13 September 2012

-1867, 1868, 1869, 1870 & 1873-
Farmer's Calendar Excerpts


(photo link)

Now comes another rather busy month. The winter grains must go into the ground, and the land must be carefully prepared for them. Grass seed also may be sown by itself, an lands which you wish to lay down. if the land is fit to sow down, the seed sown early this month will soon come up, and have time to get well rooted before the fall frosts are hard enough to injure it, and it stands the winter better than if sown later. Fall seeding does better, in an average of years, than spring, though both seasons are liable to the accidents of weather. An open and changeable winter may injure the crop, but a drought of any severity on a spring-sown grass-field is still more serious. If you are going to lay down that lot, let it be done well. Don’t neglect to roll it, and get it smooth and level.[Thomas’s Farmer’s Almanac]

Grass should go in early this month. Some farmers sow it in August, and if their land is moist it is just as well then. Spare no pains in laying down land carefully. A roller makes a smooth, clean surface, but you can make a drag in two or three hours that will do equally well. Take three or four planks, say six or eight feet long, and ten or twelve inches wide, and bolt on two crosspieces, made bevelling, say, ten inches at one end, in the form of a sleigh or sled runner. Fix a chain at each end, and hitch the team to the chain, or, what is better, rig on an old pair of shafts. One horse is sufficient. The driver may ride standing on the drag, the flat part of which will be about two feet. This drag leaves the land in fine order. if there is a stone thrusting is head out of the ground, the drag crowds it down. If there are lumps, it grinds them up fine as powder. it does its work as well as a fifty or hundred dollar roller. You will find it answers the purpose admirably, for I speak of what I know.
 [Thomas’s Farmer’s Almanac]

God made the first garden while Cain’s red hands built the first city. Alas the day, that ever Cain’s coquetting mother found it so pleasant to hold the memorable conversation with the gentleman of fascinating address and sibilant accent from a subterranean metropolis. But for that men might live in gardens still, and not feel constrained to shut themselves up, on two sides with brick and one with stone, enveloped all the while in an atmosphere which a rude analysis finds composed of dust, smoke and many well defined and several savory odors. Yet men acquire a morbid taste for city life, and finally, regard the country almost with dislike. A similar unhealthy state of feeling is that of the convict who, released after a long term of imprisonment, would return of his own accord to the gloom of his dungeon. 
[Maine Farmer’s Almanac]

Don’t eat down the fall feed on the mowing lots too closely. Many farmers make a great mistake by turning in the cattle as soon as the crop is off, keeping the aftermath fed down all season. it leaves the grass roots exposed, and is a positive injury to the field. Let the second crop get well started before turning stock upon it, and then a portion of it will be trodden down, and so remain to protect the roots in winter. Beans should be pulled after they have turned yellow, and laid up on stakes or poles to dry before being thrashed. The lower leaves of the mangolds may be stripped off and fed to the stock. Winter wheat ought to go in immediately on land well prepared and mellow. Soak in strong brine over night and roll in plaster or lime before sowing. 
[Thomas's Farmer's Almanac]

Corn may be cut as soon as it is well glazed, and stooked carefully on the field. Bind it tight, to shed the rains. If you have grain to thrash, it is best to do it early. Look to see that it is well done. If you have to buy straw, it is better to do it in thrashing time. No farmer should sell straw, hay, or corn stalks, unless he spends the money for extra manures. The cabbages and root crops need weeding again, perhaps. If you can apply a little liquid manure now, it will push ahead these crops very rapidly. Pastures may now be dressed with fine manures, like ashes, lime, or bone dust. The fall rains will soak them into the surface. 
 [Thomas’s Farmer’s Almanac]

Get all the muck you can while the low lands are dry. It is the mother of the meal chest, they say; good on almost all soils if rightly put on. 
[Thomas’s Farmer’s Almanac]


Bonnets and Boots said...

Helpful posts. I found the second post from the year 1868 very interesting.

The Cherry Tree Farm said...

I am going to show my ignorance here by asking what the almanac means by "grass"? Is it grass hay (like the beardless barley we grew for that this year)? Or is it a general term for all kinds of helpful ground covers? Thanks for helping me learn!