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scale since the passage of the tariff, giving a protection of 30 per cent. In these two years, such improvements have been made in machinery, and such knowledge obtained, as has enabled the manufacturers to produce an article which commands a preference over any heretofore imported; and we should not be considered too sanguine when we state, as our firm belief, that the importation of manufactured mustard in 1845 will not be more than one-third as much as in any of the last five years; and that, with our superior American seed, our manufacturers can supplant the English article in markets it has never yet been sent to. If such be the case, or if a prejudice in other markets should prevent the manufactured mustard being exported, the American seed has only to be tried by English manufacturers, to command with them the same preference as we give to it here. In these views of the case, we think that the demand for seed is much more likely to exceed the production, than the production to exceed the demand. You have, however, better information at Washington, of the probable demand for seed, than we have here.
We have written to a friend for a statement of the importation of mustard and mustard seed, but are, as yet, without the information. The West have heretofore supplied their own factories ; but we learn that the increased demand for American mustard has compelled them to look to the East this season for their supplies of seed, and we have now an application from Kentucky for seed; and our friends at Cincinnati, under date of the 15th instant, say “the fact is, the manufacturers here, and in Kentucky and St. Louis, consume nearly all that is brought into this market.” Our supplies for the last two years have, in part, been drawn from the West, and, with the exception of the lot purchased from Mr. Parmelee, we do not think, this winter, we will be able to get a single bushel there.
We have thus given you as niuch of the information asked for as at present lies in our power, without reserve; and regret that we have been compelled to extend our letter to so great a length. In the hope of giving you the address of J. H. Parmelee shortly,
We are, respectfully, yours, &c.
C. J. FELL & BROTHER. H. L. ELLSWORTH,
Commissioner of Patents.
From the Ohio Cultivator.
GREAT CROP OF MUSTARD SEED IN OHIO.
Mr. J. H. Parmelee, residing a few miles below Zanesville, in the Muskingum valley, cultivated the past year 27 acres of brown mustard, and the product (as sold to Messrs. Fell & Brother, of Philadelphia) was as follows:
114 barrels, containing 352 bushels, weighing 524 pounds per bushel, making 20,100 pounds of seed; for which they paid him 8 cents per pound, or $1,608-being a gross product at the rate of $59 25 per acre.
The soil on which this crop was produced is good lively bottom land, containing a fair proportion of sand, having an open sub-soil, and was in corn for a number of years previous. It was well ploughed and harrowed as early as it would work well in spring, (in April,) and the seed sown with
a drill barrow, in rows—the first one foot, and the next two feet apart, thus :
The seeds should be dropped one to two inches apart, (rather more than a quart to an acre,) and the plants thinned to two or three inches. Much care and labor is requisite to keep the ground entirely free from weeds, as the seeds of weeds would greatly injure the value of the crop at harvest. Indeed, this labor constitutes the largest item in the whole expense. Mr. Parmelee uses a horse, with a small cultivator so constructed that, in passing between the wide rows, one of the teeth goes between the narrow ones. Our advice, however, would be, to make all the rows two feet apart, (to save labor in cultivating and hoeing,) and, if the ground is in good condition, the plants will be sure to fill all the space, when at maturity, and yield as much seed as if the rows were closer.
In harvesting, great care is necessary to avoid shelling. It is cut by hand, with a sickle, (we believe,) and laid in rows a short time to perfect the ripening ; then hauled to the barn on a sled, with a wide frame at bottom covered with canvass. It is then threshed and cleaned like ordinary grain.
One thing should be borne in mind by those who may contemplate raising this crop-namely, that the seed (some of which is sure to shell in harvesting) is a sore and lasting plague to other crops that may follow it; so that it is best to keep the same land devoted to this purpose as long as it can be done with advantage.
For fear that Mr. Parmelee may think we shall spoil his trade by inducing too many to engage in the business, we will here state that we happened to meet one of the Messrs. Fell above mentioned at an exhibition in Delaware last fall, and he then informed us of the crop of Mr. Parmelee, and remarked that the demand for the seed is so extensive that it will re. quire many such crops to be produced annually to supply it, or to have any material effect on the price. And as the principal part of the supply for this country is now imported, patriotism demands that this information should be diffused, and the supply produced at home.
Note.-The account of Mr. Parmelee's crop, as published in the Farmers' Cabinet and several other papers, contained some errors, both as to product and cultivation. The 100 bushels of “tailings" should read 100 pounds. We had our information from a near neighbor of Mr. P.
