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spread, for the purpose of drying it; it is turned over with a pitchfork, to clear it from the earth and dust which may adhere to it. It is then conveyed to some dry place, for humidity would render it liable to become mouldy, and would completely deteriorate its quality. After that, all that is necessary is to pack it up for market.
Statement of the expenses for a hectare (about two and a half acres) of madder land, cultivated by spade labor, in the department of Vaucluse.
First year. For breaking up the ground, 44 days' labor in the winter, and 20 loads of manure; ploughing up two furrows to cover the manure, and harrowing the land; 450 lbs. of seed per hectare; 8 days' work of a man and woman in sowing; weeding three times, 66 days' work of a woman; earthing up three times, 15 days' work of a man.
Second year. Weeding, in all, 22 days; earthing up once; earthing up for the winter.
Third year.-Taking up the roots, 166 days' work of men and women. Produce.-Fodder obtained the first year, 8,600 lbs.; second year, 4,300 lbs.; madder roots, 8,600 lbs.
Cultivation on a large scale.—In the cultivation on a large scale, no manure is employed. The first work of breaking up the earth is done with a strong plough; all the other labor of the intermediate years is done by hand, as in the small cultivation. The work of turning up the roots is done also with a strong plough, the mould-board of which is more turned up than usual, to prevent the earth from falling back into the furrow; its handle is of wood, but all the rest of wrought iron. It is constructed altogether upon the principle of the plough called contrier. There are, however, two small wheels attached to it, as a sort of fore-carriage, to render its progress more steady. The agriculturist should take care to have a double set of the principal parts of the plough, to prevent delays in case of accident.
To this plough is generally first yoked a pair of oxen, and before them are placed as many horses as the tenacity of the ground may require. The calculation is generally made for six pairs of horses, beside the oxen, for lands of ordinary stiffness. With these means, about half a hectare may be ploughed in a day. The ground should be opened to the depth of about twenty inches.
When such a considerable strength in cattle cannot be obtained, the furrows must be ploughed over twice; and in this way it may be managed with three pairs of cattle, which would do the same work, but take double the time to perform it.
To take up the roots, 20 men and women would be required to each plough, when the madder is not very thick, as is usually the case in the compact soils of which we are speaking.
If the crop prove very good, it would be necessary to increase, proportionately, the number of women to be employed. The width of the field is divided into twenty equal distances, by means of stakes driven in; one man and one woman are appointed to each of these divisions. The men have each an iron rake, and they spread the earth, as it is turned over by the plough, along their division. The women gather up the roots in baskets, and then deposite them in cloths, which are placed at equal distances. The other operations are performed in the manner stated in the preceding article.
Statement of expenses for a hectare of madder land, cultivated on a large
First year.-Breaking up of the land, 2 days' work for 7 pairs of cattle ; 6 days' work of men who drive the plough and attend the cattle; crossploughing after winter; 450 lbs. of seed; sowing after the plough ; weeding; earthing up three times, and for the winter.
Second year.-Earthing up once, for the winter.
Produce.--Fodder obtained the first year, 5,625 lbs.; second, 2,812 lbs.; madder roots, 5,625 lbs.
MADDER SEED... The very high prices which the madder dyes of France and Holland bave attained are sufficient to excite the attention of our intelligent agriculturists. It is only necessary to take into consideration the immense quantity of madder consumed in the various manufactories of the United States, to be convinced that the cultivation of this plant would be attended with great advantages, and that it may be undertaken with certainty of profit.
The madder root can be cultivated in almost every climate. The sands of Silesia, the marshes of Zealand, the arid soils of the south of France and Persia, produce it, and of almost equally good quality. It is well known that atmospheric influences make but little impression upon a root, the valuable part of which grows beneath the surface of the soil; and what a powerful guaranty does this circumstance afford to the cultivator of the madder. It protects him from all varieties of temperature which so frequently destroy crops of a different nature. For those who cultivate the root, a crop is assured as soon as the seed which they have put into the ground begins to germinate.
A special report upon the cultivation of this plant was laid before the Academy of Sciences at Paris, and a prize awarded to the author. It was written by M. de Gasparin, Peer of France, member of the Institute, and formerly Minister of the Interior. The above extract is made from it, which is itself sufficient to instruct all who wish to direct their attention to this new branch of cultivation in this country. French madder seed, obtained from last year's crops, may be had of the subscribers, who have received a consignment of a considerable quantity.
