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silkworm is not in the colony*. Among the wild moths, which spin their coccoons among the shrubby plants of Africa, is a species nearly as large as the atlas, whose food is the leaves of the Protea Argentea. This worm might be turned to some account, as it resembles the insect of India which spins the strong silk known by the name tussack. So far Barrow. Home consumption in 1841, raw, 3,146,705 lbs.; duty on produce of the Cape, ld. per lb. ; waste, knubs, and husks, 1,343,815 lbs.; duty on produce of the Cape, 6d. per lb.; thrown, 266,651 lbs. ; duty on produce of the Cape, ls. per lb.
The OLIVE TREE might be expected to be quickly matured at the Cape. The native olive, resembling the European, is of spontaneous growth, and plentiful, so that if the Spanish or Italian tree were introduced, there is no doubt of its success. Home consumption, 1,335,788 gallons; duty from a colony, £l per tun.
Cotton may be produced in any quantity in this colony, only that labour is too high for the cultivation. That species of cotton plant called hirsutum, seems to sustain the south-east blasts of wind with the least degree of injury; but the Bourbon cotton, originally from the West Indies, has been found to thrive just as well in the interior parts of the country, where the south-easters extend, not with that degree of strength so as to cause any injury to vegetation, as on the island from whence it takes its name. Home consumption in 1841, 437,093,631 lbs.; duty on produce of the Cape, 4d. per cent.
INDIGO may be produced in any quantity in this colony if the necessary labour could be obtained. It has been tried in several places in the Western Province, and also near Graham's Town, by a Bengal Planter. Home consumption in 1841, 2,780,583 lbs.; duty on produce of the Cape, ls. per cent. Total importation in 1841, 7,894,497 lbs.
HONEY abounds in all the forests, and with due encouragement the Hottentots would bring large quantities to market. Near the Kafir country tall spreading mimosas abound, and with their lively green, present a very beautiful appearance, studded also with clusters of golden flowers, not more pleasing to the eye than agreeable to the smell. Thousands of bees are busily employed in collecting from these flowers their winter store. This part of the country seems to abound in honey, hanging in large clusters from almost every rock. The Hottentots have a common observation among them, that when the doorn boom blossoms the honey is fat. Duty on produce of the Cape, 5s. per cwt,
RAISINS.-Excellent vineyards of the Persian muscatel grape are common in the colony. Hitherto wine has had the best and the worst of their produce; but if made into raisins it would be far better for the colony-first, as a more transportable article, equally extensive consumption, of more easy curing and preparation for shipment. The grapes are first immersed in a strong solution of wood-ashes, and afterwards laid on a stage covered with rush matting until thoroughly dried, and then packed in barrels or cases. Quantity entered for home consumption in England in 1841, 240,887 cwt.; duty on colonial, 7s. 6d. per cent.; average value per cwt., 25s.
* This is no longer the case ; Dr. Liesching, of Cape Town, and others have reared them, and they thrive and increase most satisfactorily. The Agricultural Society have also offered a premium for its encouragement; we shall, therefore, no doubt, in a few years, see it rank high as a Cape export,
Fish.The capabilities of the colony, as exhibited from such unquestionable authority as Mr. Barrow, are almost equalled by the abundance of fish on the coast. But reference on this subject may be made to page 167. Duty free in England; duty in Brazil about 3s. 6d. per quintal.
TOBACCO.—Home consumption in 1841, manufactured, 21,871,438 lbs.; duty, 3s. per lb.; manufactured cigars, 213,551 lbs.; duty, 9s.
IRON AND OCRES.-There is scarcely a mountain in Africa that does not produce iron ores, and ocres are everywhere found in the greatest abundance. The finest of these earths are met with in the state of impalpable powder, inclosed in crustaceous coverings of a reddish colour, of the hardness and consistence of baked earthenware, sometimes in single nodules of an inch or two inches diameter, but more frequently in clusters of two, three, or four nodules, connected by necks, which are also hollow. In these stones every shade of colour is said to be found except green; but the most common are those of a pale yellow and chocolate brown. The country people know them by the name of paint stones, because the powders they contain, when mixed up with oil, make very good paint, without any sifting or further preparation.
LEAD.-It appears from Barrow that upwards of thirty years ago this valuable mineral was discovered about twenty miles westward of Algoa Bay, near the mouth of Van Staden's River. According to Major Van Dhen, the assay was favourable ; 200 lbs. of ore containing 100 lbs. of pure lead, and eight ounces of silver. A rich vein being found unusually near the surface, gives reasonable grounds for supposing that a large body of the mine may not lie at any great depth, and if so, would he worked advantageously. The surrounding country is particularly favourable for the prosecution of such an undertaking ; wood is abundant both for building and fuel. Two streams unite in the glen; the country would support, with cattle and corn, any number of people that might be required to carry on the works, and the distance of the mine is only five miles from the mouth of Van Staden's River, in Camtoos Bay. England is rich in lead, and imports none. From the colonies the duty is only 5s. per ton, and, therefore, it would first serve as ballast, and still render a profit if a rich load.
