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improvement in England, which has added immensely to the value of lands in that country, and is destined in all probability to quadruple the products of the kingdom, is one which might be introduced into our country to a limited degree with great advantage: this consists in an extended system of drainage. In the moist climate of Great Britain this practice of under draining, as it is there called, (for the drains are constructed of manufactured tiles, and covered,) embraces all lands, both high and low, and has been followed by astonishing results. The philosophy of draining consists in this: that it gives the cultivator command of the water by which his soil is affected; enabling him to use the redundancy in one case to supply deficiency in another. Too much water, whether it comes from excessive rain or permanent springs in the soil, is pernicious to cultivation: true, under certain conditions, it may even cause a greater luxuriance of vegetation; but, as a general rule, the plants produced in a wet soil are not so nutritious and valuable. It is stated in some reports on English agriculture by the late Rev. Henry Colman, of Masssachusetts, that the Duke of Portland, as far back as 1846, had completed more than seven thousand miles of drainage on his estates. Another proprietor made two hundred and fifty miles yearly;. and a third had completed the drainage of four hundred and sixty-seven acres at an expense of more than £1,500, and had increased the rental of his land by these operations to the amount of £435 2s.4d., or at the rate of 29 per cent. upon the capital expended. To mention but one of the many instances of profit from this source adduced by Mr. Colman, a farmer made upon wet land two hundred bushels of potatoes per acre;, the product of the same land after it had been drained was six hundred and ten bushels per acre.
Not less surprising in its results is that comparatively new and wonderful fertilizer known under the name of guano. The beneficial effects it produces have excited attention to its value throughout the country;and the portable manner in which it is prepared, with the facilities of its transportation, lead us to hope that for the time to come its consumption will be greatly increased. In the last Report of this Officc,.certain state. ments in reference to its qualities and value were given on the authority of Hon. Willoughby Newton, formerly a member of Congress from Virginia. Mr. Newton's experience has been confirmed by every one, sofar as we can learn, who has applied it judiciously and under favorable circumstances. There are two principal kinds of guano imported into the United States, viz. African and Peruvien; the latter being much the more valuable, and commanding nearly double the price of the former. It is sold at prices ranging from $25 to $45 per ton, the former being the price of the inferior or African variety. It is sown broadcast upon the land, at the rate of from three to four hundred pounds to the acre, and ploughed in to the depth of four or five inches, the land having been previously broken up. So powerful is the stimulant, that on some lands four hundred pounds. to the acre would be an unsafe application ; although a smaller quantity
. than two hundred pounds, where the land is not already fertile, produces but little effect. The most general application of it hitherto has been for the growth of wheat and clover, although it has been succesfully used in the culture of root crops and the fertilizing of ornamental grounds. It is commonly mixed with gypsum or plaster, in the proportion of one
of ne ur X. ais 11 th hi. m. che ch the nay
third of plaster to two thirds of guano, the plaster serving to fix the volatile parts of the guano as well as to neutralize its caustic properties. It may be less durable in its effects than many other fertilizers, but there is probably no known substance which will produce such large returns with so little outlay of labor and capital as guano. The use of this article has been increasing in England for years past, and the demands for it have led to inquiries which may result in finding deposites of the material in other localities than the few now known. The following annual returns, with the first two quarters of the present year, furnished by the Treasury Department, will show that its use is gaining ground here :
Echibit of the quantity and value of guano imported during the years
ending 30th June 1848, 1849, 1550, and 1851, and also from the 1st of July to the 31st of December, 1851, being the 1st and 2d quarters of the commercial year 1852.
as his Ely; en ztal cate the
Tons. 1,013 21,243 11,740 23,153 23,353
Value. $20,839 102,274 91,948 97,851 76,799
From the foregoing it will appear that the importations of the two last quarters exceed the entire amount of any previous year.
In a subsequent part of this Report will be found agricultural statistics collected in taking the late census.
AGRICULTURE IN CALIFORNIA.
, SO cir.
the ore old the ate
An address delivered by A. Williams, Esq., at a meeting in San Francisco, for presenting the premium of a silver goblet, offered by Mr. C. A. Shelton for the best varieties of vegetables and grains, contains some : interesting particulars of the agricultural resources of California.
