Agriculture Tulls Doctrines
ground sterling commonly farm third grass
AGRICULTURE TULLS DOCTRINES Tull's doctrines and practices being quite in advance of his own times, were, as is usual in such cases, vehemently opposed by his contemporaries. He was, in consequence, involved in frequent controversy, iu conducting which he occasionally showed an asperity of temper which excites our regret, but which is not to be wondered at, when we consider the trials of patience which he encountered from the unreasonable opposition of the agricultural community to his improvements ; the thwarting of his experiments by his own labourers, who, in their ignorant zeal against innovations, wilfully broke his machines, and disregarded his orders ; and from acute and protracted bodily disease. The soundness of his views and practice, as regards turnip cultffre, came by-and-by to be acknowledged, and have since been generally adopted. But it was only some twenty-five years ago that his full merit began to be under stood. The Rev. Mr Smith, in his Word in Season, about that time recalled attention to Tull's peculiar system of wheat culture in a way that startled the whole community ; while Professor Way, in a series of eloquent lectures delivered before the Royal Agricultural Society, showed that his science was true in the main, and even more strikingly ahead of his times than his practice.
Among the English writers of this period may be mentioned Bradley, Lawrence, Hales, Miller, Ellis, Smith, Hill, Hitt, Lisle, and Home. Most of their works went through several editions in a few years, - at once a proof of the estimation in which they were held, and of the direction of the public mind towards investigating the principles and practice of agriculture.
Of the progress of the art in Scotland, till towards the Scotb end of the 17th century, we are almost entirely ignorant. Progr' The first work, written by Donaldson, was printed in 1697, under the title of Husbandry Anatomized; or, an Inquiry into the Present ilianner of Telling and Manuring the Gtonnd in Scotland, It appears from this treatise, that corn crops followed one another without the intervention of fallow, cultivated herbage, or turnips, though something is said about fallowing the outfield ; inclosures were very rare ; the tenantry had not begun to emerge from a state of great poverty and depression ; and the wages of labour, any spirited improvements.
Donaldson first points out' the common management of that period, which he shows to have been very unproductive, and afterwards recommends what he thinks would be a more profitable course.
"Of the dale ground," he says, "that is, such lands as are partly hills and partly valleys, of which sorts may be comprehended the greatest part of arable ground in this kingdom, I shall suppose a farmer to have a lease or tack of three score acres, at three hundred Dierks of rent per annum (£16, 13s. 4d. sterling). Perhaps some who are not acquainted with rural affairs may think this cheap ; but those who are the possessors thereof think otherwise, and find difficulty enough to get the same paid, according to their present way of manuring thereof. But that I may proceed to the comparison, I shall show how commonly this farm-room is managed. It is commonly divided into two parts, viz., one-third croft, and two-thirds outfield, as it is termed. The croft is usually divided into three parts : to wit, one-third barley, which is always dunned that year barley is sown thereon ; another third oats ; and the last third peas. The outside field is divided into two parts, to wit, the one half oats, and the other half grass, two years successively. The product which may be supposed to be on each acre of croft, four bolls (three Winchester quarters), and that of the outfield, three (2f quarters) ; the quota is seven score bolls, which we shall also reckon at five pounds (8s. 4d.) per boll, cheap year and dear year one with another. This, in all, is worth £700 (£58, 6s. 8d. sterling).
"Then let us see what profit he Can make of his cattle. According to the division of his lands there is 20 acres of grass, which cannot be expected to be very good, because it gets not leave to lie above two years, and therefore cannot be well swarded. However, usually, besides four horses, which are kept for ploughing the said land, ten or twelve volt are also kept upon a farm-room of the above-mentioned bounds ; but, in respect of the badness of the grass, as said is, little profit is had of them. Perhaps two or three stone of butter is the most that can be made of the milk of his kine the whole summer, and not above two heifers brought up each year. As to what profit may be made by bringing up young horses, I shall say nothing, supposing he keeps his stock good, by those of his own upbringing. The whole product, then, of his cattle cannot be reckoned above fifty merles (£2, 15s. 6d.) For, in respect his beasts are in a manner half-starved, they are generally small ; so that scarce may a heifer be sold at above twelve pounds (el sterling). The whole product of his farm-room, therefore, exceeds not the value of £733 (£61, ls. 8d. sterling), or thereabout."
The labourers employed on this farm were two men and one woman, besides a herd in summer, and other servants in harvest.
Donaldson then proceeds to point out a different mode as crops to be raised in his new course, though they are incidentally noticed in other parts of the work.
"I also recommend potatoes as a very profitable root for husband-men and others that have numerous families. And because there is a peculiar way of planting this root, not commonly known in this country, I shall here show what way it is ordinary planted or set. The ground must be dry ; and so much the better it is if it have a good soard of grass. The beds or riggs are made about eight foot broad, good store of dung being laid upon your ground ; horse or sheep dung is the proper manure for them. Throw each potatoe or sett (for they were sometimes cut into setts) into a knot of dung, and afterwards dig earth out of the furrows, and cover them all over, about some three or four inches deep; the furrows left between your riggs must be about two foot broad, and little less will they be in depth before your potatoes no coverer. You need not plant this root in your garden ; they are commonly set in the fields, and wildest of ground, for enriching of it." As to their consumption, they were sometimes "boiled and broken, and stirred with butter and new milk ; also roasted, and eaten with butter ; yea, some make bread of them, by mixing them with oat or barley meal ; others parboil them and bake with them apples, after the manner of tarts."