« PreviousContinue »
ted water, before it would be in part lost by evaporation. Liebig states that cold water dissolves only one ten thousandth part of its own weight of vegetable mould. Dr. Dana remarks, “ Liebig takes it for granted that it is rain only that is to dissolve geine and geates. He says, it is not enough. We offer him an abundant source in the fountain of water from geine. He says, it is not enough. We add, if indeed we should not begin there, the action of growing plants upon silicates, evolving bases whose action upon geine renders it easily soluble. I think these causes of the solubility of geine enough, and no small argument to prove that geine exercises other functions in soil besides evolving carbonic acid. Geine ceasing, barrenness follows. When Raspail and Liebig prove the contrary, I'll believe ourselves wrong in our views.”
Amid these conflicting theories of the mode of its operation, one thing is certain, the presence of a large percentage of geine in soils, provided it be by culture duly exposed to the influence of air, alkalies, salts, &c., insures the greatest fertility. And farmers will do well not to let the theory that vegetables feed on air prevent them from supplying them with more substantial food, compost manures, in which, at least for light gravelly soils, peat, muck, or other substances rich in geine, forms a large proportion. It seems to me that Liebig's theories, when divested of contradictory appearances, shew conclusively that geine or its elements are the primary food of plants,—that the absorption of these by the rootlets developes those organs, the leaves, &c., which become in turn capable of absorbing from the atmosphere the same elements in even a larger quantity than is received by the roots, and appropriating them to the growth of the plant, thereby, in the end, by one of those beautiful laws of compensation everywhere met with in natural science, it becomes enabled to repay to the soil, with interest, the geine it takes from it. Deprive the plant of a soil containing geine, or carbon otherwise combined, and no organs can be developed to imbibe the same elements from the atmosphere.
Dr. Samuel L. Dana has now in press a work on these subjects, designed expressly for farmers. He has hitherto most generously given to the public his valuable discoveries without fee or reward, and it is to be hoped that every farmer will show himself both grateful and wise, by purchasing and studying this work,
which, from the well known ability of the author, cannot fail to be worth its weight in gold to all who will avail themselves of its instructions. It is to be, I am informed, a volume of about 175 pages, small octavo, divided into eight or nine chapters, and these chapters into numbered paragraphs.
CHAP. 1. On the Geology of Soil-showing that the farmer need be neither a geologist nor mineralogist, as agriculturally considered there is one rock and one soil.
CHAP. 2. On the Chemistry of Soil—In which just *enough is taught to show the farmer the nature and constitution of rocks.
CHAP. 3. Properties and manner of action of the Elements of Soils—Very full on the action of salts.
CHAP. 4. Organic Elements of Soil-Containing a detailed account of their origin and properties.
CHAP. 5. Geine-A full account of its properties.
GHAP. 7, 8, 9. On the Artificial Preparation of Manures—the Principles of Irrigation—and the Physicol Properties of Soil-showing that these depend chiefly on geine, &c.
Essex Agricultural Society in account with Andrew Nichols, Treasurer.
Then examined the above account, and found the same correct.
R. S. DANIELS,
The above funds then transferred to William Sutton.
R. S. DANIELS,
Chosen Sept. 29th, 1841.
LEVERETT SALTONSTALL, of Salem, PRESIDENT.
JEDEDIAH H. BARKER,
MEMBERS ADMITTED IN 1841.
EBEN KING, Any citizen of the County may become a member by paying to the Treasurer three dollars. Members are not liable to any assessments.