Arthur Young, the widely known writer on agriculture and social economy, is described by his friend, Dr. Paris, in the memoir written by him, and which follows the prefaces to Young's great unpublished work, The Elements and Practice of Agriculture, as being descended from a respectable family who had resided on their estate at Bradfield Combust, near Bury St. Edmund, Suffolk, for more than 200 years. He was born 7th September 1741, and as a boy was recognized by his early friends and preceptors as a lad of very superior talents and indefatigable industry, and of the correctness of this recognition he afterwards gave ample proof. In 1758 he was placed in a mercantile house, but showed no tact for commercial pursuits, and he early evinced what his natural bent was by publishing -- when at seventeen years of age -- a pamphlet on The War in North America, and also by beginning a periodical work entitled The Universal Museum. After his father's death, in 1759, his mother gave him the direction of Bradfield Hall, and in 1767 he began to farm on his own account in Essex. In 1770 he published A Course of Experimental Agriculture, and between 1768 and 1770 his Tour Through the Southern Counties of England and Wales, his Six Months' Tour Through the North of England, and his Farmers' Tour Through the East of England, books which were favourably received, and translated into most continental languages. He published, besides, the Farmer's Letter to the People of England, the Farmer's Calendar, and in 1774 his Political Arithmetic. In 1794 he began the publication of the Annals of Agriculture, which was continued for forty-five volumes. His Tour in Ireland and his Travels in France, however, are the works by which he is now best remembered. In 1792 he was appointed secretary of the Board of Agriculture, which was then just formed under the presidency of Sir John Sinclair, and in this capacity his services were of the greatest value in the preparation of the agricultural surveys of the English counties. Young's works have appeared in almost every language in Europe, and were translated into Russian by the order of the Empress Catherine, and they seem to have been almost more appreciated abroad than they were in England. His latter years were attended with distressing bodily afflictions -- blindness, and a painful internal malady. He died, we are told by Dr. Paris, on the 12th April 1820, at his house in Sackville Street, London, 'after taking a glass of lemonade, and expressing himself easy and satisfied'. Young was succeeded by his daughter, who died in 1851, and she was succeeded by her nephew, the grandson of Arthur Young, who died at Bradfield, January 1996, and the Young family is now extinct, after a landed existence there of about 350 years.
Young's latter years seem to have been largely occupied in composing his great unpublished work, entitled The Elements and Practice of Agriculture, the existence of which few people can be aware of, if I may judge by the fact that no reference to it has been made by the writer on Young in the Encyclopedia Britannica, from which, I may add, I have taken the list of works given above. Last July I accidentally heard of his work, which had been presented to the British Museum by the widow of Arthur Young's grandson, and at once went to look at it, in the hope that I should find something of value with reference to the subject I am now writing on. I was asked by one of the polite officials in the MSS. Department if I should like to see the whole work. I replied in the affirmative, expecting to see two or three volumes at the most. After some delay the door was opened, and there was wheeled noiselessly into the room a kind of perambulator on four india-rubber-tyred wheels, on which were ten very large volumes of MSS. written on foolscap of very large size, and none of which, I think, contained less than 500 pages, while several contained more than 1,100. These enormous volumes, though entitled The Elements and Practice of Agriculture, really seem to relate to every branch of rural economy, down to the management of bees, the transporting of live fish alive, and the castrating of fish, a practice which seemed to be not uncommon a century ago, and a notice of which I have read in the Scots' Magazine, which runs from 1739. It was, no doubt, on this great work that he thought his reputation would most surely rest, and, considering that its very existence can hardly be said to be known, it is difficult to read Arthur Young's preface to it without a feeling of melancholy. 'This work,' he says, which I now presume to offer to the public, has been founded on the basis of fifty years' experience, much of the labour of more than thirty years, and travelling to the extent of more than 20,000 miles. It was not originally undertaken with the design of publication, but to form a collection of all those passages which I met with in the perusal of books for my own private use.' Shortly after Arthur Young's death an attempt was made to bring out what has been well called his life's work, and it was accordingly submitted to publishers in London; but they were all deterred from undertaking the publication, owing to the great size of the book and the consequent risk of publishing it. A few years later Sir John Sinclair, who was anxious that the work should not be lost sight of to the agricultural world, asked to have it sent to Scotland, believing that Edinburgh publishers would perhaps undertake what their London brethren had declined; but no success attended this attempt, and the MSS. were returned to Bradfield, then occupied by Arthur Young's daughter.
