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which tends to meliorate the soil, and render it more fit for corn. Little rye is cultivated, and the grain is not in demand. The inhabitants are very partial to potatoes. There are many sorts, and various modes of cultivation. The time of planting is from the end of March to the middle of May; the sets, first planted, yielding the most mealy potatoes ; but those, last planted, the greatest crops. Eighteen or twenty bushels are the common allowance of sets. Their return depends greatly upon the care taken in weeding and hoeing, and is generally from one hundred and sixty to two hundred bushels. With extraordinary attention three hundred bushels have been obtained. The digging up is performed with a three-lined fork. A good labourer will raise eight heaped bushels in a day without the assistance of a picker. They are generally preserved in large heaps, out of doors, defended from the frost by straw packed close round them, and beyond this, sods of turf, with the grass side outermost. Turnips appear to be well suited to the climate, and their use is becoming annually more general. The common winter seed is the sort sown. Crops of carrots and of turnip-rooted cabbage have been tried; but from
want of management, or some other cause, were not found profitable. Flax, in small quantities, is very general, but not enough is grown for the manufactures of the island. One plot rarely exceeds one quarter or one half of an acre. It is always sown on land in good condition, often after potatoes, but never after corn. April is the time for sowing it, and the usual allowance of seed is eighteen gallons per acre. The weeds should be removed as they appear, till the land. be completely covered. By the middle or end of July it is pulled, and laid in water for a week, by which time the pith is putrified, and is readily parted from the other substance. It is then spread on a pasture to dry, till it is found, upon examination, to be fit for scutching, or dressing at the mill. This is an operation which disjoins the fibres, and separates them from the bark. The process of boiling the flax, as recommended by the Bath · Agricultural Society, has been tried here ; but the expence of it was found to exceed the value of the flax. The culture of flax, owing to the uncertainty of the weather, is a very speculative branch of husbandry. Hemp is never sown, except in gardens, and not much there. Sown grasses are so
essentially useful, that almost every farmer sows grass or clover with his spring crop. The red clover is very eligible, either to be eaten by cattle or cut for hay. The former practice is the most beneficial to the land; and, if the clover be abundant, so will generally be the ensuing crop of corn. Ray grass seed is commonly sown with the clover, but by this practice the land is impoverished. Ten pounds of red clover, and two bushels of grass seed per acre, are the usaal allowance for a hay crop. White and red clover, and white hay seeds are thought to yield the best pasture.
Markets for provisions are ordered to be held at each of the four towns; but only at Douglas are they regular. Fairs for the sale of horses, cattle, and wearing apparel, the manufacture of the island, and for the hiring of servants, are numerous ; and about six are very well attended. There is no market or fair for grain, and thuse likely to want any generally make a contract with the farmers as soon as the harvest is got in.
Two modes of agricultural improvement have been long proposed. The first is the establishment of a Manks Agricultural Society; now, in some degree, carried into effect by the extension of
the Cumberland society to this island, which will not, I fear, prove of much advantage to the inhabitants. The other is, a conversion of the tithe, now payable in kind, into an unalterable sum of money, equal to its present value. To these two may be added a third, that of lengthening the term of leases. *
* For the ground-work of this chapter I am indebted to Mr. Quayle's Agricultural Report.
On the Manufactures of the Island.
IN so low a state, till lately, were manufactures and mechanics, that the inhabitants had not mills enough to grind their wheat, being in the practice of exporting it and importing flour. The first, upon a large scale, was erected by Major Taubman; and, from being in the vicinity of his seat, is called the Nunnery mill. Several others have been since built; but the chief business is supposed to be done here.
How far the introduction of manufactories might be expedient and likely to answer the purpose of the manufacturer, would be an amusing and useful inquiry, Those established for articles consumed by the natives only must, of course, be of small magnitude, and if there be not too many will necessarily succeed, provided no peculiar obstacles arise. Of this class are breweries, candle and soap manufactories, tanyards, and some others, which the freedom from excise laws tends greatly to encourage. Malting