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A Year's Residence in the United States of America: Vol 2
YEAR'S RESIDENCE, &c.
EXPERIMENTS, IN 1818, AS TO CABBAGES.
165. AT the time when I was writing the First Part, I expected to be able to devote more time to my farming, during the summer, than I afterwards found that I could so de vote without neglecting matters which I deem of greater importance. I was, indeed, obliged to leave the greater part of my out-door's business wholly to my men, merely telling them what to do. However, I attended to the things which I thought to be of the most importance. The field-culture of Carrots, Parsnips and Mangle Wurzle I did not attempt. I contented myself with a crop of Cabbages and of Ruta Baga and with experiments as to Earth-burning and Transplanting Indian Corn. The summer, and the fall also, have been remarkably dry in Long Island, much more dry than is usual. The grass has been very short indeed. A sort of Grass-hopper, or cricket, has eaten up a considerable part of the grass and of all vegetables, the leaves of which have come since the month of June. I am glad, that this has been the case; for I now know what a farmer may do in the worst of years; and, when I consider what the summer has been, I look at my Cabbages and Ruta Baga with surprize as well as with satisfaction.
166. I had some hogs to keep, and, as my Swedish Turnips (Ruta Baga) would be gone by July, or before, I wished them to be succeeded by cabbages. I made a hot-bed on the 20th of March, which ought to have been made more than a month earlier; but, I had been in Pennsylvania, and did not return home till the 13th of March. It requires a little time to mix and turn the dung in order to prepare it for a hot-bed; so that mine was not a very good one; and then my frame was hastily patched up, and its covering consisted of some old broken sashes of windows. A very shabby concern; but, in this bed I sowed cabbages and cauliflowers. The seed came up, and the plants, though standing too thick, grew pretty well. From this bed, they would, if I had had time, been transplanted into another, at about two and a half or three inches apart. But, such as they were, very much drawn up, I began planting them out as soon as they were about four inches high.
167. It was the 12th of May before they attained this height, and I then began planting them out in a piece of ground, pretty good, and deeply ploughed by oxen. My cauliflowers, of which there were about three thousand, were too late to flower, which they never will do, unless the flower have begun to shew itself before the great heat comes. However, these plants grew very large, and afforded a great quantity of food for pigs. The outside leaves and steins were eaten by sows, store-pigs, a cow, and some oxen; the hearts, which were very tender and nearly of the Cauliflower-taste, were boiled in a large cast-iron caldron, and, mixed with a little rye-meal, given to sows and young pigs. I should suppose, that these three thousand plants weighed twelve hundred pounds, and they stood upon about half an acre of land. I gave these to the animals early in July.
168. The Cabbages, sown in the bed, consisted partly of Early Yorks, the seed of which had been sent me along with the Cauliflower seed, from England, and had reached me at Harrisburgh in Pennsylvania; and partly of plants, the seed of which had been given me by Mr. JAMES PAUL, Senior, of Bustleton, as I was on my return home. And this gave me a pretty good opportunity of ascertaining the fact as to the degenerating of cabbage seed. Mr. Paul, who attended very minutely to all such matters; who took great delight in his garden; who was a reading as well as a practical farmer, told me, when he gave me the seed, that it would not produce loaved cabbages so early as my own seed would; for, that, though he had always selected the earliest heads for seed, the seed degenerated, and the cabbages regularly came to perfection later and later. He said, that he never should save cabbage seed himself; but, that it was such chance-work to buy of seedsmen, that he thought it best to save some at any rate. In this case, all the plants from the English seed produced solid loaves by the 24th of June, while, from the plants of the Pennsylvania seed, we had not a single solid loaf till the 28th of July, and, from the chief part of them, not till mid-August.
