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very much like blue mildew; but it is a little insect, sometimes called a louse.
Mr. STRONG. I think the two things are as wide apart as the vegetable and animal kingdoms. I do not think there is any relation between the fungus of vegetable growth and animal growth. I have no reason to suppose that sulphur would be injurious to the animal growth, though it may be fatal to the lower forms of vegetable growth. I know it is fatal to the higher forms of vegetable growth, when it is applied in the form of strong sulphuric acid; and a very weak solution of sulphur is destructive to very low forms of vegetable growth; but I am not aware that it is so to animal growth.
Mr. WARE. I judge, from what the gentleman says, that the cabbages he alludes to are infested by what farmers call "lice.” They are what we call the “ large aphis.” A strong solution of salt sprinkled over the plants will remove them. It is some trouble to do it; but I believe it is a remedy.
The CHAIRMAN. We have here a gentleman from Arlington, Mr. Rawson, who has the reputation of being one of the best market-gardeners in that town. Perhaps he can give us some information on this subject.
Mr. RAWSON of Arlington. I am not very old in the business; but I was brought up in it, and I do not know any business except the vegetable business. But still, what information I could give you in this meeting would not be of much benefit, perhaps. I might talk to each of you individually, and give you, perhaps, a great deal of information ; but I cannot express myself before a large audience as I should like to. Still some questions have been asked which I can perhaps answer. One is, “Does vegetable farming or market-gardening pay ?” I say it does; that is, I have made it pay; and, as long as I have, I think anybody else may. Another question is, “ Is it overdone?” I do not think it is: I do not think it ever will be overdone. I think we can improve all the time; I do not think any man is too old to learn something: but still, as I said before, I cannot tell you any thing that I think would be of any benefit to you at this time.
Mr. STRONG. I would like to ask him how he makes it pay.
Mr. Rawson. In the first place, I have but one business. In the second place, I always get up in the morning, and attend to my business. That is one way I have made it pay.
Mr. SMITH. And you put some brains into the work, too?
Mr. RAWSON. I put in what little I have. I have been brought up in the business: and, if I cannot make it pay, it is my own fault; because I haven't brains enough, I suppose. I have not a great deal of land, — only twenty-five
An account of my farm was published in “ The Massachusetts Ploughman," and I suppose some of you have read it. I can say that every word in "The Ploughman is correct, and more too.
Mr. John FILLEBROWN of Arlington. I have used fertilizers to some extent. I have used the Bradley Fertilizer more than any other. Year before last I ploughed about three-quarters of an acre that had been lying four years without any manure, badly run out, neither grassed over nor weeded over. I ploughed it about the first of August, rolled it, harrowed it pretty thoroughly, and put on two barrels of Bradley's Fertilizer, - less than four hundred and fifty pounds, — and sowed it with white turnips; and I would not ask a better crop than I got from that piece of land. At another time I raised an acre of white turnips on a very small quantity of guano, and it was the best crop of turnips that I ever saw grown: I won't except any crop. I don't know just how much guano I put on; but it was a very small amount. I would like to hear some gentleman say something about fertilizers. I used this year more than a ton of the Brighton Fertilizer upon celery, and I think it paid me very well for using it. I have used it on cabbages; I have used it on cauliflowers; and I think it paid me well.
Mr. ATWILL. Mr. Fillebrown speaks of raising large crops of turnips with fertilizers. I claim that his land is so filled with manure, that, if he did not put on any manure at all, he would get a splendid crop of flat turnips. It is my opinion, that a man living twenty miles from Boston, who should go to raising general crops without manure would soon have to move from his farm. If a man has any money to invest in manures, I think he had better invest it in stable
manure. I know there is greater expense involved in handling stable manure than in handling fertilizers; but two hundred dollars will buy a great deal of stable manure, and it will pay for the first cost of it. Two hundred dollars will buy but a very small quantity of guano or any other fertilizer of that kind. Very few of us can afford, in my opinion, to buy these fertilizers. If we have our ground filled with manure, and wish to force a crop very early, then an application of a good fertilizer might be advisable, because the crop could be sold in the market for a price that would warrant the outlay. But that is the only way in which I can imagine these fertilizers will pay the common farmer.
Mr. Philbrick, in his remarks, separated the farmers that live within six miles of Boston into one class, and the farmers that live from seven to fifteen miles from Boston, into another class. I happen to live about fifteen miles from Boston. He stated that the crops on farms from seven to fifteen miles from Boston average about five hundred dollars
I live at the limit, fifteen miles; and therefore I should expect five hundred dollars per acre. I have not received that amount; and therefore I think part of it must apply to those nearer Boston, — seven or eight or nine miles.
