees of 20 to 22 below zero are the common minimum, to one where the mercury seldom descends below zero, and where the low temperature of New England or Wisconsin and Illinois have not been known within the memory of the oldest inhabitant. The extremes of heat are not higher than in Maine and in Illinois, while the range or variation of the thermometer is much smaller than at many of the localities named.Table illustrating the comparative mean temperature of sundry places in New England, New York, and the west, with those observed in New Jersey, during the year 1864.
|Month||MAINE||NEW HAMPSHIRE||VERMONT||MASSACHUSETTS||NEW YORK||ILLINOIS||WISCONSIN|
|Grafton and Coos counties||Chittenden co.||Hampden county||Onondaga county||Peoria county||Milwaukee co.||Camden co.||Cumberland co.|
The spring opens so early in this district as to be a matter of astonishment to visitors from the remote northeast. In 1858, on the 26th of January, gardening commenced in Cumberland county, and the last week of February the labors in the field may begin with the planting of peas. This is often succeeded by a series of cold days, which prevent further operations on the soil. From the middle to the last of March early potatoes are generally planted, oats is sometimes sowed, and by the 5th of April asparagus is sometimes brought to the table.
Snow disappears early in March—seldom lies many days; thunder with lightning and warm weather follow, and the spring opens; an occasional frost may appear until about the end of April. Many readers, who are not familiar with the terms and the measures of mean temperature, range of thermometer, &c., may desire a more definite idea and comprehension of climate, from the enumeration of the above data of gardening and farming operations, which they can compare with those known in their own districts. The dates of leafing of early spring plants indicate the early stirring influences of the sun’s rays in this section, betokening the advent of spring in an unmistakable manner. The shad bush (Amelancheir canadensis) put forth its leaves in Burlington county, New Jersey, in 1852, on the 20th of April, five days before it opened in the upper Shenandoah valley, and two weeks before the same appearance at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
The Virginian locality is two degrees further south, but more elevated; the Pennsylvanian one-third of a degree lower than the New Jersey station. The leafing noted was also three and a half weeks prior to that of the same plant at Richmond, Massachusetts, and at Manchester, New Hampshire.
The blooming of the strawberry took place at Burlington city, New Jersey, in 1852, on April 26, and at Gettysburg and upper Darby, near Philadelphia, on May 6, or ten days later. At West Point, New York, it occurred on the 18th of May, three weeks later, and one week before blooming at Flatbush, Long Island, one of the most favored northern localities. In 1852 the strawberry ripened in Burlington, New Jersey, June 2; at West Point, New York, June 10; North Attleborough, Massachusetts, June 12; Londonderry, New Hampshire, June 15; Steuben, Maine, June 20; and at Manchester, New Hampshire, June 25—a difference of three weeks in favor of the New Jersey locality. In 1859 at Haddonfield, New Jersey, the strawberry ripened on May 23, and in 1860 on May 29, the earliest dates noted for many years past.
In 1855 the lilac (Syringa vulgaris) bloomed at Moorestown, Burlington county, New Jersey, on the 1st of May; at Lima, Delaware county, Pennsylvania, in the same latitude, on the 12th; at Flatbush, Long Island, on the 17th; at Rochester, New York, on the 18th; Spencertown, New York, on the 20th; and at Steuben, Maine, on the 13th of June. This excellent index of opening bloom, blossoms in west New Jersey ten days before it appears in Pennsylvania in the same latitude; three weeks before the most favored parts of Long Island; more than three weeks before its appearance at Boston, Massachusetts, and five weeks earlier than at Steuben and on the coast of Maine generally.
At points further south in the peninsula of southern New Jersey, the activity of vegetation in the spring commences from two days to a week earlier than is indicated by the above dates. In Cape May county, at the southern extremity of the State, early vegetables are ready for the market as soon as if grown in the favored districts of Virginia.
The following table is the result of careful observations made during the year 1864 at Haddonfieid, New Jersey, and is the most reliable and complete detail of extremes and mean temperatures and atmospheric humidity to which we have access. Very few extended series of observations have been made in this district, but the following is worthy of credence, and may be consulted with advantage by those who comprehend its teachings.
|Month||Mean monthly temperature||Rain and melted snow (inches)||Snow (inches)|
|Highest degree*||Warmest day||Lowest degree**||Coldest day||Grains of vapor in one cubic foot||Percentage of saturation, 100 = saturat.|
|Date||Temp.||Date||Temp.||Date||Temp.||Date||Temp.||7 a.m.||2 p.m.||9 p.m.||Mean||7 a.m.||2 p.m.||9 p.m.||Mean|
|March||39.34||6.03||7.5||13||61||5||50.83||21 & 22||16||22||26.33||1.85||1.97||2.07||1.96||80.9||54.8||73.2||69.63|
|May||65.83||7.09||--------||10||87||31||75||2||35||3||49.66||4.76||5.29||5.00||5.02||78.1||57.0||75.6||&7 | | 70.23|
|July||74.40||3.12||--------||12 & 13||92||31||82.83||23||46||22||63.83||5.77||6.14||6.12||6.01||75.6||48.9||72.0||65.50|
|August||75.39||2.52||--------||1||93½||1 & 11||83.33||31||52||31||63.50||7.90||7.64||7.10||7.55||84.3||63.6||82.0||76.60|
|October||51.27||1.85||--------||6||75||6||69.17||10||35||9 & 22||46.66||3.40||3.60||3.50||3.50||87.23||58.49||86.27||77.33|
|December||35.00||5.24||12.5||3||57||3||53||23||8||12 & 23||19.87||1.91||2.05||2.00||2.99||87.40||70.8||78.10||78.80|
An examination of the above table will show to those who are familiar with the indications of the thermometer, the relative temperature shown by monthly means, as well as by those which exhibit the highest and lowest degrees, that the average or mean temperature for the year 1864, in Camden county, New Jersey, was about 53¾° of Fahrenheit—that there fell, during that year, sufficient rain and melted snow to have covered the ground (if it had not evaporated, sunken into or ran off from the surface) to the depth of 43¾ inches, or about 3 feet 8 inches; that there fell 26 inches of snow, which was divided over three months; and that at no time, in any month, more than 12½ inches fell; and of this 12½ inches, but 6 inches fell on any one day.