169. This is a great matter. Not only have you the food earlier, and so much earlier, from the genuine seed, but your ground is occupied so much less time by the plants. The plants very soon shewed, by their appearance, what would be the result; for, on the 2nd of June, Miss Sarah Paul, a daughter of Mr. James Paul, saw the plants, and while those from the English seed were even then beginning to loave, those from her father's seed were nothing more than bunches of wide spreading leaves, having no appearance of forming a head. However, they succeeded the plants from the English seed; and, the whole, besides what were used in the House, were given to the animals. As many of the white loaves as were wanted for the purpose were boiled for sows and small pigs, and the rest were given to lean pigs and the horn-cattle: and a fine resource they were; for, so dry was the weather, and the devastations of the grasshoppers so great, that we had scarcely any grass in any part of the land; and, if I had not had these cabbages, I must have resorted to Indian Corn, or Grain of some sort.
170. But, these spring-cabbage plants were to be succeeded by others, to be eaten in September and onwards to January. Therefore, on the 27th of May, I sowed in the natural ground eleven sorts of cabbages, some of the seed from England and some got from my friend, Mr. PAUL. I have noticed the extreme drought of the season. Nevertheless, L have now about two acres of cabbages of the following description. Half an acre of the Early Salisbury (earliest of all cabbages) and Early York; about 3 quarters of an acre of the Drum-head and other late cabbages; and about the same quantity of Green Savoys. The first class are fully loaved, arid bursting: with these I now feed my animals. These will be finished by the time that I cut off my Swedish Turnip Greens, as mentioned in Part 1. Paragraph 136. Then, about mid-December, I shall feed with the second class, the drum-heads and other late Cabbages. Then, those which are not used before the hard frosts set in, I shall put up for use through the month of January.
171. Aye! Put them up; but how? No scheme that industry or necessity ever sought after, or that experience ever suggested, with regard to the preserving of cabbages, did I leave untried last year; and, in every scheme but one I found some inconvenience. Taking them up and replanting them closely in a sloping manner and covering them with straw; putting them in pits; hanging them up in a barn; turning their heads downwards and covering them with earth, leaving the roots sticking up in the air: in short every scheme, except one, was attended with great labour, and some of them forbade the hope of being able to preserve any considerable quantity; and this one was as follows: I made a sort of land with the plough, and made it pretty level at top. Upon this land I laid some straw. I then took the cabbages, turned them upside down, and placed them (first taking off all decayed leaves) about six abreast upon the straw. Then covered them, not very thickly, with leaves raked up in the woods, flinging now and then a little dirt (boughs of any sort would be better) to prevent the leaves from being carried off by the wind. So that, when the work was done, the thing was a bed of leaves with cabbage-roots sticking up through it. I only put on enough leaves to hide all the green. If the frost came and prevented the taking up of the cabbages, roots and all, they might be cut off close to the ground. The root, I dare say, is of no use in the preservation. In the months of April and May, I took cabbages of all sorts from this land perfectly good and fresh. The quantity, preserved thus, was small. It might amount to 200 cabbages. But, it was quite sufficient for the purpose. Not only did the cabbages keep better in this, than in any other way, but there they were, at all times, ready. The frost had locked up all those which were covered with earth, and those which lay with heads up wards and their roots in the ground were rotting. But, to this land I could have gone at any time, and have brought away, if the quantity had been large, a waggon load in ten minutes. If they had been covered with snow (no matter how deep) by uncovering twenty feet in length (a work of little labour) half a ton of cabbages would have been got at. This year, thinking that my Savoys, which are, at once, the best in quality and best to keep, of all winter cabbages, may be of use to send to New York, I have planted them between rows of Broom-Corn. The Broom-Corn is in rows, eight feet apart. This enabled us to plough deep between the Broom-Corn, which, though in poor land, has been very fine. The heads are cut off; and now the stalks remain to be used as follows: I shall make lands up the piece, cut off the stalks and lay them, first a layer longways and then a layer crossways, upon the lands. Upon these I shall put my Savoys turned upside down; and, as the stalks will be more than sufficient for this purpose, I shall lay some of them over, instead of dirt or boughs, as mentioned before. Perhaps the leaves of the Broom-Corn, which are lying about in great quantities, may suffice for covering. And, thus, all the materials for the work are upon the spot.