Miss Young died in 1851, having appointed as her executor a Mr. de St. Croix, who then placed the MSS. in the hands of his brother Walpole to copy and condense, so that they might be bound and preserved; hence the ten large volumes to which I have alluded, the full title of which is 'The Elements and Practice of Agriculture, by Arthur Young, F.R.S., and secretary to the Board of Agriculture, edited from the original MSS. by Walpole de St. Croix, from 1852 to '55'. It may be well to mention that the MSS. have been copied in a clear handwriting, and that to each volume there is a table of contents, so that the work may be easily consulted. The original MSS. are also in the British Museum, and one of the officials called my attention to the fact that certain passages had been deleted; but I find, on inquiry, that it is impossible to ascertain whether the deletions were made by the editor or by Arthur Young. They do not seem to be very numerous, if I may judge from a slight inspection I made of one of the bundles of the original MSS. In the Editor's Preface it is stated that 'the present work, as its title would imply, is not designed to be the practice of Agriculture alone of Arthur Young, but rather a compendium of husbandry from its first dawn to the period of his death in 1819', (which date, I may remark in passing, is a year earlier than that elsewhere given); and in it there are many quotations from, and references to, continental writers on agriculture. As my object was to take notes of points relating to grasses and other forage plants, I confined my close attention to them exclusively, and now propose to give some account of my gleanings from the volumes left by Arthur Young, and shall begin by going at some -length into his experiences as regards two important forage plants, chicory and burnet, as to both of which I have had, as the reader has seen, most favourable experience on this property.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) was first cultivated in England by Arthur Young. In 1787 he found it not uncommon in France, and applied to considerable profit by that intelligent husbandman, Mons. Cretté. The produce was so great, and exceeding that of any other. plant known, that Young determined to introduce it into England. 'Of all the grasses,' he says, 'it is perhaps the most universal grower if managed and applied with attention.' (The old writers, and farmers in general now, always use the term grasses for all plants used with grass mixtures.) It was probably first cultivated by the Italians. In 1780 it was remarked by a French writer that sheep are very fond of it. It is indigenous everywhere in Lombardy, and is found in the watered meadows freely eaten by every sort of cattle, especially by cows when it is young, and it affords much milk.
Mons. Cretté sows in March, and mows once in the same year. His practice was to dung the land in winter. In the following year he cut thrice, and parts of the land four times. Mons. Cretté used it much in soiling, and with great success, for horses, cows, young cattle, and calves. It is greedily eaten by all, and gives good cream and butter. It is not hurt by drought. He used 20 lb. of seed for rather less than an English acre. No meadows, natural or artificial, can compare with chicory. Lucerne gives only four and a half tons of hay per English acre, while chicory will give eleven tons. The dry fodder is well eaten,: but it is much better given green. Such were Mons. Cretté's experiences of chicory.
In 1788 Arthur Young sowed 10 lb. of seed over five acres of barley on a good strong wet loam among clover, trefoil, rib, and burnet, and found that the chicory was always eaten by sheep, cows, and fattening bullocks as close to the ground as any other plant in the field. In 1788 he sowed it in drills a foot apart. It produced in green weight in four years 119 tons, or near thirty tons per acre per annum. He had seen chicory flourishing well on clay, loam, sand, chalk, and peat, and had known it sown upon the very poorest spots of poor farms with such success as to prove indubitably the great importance of the plant. If fed off with sheep it would greatly improve the succeeding corn crops. He had known it in the North of Scotland to bear cutting six times in the summer. Pigs are remarkably fond of it. 'On all poor lands,' Arthur Young writes, 'it is of the highest consequence, having no rival. On the very worst soils it is beneficial for sheep, and I may venture to assert that on such a full stock of sheep cannot be kept without it.' It succeeds well, he says, sown with barley, or oats, or indeed any other crop. On middling loam he sowed 12 lb. per acre broadcast, on poor soils 15 or 16 lb., but in drills at nine inches or a foot apart he found 10 lb. to be enough. If sown in drills at a foot apart horse-hoeing he found to be of great value, and this rendered the plant very luxuriant. Chicory he considered to be too succulent a plant to be made into hay on the average of seasons in this humid climate.