The highest temperature was 96°, and the warmest day 84°.67. The coldest extreme was 4° above zero, and the coldest day 12°.33. The range of the thermometer was thus 92°, The average temperature of the months during which vegetation is most active was 70°.59. The mean of spring, 51°.88; of summer, 73°; of autumn, 52°.75; of winter, including the temperature of January and February, 1865, was 30°.67. If the winter of 1863~’64 be included, its mean would be found to be 33°.24. February of 1865 has been unusually severe, and lower temperature observed than for eight years previous; and on no day did the mercury descend below zero at the usual 7 a. m. observation; though, during the nights of two days a minimum of a few degrees lower was noted.
Some rain or snow fell on 119 days during 1864; of the clear days, less than 0.3 cloudy, there were 101; of cloudy days, more than 0.3, cloudy, there were 265. The latest injurious frost, or fall of temperature to 32° or lower, was on April 29; and the earliest frost in autumn, sufficient to destroy vegetation, occurred on the 10th of October.
The period during which no frost occurred was 163 days, (or nearly five months,) which enjoyed a mean temperature of 67°.68. The average relative humidity of the season free from frost was 67.48 per cent. of saturation, or of the amount of humidity which the atmosphere was capable of sustaining, indicating a comparatively dry air. The amount of humidity or moisture in the air is a very important meteorological element. This with the amount and distribution of heat are those most essential to the agriculturist, since they principally determine the capacity of different districts for the production of vegetable food. There is no reason why the indications of humidity, as measured by instruments, should not be as readily understood by the instructed agriculturist as are those of the thermometer, except the impossibility of obtaining access to reliable data for determining the amount of this most important element in our local atmosphere. We have, therefore, given the results of close observation during the past year, by which the varying proportions of vapor in the air may be readily learned. In June and July it will be observed that the relative humidity fell to a very low degree; that for July, at 2 p.m., being but 48.9 per cent., or less than one-half the amount that could have been sustained in the air, and is present immediately before and during a rain.
The summary and means for each month does not fully illustrate the extremes of dryness and humidity by which, as well as the mean amount, the district under consideration is greatly influenced. This branch of our subject is worthy of more extended discussion than our space will here admit.
The district of country of which Vineland forms a part enjoys a climate intermediate between that of Camden and Cumberland counties, whose peculiarities may be learned by inspection of the tables of comparative temperature. The lines of equal summer temperature, instead of ranging in a general eastwardly and westwardly direction, as they commonly do, are here deflected until they extend nearly from north to south. The same summer temperature known at Progress, on the Delaware, above Philadelphia; at Haddonfield, Camden county; and at Greenwich, Cumberland county, is the measure of the summer heat for Vineland and its vicinity.
The equalizing influence of the ocean winds has caused the lines of equal summer temperature to approximate to the head of the coast, almost from Cape May to Sandy Hook. As these lines approach the higher hilly or mountainous regions of upper New Jersey, they are rapidly deflected towards the west and southwest, extending parallel to the Delaware river in its southwest course from Trenton to the head of the bay of the same name. The isotherms of summer heat of 70°, 71°, 72°, and 73°, thus form long close loops, whose summits are in the upper and middle counties of New Jersey, while their lower extensions are in the southern counties of Pennsylvania and New Jersey respectively. This is a curious and very interesting feature of these districts. The interior and more western parts of the lower peninsula are, therefore, warmer, in the same latitude, than on the Atlantic side. This is owing to the influence of the cold currents of water which come down from the arctic regions, between the coast and the Gulf Stream, and deflect towards the south the lines of equal heat which tend to rise higher as they approach the coast from the inland regions. There is no point on the coast at which the temperature of the summer is greater, be- cause of the existence of the Gulf Stream, the influences of the land or of the arctic current predominating. The average summer temperature for Vineland is believed to be about 73°, which is the same as that of Philadelphia and Haddonfield, thirty miles north. Its spring mean temperature is about 51°, or that of Philadelphia; its autumn, nearly 55°, or one to two degrees warmer, and its winter about one degree warmer, than at Philadelplia. The temperature for the year is almost identical with that of the latter place. The above data have been derived from tables of observations made at Greenwich, and correspond closely to the deductions of Lorin Blodget, the able and experienced climatologist, and leading authority on this subject. If the prevailing winds were not from the land towards the sea, the climate of the Atlantic coast would be much softened by the proximity of waters of so high a temperature as those of the Gulf Stream, or of those at a moderate distance from the coast. Off the coast of Norfolk, the winter observations, for a breadth of one degree of longitude, show a mean temperature of the ocean water of 46°. The next degree of longitude was 61° and 64°, 69°, 68°, and 67°, successively, These temperatures greatly modify the heat at their respective localities, but their heats are borne towards Europe, and but slightly affect the winter temperature of our coast.
1) Another grower of early potatoes has produced from sixteen baskets of seed, of the White Sprout variety, 600 baskets of merchantable potatoes, which were sold early in July at $1 25 per basket, or $725.