172. In quitting this matter, I may observe, that, to cover cabbages thus, in gardens as well as fields, would, in many cases, be of great use in England, and of still more use in Scotland. Sometimes, a quick succession of frost, snow and thaw will completely rot every loaved cabbage even in the South of England. Indeed no reliance is placed upon cabbages for use, as cattle-food, later than the month of December. The bulk is so large that a protection by houses of any sort cannot be thought of. Besides, the cabbages, put together in large masses would heat and quickly rot. In gentlemen's gardens, indeed, cabbages are put into houses, where they are hung up by the heads. But, they wither in this state, or they soon putrefy even here. By adopting the mode of preserving, which I have described above, all these inconveniences would be avoided. Any quantity might be preserved either in fields or in gardens at a very trifling expence, compared with the bulk of the crop.
173. As to the application of my Savoys, and part of the Drum-heads, too, indeed, if I find cabbages very dear, at New York, in winter, I shall send them; if not, there they are for my cattle and pigs. The weight of them will not be less, I should think, than ten tons. The plants were put out by two men in one day; and I shall think it very hard if two men do not put the whole completely up in a week. The Savoys are very fine. A little too late planted out; but still very fine; and they were planted out under a burning sun and without a drop of rain for weeks afterwards. So far from taking any particular pains about these Savoys, I did not see them planted, arid I never saw them for more than two months after they were planted. The ground for them was prepared thus: the ground, in each interval between the Broom-Corn, had been, some little time before, ploughed to the rows. This left a deep furrow in the middle of the interval. Into this furrow I put the manure. It was a mixture of good mould and dung from pig-styes. The waggon went up the interval, and the manure was drawn out and tumbled into the furrow. Then the plough went twice on each side of the furrow, and turned the earth over the manure. This made a ridge, and upon this ridge the plants were planted as quickly after the plough as possible.
174. Now, then, what is the trouble; what is the expence, of all this? The seed was excellent. I do not recollect ever having seen so large a piece of the cabbage kind with so few spurious plants. But, though good cabbage seed is of high price, I should suppose, that the seed did not cost me a quarter of a dollar. Suppose, however, it had cost ten quarters of a dollar; what would that have been, compared to the worth of the crop? For, what is the worth of ten tons of green, or moist food, in the month of March or April?
175. The Swedish Turnip is, indeed, still more conveniently preserved, and is a richer food; but, there are some reasons for making part of the year's provision to consist of cabbages. As far as a thing may depend on chance, two chances are better than one. In the summer and fall, cabbages get ripe, and, as I have observed, in Part I. Paragraph 143, the Ruta Baga (which we will call Swedish Turnip for the future) is not so good 'till it be ripe; and is a great deal better when kept 'till February, than when used in December. This matter of ripeness is worthy of attention. Let any one eat a piece of white cabbage; and then eat a piece of the same sort of cabbage young and green. The first he will find sweet, the latter bitter. It is the same with Turnips, and with all roots. There are some apples, wholly uneatable 'till kept a while, and then delicious. This is the case with the Swedish Turnip. Hogs will, indeed, always eat it, young or old; but, it is not nearly so good early, as it is when kept 'till February. However, in default of other things, I would feed with it even in November.
176. For these reasons I would have my due proportion of cabbages, and I would always, if possible, have some Green Savoys; for, it is, with cabbages, too, not only quantity which we ought to think of. The Drum-head, and some others, are called cattle-cabbage; and hence, in England, there is an idea, that the more delicate kinds of cabbage are not so good for cattle. But, the fact is, that they are as much better for cattle, than the coarse cabbages are, as they are better for us. It would be strange indeed, that, reversing the principle of our general conduct, we should give cabbage of the best quality to cattle, and keep that of the worst quality for ourselves. In London, where taxation has kept the streets as clear of bits of meat left on bones as the hogs endeavour to keep the streets of New York, there are people who go about selling "dog's meat." This consists of boiled garbage. But, it is not pretended, I suppose, that clogs will not eat roast-beef; nor, is it, I suppose, imagined, that they would not prefer the roast-beef, if they had their choice? Some people pretend, that garbage and carrion are better for dogs than beef and mutton are. That is to say, it is better for us, that they should live upon things, which we ourselves loath, than that they should share with us. Self-interest is, but too frequently, a miserable logician.
