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frozen out and destroyed, the darnel will remain in full possession of the field. This has led to the belief that wheat will turn to chess, and it has been strengthened by the fact that each belong to the class “Triandria," and the order “Digynia,” having three stamens included within a small husk of two leaves, which is termed the glume, and two stigmas to produce one seed, which is irregular in form, being on one side convex and on the opposite hollow, or grooved. The darnel also produces its flowers in a spike, similar to wheat, but differs from it in the calyx having a single outer valve, and contains a spikelet of many equal flowers, like a “Festuca," (Fescue grass.)
The seed of the darnel is noxious to animals if eaten, being poisonous; and bread made from it is intoxicating and deleterious to health. It is easily eradicated by pulling up before seeding, being an annual.
In Scripture parable" it is said that “while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and departed.” But in modern times, the agriculturist is too much accustomed to sow tares himself, for lack of due precaution in the selection of his seed wheat, and in cleaning his land from foul and noxious weeds. This has caused more pestilent weeds to flourish, and pocrer cereals to grow, than any other cause.
The Arctium, or Burdock. This is a large weed, very common along fences and by way-sides, producing, at first, large, downy, heart-shaped leaves, and afterwards.branching stems, terminating in a profusion of purplish flowers, enclosed in a globular calyx, covered with scales imbricated, or tiled over each other, and ending in hooked bristles, which will adhere to the hair of animals and the wool of sheep, proving very troublesome and injurious to the fleece. It belongs to the order “ Flosculosæ," the florets being all tubular, and the flowers “capitate." It is easily destroyed by digging out the roots, or pulling them up. To the wool-grower it is of great importance that his pastures are freed from the burdock, as the burs will materially depreciate the value of his fleeces.
Dock is also seen on lands carelessly tilled. It has a long, taper root, which will easily pull up when the ground is wet. It cannot be destroyed by cutting. This plant is arranged in the natural order“ Oleraceous," as having flowers destitute of beauty or pleasing colors. No excuse can, therefore, be given for suffering it to occupy the soil.
The bindweed, of the “ Pentandria" class, and of the family Convolvuli, derives its name from their tender, twining stems. It is found wild in the woods, and in cultivated fields; is easily known by the large, bell-shaped and plaited corolla, which before and after opening, resembles a twisted cone. From the form of the corols, it is termed “Campanacea" in the natural order, and is associated thereby with flowers that are bell-form, many of them beautiful and ornamented. It is somewhat troublesome in grain fields, and should never be permitted to grow within the bounds of cultivated farms.
Saint John's wort is found in different parts of the county where the soil has been cultivated and enriched. It is scarcely seen in poor land. It is injurious to cattle and sheep pasturing the fields, by producing sores
and scabs upon their noses. This plant is easily known by its yellow wheel-form corols, by its stem herbaceous, glabrous, simple and four cornered, by its leaves being sessile, oblong, acute, and its flowers being terminal. The most ready way to get rid of this weed is to pull it up by the roots before its seed is perfected. It is perennial, and therefore cutting will not kill it.
Rose Campion, or Cockle, Is a weed that has been introduced from Europe with seed grain. Al though its seed contains white flour, yet the husk is black, and in grinding discolors the flour. It grows rank and can easily be removed from the fields by pulling. It is therefore a sorry reputation to farmers who allow it to grow amid their grain.'
The Agrostemma or Cockle, is an annual, which is a hairy, narrow leaved plant with pink-like conspicuous flowers of beautiful purple color. The seed is sold by florists for ornamental uses as a flower seed, thus como bining in the same plant the injurious and noxious, with the lovely and beautiful.
The cockle is nearly allied to the pink in its botanical classification, being removed from it in its order, only, each having caryophylleous corols—pericarpone celled. Seeds numerous. There is a peculiarity in the shape of the seed as seen through the microscope, it appears like a hedge-hog rolled up. For a long period the Agrostemma was cultivated in the gardens of England, and varieties produced with flowers of different colors, red, flesh colored and white, assuming different names, as “Cor. ona," “Flos Louis,” “Coeli Rosa.” Some of these are single, and others double, and are being extensively cultivated in the gardens of Piedmont, and in the Palatinate, as plants very ornamental and beautiful, but with us in the county of Steuben, we recognize it generally as cockle, injurious to the wheat crop, and fit only to be exterminated from soil.
