Page images

the green lide undermost, and, if not heavy enough to keep the lint under water, some stones may be laid above them, but the fax should not be pressed to the bottom. If the flax was pulled in proper time, and that the water is warm and soft, the rind will probably be sufficiently loosened in seven or eight days; and if, on trial, it is found to be fo, it ought immediately to be taken out. It is always safer to give it too little, than too much watering ; as the defect may be easily remedied by giving it the longer time upon the ground; whereas a mistake on the other hand cannot be repaired. When sufficiently watered, it feels soft to the gripe, and the harle parts easily with the boon or fhow, which last is then become brittle, and looks whitish. The coarser the flax, the sooner it is watered. Each beet, when taken up, should be gently rinsed in the pond, to clean it of any mud or nafti


If the flax is spread on poor ley, it will improve it greatly; and the water in which it has been steeped is also a valuable manure, which should be carefully carried or conducted to some ground that needs it ; or weeds and straw &c. thrown in to absorb it and make dung. The flax should be spread thin and equally, and handled tenderly. If it meet with a few hours of dry weather after fpreading, it will be so much the better, as it will make the harle firm to bear the rain.

The flax, after lying on the field till it is sufficiently bliftered in the boon, and easily parts with it, should be taken up in a dry state; and, to give it the greater crispness, may have a little heating on a kiln, immediately before it is wrought; using for this purpose some charred coals, or any fuel that has little or no smoke.

If at any time the flax shall be allowed to ripen so far as to harden its bolls (as at present), which it ought not, they should be rippled off before it is put in the water ; as they make a

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

rich and excellent food for cattle, mixed with boiled chaff, and should be carefully dried and preserved for that purpose.

Eftimate of the Expence and Profit of 1-4th Acre under Flax. Rent of ground prepared, usually the price of the seed, - -

L. • I3 9 Two pecks and three-fourths feed, at 55. per peck, 013 9 Clodding and sowing,

0 1 0 Weeding, - - - - 0 3 0 Pulling and watering, Spreading and lifting, Breaking and skutching, at 2s. per stone, - 0 16 0


[ocr errors]


L. 2 15 Produce of a middling crop 8 stone of 24 lb. at 12$. 4 16

[blocks in formation]

For Cambric and Fine Lawn The ground should be a rich, light, and dry foil, fufficiently pulverized by repeated ploughings when in a dry state, or after potatoes ; and, if near a wood, it will save trouble. The seed should be sown before the middle of April, about double the quantity usually fown for flax or lint. The ground should be rolled, if dry, and weeded when it is three inches long; after which, forked sticks (about one 1-half inch thick) should be set at four or five feet distance, poles laid along these forks, about fix or seven inches above the lint, and distant from each other two, three, or four feet, according to the length of the brushwood that is to be laid over them. This brushwood ought to be laid close and even, rising all about eighteen or twenty inches.

The lint should be pulled as soon as the feed is formed, or a few days after it is out of the bloom, before the lint turn yellow. If any be coarser than the rest, it should be kept separate. It must be pulled above the brushwood, and every handful laid upon it four or five hours to dry, if it is fine weather. Spread it out four or five days, putting it into a barn at night, and taking care that it get no rain, which would make it turn black. If it get wet, it is better to leave it on the grass till dry than to put it in wet. The bundles must be opened in the barn, or made very loose, to keep them from heating.

The pit for watering should be made long before it is used, and will be the better if it has a clean sward on the bottom; if not, some straw may be put under it. A small rill of clean water should run in and off the lint while in it. The pit may be fix or seven feet broad, by three deep. Along the surface of the water, or a little lower on the two fides, run poles fixed down by wooden hooks of this figure, 7; and other poles across, with their ends under these, to keep all the lint down three or four inches under the surface of the water. The time of watering depends so much on the weather, and on the softness or hardness of the was ter, that no certain period can be fixed.

It may be proper to observe here that the introduction of the two-handed wheel, hardly known as yet in any part of this county, would contribute perhaps more than any thing to the speedy increafe of our flax crops. This simple machine, now common in other parts of Scotland, would enable the same number of hands to spin the double of what they do at present; so that there would be a call for raising a double quantity, one half of which would fall to be added to our present exportation, and bring a large yearly revenue to the county, besides enabling the poor to earn twice as much by spinning as they do at present. A small premium to the first, fecond, and third, who should use these wheels in any parilh might have a good effect. After that we may perhaps, as in other places, go a step farther, and think of spinning dint in a still greater quantity by the use of water-machinery, which is now made to spin flax as well as wool and cotton.

[ocr errors]

Time of Sowing. Beans and pease are fown after the middle of March; oats from the 20th or 25th of March to the middle of April; flax and potatoes in the end of April and beginning of May; bear from the ift to the 15th of May; clover and ryegrass sometimes with the bear, and sometimes 8 or 10 days later; tur. nips in June.

Harvesting. Hay * is cut about the beginning or middle of July; fax is pulled about the beginning or middle of August; bear begins to be cut down about the 15th of August; oats about the 15th of September; beans and pease are cut after the oats, about the beginning or towards the middle of October ; and the potatoes are housed commonly about the first week of November.

Produce. The average produce is reckoned to be nearly 3 returns from oats, 5 1-half from beans and bear, and about from 10 to 12 from potatoes. Further particulars may be found under the different crops, and need not be repeated t.

Sect. V.-Crops not commonly cultivated. WHEAT has been frequently tried, and found to answer

* i.e. From sown graffes. Meadow hay is seldom cut before August, as it is late of being saved. + The quantity of arable land on the continent of Argyleshire was suppoa

well, particularly in deep loam and strong lands in the neighbourhood of Campbelton. The reasons alleged for not cultivating it commonly are, the want of enclosures, and the want of a flour mill. But these reasons will hardly be sustained, as there are in that part of the country a considerable number of enclosures; and some good spring-wheat has been raised on fields entirely open ; and if the grain fhould be raised to a sufficient quantity, it would always find a mill. A little addition to the machinery of the present mill would serve. The true reason is, that the demand for bear to make whisky is greater than even that for bread to eat; and the distillers have a brisker trade and more ready cash than the bakers.

The neglect of this crop is a considerable loss to the farmer, as, in suitable foil, and within reach of good manure, it is of all corn crops the most profitable. It is also a great loss to the county in general, as more than 3000l. is yearly sent out of it for flour, which might all be saved, if we would raise wheat of our own. "

What would favour much the cultivation of this grain in Kintyre is, that there is seldom any froft that would hurt it; so that the climate, as well as the soil, encourages the growth of it.-John Turner, a farmer in the neighbourhood of Campbelton, says that the crop of between eight and nine acres brought him one year above 1ool.; and the crop of four acres another year brought him 50l.

sed (Chap. I. Sect. 2.) to be 100,000 acres. Of these it is supposed there may be

15,000 lying waste in sheep farms, 20,000 ley, 40,000 under oats, 12,000 under potatoes, 9,000 under be, 3,000 under clover, flax, beans, and pease, 1,000 under gardens.


« PreviousContinue »