177. However, with regard to cattle, sheep, and pigs, as we intend to eat them, their claim to our kindness is generally more particularly and impartially listened to than that of the poor dogs; though that of the latter, founded, as it is, on their sagacity, their fidelity, their real utility, as the guardians of our folds, our homesteads and our houses, and as the companions, or, ra ther, the givers, of our healthful sports, is ten thousand times more strong, than that of animals which live to eat, sleep, and grow fat. But, to return to the cabbages, the fact is, that all sorts of animals, which will eat them at all, like the most delicate kinds best; and, as some of these are also the earliest kinds, they ought to be cultivated for cattle. Some, of the larger kinds may be cultivated too; but, they cannot be got ripe till the fall of the year. Nor is the difference in the weight of the crop so great as may be imagined. On the same land, that will bear a Drum-head of twenty pounds, an Early York, or Early Battersea will weigh four pounds; and these may be fifteen inches asunder in the row, while the Drum-head requires four feet. Mind, I always suppose the rows to be four feet apart, as stated in the First Part of this work, and for the reasons there stated. Besides the advantages of having some cabbages early, the early ones remain so little a time upon the ground. Transplanted Swedish Turnips, or Buckwheat, or late Cabbages, especially Savoys, may always follow them the same year upon the same land. My early cabbages, this year, have been followed by a Second crop of the same, and now (mid-November) they are hard and white and we are giving them to the animals.
178. There is a convenience attending cabbages, which attends no other of the cattle-plants, namely, that of raising the plants with very little trouble and upon a small bit of ground. A little bed will give plants for an acre or two. The expence of seed, even of the dearest kinds, is a mere trifle, not worth any man's notice.
179. For these reasons I adhere to cabbages as the companion crop of Swedish Turnips. The Mangel Wurzel is long in the ground. In seasons of great drought, it comes up unevenly. The weeds get the start of it. Its tillage must begin before it hardly shews itself. It is of the nature of the Beet, and it requires the care which the Beet requires. The same may be said of Carrots and Parsnips. The cabbage, until it be fit to plant out, occupies hardly any ground. An hour's work cleans the bed of weeds; and there the plants are always ready, when the land is made ready. The Mangel Wurzel root, if quite ripe, is richer than a white loaved cabbage; but, it is not more easily preserved, and will not produce a larger crop. Cattle will eat the leaves, but hogs will not, when they can get the leaves of cabbages. Nevertheless, some of this root may be cultivated. It will fat an ox well; and it will fat sheep well. Hogs will do well on it in winter. I would, if I were a settled farmer, have some of it; but, it is not a thing upon which I would place my dependence.
180. As to the time of sowing cabbages, the first sowing should be in a hot-bed, so as to have the plants a month old when the frost leaves the ground. The second sowing should be when the natural ground has become warm enough to make the weeds begin to come up freely. But, seed-beds of cabbages, and, indeed, of everything, should be in the open: not under a fence, whatever may be the aspect. The plants are sure to be weak, if sown in such situations. They should have the air coming freely to them in every direction. In a hot-bed, the seed should be sown in rows, three inches apart, and the plants might be thinned out to one in a quarter of an inch. This would give about ten thousand plants in a bed ten feet long, and five wide. They will stand thus to get to a tolerable size without injuring each other, if the bed be well managed as to heat and air. In the open ground, where room is plenty, the rows may be a foot apart, and the plants two inches apart in the rows. This will allow of hoeing, and here the plants will grow very finely. Mind, a large cabbage plant, as well as a large turnip plant, is better than a small one. All will grow, if well planted; but the large plant will grow best, and will, in the end, be the finest cabbage.