Chickweed Will grow in all kinds of soil, from damp and boggy to the dryest walk of the garden. In the woods it grows higher, with leaves nearly two inches long, and more than an inch broad. In gardens the Chickweed sheds abundance of seeds, producing innumerable plants, which makes it a troublesome weed, but being an annual, it can be destroyed by not per. mitting it to seed. There is a peculiarity in the (“Alsine Media”) Chickweed. Every night the leaves approach in pairs, including with their upper surfaces the tender rudiments of the new shoots, thus protecting the young shoots within their folds during the "sleep" of night. This sleep of plants has been noticed in others beside the Alsine. The Mimosa being kept in the dark for some hours, its leaves and leaf stalks will collapse as in its most profound sleep, and on exposure to the light, some minutes will elapse before it will thoroughly awake and expand its leaves,
“Weak with nice sense the chaste Mimosa stands,
From each rude touch withdraws her timid hands :
Portulaca, of which there are twelve species, some of them very ornamental for their brilliant flowers, but the “ Oleracea,” or “garden purslane,” is somewhat troublesome to horticulturists. This is an annual herbaceous plant, with a round, procumbent, succulent stem, diffused branches, throwing out fibers at the points, and spreading rapidly over the soil. The only way to destroy it, is to dig, and pull it up continually and persistently. In a wet season, one week's intermission will find it growing most vigorously, and spreading its roots and branches in every direction.
One of the most common weeds in the county is the (Thlaspi BurscePastoris) shepherd's purse. It has but little to recommend it, being an unsightly annual, running over neglected gardens and waste lands until its presence is known over the whole habitable world. Its radical leaves are pinnatifid with the divisions toothed, and bent in an arch. The flowers are small and white. The sidicle, or capsella, from which the plant derives its name, is triangularly obcordate, but without a keel or empty margin, and the cells, each contain many minute seeds. This plant will not grow where the land is thoroughly tilled, and ordinary care is taken to keep the soil free from weeds. Its presence is indicative of the want of due precaution on the part of the farmer, and a careless neglect in the cultivation of his lands. The Shepherd's full-purse is often the fore-runner of the farmer's empty pocket, as the prosperity and the spread of the one prevents the growth and maturity of full crops, and depletes the income of their proprietors.
There are other weeds, but the foregoing are the most prominent and injurious to the farmers of Steuben county. The presence of weeds on the farm detracts from its beauty and the credit of the occupant.
Slovenly farming fills the fields with weeds, and impresses the mind with an idea of uncultivated habits, in which a sense of the beautiful never enters or is enjoyed. On the other hand, farms beautifully arranged, and fields cleanly and carefully tilled, show a cultivated taste and capacity for enjoyments in the agriculturist. The Mantuan poet had this latter in view when he wrote the following lines:
O happy! if he knew his happy state,
TOMPKINS. Annual report of the Tompkins County Agricultural and Horticultural Society, 1863.
The members and friends of this society met on Tuesday, September 29, at their fair grounds, at Ithaca, to hold their twenty-fourth annual fair, which was continued through that and the two following days.
The weather was as fine as three autumn days possibly could be, which to this society was a luxury it had not before enjoyed for several years—the half-dozen or more preceding exhibitions of the society having been more or less marred with storms of rain. The fair building was very tastefully decorated by the ladies of Ithaca, and every foot of its space was crowded with articles of utility and general interest. The grounds outside the building were fitted up with more extensive accommodations for the exhibition of animals and implements than ever before provided by the society, and every place well filled. In short the fair was a grand success, notwithstanding the existence of a gigantic and wicked rebellion, the influence of which last year deterred the officers of the society from holding their annual fair, after the preliminary arrangements had been made to do so.
