General View of the Agriculture of the Hebrides, Or Western Isles of Scotland

General Books, 2013 - 200 σελίδες
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1811 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER VII. ARABLE LAND. SECTION I.--TILLAGE. The Hebrides having been for ages chiefly devoted to grazing, the cultivation of crops requiring regular tillage was not a primary object. Agricaltural implements were accordingly simple and imperfect, and the system of ploughing or tilling the ground made no progress for several centuries. Even to this day, the idea continues to prevail in some parts of these regions, that it'is unwise to turn the soil at all, because the moisture of the climate, the poorness of the land, and the consequent insecurity and lateness of corn crops, render every mode of management inadvisable, excepting that followed by their ancestors, namely, corncropping the rich infields and grazing the natural old pasture with the indigenous live stock of the country. It must indeed be confessed, that in several districts of the Hebrides, especiallv in the rugged islands of Arran and Mull, in Jura, part of Skye, Harris and Lewis, and in the terrific island of Rum, the most valuable improvements of which they admit cannot be expected to proceed from tillage. Nature opposes impregnable bars to the passage of the plough over their surface. An enlightened agriculturist will perhaps say to the natives, "Inclose what you can, and plant hardy trees in the most sheltered situations, and especially in spots not exposed to the Atlantic and western storms; select the best and hardiest breeds of sheep and cattle; top-dress the practicable declivities of your hills with sea-sleech, shell-sand, or any other manure you can procure at a reasonable price; preserve your lowest lying grounds and meadows for winter use, --and do all you can to get through the year with the few potatoes you may raise on your mossy grounds, and the fish which...

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