181. We have a way, in England, of greatly improving the plants; but, I am almost afraid to mention it, lest the American reader should be frightened at the bare thought of the trouble. When the plants, in the seed-bed, have got leaves about an inch broad, we take them up, and transplant them in fresh ground, at about four inches apart each way. Here they get stout and straight; and, in about three weeks time, we transplant them again into the ground where they are to come to perfection. This is called pricking out. When the plant is removed the second time, it is found to be furnished with new roots, which have shot out of the butts of the long tap, or forked roots, which proceeded from the seed. It, therefore, takes again more readily to the ground, and has some earth adhere to it in its passage. One hundred of pricked-out plants are always looked upon as worth three hundred from the seed bed. In short, no man, in England, unless he be extremely negligent, ever plants out from the seed-bed. Let any farmer try this method with only a score of plants. He may do it with three minutes' labour. Surely, he may spare three minutes, and I will engage, that, if he treat these plants afterwards as he does the rest, and, if all be treated well, and the crop a fair one, the three minutes will give him fifty pounds weight of any of the larger sorts of cabbages. Plants are thus raised, then taken up and tied neatly in bundles, and then brought out of Dorsetshire and Wiltshire, and sold in Hampshire for three-pence (about six cents) a hundred. So that it cannot require the heart of a lion to encounter the labour attending the raising of a few thousands of plants.
182. However, my plants, this year, have all gone into the field from the seed-bed; and, in so fine a climate, it may do very well; only great care is necessary to be taken to see that they be not too thick in the seed-bed.
183. As to the preparation of the land, as to the manuring, as to the distance of the rows from each other, as to the act of planting, and as to the after culture, all are the same as in the case of transplanted Swedish Turnips; and, therefore, as to these matters, the reader has seen enough in Part I. There is one observation to make, as to the depth to which the plant should be put into the ground. It should be placed so deep, that the stems of the outside leaves be just clear of the ground; for, if you put the plant deeper, the rain will wash the loose earth in amongst the stems of the leaves, which will make an open poor cabbage; and, if the plant be placed so low as for the heart to be covered with dirt, the plant, though it will live, will come to nothing. Great care must, therefore, be taken as to this matter. If the stems of the plants be long, roots will burst out nearly all the way up to the surface of the earth.
184. The distances at which cabbages ought to stand in the rows must depend on the sorts. The following is nearly about the mark. Early Salisbury a foot; Early York fifteen inches; Early Batter sea twenty inches; Sugar Loaf two feet; Savoys two feet and a half; and the Drum-head, Thousand-headed, Large Hollow, Ox cabbage, all four feet.
185. With regard to the time of sowing some more ought to be said; for, we are not here, as in England, confined within four or five degrees of latitude. Here some of us are living in fine, warm weather, while others of us are living amidst snows. It will be better, therefore, in giving opinions about times, to speak of seasons, and not of months and days. The country people, in England, go, to this day, many of them, at least, by the tides; and, what is supremely ridiculous, they go, in some cases, by the moveable tides. My gardener, at Botley, very reluctantly obeyed me, one year, in sowing green Kale when I ordered him to do it, because Whitsuntide was not come, and that, he said, was the proper season. "But," said I, "Robinson, Whitsuntide comes later this year than it did last year." "Later, Sir," said he, "how can that be?" "Because," said I, "it depends upon the moon when Whitsuntide shall come." "The moon!" said he: "what sense can there be in that?" "Nay," said I, "I am sure I cannot tell. That is a matter far beyond my learning. Go and ask Mr. BAKER, the Parson. He ought to be able to tell us; for he has a tenth part of our garden stuff and fruit." The Quakers here cast all this rubbish away; and, one wonders how it can possibly be still cherished by any portion of an enlightened people. But, the truth is, that men do not think for themselves about these matters. Each succeeding gene ration tread in the steps of their fathers, whom they loved, honoured and obeyed. They, take all upon trust. Gladly save themselves the trouble of thinking about things of not immediate interest. A desire to avoid the reproach of being irreligious induces them to practise an outward conformity. And thus have priest craft with all its frauds, extortions, and im moralities, lived and flourished in defiance of reason and of nature.