J. M. THORBURN & Co.,
15 John street, New York.
CULTIVATION OF MADDER.No. 1.
For the American Agriculturist. The great depression in every kind of agricultural produce makes it the duty of patriotic citizens to point out any new vegetable products wanting
in the practical arts. Of these, there are some five or six, hitherto imported from foreign countries, that can just as well be grown by our farmers as by foreigners. These are madder, indigo, Sicilian sumach, (rhus coriaria,) Italian sumach, (rhus cotinus,) weld, (resede lutiola,) and woad.
I undertook to bring these articles to the attention of our agriculturists some fifteen years since, but the then high price of produce paralyzed the effort. I will again bring them to their notice, and, I hope, with better effect. Gibson quotes a wise maxim from the Zendavesta : “He who sows the ground with care and diligence acquires a greater stock of religious merit than he could gain by a repetition of ten thousand prayers.'
I shall, in this article, treat of the cultivation of madder. The consumption of it is very large, and would require many thousands of acres to supply the home market. I believe the cultivation of madder has been successfully prosecuted, on a small scale, in the neighborhood of Utica, State of New York, for some years past. About the year 1816, I bought some dried roots in the market of Cynthiana, Kentucky, that I found of very good quality. I have tested some roots brought from South America, where, I am informed, it grows wild, and it proved superior to any European madder I ever used. Mrs. Madison made a report to the Philosophical Society of Philadelphia, many years since, on madder raised under her direction; and the report was accompanied with a sample of cotton dyed an Adrian. ople red, that has never been exceeded in color by any European dyer.
D'Ambourgue informs us that the roots taken from the ground, and washed, will, by using four pounds for one, produce all the effect of the best prepared. This fact is highly important to manufacturers, as it points out to them an easy and cheap way of obtaining the article for their own consumption, at less than half the price paid by them for the foreign article.
These facts will prove incontestably that our soil and climate are admirably adapted for the cultivation of madder. The only impediment to our success lies in the fact that it requires from two to three years to realize a crop, and our farmers are ever impatient for quick returns. I shall commence by describing the mode of culture, and then give the process of drying and grinding for distant markets.
Preparation for the crop.-It will be necessary to plough the land deeply for madder, before the winter, into high ridges, in order that it may be exposed to the action and influence of the frosts and the atmosphere. Early in the spring these ridges should be well harrowed down by a heavy long-tined harrow, and then ploughed again in the contrary direction to a good depth ; and after this, when the land is not perfectly clean from weeds, or not rendered sufficiently fine and mellow, another ploughing and another harrowing should be given. In the last operation the ground should always be left in as level and even a state as possible. It is then ready for the reception of the plants.
Sowing and planting.–The sets or plants may then be obtained either by sowing the seeds upon a bed of earth which is rich, and made perfectly
a fine by digging and raking in the spring, and then lightly covering it, or from offsets or suckers from the old plants. In the first method, on the plants appearing, they should be made perfectly clean by weeding, and be set out at the distance of three inches in the beds by the hoe; in this way, by keeping the ground quite clean, and well stirred about the plants, they will be ready to set out in the second autumn, though it will be mostly better to deler the business till spring. It requires about thirty thousand plants for setting an acre of land. The most suitable time for taking the sets is shown by the plants having attained the height of 10 or 12 inches from the ground, and the suckers having thrown out fibrous roots from their bottoms. This may be seen by drawing up a few of the plants, and usually about the latter end of May or beginning of June. Besides, it is necessary that the sets shall have formed root fibres at the bottoms before they are removed; as where that is not the case they never succeed well.
