The sunflower, kidney-beans, and potatoes, mixed together, agree admirably, the neighbourhood of the sunflower proving advantageous to the potato. It is a well-authenticated fact that, with careful attention, the sun-flower will make excellent oil.
The marc or refuse of the sunflower, after the oil is expressed, may be prepared as a light viand for hogs and goats, pigeons and poultry, which will banquet on it to satiety. Query, would it not make good oil-cakes for fattening pigs? if brought into notice it might become an object of magnitude. Forty-eight pounds of sunflower will produce twelve pounds of oil. In fine, I esteem it as worthy of consideration; for 1. In the scale of excellence, it will render the use of grain for feeding hogs, poultry, pigeons, etc. completely unnecessary. 2. As it resembles olive oil, would it not be found, on examination, competent to supply its place? Whatever may be the points of difference, it certainly may be servicable in home consumption and manufactures. 3. Its leaves are to be plucked as they become yellow, and dried. 4. It affords an agreeable and wholesome food to sheep and rabbits. To goats and rabbits the little branches are a delicious and luxurious gratification, as is also the disc of the pure flower, after the grains have been taken out. Rabbits eat the whole, except the woody part of the plant, which is well adapted for the purpose of fuel. 5. Its alkalic qualities appear to deserve notice; forty eight quintals yield eighty pounds of alkali, a produce four times superior to that of any other plant we are acquainted with, maize excepted. 6. Might it not be used as a lye? And minuter observation might convert it into soap, the basis of both being oil.
Dig and trench about it, as both that and the potato love new earths. Let the rows be twenty nine inches distant from each other and it will be advantageous as the turnsole loves room.
Three grains are to be sown distant some inches from each other, and. when their stems are from eight to twelve inches high, the finest of the three only to be left. Two tufts of French beans to be planted with potatoes. The French beans will climb up the side of the sunflower, which will act and uniformly support like sticks, and the sunflower will second this disposition, by keeping off the great heat from the potato, and produce more than if all had been planted with potatoes.
Each sunflower will produce one or two pounds, and the acre will bring in a vast amount, or contain one thousand pounds, being one-third more than grain.
The cultivation of the annual sunflower is recommended to the notice of the public, possessing the advantage of furnishing abundance of agreeable fodder for cattle in theirleaves. When in flower bees flock from all quarters to gather honey. The seed is valuable in feeding sheep, pigs, and other animals; it produces a striking effect in poultry, as occasioning them to lay more eggs, and it yields a large quantity of excellent oil by pressure. The dry stalks burn well, the ashes affording a considerable quantity of alkali.
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