BARILLA.—Much soap is now made in the colony, and with more labour it would not require to import a pound. The alkali is produced from a species of Salsola or saltwort, called by the Hottentots Canna. In the Karroos it is very abundant, and if cut down and burnt, and reproduced every five years, enough barilla or soda might be collected for the entire consumption of Great Britain. Other plants produce barilla, but not so good in quality. Home consumption of foreign barilla, 46,996 lbs. ; duty, 5s. per ton.
HEMP AND FLAX.-On this important article Mr. Barrow writes thus:--- The Cape might also be rendered valuable to the state on which it may be dependent, by the cultivation of the different kinds of hemp for cordage and canvass, and which might be carried on to an unlimited extent. The Canabis Sativa, or common hemp, has been long planted here as a substitute for tobacco, but its cultivation was never attempted for other purposes. When sown thick in the ground, as in Europe, it shoots up exactly in the same manner, ascending to about the height of eight feet, and giving, to all appearance, a fibre of equal Of
strength and tenacity to that where it is usually cultivated, and it requires very little trouble in keeping clean in the ground. The differ ent plants of India, cultivated there for the purposes of hemp, have been found to grow at the Cape fully as well as in their native soil. these the most common are the Robinia canavina, affording a fibre that is durable under water, and on that account used in the east for fishingnets and tackle. The jute of India (corchorus olitorius,) thrives very well, as does also the Hibiscus Cannabinus, whose leaves of a delicate subacid taste, serve as a salad for the table, and the fibres of the stem as a flax fit for the manufacture of cordage. A native species of Hibiscus, which I brought from the vicinity of Plettenberg Bay, yields a hemp of an excellent quality, perhaps little inferior to that of the Cannabis, or common hemp, which is most unquestionably the best material yet discovered for the manufacture of strong cordage. The Janap of India, Crotularia Juncea, from which gunney bags are manufactured, seems to thrive well at the Cape in sheltered situations, but its slender stem is unequal to the violence of the south-easterly gales of wind. Home consumption of foreign hemp in 1841, was 621,515 cwt.; duty on colonial dressed, 2s. per cwt. ; undressed, ld. per cwt. Flax and tow, or codilla of hemp and flax, was 1,338,213 cwt. ; dressed or undressed, ld. per cwt.
ON THE GROWTH OF TOBACCO. Among the actual products of the Cape, none is more worthy the increased attention of the colonists than tobacco. It is not an anticipation or belief of the suitability of the soil and climate, upon which the assertion is made, but from the fact that the plant is already extensively grown, though not much cultivated or artificially improved. It is already, and has for years been, an article bought and sold.
The term “ Petun” is supposed to have been the original name for Tobacco. When the plant was first introduced in Spain, the word + Tobacco was applied to it, and it was generally supposed to have been from the island of Tobago; but this was erroneous; it was discovered in Tobaco, a province of Yucatan, whence it was first carried into Spain. Soon after Sir Walter Raleigh made it known in England, in thie reign of Queen Elizabeth; it was used in smoking by ladies of quality. The stern Queen herself is said to have countenanced it by her masculine example; and the author of “Biographia Britannica" states that “ It soon became of such vogue at her court, that some of the great ladies, as well as the noblemen therein, would not scruple to blow a pipe sociably!”
But the object of this paper is not to relate the progress of tobacco in Europe, nor to condemn its use,—but to endeavour to direct the attention of the Cape agriculturists to its culture on a large scale through. out the colony. Except in clayey soils, or in situations greatly exposed to the influence of the south-east winds, tobacco may be grown in any part of South Africa; and bearing in mind this fact, and considering the hundreds of millions of acres of land there are in the settlement adapted to its production, it really seems almost incredible that the co
lony pays at the present day a large sum annually for the importation of this article from Rio de Janeiro, North America, &c. If the colony can produce 360,000 lbs., it is quite incontestible that it can produce 3,600,000 lbs., or indeed an unlimited quantity. Is it not then a reproach to us, we ask, to continue to purchase an article from foreigners with which experience has demonstrated that we can furnish ourselves; and not only furnish ourselves, but supply our neighbours ?
We all know what prodigious results have crowned our perseverance in the raising of wool, of which they last year exported nearly £72,000 worth.--Let this suffice.
