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Connected with this branch of our subject is the method of storing corn. Some persons recommend that granaries should be built for the purpose at considerable expense, the walls being made of brick, and not less than three1 feet thick; the corn, they say, should be let in from above, the air being carefully excluded, and no windows allowed. Others, again, say that the granary should have an aspect in no direction but the north-east or north, and that the walls should be built without lime, that substance being extremely injurious2 to corn; as to what we find recommended in reference to amurca of olives, we have already mentioned it on a former3 occasion. In some places they build their granaries of wood, and upon pillars,4 thinking it the best plan to leave access for the air on every side, and from below even. Some persons think, how- ever, that the grain diminishes in bulk if laid on a floor above the level of the ground, and that it is liable to ferment beneath a roof of tiles. Many persons say, too, that the grain should never be stirred up to air5 it, as the weevil is never known to penetrate beyond four fingers in depth; consequently, beyond that depth there is no danger. According to Columella,6 the west wind is beneficial to grain, a thing that surprises me, as that wind is generally a very parching7 one. Some persons recommend that, before housing the corn, a bramble-frog should be hung up by one of the hind legs at the threshold of the granary. To me it appears that the most important precaution of all is to house the grain at the proper time; for if it is unripe when cut, and not sufficiently firm, or if it is got in a heated state, it follows of necessity that noxious insects will breed in it.

There are several causes which contribute to the preservation of grain; the outer8 coats in some kinds are more numerous, as in millet, for instance; the juices are of an oleaginous nature,9 and so supply ample moisture, as in sesame, for example; while in other kinds, again, they are naturally bitter,10 as in the lupine and the chicheling vetch. It is in wheat more particularly that insects breed, as it is apt to heat from the density of its juices, and the grain is covered with a thick bran. In barley the chaff is thinner, and the same is the case with all the leguminous seeds: it is for this reason that they do not ordinarily breed insects. The bean, however, is covered with a coat of a thicker substance: and hence it is that it ferments. Some persons sprinkle wheat, in order to make it keep the longer, with amurea11 of olives, a quadrantal to a thousand modii: others, again, with powdered Chalcidian or Carian chalk, or with worm-wood.12 There is a certain earth found at Olynthus, and at Cerinthus, in Eubœa, which prevents grain from spoiling. If garnered in the ear, grain is hardly ever found to suffer any injury.

The best plan, however, of preserving grain, is to lay it up in trenches, called "siri," as they do in Cappadocia, Thracia, Spain, and at * * * in Africa. Particular care is taken to dig these trenches in a dry soil, and a layer of chaff is then placed at the bottom the grain, too, is always stored in the ear. In this case, if no air is allowed to penetrate to the corn, we may rest assured that no noxious insects will ever breed in it. Varro13 says, that wheat, if thus stored, will keep as long as fifty years, and millet a hundred; and he assures us that beans and other leguminous grain, if put away in oil jars with a covering of ashes, will keep for a great length of time. He makes a statement, also, to the effect that some beans were preserved in a cavern in Ambracia from the time of King Pyrrhus until the Piratical War of Pompeius Magnus, a period of about two hundred and twenty years.

The chick-pea is the only grain in which no insect will breed while in the granary. Some persons place upon the heaps of the leguminous grains pitchers full of vinegar and coated with pitch, a stratum of ashes being laid beneath; and they fancy that if this is done, no injury will happen. Some, again, store them in vessels which have held salted provisions, with a coating of plaster on the top, while other persons are in the habit of sprinkling lentils with vinegar scented with laser,14 and, when dry, giving them a covering of oil. But the most effectual method of all is to get in everything that you would preserve from injury at the time of the moon's conjunction; and hence it is of the greatest importance to know, when getting in the harvest, whether it is for garnering or whether for immediate sale. If cut during the increase of the moon, grain will increase in size.

1 Palladius, i. 19, says two feet.

2 On account of the damp. Columella, however, recommends a mixture of sand, lime, and marc of olives for the floor; B. i. c. 6.

3 In B. xv. c. 8.

4 This is still done in the Valais, and has the great merit of preserving the corn from house and field-mice.

5 "Ventilare." On the contrary, the weevil penetrates deep, and does not keep near the surface.

6 De Re Rust. ii. 21.

7 See B. ii. c. 48.

8 Those keep the best, Fée says, which have a farinaceous per sperm. Millet has but one coat.

9 This, in reality, would tend to make them turn rancid all the sooner.

10 And so repel the attacks of insects.

11 This would not only spoil the flavour, but absolutely injure the corn as well.

12 This also, if practised to any extent, would infallibly spoil the grain.

13 De Re Rust. i. 57.

14 See B. xix. c. 15: also Columella, De Re Rust. B. ii. c. 10.

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