Horses, and hard-worked horses, did well soiled with chicory, and without either hay or corn. It produced no ill effect on milk, cream or butter. In 1792 a Mr. Dunn fed horses, cows, and hogs with it, and found that the cows' milk was greatly increased. Chicory should be cut four times instead of three in the season to prevent stalks running up.
In 1790 a Mr. Martin said that in the drought of the present season he has nothing on his farm that will keep half the stock that his chicory will, though it is four years old. He fed it with sheep, and highly approved of it. The Duke of Bedford expressed a high opinion of chicory. In August 1796, 12 lb. chicory and 5 lb. trefoil were sown on a fallow, and grazed about Michaelmas for a month with five sheep an acre. In 1797 it kept six sheep an acre from the second week in April until Michaelmas. On four and a half acres, which were sown broadcast with chicory, ten sheep an acre were kept the first year 1796, from first week in April to July 22nd, and then seven per acre to end of October. In 1797 it kept seven sheep per acre, and they had done well. Mr. May, near Ipswich, found chicory the best plant for sheep feed on poor dry soils, and that it did not suffer from dry weather like sainfoin or burnet; and he observed it to grow seven inches in three weeks, while the two latter plants, on the same soil, in the same field, as near together as possible, grew no more than four inches. Numerous evidences were given by Arthur Young to prove that the produce of chicory is at least equal to that of any known plant in this climate. It remains many years in the ground. From his experiments, 62 tons 18 cwt. of the green produce was cut in a year. 'It will yield a profitable support', he says, 'for sheep when the more common. plants have almost entirely failed.' Chicory hay is as readily eaten by live stock as any other. In the south of Scotland clover falls off so much in the second, and still more in the third, year, that a farmer sowed on a large scale a mixture of chicory, and the plants kept the ground so well that he was disposed to extend the cultivation, but he was deterred by the price of the seed. Chicory, he further states, is difficult to eradicate (This is contrary to our experience at Clifton-on-Bowmont) when ploughing up, but in no proportion that ought to render it any objection to the culture. With reference to the duration of chicory,** he mentions that in 1790 twelve acres were sown with a mixture of plants, amongst which were chicory and burnet, and that in 1800 much chicory was visible. Arthur Young gives many evidences of its suitability for sheep. (In 1893 the Haugh, twenty-eight acres, was laid down, and in the mixture were 2 lb. each of chicory and kidney vetch, and 3 lb. burnet. The field was ploughed at the end of 1900, and turnips taken in 1901. The turnips were a fine crop, and the land was very clean, though no weeds were taken off. From the fence being shifted on the bank of the Bowniont a narrow strip next the fence was left unploughed. This showed in 1901 a fair proportion of burnet, chicory, and kidney vetch. Two acres of this field were railed off, and let to a blacksmith for his cow. I particularly inquired whether any effect on the quantity and quality of the milk had been produced by the chicory and burnet, etc. No effects were perceived, but the cow certainly gained in condition from the pasture, and became distinctly fatter.)
Finally, he sums up his reasons for advocating the use of this plant as follows:
- The greatness of its produce for soiling on good land.
- Its yielding so amply in feeding sheep on all soils.
- Its being remarkably applicable in the very poorest and most barren chalks and sands.
- Its forming a most profitable change on all lands upon which clover fails from too often repetition.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Chicory.
