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haps an acre of it will go as far in feeding cattlë as an acre of turnips, or of any other green food; but it takes more trouble to dig and house it.
Some in this county were, above 20 years ago, in the use of extracting a spirit from potatoes *. The quantity which it yielded was considerable; but happily the quality was so bad as to discourage the continuance of so ruinous a practice. The quality, however, was much improved by keeping it till it was of proper age.
· Beans delight in deep moist fóil, and grow best in a wet season. They are not yet cultivated much in any part of this county except Kintyre. They are commonly sowri after the middle of March, generally on poor oat stubble, and plough ed down; but sometimes the ground is first ploughed, and the beans harrowed in afterwards. Unless the ground be too wet; the first method answers best, as bean's require to be fown deeper than any other grain. They make a good intermediate crop between oats and bear, especially in stiff clay grounds that would not suit fome other green crops. But inftead of fowing them broadcast, they ought to be fown in drills. This method, in poor soil, such as they generally get, would give a better crop, destroy the weeds, pulverize the foil, and put it in better condition for the succeeding crop. Beans, when sown broadcast, rather encourage than destroy weeds, when the crop is not rank enough to fmother them, which is seldom the case.
When sown in drills, the land is the better of two ploughings; one at the end of harvest, the other at the time of lowing. The seed may be thrown into every third furrow, which will be a proper distance for the drills.
* The process is very simple. The potatoes are boiled to a thin pulp, which is diluted with hot water, and strained. The mass is then mixed with a little malt (which is perhaps not necessary), in order to make it ferment the better with barm; and when the fermentation ceases, it is distilled in the usual way. According to experiments made elsewhere, it is said that go lb. weight of potatoes will yield five quarts of highly rectified spirits.
Pease are frequently fown, but in no great quantity. A dry foil and season agree best with them. Some fow them along with the beans, which in poor foil gives a better chance of covering the ground, and checking the growth of weeds. They are also more easily dried by being mixed with the beans. In this way too one or other of the crops will suit the season, whether wet or dry. When pease are sown by themselves, it would be a good improvement, in poor run-out foil, to plough them down when in full bloom. The small gray pea, which we commonly fow, answers best for this purpose. ..
Rye is sown on some light fandy foils on the shores of Kintyre, but in no other part of the county. It is well adapted to such foils; and, if it got more justice, might be no unprofitable crop. It is not, however, in much estimation; and the quantity fown at present is so inconsiderable as hardly to merit any notice.
Flax (or lint ) is raised in all parts of the county, but chiefly for family use; only about 3000l. worth of yarn being exported from the continent, chiefly from Kintyre. It is fown about the end of April, or beginning of May, generally after potatoes, or on other land that is clean and in good condition, at the rate of about ten or eleven pecks to the acre. Three stones from the peck is reckoned an ordinary crop; four a good one ; fome get five; and the value from 1os. to 128. the stone. There is one mill for dressing lint in Kintyre, and another in Lorn; but in Kintyre, the farmers generally dress their lint at home, after the harvest is concluded. This may be owing much to the high charge made for. dressing it in the mill, being 25. 6d. the stone, and drams, or about 1-4th of the value of the lint. Proprietors of land are much interested in correcting every thing which discourages the farmer from raising more of this valuable crop. Had we more mills, the charge might be reduced by a competition. Were it, as in other places *, so low as is. 6d. the stone, it would encourage the farmer to raise a greater quantity.
Few things would contribute more to the advantage of this county than the raising a great quantity of flax, for which our soil and climate are well adapted. Our climate is warm and moist; and we have a great deal of good fandy loam, which is the best ground for flax. If the culture of this plant were extended as far as the other operations of the farmer would allow; or if the ground, when tilled, were let to the poor, or to persons who, as in Holland, would make it their sole business to attend to it; it would prove an immense benefit to the county, and furnish employment to the poor, especially to the female part of them, in every stage of its manufacture t. When the crop is tolerably good, the produce of a single acre may be estimated at 151. on the field, at 20l. when it comes from the mill, at 6ol. when spun into yarn, and at more than sool. when wrought into cloth, and bleached. Thus 1000 acres (which would be but 40 to every parish on the continent) would yield materials for a yearly produce of 100,000l. .
