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practice not only obviates many difficulties to which the farmer was exposed by the method formerly pursued, but by leaving a firm bottom for the roots of wheat, it has precluded the common malady of root-fallen crops." "This general rejection of tillage by the plough, whenever circumstances permit, I consider," says Mr. Young,*" as one of the greatest, if not the greatest improvement in modern husbandry. It has changed the face of the greatest part of this county, and will change the face of ot hers as fast as it is introduced with skill and intelligence." In consequence of the adoption of this system, drilling has become very general, especially upon clay land; and appears likely to spread to every part of the county. Dibbling is also very common.
The management of the arable land, and the courses of crops, differ essentially, in the four distinct soils of which Suffolk consists. In the strong soils, the more general course includes summer fallow as the common preparation for the rotation of cornproducts, on the principle that when once given, the farmer will be enabled to omit it at the second return, and even at the third also, by means of clover, tares, pease, &c. This principle governs many variations, but where sufficient manure can be procured, the best course is as follows: 1. Fallow. 2. Wheat. 3. Beans. 4. Barley. 5. Clover. 6. Wheat.
On the rich loam and sand, the rotation called the Norfolk husbandry is very generally introduced. It is this: 1. Turnips. 2. Barley, 3. Clover, 4. Wheat.
On the sand districts, the management differs according to the badness of the soil, but it is uniform in one feature, that turnips are every where the preparation for both corn and grass. After them barley is generally sown, and grass seeds succeed, but with variations. In Samford Hundred, where the farmers are excellent managers, their course is: 1. Turnips. 2. Barley. 3. Trefoil and ray-grass. 4. Peas dibbled. 5. Barley.
In the fenny part of the county, the method generally pursued, is to sow cole-seed on one plowing, after paring and burning, then
• General View of the Agriculture of Suffolk, p. 70.
then oats twice in succession; with the last of these they lay down with ray-grass and clover for six or seven years, then pare and burn, and repeat the same husbandry.
The crops commonly cultivated in Suffolk are: wheat, barley. oats, rye, beans, pease, buck-wheat; which, on the very poorest sands, is more common than in many other parts of England, and is for such soils a very valuable crop; tares; cole-seed, one of the principal productions of the fen-district, and which, as food for sheep, exceeds turnips both in regard to fattening and milk; turnips, clover, trefoil, white clover, and sainfoin.
The crops not commonly cultivated consist of hops, cabbages, carrots, lucerne, chicory, potatoes, and hemp.
The cultivation of hops, introduced into England in the reign of Henry VIII. seems to have been early attended to in this county. Bullein, who wrote his Bulwarke of Defence in the middle of the sixteenth century, mentions their growing at Brusiard, near Framlingham, and in many other places. The same writer, in his Government of Health, observes, that "though there cometh many good hops from beyond sea, yet it is known that the goodly stilles and fruitful grounds of England do bring forth unto man's use, as good hops as groweth in any place in this world, as by proof I know in many places in the countie of Suffolke, whereas they brew their beere with the hops that groweth upon their own grounds." From the manner in which Tusser, who was a Suffolk farmer about the same time, mentions them, and the frequent directions which he gives respecting their management, it may be inferred, that almost every person who had a proper spot, cultivated some at least for his own use. This crop, however, is very little cultivated at present in Suffolk, except at Stowmarket, and in its neighborhood, where there are about 200 acres.
In regard to cabbages, Mr. Young observes, that the heavy part of Suffolk is the only district in England, where, to his knowledge, their culture is established among many common farmers. It is, however, of late years considerably declined, from the idea
that this plant exhausts the ground, an opinion which that cele brated agriculturist thinks founded on ill management.