CULTURE OF INDIGO, Indigo-(indigofera, from indigo, a blue dye-stuff—a corruption of Indi. cum, India, and fero, to bear. Most of the species produce the well-knowa
dye called indigo, the finest of all vegetable blues.) This is an extensive genus of rather elegant plants, the shrubbery kinds of which are well worthy of cultivation. The stove and green-house shrubbery kinds thrive best in a mixture of sandy loam and peat, and may be increased without difficulty by cuttings of the young wood planted in sand under a glass in heat. The annual and biennial kinds must be raised from seeds sown in a hot bed in spring; and when the plants have grown a sufficient height, they may be planted singly into pots, and treated as other tender annuals and biennials. The genus belongs to the natural order leguminosæ; hence the flowers resemble the pea tribe. The vexillum is round, emarginated; the heel furnished with a subulate spur on both sides; stamens diadelphous, style filiform, legume continuous, one or more seeded, two valved. The indigofera cærulea yields the finest indigo; the I. argentia an inferior kind, which comes from Egypt; the I. tinctoria, besides yielding indigo, is also medicinally employed; and the powdered leaf of I. anil is used in some diseases of the liver.- Paxton.
Indigo, when cultivated, thrives best in a free rich soil and a warm situation, frequently refreshed with moisture.
The usual course pursued for its culture is as follows :
Having first chosen a proper piece of ground, and cleared it, hoe it into little trenches not above two inches or two inches and a half in depth, not more than fourteen or fifteen inches asunder. In the bottom of these, at any season of the year, strew the seeds pretty thick, and immediately cover them. As the plants shoot, they should be frequently weeded, and kept constantly clean until they spread sufficiently to cover the ground. Those who cultivate great quantities only strew the ground pretty thick in little shallow pits, hoed up irregularly, but generally within four, five, or six inches of one another, and covered as before. Plants raised in this manner are observed to answer as well as the others, or rather better ; but they require more care in the weeding. They grow to full perfection in two or three months, and are observed to answer best when cut in full blossom. The plants are cut with reaping hooks a few inches above the root, tied in loads, carried to the works, and laid by strata in the steeper. Seventeen negroes are sufficient to manage twenty acres of indigo ; and one acre of rich land, well planted, will, with good seasons and proper management, yield five hundred pounds of indigo in twelve months; for the plant ratoons (stools, stoles, or tillers ; i. e., it sends out stolones, or new growths) and gives four or five crops a year, but must be replanted afterwards.-Browne.
The process by which the blue coloring inatter is extracted from the plant in Mexico, the East Indies, &c., is as follows:
The leaves are gathered at maturity, and immersed in vessels filled with water until fermentation takes place. The water then becomes opaque and green, exhaling an odor like that of volatile alkali, and evolving bubbles of carbonic acid gas. When the fermentation has continued long enough, the liquid is decanted and put into other vessels, where it is agitated till blue flakes begin to appear. Water is now poured in, and flakes are precipitated in the form of a blue powdery sediment; which is obtained by
; decantation, and which, after being made up into small lumps, and dried in the shade, is the indigo of the shops. It is insoluble in water, though slightly soluble in alcohol ; but its true solvent is sulphuric acid, with which it forms a fine blue dye, known by the name of liquid blue. It affords, by
distillation, carbonic acid gas, water, ammonia, some oily and acid matter, and much charcoal, whence its constituent principles are, most probably, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. Indigo may be procured also from several other plants besides indigofera tinctoria, and particularly from isatis tinctoria, or woad, a plant indigenous to Britain, and thought to be the plant with the juice of which the ancient Britons stained their naked bodies, to make them look terrible to their enemies.
If this plant is digested in alcohol, and the solution evaporated, white crystalline grains, somewhat resembling starch, will be left behind; which grains are indigo, becoming gradually blue by the action of the atmosphere. The blue color of indigo, therefore, is owing to its combination with oxygen.