Mr. Williams says that California is a State whose agricultural capa bilities—a far richer treasure than her mineral wealth-are unsurpassed in any portion of the earth, and whose variety of useful products are equalled only by their unparalleled extent and adaptation to the varied wants of man. In most of the others, a single excellence is characteristic and predominant. The lumber of Maine, the granite of New Hampshire, the rool of Vermont, the manufactures of Massachusetts, the agriculture of New York, the coal and iron of Pennsylvania, the grain and fruits of the middle and western States, the copper of Michigan, the corn, tobacco, and hemp of Virginia and Kentucky, the cotton of Alabama and Georgia, the sugar of Louisiana, the sugar, cotton, and indigo of Texas, the turpentine of North, and the rice of South Carolina,
constitute, respectively, their most prominent and distinctive interests, and are the pride and glory of their citizens. But there is scarcely one of these that cannot be found or produced in our own State. In the natural productions of the earth conducive to the sustenance of man, is our State abundantly prolific. As we approach the centre of the State, the banana, the orange, the lemon, the olive, the fig, the plantain, the nectarine, the almond, the apricot, and the pomegranate of the South, mingle in the same luxuriant gardens of Los Angeles with the peach, the pear, the cherry, the plumb, the quince, and the apple of the North; the fruits of the oak and the pine, of gigantic size and delicious taste, furnishing to man and beast the richest and most nutricious food; the beautiful salmon of the noble Sacramento, often weighing thirty, forty, and even sixty pounds, vieing with any other in fineness of texture and richness of flavor, as well as in size; and one uncommon article of fine white sugar, the exudation of a species of pine tree called the sugar pine; the successive ranges of mountains, whose extent is lost to view in the distance, waving with rich harvests of oats, the spontaneous production of the soil; solid trees of the red-wood, on the banks of the Trinity and Shasta rivers, sixty-eight feet in circumference; hollow ones, whose cayity has sheltered sixteen men and twenty mules for the night; pines crowning the dizzy peaks of the Sierra Nevada three hundred and eighty feet in heigth, the first two hundred and fifty feet without a branch or limb, an extent of growth so far beyond the ordinary size as to seem almost incredible, but well known, and seen, and verified by the uniform and concurrent testimony of many whom I see sitting around me. And we have some still larger and taller specimens of other things nearer home, here in our own city, to which many who hear me will bear witness from experience, and which come to maturity “ monthly in advance”-rents, the tallest kind of rents, put up higher than the pines, and sometimes harder to get around than red-wood! I hold in my hand a statement signed by twelve citizens of the county of Santa Cruz, Messrs. McLean, Gibson, Mallison, Peck, Clements, Pedriet, Mills, Stevens, McHenry, Sanborn, Kista, and Loveland, gentlemen of unquestionable veracity, an extract from which is as follows:
"On land owned and cultivated by Mr. James Williams, an onion grew to the enormous weight of twenty-one pounris. On this same land a turnip was grown which equalled exactly in size the top of a flour bar. rel. On land owned and cultivated by Thomas Fallen, a cabbage grew which measured, while growing, 13 feet 6 inches around its body. The weight is not known. The various cereal grains also grow to a height of from six to twelve feet. One red-wcod tree in the valley, known as Frómont's tree, measures over fifty feet in circumference, and is nearly three hundred feet high.”
Added to these astonishing productions is a beet, grown by Mr. Isaac Brannan, at San José, weighing sixty-three pounds ; carrots, three feet in length, weighing forty pounds. At Stockton a turnip weighed one hundred pounds. In the latter city, at a dinner for twelve persons, of a single potato, larger than the size of an ordinary hat, all partook, leaving at least the half untouched. These may be superlatives, but they do exist, and they show what our soil and climate are capable of producing. Nor are these more seemingly incredible than the well-known fact of a portion of our State, nearly six hundred miles in length, and
fifty in breadth, whose every foot of land from hill top to valley is more or less impregnated with gold of every conceivable form and size, from dust up to lumps weighing thirty pounds. But let us cast our eyes around this hall, and what do we see even from this hasty collection and casual contribution-an agricultural, botanical, geological, mineral, and floral exhibition, embracing nearly one thousand varieties of pressed flowers of every hue and of surpassing brilliancy, nearly two hundred varieties of which are illustrated by truthful and beautiful drawings; seeds of more than three hundred varieties of native flowers; twenty varieties of lily and other bulbous roots, embracing the remarkable soap plant, rivalling the finest boasts of the toilet, and adding to it its healing qualities, as if provided by Nature for the double purpose of sanitary and abluent properties for the native sons of the forest ; specimens of one thousand varieties of the principal quartz veins and soils of the State ; about twenty varieties of the principal grasses and clovers, many of the specimens pressed, embracing the burr clover, that feeds to fatness the "cattle of a thousand hills" when all other sustenance is parched and withered; Shelton's mammoth clover, whose stalks from one root covered an area of eighty-one square feet, some of the stalks six feet long, a half-inch in diameter, and the clover