The land being prepared as directed, and the plants provided, a sufficient uumber of laborers are to be employed, that the work may be performed as expeditiously as possible. In taking off the sets, much care is necessary not to injure them. The number of plants that can be set in a short time should be taken up at once. They should be prepared by having a third part of their tops cut off. A sort of thin båtter should be made by mixing good vegetable mould and water well together; and as madder roots contain a large portion of free potash, I would recommend an addition of half a pound of potash to the batter used for the shoots, for every five pounds of fine mould, and this first dissolved in the water before mixing with the mould. Into this batter the roots and the sets should be well dipped before they are placed in the earth, as by this means the necessity of watering the plants afterwards is prevented. This work is executed by a person before the planting commences. Two others are employed afterwards in distrib. uting the plants, so as to be convenient for putting them into the ground,
These sets, after the land has been formed into beds five feet in breadth, with two feet between each for intervals, are put in by means of a line and a dibble, beginning at a distance of six inches from the outside, and setting a row of plants at a distance of five, six, or more, inches from each other; then removing the line two feet further on them, and putting in another row; and so on, till the bed is finished. In this way, each bed contains three rows of plants, at two feet distance each.
After cultivation.—As some of the plants are liable to die soon after the work has been performed, it is necessary, in the course of two or three weeks, to look over the ground, and put fresh vigorous plants in the places where the others have been destroyed.
It is of the greatest consequence to the growth that it be kept perfectly clean from weeds, and that the mould be occasionally stirred about the shoots of the plants.
For the American Agriculturist. CULTIVATION AND MANUPRCTURE OF MADDER.-No. II. Before giving directions for the manufacture of madder, as practised in Europe, I will inform our farmers of the mode pursued in Kentucky oi cultivating it.
They first dig the ground to a good depth, making the mould very light and mellow; they then plant small roots in rows; and when they have thrown up stalks of about a foot in length, they bend them down, and throw over them a layer of mould; these will throw up fresh sta!ks, which undergo the same process. This covering up is continued until the third year, when the bed is opened with a pitchfork, and all the roots large enough for use are washed and dried under a shed. The smaller roots are planted in What passes
fresh beds. The beds must be kept clean from weeds. The stalks, when laid down, become roots. The roots most valuable for coloring are from the size of a small goosequill to that of the little finger. If much larger, the coloring matter will be of little value ; and if many such are ground with the smaller roots, the whole mass will be injured.
I shall now proceed to describe the manufacture of madder roots for the market. I transcribe this account from A. Ure, on the arts, &c., published in England last year.
6. The madder, taken from the ground and picked, must be dried in order to be ground and preserved. In warm climates, it is dried in the open air; but elsewhere stoves must be employed.
“The stringy filaments and epidermis are to be removed, called mull; as also the pith, so as to leave nothing but the ligneous fibres.
“ The preparation of madder is carried on in the department of the Rhone in the following manner :
“ The roots are dried in a stove, heated by means of a furnace, from which the air is allowed to issue only at intervals, at the moment when it is judged to be saturated with moisture. The furnace flue occupies a great portion of the floor; above are three close gratings, on which the roots are distributed in layers of about eight inches. At the end of twenty-four hours, those which are on the first grated floor, directly above the stove, are dry; when they are taken away and replaced by those of the superior floors. This operation is repeated whenever the roots cver the stove are dry. The dry roots are threshed with a flail, passed through fanners similar to those employed for wheat, and then shaken upon a very coarse sieve. through, is further winnowed and sisted through a finer sieve than the first. These operations are repeated five times, proceeding successively to sieves still finer and finer, and setting aside every time what remains on the sieve. What passes through the fifth sieve is rejected as sand and dust. After these operations, the whole fibrous matters remaining on the sieve are cleaned with common fanners, and women separate all the foreign matters which had not been removed before. For dividing the roots, afterward, into different qualities, a brass sieve is made use of, whose meshes are from A to è inch in diameter. What passes through the finest is rejected; and what passes through the coarsest is regarded of the best quality. These roots, thus separated, are carried into a stove, of a construction somewhat different from the first. They are spread out in layers of about four inches in thickness, on large lattice-work frames; and the drying is known to be complete when, on taking up a handful and squeezing it, the roots break easily. On quitting the stove, the madder is carried, still hot, into a machine, where it is minced small, and a sieve separates the portion of the bark reduced to powder. This operation is repeated three or four times, and then the bolter is had recourse to. What passes through the sieve, or the brass meshes of the bolter, is regarded as common madder; and what issues at the extremity of the bolter is called the flour. Lastly, the madder which passes through the bolter is ground in a mill with vertical stones, and then passed through sieves of different sizes. What remains above is always better than what goes through.”
The manufacture of madder roots appears to be a very formidable operation ; yet, when reduced to practice, I suspect most of the difficulties so apparent in description would vanish.