Indigo is not cultivated to so great an extent in the United States as formerly, the imported article being obtained so readily. The following process of manufacturing indigo in small quantities, for family use, is extracted from the Southern Agriculturist:
“ Cut the indigo when the under leaves begin to dry, and while the dew is on them in the morning; put them in a barrel, and fill this with rain water, and place weights on it to keep it under water; when bubbles begin to form on the top, and the water begins to look of a reddish color, it is soaked enough, and must be taken out, taking care to wring and squeeze the leaves well, so as to obtain all the strength of the plant; it must then be churned (which may be done by means of a tolerably open basket, with a handle to raise it up and down) until the liquor is quite in a foam. To ascerlain whether it is done enough, take out a spoonful in a plate, and put a small quantity of very strong lye to it. If it curdles, the indigo is churned enough, and you must proceed to break the liquor in the barrel in the same way, by putting in lye (which must be as strong as possible) by small quantities, and continuing to churn until it is all sufficiently curdled; care must be taken not to put in too much lye, as that will spoil it. When it curdles freely with the lye, it must be sprinkled well over the top with oil, which immediately causes the foam to subside; after which, it must stand till the indigo settles to the bottom of the barrel. This may be discovered by the appearance of the water, which must be let off gradually, by boring holes first near the top, and afterwards lower, as it continues to settle. When the water is all let off, and nothing remains but the mud, take that, and put it in a bag (flannel is the best) and hang it up to drip, afterwards spreading it to dry on large dishes. Take care that none of the foam, which is the strength of the weed, escapes; but if it rises too high, sprinkle oil on it.”
Seven or eight species of indigo are found in the United States, most of which are in the South. The wild indigo, (Dyer's Baptisia,) common in Pennsylvania and other middle. States, yields a considerable proportion of blue coloring matter of an inferior kind.-Flora Cestrica.
WASHINGTON City, January 15, 1845. DEAR SIR: I take the liberty to call your attention to the cultivation of one of the most valuable of vegetables, destined, at no distant day, to expel from our markets one of the most extensive articles of imports, and now ad
mitted free of duty. I mean okra, whose excellence in soup is universally known and acknowledged. Its ripe seeds, burned and used as coffee, can. not be distinguished therefrom; and many persons of the most fastidious taste have not been able to distinguish it from the best “Java.” It is very easily grown. The seeds may be sown in May, in drills 4 feet asunder, an inch deep and 8 inches apart, and cultivated like corn or peas. It sends up a strong stalk, and yields a great abundance of seeds, and the coffee" made from it is very healthy. I think it matter of great importance, especially to the Western States, and herewith send a bag of seeds for distribution.
J. F. CALLAN. Hon. H. L. ELLSWORTH.
Extract from the Farmers' Encyclopedia. Okra, (hibiscus esculentis.)— This plant is extensively cultivated in the West Indies, from whence it has been introduced into the United States. The pods are gathered green, and used in soups. They form an important ingredient in the celebrated gumbo soup of New Orleans and other southern places. The pods are filled with seeds and a mucilage, of a bland and highly nutritious quality. Hence, the okra is frequently recommended to persons afflicted with dysentery and other bowel complaints, eaten either boiled or made into soup. When buttered and spiced, they afford a rich dish; and, with vinegar, they make a good pickle. The plant comes to maturity in the middle States, and the pods are abundant in the Philadel. phia market. Those who become once accustomed to this wholesome vegetable contract a great fondness for its peculiar flavor. In Louisiana, and other Southern States, a dinner is scarcely considered complete without okra cooked in some way or other; and the poor consider it one of their greatest blessings. The pods are of a proper size when 2 or 3 inches long, but may be used as long as they remain tender. If fit for use, they will snap asunder at the ends; but if too old and woody, they must be rejected. “One peck of the tender pods are to be cut crosswise into very thin slices, not exceeding one-eighth of an inch in thickness; to this quantity, add about one-third of a peck of tomatoes, previously peeled and cut into pieces. The proportion of tomatoes may be varied to suit the taste. A coarse piece of beef (a shin is generally made use of) is placed in a pot of digester, with about 24 gallons of water, and a very small quantity of salt
, This is permitted to boil a few minutes, when the scum is taken off, and the okra and tomatoes are thrown in. With these ingredients, in the proportions mentioned, the soup is very fine. Still
, some think it improved by addition of green corn, Lima beans, &c. The most essential thing to be attended to is the boiling, and the excellence of the soup depends almost entirely on this being done faithfully; for, if it be not boiled enough, however well the ingredients may have been selected and proportioned, the soup will be very inferior, and give but little idea of the delightful flavor it possesses when well done. A properly constructed digester is decidedly the best vessel for boiling this or any other soup in; but, where such a utensil is not at hand, an earthen pot should be preferred; but on no account make use of an iron one, as it would turn the whole sono perfectly black, instead of the proper color, viz: green, colored with the rich yellow