head five inches in circumference ; single stalks of the white lily, producing one hundred flowers of indescribable delicacy and beauty; beautiful specimens of minerals and pressed flowers from H. Pratten, esq., of Nevada; stalks of the oat gathered by Mr. Shelton, thirteen feet high ; specimens of wheat and barley having one hundred and fifty and two hundred mammoth stalks springing from one root, the produce of a single seed; the red sugar-beet grown by Mr. L. M. Beard, of San José, twenty-eight inches in circumference, and weighing forty seven pounds-some from the luxuriant gardens of Alderman Green, of this city, of only two months' growth, weighing six and seven pounds; a cabbage from H. Bolmer's ranch, mission of San José, weighing fifty-six pounds, and measuring seven fuet in circumference, presented by Wilson & Co.; cucumbers raised by the same, eighteen inches in length; onions cultivated by Messrs. Smith and Broder, and contributed by Messrs. Chamberlain and Musser, five, six, and seven inches in diameter, and weighing three and four pounds each, nearly seventy thousand pounds to an acre, and the whole number from the acre supposed to average one pound each; potatoes from Mr. H. Speel, of Santa Cruz, one hundred and twenty pounds from five vines of a single hill-one from Mr. B. J. Stevens, of Santa Clara, thirteen inches in length, twenty-seven inches in circumference, and weighing seven and a quarter pounds; the Russian bald barley, grown by Mr. Johnson on his ranch, upon the banks of Bear river, weighing sixty-six pounds to the bushel, with a kernel near double the size of large wheat; raspberries five inches in circumference; of barley from the San José valley, nine hundred and sixty-five bushels were produced from less than five acres of land-some from the farm of Madame Scoofy, of Sonora, where twelve acres, by ordinary cultivation, produced a crop of fifty-three thousand pounds. These walls are festooned with luscious grape from Capt. Malstry, of Los Angeles, single bunches from the gardens of Gen. Vallejo, at Sonoma, weighing ten pounds; apples, peaches, figs, and other fruits of enormous size from the same; from Horner, tomatoes
weighing two pounds each; pumpkins and squashes one hundred to one hundred and forty pounds each; cabbages two feet in diameter, and weighing over fifty pounds; onions, beets, and potatoes of enormous size, not isolated, but by hundreds of bushels; the top onion produced the first sea. son from the ordinary seed, with samples of wheat and barley of uncemmon size and weight; and added to the exhibition are also beautiful specimens of the Daguerrian and photographic art from Mr. Shew, and also from Mr. Bradley; lemon syrup of exceeding excellence, manufactured and exhibited by Messrs. Street & Co., of this city; exquisite feather work, by Madame Paacard; besides samples and specimens of countless varieties of plants, herbs, vines, fruits, grains and esculents of exceeding size and singular perfection, collected by Mr. Shelton, to the enumeration of which the proper extent of this address is wholly inadequate. Among the tropical productions introduced by him are coffee, ginger, banana, plaintain, and pomegranate, which are now in progress of successful cultivation; and he has this day received from Valparaiso a choice assortment of rare and valuable exotics—the entire stock of a greenhouse, embracing two thousand of the choicest French and Italian grape vines, fifty varieties choice pear trees, six varieties plums, three of apricots, twenty of peaches, five of currants, and seven thousand asparagus plants. Of flowers there are fifty varieties of jessamines, four of the African hibiscus, eight of chrysanthemums, twelve of althea, the wax plant, pinks, cacti, eighty-four dahlias, and over one thousand rose bushes. I have recently been informed by one of our adopted Celestials, whose phrenological developments of " auri sacra fames" predominated over his “amor patriæ,” that our soil, climate, and seasons are well adapted to the growth of the tea plant, and that, as there existed no natural obstacle to its successful cultivation here, he had sent to China for seed, and intends to commence growing it in the ensuing spring.
Indeed, there is scarcely a fruit or a plant, a shrub or a flower, a min. eral or a vegetable, of which any land can boast, but what is embraced within the limits of California, a “bright particular star” in the constellation of States, the crowning gem in the tiara of freedom. It needs but encouragement to develop her exhaustless resources. Agriculture is the greatest and most important, as it is the first, occupation of man. Manufactures, arts, sciences, commerce, inventions, all follow in her train. It is for the purpose of encourageinent to the farming, as well as the horticultural, interests that we have here assembled; and this silver goblet, equally creditable to him who gives, and to him who receives, I am requested by Mr. Shelton, the giver, to present to you, Mr. Horner, as a premium for the best variety of vegetables and grains, and as a tes. timonial of his and our and the public appreciation of your persevering and successful efforts here in the great and noble field of agricultural and horticultural industry. In your case we have seen, while the public mind was absorbed by the irresistible maelstrom of the gold mania, a single individual in four years even more successful in developing the agricultural, than others the mineral, wealth which slumbers in the bosom of our soil, under peculiar disadvantages, from want of proper imple. ments, proper seeds, and sufficient manual help-at first aided by the labor of only three natives of the forest, till the teeming soil, in grateful return for her cultivation, yielded her riches, in the fifth year enabling you