At the meetings of the Farmers' Club held at the American Institute, this city, a few t. good things are sometimes elicited from a \ great mass of trifling matters. This was the S case, we think, in a recent discussion regarding the vine culture in our country. Dr. Under -hill, of Croton Point, the most famous cultivator of the grape in this region, stated that the Isabella and the Catawba—both native grapes—were the most reliable for this latitude from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The great secret, he asserted, in making a vinyard is in the preparation of the ground; it must be deeply trenched and well drained, and swamp muck makes the cheapest and best manure. He trains his vines on wires strained between posts situated twenty feet apart, and has not lost a crop in twenty years, and he has a vinyard of forty-two acres. These views were confirmed by others present. Wm. Lawton stated that many foreign varieties of grapes had been introduced under the fallacious idea that they would flourish wherever the peach could be cultivated, but all had failed. The Isabella and Catawba were the most certain, and every farmer in our country could and should raise a plentiful supply of grapes for his own family use ; three vines properly treated will afford sufficient for a large family. James C. Provost, of Green Point, L. I., detailed his method of cultivating the grape, which is certainly quite original and different from any other described in works on this subject. His land is loam, with water only a few feet underneath the surface. His vines are trained on trellises eight feet high ; from one vine trained on the end of a house he had made twenty-two gallons of wine. The singular part of his method of cultivation is to allow the vines to fall over the trellises, reach down to the ground, and take root at their extremities in the soil. Some of his vines yield so richly that they appear like a mass of fruit in the fall, from the ground to the top. He trims very sparingly, spreads the manure on the surface, never disturbs the old roots and keeps the soil very loose. From three-quarters of an acre of vines, he stated that lie had made more than a thousand gallons of wiue. The grapes he crushed in a roller sugar mil, and to every gallon of juice one pound of sugar was added—nothing else. It takes five gallons of the pure juice of the grape to make one of brandy. Thfi grape vine may be profitably cultivated on lands which cannot be employed for common agricultural purposes. In a reeentletter to the Patent Office, Prof. Swallow, the State geologist of Missouri, asserts that the very extensive tracts of unproductive land in Kentucky and Tennessee, known by the appel] a-tion of "The Barrens," may be converted into fruitful vinyards. ? He also asserts that there are twenty million acres of land in Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee on which the vine will succeed as well as in France or Germany.
This article was originally published with the title "American Vines and Wines"