Page images

but we do cloth, to be made up to suit our own habits and wants.

The two extremes of husbandry are, the adoption of every novelty and every experiment indiscriminately, and the rejection of every new thing and every improvement, as indiscriminately. Wisdom consists in “proving all things and holding fast that which is good.” We do not advocate large outlays for expensive machines—for fancy cattle, for every new thing that turns up. But when, after full trial, it is ascertained what are the best farm horses, the best breed of cattle, the best milch cows, the most profitable breed of hogs and sheep, and the most skillful routine of cultivation, we think our farmers ought to profit by the knowledge. It is never a good economy to have poor things when you can just as well have the best. This, then, is


[ocr errors]

We believe in small farms and thorough cultivation.

We believe that soil loves to eat, as well as its owner, and ought, therefore, to be manured.

We believe in large crops which leave the land better than they found it-making both the farmer and the farm rich at once.

We believe in going to the bottom of things and, therefore, in deep plowing, and enough of it. All the better if with a sub-soil plow.

We believe that every farm should own a good farmer.

We believe that the best fertilizer of any soil, is a spirit of industry, enterprise, and intelligence—without this, lime and gypsum, bones and green manure, marl and guano will be of little use.

We believe in good fences, good barns, good farmhouses, good stock, good orchards, and children enough to gather the fruit.

We believe in a clean kitchen, a neat wife in it, a spin

ning-piano, a clean cupboard, a clean dairy, and a clean conscience.

We firmly disbelieve in farmers that will not improve; in farms that grow poorer every year; in starveling cattle; in farmers' boys turning into clerks and merchants; in farmers' daughters unwilling to work, and in all farmers ashamed of their vocation, or who drink whisky till honest people are ashamed of them.


1. WORK FOR JANUARY.—If you have done as you ought to have done, you have a snug ice-house, with double walls, the space between which is filled with non-conducting substances, as pulverized charcoal, or dried saw-dust, or tanbark, which are mentioned in the order of their value. Cut your blocks of ice of a size and shape with reference to close packing. Cover over thickly with clean straw when the stock of ice is all in. Look out not to lose all your chance in waiting for a better one; sometimes careful folks mean to have such glorious ice, that an open winter cheats them out of any at all.

WARMTH.—The best fire in winter is made up of exercise, and the poorest, of whisky. He that keeps warm on liquor is like a man who pulls his house to pieces to feed the fire place. The prudent and temperate use of liquor is to let it alone. If you don't touch it, it certainly won't hurt you; he that says there is no danger, boasts that he is something more than other men.

The way to summer your cattle well is to winter them well; and half the secret of good wintering is to keep them

Animal heat is generated in proportion to the abundance and excellence of their food. Exposure to the cold air withdraws heat rapidly, and of course makes more food necessary to re-supply it, just as an open door makes it necessary to have more wood in the stove. If your stock run down in the winter and come out lean and feeble, all the summer will not fully bring them up again.


2. WORK FOR FEBRUARY.-Get out rails, both for present use, and for the fence which you expect to lay ip March and April. Cut, haul and stack up near your house a good supply of fire-wood; no matter if the forest is within ten rods of your door, your wife ought to have her wood chopped and dried ready for use. Look at every fence upon the place; see if the corners of your rail fences are rotting down; if some rails have not broken; if pig-holes have not been made; if boys and cattle have not thrown down toprails; and in short, put your fences into proper repair.

Of course your tools will now be overhauled; those with steel blades should be thoroughly cleansed when laid aside in the fall, and if you rub a little oil over them and hạng them up, all the better. Repair all that are out of order. These things and all your ordinary work, may be done, and still leave you leisure for reading. You should have good books and good papers, and read them carefully for your own sake and for your children's. A man who brings up a family of ignorant children, cheats his children of their rights, and cheats his country of its rights; it is therefore a crime.

GARDEN WORK.-If there be no snow on the ground, the gardens may be cleared of all rubbish, manure hauled and stacked carefully; and if you have a clay soil, and can catch the ground without frost for a few days, it will mellow and ameliorate it to spade it up, leaving it in lumps and heaps, through which the frost may thoroughly penetrate.

It is time to prepare your hot-bed, if you design having early plants in your garden.

3. WORK FOR MARCH.–Begin the year by thorough, deep plowing, where your fields are in good order for it. Depend upon it, that deep plowing is the only good plowing. Your first crop, generally, will tell you so.

But if the subsoil is such that the first crop is rather poor, a year's exposure of the land will ameliorate it so that your second crop will remunerate all expenses of time and labor lạid out in deep plowing. No farmer should be without a subsoil plow who has got his lands clear of stumps and


Take especial care of cows now just coming in with calf. See that those which are heavy are carefully handled, well fed, and warmly sheltered. Mares with foal should be tenderly used, exercised a little, but not put to hard or straining work. The condition of the mother will to a great

ætent determine the condition of the offspring. Cows, mares, sows, ewes, etc. etc., should be kept in a hearty condition, without being fat.

ORCHARD.-Do not trouble your trees with premature pruniny. Let the axe, and knife, and saw alone. Loosen the dirt or sod around and beneath your trees. The best manure for your trees is fresh mold, or forest soil and lime in the proportion of about one part to ten. Take soft soap, dilute it with urine, scrub your trees with it plentifully, having first scraped off all rough bark. If you would work easily always, never let your work drive you.

4. WORK FOR APRIL.—Gather from your barn the loose hay seed, and sow it upon your wheat fields; it will give good pasturage after harvest, and make fine stuff for plowing under. Push forward your plowing, but look well to the teams; as cattle and horses are like men, unable in early spring to endure severe labor all at once. Your spring wheat should be got in; barley is a better crop, usually, than rye. The middle and last of the month will keep you in the corn-field. Plow deep-plow thoroughly; and after planting, give the plow no rest, if you wish good corn.

YOUNG ANIMALS.You will now begin to have plenty of calves, colts, pigs, and lambs. If you mean to have proSow your

fitable pork, you ought to push your pigs from the birth. Look carefully after your lambs; see that the mothers are well cared for; have dry and warm pens for any that are feeble. A little tenderness to the lambs will be well repaid by and by.

GARDEN.-Your lettuce may be transplanted from the hot-bed the middle and last of this month. A foot apart is none too much, if you wish head-lettuce. main supplies of radishes, cabbage, tomatoes, etc.

Get your pie-plant seed in early as possible; also carrots, parsnips, and salsify or oyster-plant. Prune your gooseberries, currants, and raspberry bushes. Grapes, which were not laid in last fall should be pruned and laid in early in March; but if neglected then, let them be till the leaves are large as the palm of your hand. Look out or worms' nests, and destroy them promptly.

5. WORK FOR MAY. Your whole force will be required in this month. If the season has been late or wet, you still have your corn to plant. Pastures will be ready for your stock; remember to salt your stock every week. Weeds will now do their best to take your crops. Your potato crop should be put in, as there will be little danger of frost. After the 15th, you may put out sweet potato slips. If you have not grass-land for pasturage, try for one season the system of soiling, i. e. keeping up your cattle in the yard or home-lot, and cutting green-fodder for them every day. An acre or two of corn, sown broad-cast, or oats and millet, should be tried. Above all other things, if you have warm, deep sandy loam, put in an acre of lucerne.

During the last of this month, and at the beginning of the next, pruning may be done. If the limbs be large, cover the stump with a coat of paint, wax, grafting clay, or anything that will exclude air and wet.

The garden will require extra labor in all this month. After the 15th, tender bulbs and tubers may be planted, dahlias, amaryllises, tuberoses, etc. Peas will require brush; ;

« PreviousContinue »