As regards the hay crop the advantages of chicory are:
- that it effectually holds up the crop, and this not only increases its bulk, but favours the growth of the smaller grasses and other plants, and also small plants which have sprung later in the season; that
- when the weather is favourable it quickens the winning of the hay, as the stalks ventilate the cocks; and that
- the stumps of the flowering stems keep the grass off the ground when the cut grass is in swathe, or in cock. This favours ventilation, and the grass underneath the cocks.
The disadvantages of chicory, as regards hay, are that, if the weather is wet, it retards the winning of the hay, as it holds much water. Another disadvantage is that hay with chicory in it requires to be used the first year. If kept over a year it becomes dusty, and is therefore unsuitable for stock, but there is no reason to suppose that it is unsuitable for stock and farm horses if used during the first year, nor do I know that it is unsuitable for horses in fast work -- though I should not recommend it -- but this is a point that requires investigation. In the Bank field we found that by stocking in spring from the first week in April to 20th May, eating the pasture quite bare, and then shutting up the field for hay, the chicory plant was so far suppressed that no seeding stems appeared; in fact, the plant was so suppressed as not to cause any objection as regards the hay crop.
The advantages of chicory in pasture are very great, and there are no disadvantages. The root goes straight down into the soil (in five months I have traced it to twenty-two inches, and in fifteen months to about thirty inches or more), and the leaves go straight up. The plant therefore neither robs the surface soil nor interferes with the plants in its neighbourhood, which flourish right up to the stems of the chicory. All stock are fond of the plant, and my keeper informs me that hares eat it more readily than any other plant in the pasture. It yields a large supply of food. It is evident that with such plants as chicory and burnet the available area of soil must be very largely increased, and their use in a field is, practically speaking, an absolute addition to its acreage. (Later information respecting chicory will be found in Chapter 6 and Appendix 3.)
Let us now turn to another plant, which, from its deep-rooting, drought-resisting, and disease-preventive qualities, for sheep is of evident importance, and see what Arthur Young has to tell us about it.
Burnet (Poterium sanguisorba), we are told by Young, will do on any land, but it thrives best on that which is dry. It is more to be recommended on a sheep walk, and is not only good for spring feed, but as a summer pasture. For the latter it should be kept constantly pared down close, in which management it grows very fast. An experiment by Mr. Anderson is quoted, which shows that on February 14th it was three inches high, and it was grazed at intervals every month up to September 29th, when the total growth was seventy-two inches. Sheep are very fond of it. It is early in spring, but not so early as lucerne. Its principal use is for a sheep walk, and especially on poor hungry soils. No farmers should lay down for a sheep walk, or for a few years, without sowing a large portion of burnet. Arthur Young did not think the plant valuable for hay. It is spontaneous, he says, in the best spots of many of the finest meadows in England. Burnet, when in mixture, is eaten as close as any other plant. Half a bushel (burnet weighs about 26 lb. per bushel) should be sown in mixture with either trefoil or ryegrass, or with other grasses, for permanent pasture. If sown by itself, one bushel should be used, and it should always be sown broadcast, though, I may observe, he gives no reason for doing so. Burnet is ready for sheep at the beginning of March, and is throughout the year of considerable value. It is not only a preservative against rot, but a cure for it, if only in the beginning of its progress. Cows eat burnet freely, if not old and sticky, and it gives butter an agreeable flavour. Young mentions that burnet was recommended by Worbage in 1675, especially for cows, as it gives the best butter and cheese. There are large tracts of the finest parts of the Southdowns upon which burnet forms half the indigenous pasture. In general, all cattle eat it readily when young, and to profit, but not when it is in bent. It is very advantageous for sheep in general. Anderson is again quoted by Young as follows: 'I have put sheep that scoured into a burnet field, and they have soon been visibly benefited. I would earnestly recommend to all farmers to intersperse some of it in every field sown for permanent pasture.' One acre of burnet was sown on a part of a field the rest of which was, turnips, and the following March fed with sheep, who preferred the burnet, and the acre was thought equal in consumption to any acre of the turnips. It was observed in Staffordshire that as a meadow grass it preserves the hay from over-heating in the stack. Hay of meadows which contain a considerable portion of burnet comes out of a fine green colour, while other hay, equally well made, but without this plant, overheats, and comes out quite brown.
