Agriculture Rape Cake
manure earth water dried soil bucket
AGRICULTURE RAPE CAKE Rape-cake reduced to powder forms an excellent manure for wheat and other crops. It is usually applied at the rate of from four to eight cwt. per acre. The cakes resulting after oil has been expressed from camelina, hemp, and cotton seeds, and from pistachio and castor-oil nuts, from beech and other mast, all possess considerable value as manure, and were at one time available for that purpose. Most of them now command a price for cattle feeding that forbids their use as manure unless when in a damaged state.
Section 6. - Blood, &c.
All parts of the carcases of animals form valuable manure, and are now carefully used in that way whenever they are unfit for more important uses. The blood and other refuse from shambles and from fish-curers' yards, when mixed with earth and decomposed, make a valuable manure, and are eagerly sought after by farmers to whom such supplies are accessible. In London a company has been formed by whom the blood from the shambles is purchased, and employed instead of water in preparing superphosphate of lime, which, when thus manufactured, contains an amount of ammonia which adds considerably to its efficacy as a manure. In Australia and South America it has long been the practice to slaughter immense numbers of sheep and cattle for the sake of their hides and tallow only, there being no market for them as beef and mutton. To obtain the whole tallow, the carcases are subjected to a process of boiling by steam and afterwards to pressure, and are then thrown aside in great piles. This dried residuum is afterwards used as fuel in the furnaces of the steaming apparatus, and the resulting ashes constitute the bone-ash of commerce, which is now an important raw material in our manure factories.
After many abortive attempts to convey Australian beef and mutton to the British market, the difficulty has at last been overcome by enclosing the meat in a par-boiled state in tin cases, hermetically sealed. This has already grown to a large trade, with every likelihood of its increasing rapidly. As the meat in these cases is sent free from bone, a plan has been found for rendering the bones also a profitable article of export. For this purpose they are crushed into compact cakes 6 inches square by 3 inches thick, in which form they can be stowed in comparatively small space.
The refuse from glue-works ; the blubber and dregs from fish-oil ; animal charcoal that has been used in the process of sugar-refining ; the shavings and filings of horn and bones from various manufactures, and woollen rags, are all made available for manure.
Section 7. - Night-Soil.
Night-Soil is a powerful manure ; but owing to its offensive odour it has never been systematically used in Britain. Various plans are tried for obviating this objection, that most in repute at present being its mixture with charred peat. From the universal use of water-closets in private dwellings, the great mass of this valuable fertilising matter now passes into sewers, and is carried off by streams and rivers, and is for the most part totally lost as a manure. When sewage water is used for irrigation, as in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, it is to the night-soil dissolved in it that its astonishing effects in promoting the growth of grass are chiefly due. We have already expressed our views in regard to the use of it in this diluted form of sewage water. That mode of applying it is necessarily restricted to lands in the vicinity of towns. Hitherto the numerous and costly attempts that have been made to separate the fertilising matter from the water in which it is contained have proved utter failures. The most feasible plan for the utilisation of night-soil that we have hitherto heard of is that brought forward by the Rev. Henry Moule, Fordington Vicarage, Devon. In a tract addressed to cottagers he says, - " Now, my discovery is this : The earth of your garden, if dried - or dried and powdered clay - will suck up the liquid part of the privy soil ; and, if applied at once and carefully mixed, will destroy all bad smell and all nasty appearance in the solid part, and will keep all the value of the manure. Three half pints of earth, or even one pint, will be enough for each time. And earth thus mixed even once is very good manure. But if, after mixing, you throw it into a shed and dry it, you may use it again and again; and the oftener you use it the stronger the manure will be. I have used some seven and even eight times ; and yet, even after being so often mixed, there is no bad smell with the substance ; and no one, if not told, would know what it is." To adapt a privy for using dried earth in this way, he says, - " Let the seat be made in the common way, only without any vault beneath. Under the seat place a bucket or box, or, if you have nothing else, an old washing-pan. A bucket is the best, because it is more easily handled ; only let it have a good-sized bail or handle. By the side of the seat have a box that will hold (say) a bushel of dried earth, and a scoop or old basin that will take up a pint or a pint and a half, and let that quantity of earth be thrown into the bucket or pan every time it is used. The bucket may be put in or taken out from above by having the whole cover moved with hinges ; or else, through a door in front or at the back." He has also invented and patented an earth-closet, as a substitute_ for the ordinary water-closet, which he describes thus : - " The back contains dried and sifted earth, which enters the pan through a hole at the back of it, and covers the bottom. The bottom is moved by the handle and lever ; the side of the pan acts as a scraper ; and all that is upon the bottom is pushed off, falling into the bucket or shaft below. The earth thus applied at once prevents fermentation, and almost all exhalation and offensive smelL The bottom returns to its place by means of a spring, and a fresh supply of the earth falls upon it from the box."' This scheme has now been tested for a sufficient length of time, and on a wide enough scale, to show that in the case of private houses in rural districts, as well as in prisons, asylums, hospitals, public schools, military camps, and factories, it is entirely successful as regards the sanitary results of its use, and the value of the manure when applied to gardens attached to the premises from which it is obtained. But the cost and annoyance of moving so bulky a substance, and the small percentage of fertilising matter contained in it, forbid the expectation of its being adopted in towns.