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Being unable to account for the surprising weight of my first crop of cabbages, with only one^third of the manure usually given, I was led to make the experiments I have laid before the Society; and I believe I am not only the first person in Lancashire, but even in Great Britain, who ever thought of ploughing the ground upon the principle I have executed,, for promoting the growth of the crops. I natter myself that my experiments on the economical application of manure, will lead in a high degree to facilitate a more extended cultivation, and obviate the objections which have been started by some persons against the inclosure of waste 'lands, from their supposition that manure could not be furnished for more than the land at preB:nt cultivated.
I remain, dear Sir,
Your obedient Servant,
J. C. CURWEN. llletson's Hotel, fere street, April Sik, 1808.
To C. Taylor, M.D. Sec.
A Certificate from Miles Ponsonby, Esq. of Hail Hall, testified that he had seen Mr. Curwen's statement of the rapid progress made by his cabbages iqt the month of June, 1807; that he perfectly recollect* viewing them on the Monday, and again on Saturday in the same week; that the improvement in the ap
T 3 pearance pearance of the plants was so great, that he imagined the laad had been replanted, till Mr. Gurwen explained the cause which had produced so great a change.
That he considers Mr. Curwen's plan of managing his potatoes and cabbages as very good garden husbandry, and the best calculated for keeping the land clean, improving the plant, and at the same time enriching the ground, of any that he had observed; and though the mode is entirely new there, he has no doubt but it will be found beneficial, and that it will in a few years be much attended to.
A Certificate from Mr. D. Campbell, Secretary to the Kendal Agricultural Society, stated, that he had attended to the cultivation of potatoes in most parts of Lancashire, and could speak with the greatest precision respecting it in that part of the county, which is north of Lancaster.
That whether they were planted in the lazybed wayj by the dibble, or with the ploughj they were always set in rows from one end of a field, or piece of ground, to the other end or side, with narrower or wider intervals, as the cultivator might deem best suited to the kind of potatoe he was raising. That he never before saw or heard of their being cultivated in beds, in the manner practised and described by Mr. Curwen; and that being more particularly desirous to ascertain whether any such method was pursued in the great potatoe- district which lies south-west from Lancaster,
including including Pilling, the Felde, Rufford, and the neigb1 bourhodd of Preston, he applied to George Clayton; Esq* of Lostock Hall, and Robert Hesketh^ Esq. of Warrington Hall, gentlemen upon whose accuracy the utmost dependence may be placed; and Who informed him, that neither from their own knowledge, nor from inquiries they have made, can they learn that the method of cultivating potatoes alluded to, has been seen or heard of in a tract of country, where more are raised for the market than in any other of the same extent, perhaps, in the kingdom;
Mr. Campbell further stated, that Mr. Curwen's cabbages were planted at a much greater distance than any he had ever before seen> and their size far exceeded, as a general crop* any that had fallen under his observation; that the ground was perfectly clear from weeds, and from having been frequently turned over by the plough in the intervals, the mould appeared to be in fine order for a subsequent crop, and he conceived that in the two essential points of freedom from weeds, and of the land being in a fine tilth'$ ho garden could exceed it;
. Other Certificates respecting the novelty of the method of planting potatoes, as practised by Mr. Cur« wen, were received from the following gentlemen:
William Knott, Suinmerhill.
Mr. SuNDERLANb, Ulverston.
J. Penny Marshall, Bolton Oak.
T 4 Further
Further Certificates, stating the method to be new, as practised by Mr. Curwen, for planting both potatoes and cabbages, were received from the following gentlemen:
Walter Gardner, Crooks.
Rev. J. Barns, Pennybridgc.
Also from the following Farmers, resident in the neighbourhood of Lancaster:
Dear Sir, Mr. Curwen having informed me, that a question would probably arise in the Society of Arts, &c. re*- ';'.'., . lative lative to the degree of exhalation of water from the •earth, and it appearing to me to be intimately connected with various matters in agriculture, I think you will not be displeased at my mentioning a few circumstances, to prove that the object much deserves attention. I conceive that it bears upon the point of showing the great depth to which dung may be ploughed with safety; for when we find, as 1 have done, that from two to three thousand gallons of moisture are exhaled in a day from an acre of land, and that the quantity varies greatly according to the state of tillage, it should appear that such a vertical stream of vapour must remove all apprehensions of burying dung. I also think it goes to the point of hoeing and horse-hoeing such plants as demand much moisture. I have found that the dung in a farm-yard, laid three feet deep and hard trodden by cattle all the winter, has exhaled in the proportion of above four thousand gallons per acre in ten hours; from hence a practical conclusion may be surely drawn. I could much extend these observations, but they are sufficient to convince so enlightened a mind as your's, of the propriety of a very extensive pursuit of this inquiry.