wet, very boggy, and quite useless, has been drained by a system of ditches and tiles; the bogs have been pared off and burnt, the land plowed and planted, and made exceedingly productive.
The upland has been prepared for irrigation, the water being supplied by a brook, which tumbled down the hill through a deep glen.
Its course was arrested by a dam, and from the reservoir thus formed, pipes are laid to the different fields, which can be inundated or drained by the turning of a cock.
The experiment of irrigation, however, has been suspended.
Last spring the brook, swollen with rage at the loss of its ancient liberty, burst through the dam, and scattered four thousand dollars worth of solid masonry in the space of a minute and a half.
This year a new attempt will be made to reduce it to submission, and conduct its waters in peaceful and fertilizing rivulets down the rows of corn and potatoes.
Then Mr. Greeley
can take down his weather-cock, and smile in the midst of drought, water his crops with less trouble than he can water his horses, and sow turnips in July, regardless of the clouds.
If a crop is well put in the ground, and well cared for as it progresses, its perfect success depends upon two things, water and sunshine.
Science has enabled the farmer partly to regulate the supply of the latter, and perfectly to regulate the supply of the former.
The slant of the hills, the reflection of walls, glass covers, trees, awnings, and other contrivances, may be made to concentrate or ward off the rays of the sun. Irrigation and drainage go far to complete the farmer's independence of the wayward weather.
In all the operations of his little farm, Mr. Greeley
takes the liveliest interest, and he means to astonish his neighbors with some wonderful crops, by-and-bye, when he has everything in training.
Indeed, he may have done so already; as, in the list of prizes awarded at our last Agricultural State Fair, held in New York, October, 1854, we read, under the head of “vegetables,” these two items:—‘Turnips, H. Greeley
, Chappaqua, Westchester Co.
, Two Dollars,’ (the second prize); ‘Twelve second-best ears of White Seed Corn, H. Greeley
, Two Dollars.’
Looking down over the reclaimed swamp, all bright now with waving flax, he said one day, ‘All else that I have done may be of no avail; but what I have done here is done
; it will last.’
A private letter, written about this time, appeared in the country papers, and still emerges occasionally.
A young man wrote to Mr.