186. However, as there are no farmers in America quite foolish enough to be ruled by the tides in sowing and reaping, I hurry back from this digression to say, that I cannot be expected to speak of precise times for doing any work, except as relates to the latitude in which I live, and in which my experiments have been made. I have cultivated a garden at Frederickton in the Province of New Brunswick, which is in latitude about forty-eight; and at Wilmington in Delaware State, which is in latitude about thirty-nine. In both these places I had as fine cabbages, turnips, and garden things of all the hardy sorts, as any man need wish to see. Indian Corn grew and ripened well in fields at Frederickton. And, of course, the summer was sufficient for the perfecting of all plants for cattle-food. And, how necessary is this food in Northern Climates! More to the Southward than Delaware State I have not been; but, in those countries the farmers have to pick and choose. They have two Long Island summers and falls, and three English, in every year.
187. According to these various circumstances men must form their judgment; but, it may be of some use to state the length of time, which is required to bring each sort of cabbage to perfection. The following sorts are, it appears to me, all that can, in any case, be necessary. I have put against each nearly the time, that it will require to bring it to perfection, from the time of planting out in the places where the plants are to stand to come to perfection. The plants are supposed to be of a good size when put out, to have stood sufficiently thin in the seed-bed, and to have been kept clear from weeds in that bed. They are also supposed to go into ground well prepared.
Early Salisbury …………………….Six weeks.
Early York…………………………..Eight weeks.
Early Battersea…………………….Ten weeks.
Sugar Loaf …………………………Eleven weeks.
Late Battersea …………………….Sixteen weeks.
Red Kentish………………………..Sixteen weeks.
Large hollow Five months.
188. It should be observed, that Savoys, which are so very rich in winter, are not so good, till they have been pinched by frost. I have put red cabbage down as a sort to be cultivated, because they are as good as the white of the same size, and because it may be convenient, in the farmer's family, to have some of them. The thousand-headed is of prodigious produce. You pull off the heads, of which it bears a great number at first, and others come; and so on for months, if the weather permit; so that this sort does not take five months to bring its first heads to perfection. When I say perfection, I mean quite hard; quite ripe. However, this is a coarse cabbage, and requires great room. The Ox-cabbage is coarser than the Drum-head. The Large hollow is a very fine cabbage; but it requires very good land. Some of all the sorts would be best; but, I hope, I have now given information enough to enable any one to form a judgment correct enough to begin with. Experience will be the best guide for the future. An ounce of each sort of seed would, perhaps, be enough; and the cost is, when compared with the object, too trifling to be thought of.
189. Notwithstanding all that I have said, or can say, upon the subject of cabbages, I am very well aware, that the extension of the cultivation of them, in America, will be a work of time. A proposition to do any thing new, in so common a calling as agriculture, is looked at with suspicion; and, by some, with feelings not of the kindest description; because it seems to imply an imputation of ignorance in those to whom the proposition is made. A little reflection will, however, suppress this feeling in men of sense; and, those who still entertain it may console themselves with the assurance, that no one will desire to compel them to have stores of green, or moist, cattle-food in winter. To be ashamed to be taught is one of the greatest of human follies; but, I must say, that it is a folly less prevalent in America than in any other country with which I am acquainted.