That no one may plead want of information on the subject, we have reprinted below, the “ Directions for Raising Tobacco,” which appeared in the Directory for 1831. The document is worthy of most attentive perusal. It is written in a purely practical style, by an experienced man; and it contains hardly a superfluous word. We will merely add, in conclusion, that as the low price of wine has the effect of throwing vineyards out of cultivation, it is not improbable that the soil might be more readily transferred to the culture of tobacco than of any other article, as it appears that “a square yard of bed, if made with care, will grow and support 50,000 plants of tobacco.”
Directions for Raising Tobacco. Upon a small spot of good land, well dug and cleaned, put a quantity of bushes; burn them and rake the ashes equally over it: mix the seed with a handful of fine sand, and sprinkle it over the bed: do not rake it in, but let a man walk over it with naked feet; protect the bed with bushes fron the cold winds; and if the weather proves dry, water it occasionally.
The seed may be sown in the month of June, and not later than July; when they have five leaves they may be transplanted; or when the plants are about four inches high.
The land must be ploughed or dug with spades, and made as light as possible. Whatever land suits wheat will do for tobacco. If the land is poor it should be well manured; and if you have not manure enough for the whole field, put a good shovel full into each hill. ground is ready, and your plants of a proper growth, take the first opportunity of rain, and draw out all the plants that are fit; plant them three feet apart every way; the field should be previously marked out in this manner-
0 0 0 0 and every hill should be turned over with
O O O O the hoe, to make the ground as light as possible: a servant should then drop one plant at each hill, while others are putting them in the ground, which should be done in a gentle manner, that the leaves may not be bruised; the field should always be kept free from weeds, and should the weather prove dry, before the plants begin to grow, they should be watered; as the plant adrances pick off the dead leaves, near the bottom, and when about two feet high, pinch off the top of every plant with the nails of the finger and thumb. To prevent seeding you must now carefully pinch off every sucker, which will every day make its appearance, and reduce the number of leares of each stalk to twelve, by pulling off the lower leaves; when the edges and points of the leaves begin to turn a little yellow, the tobacco is ripe, and should be cut off close to the ground; this must be done
when the weather is fine, and there is no dew upon the plant; as soon as cut it should be immediately carried into the house upon sticks about five feet long, and hung up; your house must be entirely close, and no air suffered to penetrate: upon this care depends all your success. The house should always be dry.
When the stalks begin to turn brownish, and the leaves are yellow, take the advantage of a cloudy and wet day, and take the plants off the sticks, put them carefully into a bin or large shed, with heavy weights upon them, and let them so remain for twelve days; then take them out, strip off the leaves (throwing the stalks away) and place them again in the same bin with heavy pressure, and let them remain thirty days, observing always that the air must never be admitted. You are then to take out your tobacco, and tie the leaves in bundles of sixty, and it is then ready for the market; but never expose it to the air, and in all these little operations a cloudy or wet day is absolutely necessary.
Always let a few good plants remain upon the ground for seed; the tobacco will grow up after cutting, and produce abundance of seed; but this seed is by no means so good as that of the first growth.
Where water can be used, two crops of tobacco may be made in one year; the first crop always succeeds without artificial irrigation; but the second crop cannot succeed without it.
No sort of shaded situation will do for tobacco.
Twenty men, with the assistance of a few children to pull off the suckers and other light work, ought to make twenty hogsheads of tobacco of 1,000 lbs. each. The packages might be most conveniently made in ox-hides of 500 lbs. each. A square yard of bed, if made with care, will grow and support 50,000 plants.
The plants are sometimes destroyed by the grub soon after transplanting, but spare plants are always ready in the bed to replace them. The catterpillar and other insects, so troublesome and destructive in America, are unknown in this country, at least I never saw them in the Swellendam district: the locust will sometimes do mischief, when it visits the conntry, which I believe does not happen more than once in three or four years.
The only enemy tobacco has in this country is the south-east wind, but there are many millions of acres that are wholly beyond its reach. The land cannot be too much worked. In Virginia, however, they have never time to plough more than twice; the crop ripens in three months, and thus interferes not with the corn harvest. In a former note I observed that all ground fit for wheat would also grow tobacco. This observation will not hold in this country, as I find upon inquiry that all the wheat land of this colony is clay: tobacco will not do well in clay ground-a light sandy loam is the best soil. The horse hoe will save immensity of labour, but the hand hoe will be necessary to clean the plants once or twice in the season, where the horse hoe cannot reach; a dexterous hand will, however, complete the work with the horse hoe. In Virginia, tobacco is planted in the same ground every other year, provided it can be well manured. New land always makes the finest tobacco. Upon the whole I am convinced that the finest quality of American tobacco can be raised in this colony with much less trouble, and with more certainty of a good crop, than in America. [The following remarks on the cultivation of tobacco in America are the