The anonymous author of a book on the improved culture of the three principal grasses, lucerne, sainfoin, and burnet (G. Robinson, Paternoster Row, London, 1775), has much to say in favour of burnet. It may be sown, he says, from February to August or September , a fact of great value, as, in. the event of the turnip crop failing, the land may be sown with burnet, which will give good feed in the early spring months, when it will be found that an acre of burnet is equal to one of turnips. The writer notices a curious circumstance connected with this plant, namely, that though it grows well in all light lands, it acquires from some lands a peculiar quality which makes it so unpalatable to cattle that they will not eat it. The writer, therefore, recommends that a trial on a small scale should be made if the plant is to be extensively cultivated. The author mentions the drought-resisting power of burnet, and shows that it continues to grow while other pastures are burnt up. Cows are fond of it, and it much increases the quantity and richness of milk and cream. He notices the curative value of it in the case of sheep afflicted with rot. In one case given where the land was gravelly and poor, burnet seed was sown with buckwheat, and some with summer vetches or tares; that sown with the buckwheat grew well, and after the buckwheat was mown, it spread and stood the winter very well. The seed sown with the vetches grew well, but was in some parts overshadowed by them. Burnet is an evergreen which resists cold, heat, and drought better than any other fodder plant, and is ready for use at all times of year, winter as well as summer. Its great value is in March, April, and part of May, when winter food is exhausted, and pastures insufficiently available. If not fed down too late in the autumn, but allowed to rise to half a foot or more, it will lose nothing of this in winter, but will continue fresh, and also advance in its growth more or less according to the weather, and then in March and April the farmer will find himself with a good supply of food for horses, black cattle, and sheep. Burnet may be mown once or twice in the season for hay, but the author does not advise mowing when it is desirable to use the plant for grazing. The author recommends cutting the burnet in spring and feeding it to cattle in the house, or farmyard. Altogether much attention seems to have been paid to the valuable qualities of this plant, and the circumstances of these times are such that it would seem to be as valuable for them, as it evidently was to farmers in the year 1775. (Vide also Appendix 3.)
I now turn to a point which was evidently of great importance in Young's times, and which, in consequence of grain growing having become unprofitable, has again become of great consequence, for the expensive turnip crop is not a crop that pays of itself, but is largely of value because of the grain crop that follows. If, then, grain is low in price, it is of obvious importance to replace the turnip crop as far as we can by some cheaper crop that will aid us in carrying our flocks through the winter and spring, and, as an additional reason for so doing, I may point to the well-known fact that turnips, when used exclusively, are an unsuitable food for sheep, as they are productive of disease -- so much so that it is almost proverbial amongst shepherds, who all know that the more turnips we have the more sheep disease. And I may mention that when there was once a great failure in the turnip crop in this neighbourhood the sheep never did so well. I met with a remarkable instance of the danger of using turnips freely in the case of a farmer to whom I let a farm which had for some years been in my own hands. He complained to me that he had met with a great loss amongst his sheep, and yet when the farm was in my hands the death-rate had been very low, and, in going into the subject, I found that it had arisen evidently from his changing his flock at the end of autumn to an exclusive diet of turnips. So that by turning our attention to other food for winter and spring I feel sure that we shall not only feed our flocks much more cheaply, but keep them in far healthier condition. I now proceed to quote Young's experiences of the value of what in his time was called rouen -- or aftermath saved for spring use.