The exhibition of live stock was better than ever before made in this county, and elicited commendatory remarks generally from our farmers. Short-horns are taking the lead of the improved breeds of cattle, and their crosses upon the common stock of the county gives general satisfaction. Our dairies and shambles exhibit a decided improvment when compared with any former period in their history.
In the department of sheep, the number on exhibition was larger than usual, and the specimens very good, both among the fine and coarse wool varieties. The Spanish merino stands acknowledged as the best wool producing sheep that we have ever bad, and its mutton when well fed is regarded as very satisfactory meat.
As to the mutton sheep proper, the South Downs and Leicesters may be said to stand shin and shin with us; we have fine flocks of each breed in the county, and both have their especial advocates. Our farmers have not knowledge or experience enough with either yet to determine which will prove the best. The South Downs are sending more thorough bred rams among our flocks at the present time than the Leicesters are, and these visits are giving general satisfaction, and result in marked improvements. The high prices at which wool has ruled for a year or two past, is result. ing in a marked increase in the number of our flocks, and our next clip of wool promises to be much larger than we have had for many years previous.
Our show of horses was spirited, and a steady improvement is visible in the many fine colts on exhibition, but this department of stock is not receiving that marked attention that it justly deserves, and still we are not laggards as compared with other sections of our State.
The swine on exhibition gave proof of rapid and decided improvement, though very little is said now-a-days about "hogs," and I am not sure that a pig has been heard to squeal in the county during the past year, The numbers have not diminished, but the character has improved, the key notes of the land pike are no longer heard.
Poultry was not largely exhibited, but it represents an important item in the economy of the farm, and a large sum in the aggregate in the mar. ket account.
In the hall the exhibition surpassed any former show of the society. The lower room was occupied with agricultural implements, machinery, and kindred articles, in larger numbers than usual, plainly showing the march of improvement which is revolutionizing the agricultural world.
The increasing interest among farmers in under-draining their lands called out a fine display of specimen samples of tile from the Springport works. They represented all the different patterns and sizes, with the price per thousand marked on each. . The upper rooms were appropriated to the display of specimens of grains, vegetables, fruits, the products of the dairy, and fancy articles, and every available inch of room was occupied. The exhibition of fruit was especially grand-representing the marked improvement that is being made in the culture of fruit in our county. The specimens of butter and cheese exhibited were of superior quality, and represented creditably the dairy interest of the county.
The department representing household products and fancy articles was very attractive—showing great industry, skill, and taste on the part of the ladies.' Homes, decorated and beautified by their fair hands, cannot be otherwise than pleasant and cheerful, and their inmates happy.
The season has been a prosperous one to our farmers, and their fields have returned an abundant harvest.
The average temperature of the year, taken at an altitude of about 250 feet above the surface of Cayuga lake, was as follows :
AT 7 A. M. 12 x. 9 PX. 1863 January....... February ....
351 28 April.......
Our cold term was in February—the mercury ranging below zero during the entire day on the fourth. The 3d, 4th, and 5th were as follows:
February 3d, at 7 A. M., 17 deg. above zero; at 12 M., 20 deg. above; at 9 P. M., 4 deg. above. February 4th, at 7 A. M., 3 deg. below zero; at 13 M., 3 deg. below; at 9 P. M., 9 deg. below. February 5th, at 7 A. M., 4 deg. above zero; at 12 M., 22 deg. above, and 9 P. M., 30 deg. above. February 14th was the next coldest day. At 7 A. M., zero; 12 M., 28 deg. above; 9 P. M., 30 deg. above. February 23d, at 7 A, M., 2 deg. above; 12 M., 22 deg. above; 9 P. M., 9 deg. above. The above degrees of cold will kill our peaches under ordinary circumstances, and we had none of that delicious fruit in 1863.
The warmest days in June were the 10th, 15th, 25th, 27th-each 80 deg. at 12 M., and the 28th 84 deg. at 12 M.
The warmest days in July were the three first days, which at 12 M. was