. I will state that the growth of small cucumbers for the pickle-business has been as profitable to me as any crop I have raised; but the day for pickles being profitable has passed. Years ago we used to get from fourteen cents to twenty cents per hundred. Twenty cents we considered an extreme price; and I never realized that on a contract, except one year. There is something to be made on them at that price. Now the price has been reduced to about a minimum of ten or eleven cents a hundred. The expense of raising them is much less; but it leaves very little, if any, margin for the farmer.
I would like to ask one question in regard to squash raising. I have had considerable trouble in raising squashes. When the squashes have formed, and sometimes when they have grown as large as one's head, the vines die. There seems to be no remedy for it. My experience is, that the only way to prevent it is to plant the crop late. When I have planted the seeds from the middle of May to the 1st of June, I have found that my crop has been a failure; but
if I wait until about the middle of June, sometimes I have had a fair crop.
Mr. FILLEBROWN. I think I distinctly stated, in regard to the land to which I applied Bradley's Fertilizer, that it had had no manure put upon it for four years. It was land adjoining mine, that I hired. I have raised, I think, a better crop of cabbage on ground to which I applied the fertilizer than where I used horse-manure. I first manured the ground with night-soil spread on broadcast, cultivated it in thoroughly, and I then furrowed the ground, and on that portion I put in a lot of good horse-manure just drawn from the stable, and on the other portion of it, I put the fertilizer, treating it all in the same manner as to cultivation. I think where I put on the fertilizer, which did not cost me more than half what the horse-manure did, the crop was equally good; and sometimes, when I have looked at it, I have thought it was better. The ground was staked off, so that I knew exactly where the fertilizer went. I would like to hear some gentleman who has had practical experience in using fertilizers.
Mr. WHITTAKER of Needham. I have noticed that a number of gentlemen who have spoken have compared the prices of vegetables now with what they were some years ago. Do they refer to the time when the gold dollar was worth about two dollars and a half of paper currency? If they do, probably the gold price of vegetables is about the same as it was then. We must bear in mind that every thing has been going down and down in value. paper currency, has appreciated, other articles have gone down. Market-gardening has shared the same fate as every thing else. There is not a commodity to-day that is sold, that the seller does not complain of the lowness of the price. Let us take the prices now, compared with the prices in 1860, and see how we shall stand then. I should like to have some of our friends who were selling these vegetables in 1860 tell us how the prices to-day compare with what they were then.
Mr. PHILBRICK. It is time this side of the house called upon the other. The chairman is a practical farmer. There is no man on the Board who is listened to with more attention. I hope we shall hear from him before the close of this session.
The CHAIRMAN. I am in market-gardening only in a small way. I grow two or three crops pretty largely for market, - asparagus, onions, cauliflower, and a little of some other things, but those more particularly. I grow them because I have been studying how to grow some things, and I believe I can grow them better than I could some years ago. I have learned how to grow them on my own land. I could not tell you how to grow them on your land, because your land is entirely different. I have learned this, that while I use stable-manure, and make that the basis for growing these crops, it is for my interest to use something else as a special manure in addition to that. For instance, I had an acre of onions, - as good an acre of onions, certainly, as there was around in my section, — the best I ever grew, although I have grown good crops of onions uniformly for the last few years; but I suppose that Mr. Hill or Mr. Rawson, if I had told them, before this meeting, that I sowed nine pounds of onion-seed to the acre, would have said that I should have had nothing but small onions. I rather thought so myself. It was an accident that I came to sow them in that
I lent my seed-sower to a neighbor, and, after he returned it, I used it; and, when I had sowed about a quarter of an acre, I found the seed was going out pretty fast, and, upon examining the machine, I found that some person had reamed out the tin with a jack-knife, instead of changing the tin. I felt very much like making some hard remarks; but I suppressed those as well as I could, because there was no one around to hear, and there was no use in making any fuss. I went to work and changed the tin; but still I was thrown out so, that I did not know how to regulate the machine as I wanted to; and, when I got through, I found there were nine pounds of onion-seed on the acre, when five was all I wanted. The seed was good : it all came up, and looked as though it was thick enough for onion-sets. We weeded it once, and, when we came to weed it the second time, I said to my son, “I guess we shall have to thin these onions.” I tried it about ten feet, and found there was work in it, and said, " I guess we will let the onions go. I think I have got enough manure under them to lift them out, if there are nine pounds of seed on the acre.” When I harvested them, I found there were two, three, or four onions piled on top of