Young speaks highly of this practice, and 'scarcely knew a person who tried it that ever gave it up'. He had had twenty-five years' experience of its value. Writing in 1771, he says that it was a common practice in Dorsetshire, where the flockmasters placed their great dependence upon it. In 1776 he found that Mr. Maurice, in Shropshire, kept every year thirty acres for the support of his cows and sheep till February. Young found the system in practice in Suffolk. By Mr. Green's account in 1785 he kept the aftermath of some of his meadows for his dairy of twenty cows, and also for sheep and lambs, till his cabbages were done in March, never stocking the ground from mowing till that time. In a letter from a Dr. Parry we are told that he considers rouen to be 'a cheap and valuable resource, which never fails except when it is covered with snow. Last year my shepherd was fully convinced that four acres of very indifferent upland rouen given to my ewes and lambs saved at least three tons of hay. Rouen supplies a sort of intermediate food between the dry and the green.' The custom was pursued in Lancashire and Leicestershire by some of the best farmers, who asserted it to be the best and most certain spring food yet known. The autumnal and spring shoots, mix, and furnish together more nutritious food than either taken separately. A pasture thus preserved is depended upon as the sheet anchor in preference to turnips, cabbages, or any other species whatever of what is called spring food. This kept grass gives more milk than turnips. Where turnips fail, it is of immense value. A shilling spent in rouen goes as far as a guinea spent in turnips. My sheep, writes Arthur Young, in consequence of this aid, have not known a hungry belly in March and April. An acre of rouen is more valuable than most acres of turnips, which had suffered from the summer drought.
As an experiment, he put twenty-two ewes in seven acres in one field, and 10 hog rams in three acres of another, and these were kept from November to May without any other food, and no sheep on my farm did better. This was above three per acre, and for two months the former had their lambs at their side. I had rouen on the better part of my farm, apparently of near double the value.
The winter of 1794-5 was uncommonly severe, frost being of the hardest and longest ever known. His experience under these circumstances was that rouen was as safely to be relied on as in the milder winters during which it was tried. Young complains of turnips as being expensive and liable to be injured by frost, and he might have added that, unless unusual precautions are taken, sheep swallow grit and earth with them, which are both injurious. (A tenant farmer once took one of my grass parks, and sent in some prime hogs, and some of them sickened and died. My shepherd examined the stomach of one of them, and found grit in it, which had been swallowed when eating turnips which had not been sufficiently cleaned.) The Earl of Exeter, we are told, sells all his turnips to his neighbours to be fed with sheep, and relies on his rouen, and has known no redwater, or other distemper, in his flock since he has adopted this practice. In his paper on the subject, Arthur Young gives numerous evidences of the value of rouen. In Tweeddale, on the sheep farms, part of the pasture is hained (preserved), and also in other parts of Scotland. Mr. Young says that he has depended upon it principally for the support of 200 sheep. The grass is much more early and productive in spring if, after mowing, no stock is turned in till spring. The dry herbage shelters the young grass shoots in spring, and thus promotes their growth. Rouen was also adopted in Herefordshire. A Mr. Knight is quoted as observing, that, if leaves are eaten off shortly after mowing, the roots are deprived of their nourishment, and the plants consequently vegetate weakly in the ensuing spring. Aftermath left to rot on the ground is a good preparation for the next crop of hay.
But in one part of the country the practice of saving growing grass for future use was much further extended, and Arthur Young, under the heading of 'fog', observes that it is a term given in South Wales to the growth of the whole year kept till the ensuing winter and spring, a practice commonly found nowhere else. On dry sound land that will not poach, the whole crop of grass is kept in Cardigan without being mown or fed; stock of all sorts fed in depth of winter without any other food, and always in excellent order. It kills moss, and much improves the pastures; nor will an acre of the best hay support so much cattle as one acre of fog. The grass is much improved by the quantity of seeds that fall.
