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Webster Farmers' Club

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"Well, gentlemen, what of the year? teil us freely of your eucccss, and forget not an outline of your failures; for from the latter may be gathered as deep lessons of wiedotn as from a surainary of the victories. If, during the passing inonths, conclusions have been drawn from the development of any interest conneoted with our cccupation, whether in graas or grain, root, bulb, lef, or tree, cattle, sneep, horses, gwine, or poultry, or new methods of overcoming the difficulties that are constantly Rpringing up in the pursuit ol our business, it is expected iht you will enlighten us so that in the tuture we mny emulate thal which has proved practicable and discard the impracticable. Our nimmer woik is done, nnd we are on the threshold of the cew year. It is important that we cotnmence it with a full knowledge of the lessons the outgoing has by its peculiar nature taught u. If your efforts have not been crowned by that full measure of victory you wished, it is also important that we know your methods in order to judge of its merits." This was substantially the charge of the chairman of the committee on topics to the assembled members of the Webster farmers' club at the December meeting, at the reBidence ot Edwin Ball. Wm. Ball, in response to the culi, said he was not a epecialist in hm business. AU was griet that carne to his mili. It he failed to exact hia legal toll it was not from the lack of the dispoxitioij. His &im had been siLce he had been on a farm, and that em braced the best years of his hfe, to seize upon all the greatand mail interests thereunto pertaining and work them for all they were worth. Specialtiea are contracting of the mind and while oue 80 constituted may becorae expert in one line when he gets outside his e fforts are nil. His study was to be comprehensivo, grasping as many ofjecta of Information aa was possible. In our couuiry with its change of climate a man to be successful must be more tlian a one idea human. The trouble with any business in which there is much loutine labor, was that ihose who follow it are pt tu get into a rut and the two can see but one way to golve any difflcult problem. Every year that passes he believed he did as much unlearnini; aa learning. Preconceived notions and experiences do not -eem to couut with these remarkable reasons. Who can teil wheth er thcy can overeóme the elementa, make a erop, plow or plant and cultívate, and reap in the end, lor if moigture is withheld our labor is in vaiu; ' ut it will not do to pet discouraged. We must go ahead. Looking the whole field over, not this year alone, but tor a serien, be had come to the conclusión that our safety lies it mixed farming. We carcely ever lose both corn and oats in the same year. One erop will succeed in a dry season while the other fails. Beef, mutton, wool and pork are aeldom cheap at the same time, and by producing a little of each we can bridge over the worst depressions. These dry periods are not an unmixed evil, as their Iri-quent recurrence will do much toward developing the best portion ot Michigan, viz: the marshes. Certainlv, if he had not had a little of this former despised land he wculd be in a serioua predicament witb all of his siock this winter. Cut and cure the hay that grows on them with the same care you do your upland grasa and there will be a feeding value in it not generally appreciated. Wm. Brookway could see in the applicatión of ealt a moisture gathering element, and thought it had not lost its savor as a fertilizer. Corn with him responded readily to its power, while gras tock on a more dense growth and a darker green. As to what, it seemed to be junt the thing to forcé that cereal to perfeotion. He had been disappointed in the benefits expected from using manure on hip corn ground this year, the parta left unheated doing the best; was an advocate of mixing unleached ashea in the compost heap to aid fermentation, and did not tbink any appreciable amount of ammonia was lost thereby, which position met witli a general discent from members. Wm. Tubos could see in the last season many valuable lessons. One that Mr. Ball touched had come home to him, the past nummer. Beitig short of upland hay he had been compelled to go down into the and marches for subititutes, and he was agreeably surprised now to see how much this neglected hay bridged oui his shortage. Next year he should give more attention to thia matter. He aLso had some pleaaant experience in tiling a clay run that leada out from hia barnyard; formerly he had to wait until almost too late in the spring before plowing. This year he was on time and raised a noble erop of potatoea, and juat over the tile he had as many large ones as elsewhere and doublé the quantity of small ones. He ■would like to have the club solve the problem. The club thought those ao situated might have vines yet green, when the late raina came and started in for a second erop. D. Lyon had a very unpleasant experience with raising oats ; he had drilled one field and broad-cast another; the drilled one was more than half amut and the broadcasted was comparatively free. Query : has deep sowing anything to do with smut ? Was an advocate of manuring in the winter; believed the soil had lonuer time to absorb the juices of the muleh of the land, left it in better shape to till. George W. Merrill sowed oats on Bod ground laat spring, plowed tbe spring before, ai d he did not want to aee any more emut than was in that field. Should doublé the amount of land to roots and corn todder. Fed all of his stock for six we. ks, ommencing in September, from le.-s iban 100 rods of ground. A J Sawyer: His first lesson this year was on oats. Instead ot plowing he took -A. C. G s advice and spring toothed three times over ; he should never do it again. Weeds and oats fought for ascendency, and when he carne to plow ihe stubble for wheat it was hard and lumpy. impossible to do a good job. Lesson No. 2 was to stop cultivating corn in a dry time where the weeds had been exterminated. On parts of his corn he kept the cultivator going and parts were allowed to rest. Where he kept fheground stirredthe corn rolled soonest and wag most affected by the drought. Amos Phelps could see no benefit in draining the straw and litter from the stable on to land, unleas it wag to do a hard job while your muscles were in practice. It might forward spring work, but when you come to the real object, benefitting the land, he would wnit until spring when the manure heap hiid ripened, so lo gpeak. L. Chamberlain was oonfident he could hereafter raise fruit; last spring be sprayed part of his orchard and left a part untreated. The portion sprayed produced good marketable apples with lew detective ones ; tbe part left alone producpd jut barely eider stock ; used to 100 gallons of of water 1 lb. London purple. Otis Cushing had a good word for tile draining on low clay lands. Raised a fine erop of oats free from emut on it the present year. JjhriHon Backuf tmd no failures to record, no trouble to raise a erop or make money either, farmicg, but what puzzled him was the best way to employ cropa and money after he raised the one and fecured the other. If he had a specialty it was wheat and sheep, good attentiun to which with a modicurn of judgment will ennch a farmer and make a man rich every time. He thr-uaht we did cot give the subject of conguming coarse grains and fodder the gtudy it demanded, there was too much haphazard feeding and too little attention to rtquirements of markets at home and abroad. Jiiy McColl gave the club an original oration on the cause leading up to the French Revolution. The reorganized Nilsons were on hand with a choice seleclion of music, and relieved the monotony of the dry discusBions with ppirited songs. The club has decided to hold a series of publics at the Congregational church, in which all are cordially invited to particípate. These will be under the personal supervisión of that prince of organizers, R. C. Reeve.


Old News
Ann Arbor Register