This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Will you have the goodness to answer the following questions?
Would it be advisable to form a poudrette company in such a city as Poughkeepsie, when night-soll is plenty and where charcoal can be bought for one cent per bushel? It is formed and collected in the pipes of Railroad Engines and they take out on an average one hundred bushels a day. It is pure, and ready ground, but one half of it Is made out of Pine wood and the other half of hard wood. (1)
What other ingredients, mixed with the above, are necessary to make the most valuable article, and what are the proportions of each? (J)
(1) We are practically unacquainted with the details of poudrette manufactory. So far as we have made use of night-soil as a manure, we have mixed it with loam, peat, and other manures, As to the profits arising from its manufacture, that will depend upon the local demand for manure, and its market value, as well as on the quantity of night-soil that can be relied upon.
(1) Dried peat or loam would make the best material to mix with. Charcoal will answer very well to absorb the liquid parts, and put it in a portable state, but the mixture will not be so valuable; saw dust may also be used. We think the time is not far distant when the fertilizing materials now wasted in our cities will be converted into valuable manures. Stable manure is advancing so rapidly in value, that attention will naturally be directed to other objects.
(3) As to the value of poudrette as compared with guano, that will depend upon how it is prepared ; by the use of. lime and certain acids, as deodrizing agents, much of the fertilising quality of the night-soil is expelled. If mixed with a small quantity of dried muck, and left to ferment and dry in the natural way, we would consider is as valuable as guano; if half its bulk were charcoal it might not be worth more than half as much per barrel.