I now turn to Young's experience as to laying down land to grass. There is much said in favour of sowing grass with rape, to be fed off by sheep. In Yorkshire Colonel Vavasour laid down with buckwheat sown in the end of June, and harvested end of September, and this plan turned out to be very successful. At Felthorpe, in Norfolk, buckwheat was considered superior to any other crop in which to sow grass seeds. It affords good shelter, and, being late sown, gives a good opportunity for destroying weeds. Young laid down a field to grass (chiefly burnet) in 1769, which did very well, though the buckwheat was a very great crop-forty-nine bushels an acre. Buckwheat he considered the best crop with which to lay down, because it was not exhaustive sown thinly, and yet from branching, and size of leaf, joins so close at the top that the young grasses have plenty of room; they are quite sheltered from the sun in a drought, and, being sown so late as June, and even part of July, time for much tillage is afforded. Clover does well with it. Young records that an agriculturist (Dalton) had sown grass seeds with beans, which were preceded by barley, and which again was preceded by turnips, and the results were so successful that he preferred this to all other methods. In order to note the advantages of sowing grass seeds with oats as against doing so with wheat, Young on, one occasion sowed ten acres with 10 lb. of chicory and four or five bushels of cocksfoot per acre. Five acres were sown with wheat and the rest with oats, and he found that the cocksfoot did much better with the wheat. He speaks highly in favour of sowing up land with wheat in the beginning of September. He quotes an agriculturist (Goring) who 'once sowed grass seeds amongst turnips in the spring, and the sheep trod them in with their feet as they fed off the turnips. No corn was sown with them, and they flourished beyond any other'. After quoting other opinions, Young thus concludes his section on laying down to grass:
'Upon the whole of these most valuable articles of intelligence, and combining them with the result of my own extensive experience, I am decidedly of opinion that the best method is to sow the seeds alone in August; that the next best method is to sow them with buckwheat* in July; after these I should prefer rape in August on soils not apt to bind with treading; then comes the sowing with wheat early in September, and the last and worst method is to sow them with spring corn.' (Vide Chapter 3.) (Young elsewhere praises buckwheat highly as an ameliorating crop, and one which increases the production of wheat. It deserves more attention than it has received. It takes little out of the soil, and he quotes Tusser as observing that 'it is to the land a comfort or muck'. It is good for fattening swine and poultry, and as food for horses.)
As regards the subsequent management of the pasture, Young's remarks show that there were great differences of opinion as to the mowing or grazing the first year. He mentions that Sir Charles Middleton hays the first year, and uses aftermath for fattening sheep and lambs, giving some oilcake, and folding off as for turnips. Another writer quoted says that nothing but having a good coat of dung to put on before winter can justify mowing.
As I notice in the Field of 12th September 1896, attention has been called to the value of loppings of trees as food for stock, I may mention that Arthur Young has a section on 'Browsing', and gives many instances of the practice of cutting faggots of branches in full leaf and preserving them for winter use. Fir branches were used in this way in conjunction with hay. The freshly cut branches were strewed about the field. After the sheep had picked off the green matter the wood was then used for firing. Elm branches were considered to be the best, and then poplar. Oak branches were considered to be good for this purpose. Young observes that a great saving of hay was effected by this practice.
I have now, I think, quoted from Arthur Young's great work most of those points which seem to me to be useful and interesting, but I cannot conclude the chapter without expressing my admiration of the wonderful combination of qualities he possessed, and which enabled him, and justly so, not only to impress and influence his own countrymen, but also all the most civilized peoples of Europe. Such a union of zeal, indefatigable industry, ability, perseverance, and undaunted courage it is indeed very difficult to find united in any man. One instance of the last I cannot help quoting from Dr. Paris's memoir (previously alluded to), in which we are told that 'in his second journey. to France he set out alone, but he had not proceeded more than 100 miles when his mare fell blind; not, however, being discouraged by this incident, he travelled with her 1,700 miles, and brought her safe back to Bradfield'. But, besides the strength of character shown by the instance quoted, he evinced the greatest candour of mind in chronicling his own mistakes, and severely animadverting on them, which he sometimes does to an amusing extent. Altogether, he leaves on the mind a most agreeable impression, and a feeling of confidence that in his various writings he has accurately and fully recorded the agricultural experiences of his times.
Next: Chapter 5: Laying Down Land to Grass, and the Treatment of the Pasture
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