The Old Time Farm Magazines: Head Lettuce, Jerusalem Artichokes and More

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Homesteading isn't always an easy practice and these old-time farm magazines help get you through the hard times.

This page contains excerpts from issues of The American
Agriculturist dated 1891.

Raising Head Lettuce In Summer

James Leech , Allegheny Co., Pa., desires information about
manure for lettuce. In our experience there is nothing
better than ordinary barnyard manure, but, no matter what
kind of manure is used, it is difficult to raise good,
solid heads in hot and dry weather. A good deal depends on
the kind of lettuce planted. The best heads we have ever
been able to raise In summer were of the Deacon lettuce.

Keeping Jerusalem Artichokes

By W.
H. Shaw, St. Francois Co., Mo

Jerusalem artichokes may be
wintered in the same manner as potatoes. The cooler they are kept without freezing the better they will come out In the
spring. If it is a small quantity that Is to be kept, it Is
better to put them in a frost-proof caller, in a barrel or
box, and cover them with dry soil or sand.


B. S. X., Park City,
Utah, desires to know whether a woman can manage an incubator alone, providing she has already some experience
in raising chickens. Incubators can be managed by any intelligent adult, but of course there will be something to
learn at first. All the incubators advertised In the American Agriculturist are reliable, differing only in
preference and claims of manufactures.


By S. Rankin, Cincinnati.

You may now use the word “vineyardist” for one who
works in or takes care of a vineyard without fear that some
one may tell you that it is not recognized by our
lexicographers for it has at last found a place in a
dictionary. The late edition of Webster’s “International”
admits it, and all cultivators of the grape should rejoice
over the recognition of a good English word which has been
in common use In this country for nearly or quite half a
century. As horticulturists and agriculturists we may be
thankful for small favors, and hope that our lexicographers
will not forget us In future editions of their great

Chickens Dying

By Miss M. D. X.,
Hampshire Co., Mass.

The fact that only those given liberty
were affected Indicates a probability of the hens being
poisoned in some manner, especially if you or your
neighbors have carelessly allowed Paris green to be placed
where they might reach It. Or, if not, they may be crop
bound from eating dried grass, induced by their liberty and
lack of green food.

Feeding Turnips

By Dairyman,
Northampton Co., Pa

You cannot feed turnips to milch cows without affecting the flavor of the butter and giving it a
turnipy taste. It will make little or no difference whether the turnips are fed before or after milking, with or
without salt, the scent of the turnips will pass into the
milk veins and milk. Furthermore, if turnips, cabbages, and
similar strong scented vegetables are cut up and fed to
other animals in the same barn or stable where milch cows are standing, the very air breathed by the milch cows will be
laden with the strong odor, and this will taint the milk.
Pure and fresh air is just as Important as pure and nearly
inodorous food for cows in order that they should give the
best quality of milk for butter making. There are, no doubt, cows which are not so susceptible to the effect of poor and
strongly-scented food as others but they and not, as a rule,
animals that give the richest milk.

What Horses Sell Best?

J. Y.
Gedney, Mitchell Co., Iowa desires to know what kind of
horses sell best. This doubtless refers to horses for all
purposes. There are many good horses brought from Iowa to
New York State. Speed will not be noticed. Horses having
the following form will always sell: A good sized bony
head, full, kind eye, pricked ears, good crest, oblique
shoulders, short on back, long on belly, somewhat arched
at coupling, well ribbed up, heavy boned, short, flat legs,
compact, blocky, active, good tempered, and a good walker.
Also he should have size and weight, say from 1,000 pounds

Grubs Eating Strawberries

By Edward
R. Hastings, Middlesex Co., Mass.

There is one
good point in favor of nitrate soda that I have not seen
noticed. I have used it in small quantities for a number of
years. In applying large quantities of manure to
strawberries I was troubled by muck worms (the larvae of
the May beetle) eating the plants. A heavy application of
nitrate of soda seemed to keep them away from a bed to
which I applied it. We applied a heavy dressing of nitrate
of soda last year to early cabbages. It made the cabbages
grow rapidly but it had no apparent effect on the grubs
which attacked the roots or stems of some of the plants.
But we think it sometimes checks the ravages of the onion
maggots. Probably because It makes the plants grow so

Fowls Eating Sal

ByR. L. Spencer,
Monmouth Co., N. J.

The symptoms of fowls having eaten
salt would be excessive thirst, convulsions, mouth open
constantly, resulting in death in a few hours, according to
the quantity of saIt eaten.

Beat Use of Muck

Willard Agans,
Herkimer Co., N. Y., has a muck swamp which is well
drained, and desires information in regard to making it the
most available as a fertilizer. The most profitable use to
which muck can be put is to use it as an absorbent in the
stable or barnyard. Mild winter days afford an excellent
opportunity for digging and carting muck to places where it
can be easily handled for these purposes.

Enormous Vegetables From Washington

Isaac Cathcart, Snohomish Co., Wash., has raised an
Early Rose potato weighing five pounds four ounces. Robert
T. Flynn, Kitsap Co., Wash:, has raised a turnip weighing
twenty pounds and measuring thirty-six inches in
circumference. The above specimens have been forwarded to
New York for exhibition.

Selection of Breeds of Fowls

M. T.
Waters. Hamilton Co., 0., proposes to start in the business
of raising poultry with a few pure Leghorns for the
production of eggs, and Light Brahmas or Plymouth Rocks for
rearing chickens. This selection of breeds and proposed
method should lead to success, if good management and care
are given.

French Method of Fattening Fowls

The method of the French is to fatten
fowls by confining them in coops or stalls, an attendant
inserting a tube In the throat and the crop is filled by
forcing food down the throat. In other words, the food is
“pumped” down the fowl. The food Is mostly carbonaceous,
ground grain and milk predominating.

“Phosphates” for Garden Crops

By S. K.
Green, Monroe Co., N.Y.

“I run a garden farm and
have four acres of asparagus, three acres early cabbage,
four acres onions, strawberries, etc., and use all the
manure I can get. I have tried phosphate, but don’t see
much good from It.” Our own experience confirms this
statement so far as the crops named are concerned. With the
exception of lettuce and turnips, we think the average
“phosphates” are not rich enough in nitrogen to show any
marked effect on garden crops. In buying fertilizers, the
gardener and fruit-grower should either buy the
phosphate, potash and nitrogen separately and do his own
mixing, or he should buy a brand of fertilizer that
contains a liberal percentage of nitrogen — say five or six
per cent of soluble or readily available nitrogen.

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