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.
We believe the majority of agricultural writers agree upon the advantage of plougfaing.in green crops as manure on exhausted lands, and it has long been practiced as one of the cheapest and best modes, under given circumstances, of accomplishing that result.
We have been not a little surprised, therefore, to find man agricultural address delivered by Mr. Gowan, of Mt. Airy, near Philadelphia, such views as the following:
" There is another remark, however it may conflict with pre-conceived opinion, or establish, ed usage, which a sense of duty compels me to make; and that is, of all the time-wasting, land-cheating practices, none is more to be deprecated than that of turning-in green crops, as a succedaneura for manure. In whatever place this is practiced, however strong the land may be at the start, the system, if persevered in, must inevitably bring the land, its owners, and the country, into a state of poverty. No good husbandman would think of pursuing such a course. Think of the time lost in preparing the ground for a crop, seeding it, and then, instead of allowing it to mature, to be gathered to the barn, ploughing it under, to serve as manure to the land on which it was raised. Manure, indeed! To call the acidulated water, which the decomposition of partly grown clover, buckwheat, etc, produces, manure, would be a misnomer - the calling of a thing by the wrong name. • • * If the turning-in, year after year, scant crops of clover and the like, be persisted in, the land so treated must, in a brief period, become not only destitute of vegetable mold, but of every other organic ingredient necessary to fertility".
If Mr. GOWAN goes on at this rate, he will demonstrate that there is no warmth begotten by sunshine! Does Mr. 6. happen to have heard that one of the premium farms in the state of New York - that of Mr. D. D. T. Mom, of Watervltet - 185 acres, was purchased by Mr. M. five years ago, and was, according to the ar fidavits made to the society, so poor at that time, that the only crop Mr. M. could then raise on it was white beans, and that without capital, and simply by good management, Mr. M. has not only brought this farm to the highest condition, but made it produce a net profit of $2,678 per year. How was this poor worn-out form restored? We give Mr. More's own words: " I found the best mode of improving my land was by ploughing under green clover, the growth of the clover being aided by a liberal application of plaster - say 260 lbs. to the acre." Having had a glimpse of Mr. More's farm, and being able to certify from that glimpse, that he is a master farmer, and no quack, we commend his practice to Mr. Gowan, confident that Mr. More's practice, well understood and practiced by American " skinners," would fill their pockets with "yellow boys," rather than their soil with "acidulated water".