The cultivation of carrots in the Sandlings, or district within the line formed by Woodbridge, Saxmundham, and Orford, but extending to Leiston, is one of the most interesting objects in the agriculture of Britain. From Norden's Surveyors' Dialogue, it appears that carrots were commonly cultivated in this district two centuries ago; a fact which demonstrates how long such practices may be confined to the same spot, and how much time is required to extend them. For many years they were chiefly raised for the London market; but other parts of the kingdom having rivalled Suffolk in this supply, they are now principally cultivated as food for draught horses. It has been found by long experience, that this food keeps those animals in much finer condition, and enables them to go through all the work of the season better than corn and hay. For horses that are ridden fast, they are not equally proper. They are also found to be of the greatest use for fattening bullocks, and feeding cows, sheep, and swine. The expense of an acre is about eight guineas, and the value from twelve to fifteen. The merit of introducing chicory into the husbandry of England, belongs to Mr. Young, a native and inhabitant of this county. The tract in which hemp is chiefly found, extends from Eye to Beccles, and is about ten miles in breadth. It is cultivated both rare to see more than
by farmers and cottagers, though it is very five or six acres in the hands of one person. This is an article of considerable importance, on account of the employment afforded by the various operations which it requires. In the above-mentioned district, indeed, the poor are entirely supported by this manufacture. The Suffolk hemp is superior in strength and quality to that of Russia; the cloths woven from it are of various degrees of fineness and breadth, from 10d. a yard, half ell wide, to 4s. and 4s. 6d. ell wide. It also makes very good huckaback for towels, and common table-cloths. The low-priced hemps are a general wear for servants, husbandmen, and laboring manufacturers; those from 18d. to 2s. a yard, for farmers and tradesmen; while the
åner sorts from 2s. 6d. to 3s. 6d. are preferred by many gentlemen for strength and warmth to other linen.
Saffron was formerly cultivated to a considerable extent in Suffolk. This oriental plant was first grown in England in the reign of Edward III. and was much used by our ancestors. In 1366, no less than eighteen pounds of saffron were consumed in the household of Margaret, Countess of Norfolk, at Framlingham Castle, in this county. It long continued to be a considerable article of cookery, as well as medicine; but from the revolution in manners and fashions, its use has greatly decreased. It was chiefly raised in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Cambridgeshire, though now its culture is confined chiefly to the last. Several pieces of land in this county are still named from it: at Fornham St. Genevieve, is a piece called the Saffron Yard; another at Great Thurlow, the Saffron Ground; and a piece of glebe land near Finningham Church-yard, is denominated the Saffron Pans, or Panes, probably from the slips or beds in which the plants were set.
Among the manures employed by the Suffolk farmers, the species called crag may be noted as peculiar to this county. It is composed of dry powdered shells, and formerly produced a very great improvement in that part of the maritime district called the Sandlings, south of Woodbridge, Orford, and Saxmundham, by being spread on the black ling heaths with which that whole tract was formerly covered. Its effect, however, like that of lime, has often been found to decline on repeating the application.
Irrigation, one of the greatest improvements in modern agriculture, is very little practised in Suffolk, where large tracts of poor and unproductive arable land are to be seen in almost every parish, at least in the vicinity of every stream, below the level in which water might be made to flow. Some spirited individuals, indeed, have within these few years, sent for men from other counties, where the practice is understood, to irrigate their meadows; and it is sincerely to be wished that their example may be generally followed.
If Suffolk has not acquired such high reputation for its live stock VOL. XIV.
as some other counties, this must be ascribed rather to the want of attention in the breeders, than to the want of a capability of improvement in the animals themselves. The cows have long been celebrated for the abundance of their milk, which, considering their size, and the quantity of food, far exceeds the produce of any other race in the island. Though the peculiar breed of this county is spread all over it, yet a tract of twenty miles by twelve, is more especially the seat of the dairies. This space is comprehended within a line drawn from the parish of Coddenham to Ashbocking, Otley, Charlsfield, Letheringham, Hatcheston, Parham, Framlingham, Cransford, Bruisyard, Badingham, Sibton, Heveningham, Cookly, Linstead, Metfield, Wethersdale, Fressingfield, Wingfield, Hoxne, Brome, Thrandeston, Gislingham, Finningham, Westrop, Wyverston, Gipping, Stonham, Creeting, and again to Coddenham. The cows of Suffolk are universally polled, as the farmers sell all the calves that would have horns, reserving only such as have none for stock. The size is small, few rising, when fattened, to fifty stone, at fourteen pounds each. The characteristics of this breed are :---a clean throat, with little dewlap; a thin clean snake head; thin legs; a very large carcase; a rib tolerably springing from the centre of the back, but with a heavy belly; back-bone ridged; chine, thin and hollow; Join narrow; udder large, loose, and creased when empty; milkveins remarkably large, and rising in knotted puffs to the eye; a general habit of leanness; hip-bones high and ill-covered, and scarcely any part of the carcase so formed, and covered as to please the eye accustomed to fat beasts of the finer breeds. It is nevertheless remarked, that many of them fatten remarkably well, and their flesh is of a fine quality. . The best milkers are in general red, brindled, or of a yellowish cream color. The quantity of milk yielded by one of these cows is from five to eight gallons a day. Some years since cabbages were universally cultivated as an article of food for cows, far superior to hay, but this practice, as elsewhere observed, is now on the decline. Another peculiarity in the Suffolk management, is that of tying up these animals in