The attention of the farmer, and the industry of the poor, should therefore be directed, as much as possible, to a matter of so great and general importance. When this shall be the
• Agricultural Report of Angus and Forfar says, it is prepared in the mill for the heckle, at from is. 4d. to is. 6d. the stone.
+ In the higher parts of Perthshire, adjoining to this county, the ordinary farmers commonly pay all their rent by the sales of linen yarn.
case, the minds of some of our land-owners, who now depo. pulate their estates, will be more enlightened ; and they will perceive that the riches or productiveness of their estates must depend more on the number of the people, than of the sheep, by which they are occupied. It is certain, that neither pasturing, nor agriculture alone, can make any country so rich and prosperous by themselves, as when they are conjoined with manufacture and with commerce. But these cannot be carried on in any place which does not abound with people.
As the culture of flax is not yet well understood by the greatest number of those who raise it in this county, it may be proper to give a few directions on the subject. Care must be taken to have good feed, plump, fresh, and of a bright shining colour. The brighter in colour, and the heavier, the better. That which, when bruised, appears of a light or yellowish green, and fresh in the heart, oily, and not dry, and smells and tastes well, and not fufty, may be depended on. That from Riga is reckoned the best. Dutch feed is also reckoned good. But if the feed come from America, it should be from the provinces to the north of Philadelphia. Choice must then be made of suitable ground for it. A deep fandy loam, in good heart, clean, and well pulverized, is the best. It answers well on rich ley ground, as it will be free of weeds; or after a good crop of turnips, potatoes, or other cleansing crop.
The feed should be sown when the ground is neither too wet nor too dry, and harrowed in, like clover, with a shortteethed harrow, after the ground has been first broke and smoothed by another harrow. This will prevent any of the feed from going too deep, and make it come up equally. It is better to sow rather thick than thin; for, if too thin, it will branch; and the goodness of the crop will depend on its running into long fine stalks, without branches.
The ground, after sowing, should be well clodded, and then rolled, to prevent its being hurt by drought. When three or four inches long, the crop must be carefully weeded, and as little injury as possible done to it by the feet, or otherwise. The crop should not be allowed to ripen so much as is commonly done at present *. It should be pulled when the stalk begins to turn yellow, as soon as it has lost the blossoms, and before any of the bolls are hardened, and approaching to ripeness. To allow the feed to ripen, would hurt both the crop and the ground. It is owing to the common error in this case, that flax has got the name of being a scourging crop. It is so, when allowed to ripen its seed; but the reverse, when pulled, as soon as it has lost the bloom; as it ought to be when the feed is not to be saved. If the flax is fallen, it ought to be pulled the sooner, that it may not rot. The beets should be no larger than a man can grasp in both hands, and tied very flack with a few dried rushes.
No circumstance respecting the management of flax requires more attention than to water it properly. We generally keep it too long in the pond, or rather in the stream, which is injudiciously allowed to run over it. Instead of this, a canal seven or eight feet wide, and two and one half deep, and of a length proportioned to the quantity, should be made and filled with soft water, three weeks before it is needed, in order to warm it by the sun ; supplying, if necefsary, any waste occasioned by evaporation.
The beets should be laid in the canal flope-ways, with the root-end uppermost, as the crop-end is apt to breed vermin hurtful to the flax. It may be covered with divots,
* The finer quality of Irish and foreign lint is ascribed to its being pulled before it is ripe. This, too, will add to the quantity. A writer in the Sta- ' tistical Account (XVI. 527.), after telling that 7 i-half stones were got from three lippies of seed, observes, that it was pulled before it was fully ripened.