190. Besides the disposition to reject novel ties, this proposition of mine has books to contend against. I read, last fall, in an American Edition of the Encyclopędia Britannica, "greatly enlarged and improved," some observations on the culture of cabbages as cattle-food, which were well calculated to deter a reader of that book from attempting the culture. I do not recollect the words; but, the substance was, that this plant could not be cultivated to advantage by the farmer IN AMERICA. This was the more provoking to me, as I had, at that moment, so fine a piece of cabbages in Long Island. If the American Editor of this work had given his readers the bare, unimproved, Scotch Edition, the reader would have there seen, that, in England and Scotland, they raise sixty-eight tons of cabbages (tons mind) upon an acre; and that the whole expence of an acre, exclusive of rent, is one pound, fourteen shillings and a penny; or seven dollars and seventy-five cents. Say that the expence in America is double and the crop one half, or one fourth, if you like. Where are seventeen tons of green food in winter, or even in summer, to be got for sixteen dollars; Nay, where is that quantity, of such a quality, to be got for fifty dollars? The Scotch Edition gives an account of fifty-four tons raised on an acre where the land was worth only twelve shillings (less than three dollars) an acre. In fairness, then, the American Editor should have given to his agricultural readers what the Scotchman had said upon the subject. And, if he still thought it right to advise the American farmers not to think of cabbages, he should, I think, have offered them some, at least, of the reasons for his believing, that that which was obtained in such abundance in England and Scotland, was not to be obtained to any profit at all here. What! will not this immense region furnish a climate, for this purpose, equal even to Scotland, where an oat will hardly ripen; and where the crop of that miserable grain is sometimes harvested amidst ice and snow! The proposition is, upon the face of it, an absurdity; and my experience proves it to be false.
191. This book says, if I recollect rightly, that the culture has been tried, and has failed. Tried? How tried? That cabbages, and most beautiful cabbages will grow, in all parts of America, every farmer knows; for he has them in his garden, or sees them, every year, in the gardens of others. And, if they will grow in gardens, why not in fields? Is there common sense in supposing, that they will not grow in a piece of land, because it is not called a garden? The Encyclopędia Britannica gives an account of twelve acres of cabbages, which would keep "forty-five oxen and sixty sheep for three months; improving them as much as the grass in the best months in the year (in England) May, June, and July." Of these large cabbages, being at four feet apart in the rows, one man will easily plant out an acre in a day. As to the seed-bed, the labour of that is nothing, as we have seen. Why, then, are men frightened at the labour? All but the mere act of planting is performed by oxen or horses; and they never complain of "the labour." The labour of an acre of cabbages is not half so much as that of an acre of Indian Corn. The bringing in of the crop and applying it are not more expensive than those of the corn. And will any man pretend, that an acre of good cabbages is not worth three times as much as a crop of good corn? Besides, if early cabbages, they are off and leave the land for transplanted Swedish Turnips, for Late Cabbages, or for Buckwheat; and, if late cabbages, they come after early ones, after wheat, rye, oats, or barley. This is what takes place even in England, where the fall is so much shorter, as to growing weather, than it is in Long Island, and, of course, all the way to Georgia. More to the North, in the latitude of Boston, for instance, two crops of early cabbages will come upon the same ground; or a crop of early cabbages will follow any sort of grain, except Buckwheat.
192. In concluding this Chapter I cannot help strongly recommending farmers who may be disposed to try this culture, to try it fairly. That is to say, to employ true seed, good land, and due care; for, as "men do not gather grapes from thorns, nor figs from thistles," so they do not harvest cabbages from stems of rape. Then, as to the land, it must be made good and rich, if it be not in that state already; for a cabbage will not be fine, where a white Turnip will; but as the quantity of land, wanted for this purpose, is comparatively very small, the land may easily be made rich. The after-culture of cabbages is trifling. No weeds to plague us with hand-work. Two good ploughings, at most, will suffice. But ploughing after planting out is necessary; and, besides, it leaves the ground in so fine a state. The trial may be on a small scale, if the farmer please. Perhaps it were best to be such. But, on whatever scale, let the trial be a fair trial.
193. I shall speak again of the use of cabbages, when I come to speak of Hogs and Cows.