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5. Can we increase the yield per acre?

6. Why does a one crop system exhaust the soil?

After the local side of the question has been discussed, it is well to take up the study definitely and with a general plan. I give at the close of this paper an outline that I have used. It was published in a study for the "New England Journal of Education" of 1902.

For the study of its germination, a few small boxes of soil placed in a sunny window will answer very well. Plant in rows about one-half an inch deep and label putting the date down. From this date we can tell the number of days it takes the wheat to germinate and break the soil. This miracle of germination never fails to touch the deeper sources of life, to induce reverence and awe.

When the seeds have sprouted, the monitor takes them up, washes the soil away carefully and places on each desk two or three samples. It is well to have as many specimens as possible. After the pupils have observed the points, a few minutes may be devoted to making a sketch of the sprouted seed. The sketch is a good one if the root system is truly indicated and the one leaf character of the new plant shown. The wheat is a grass and a monocotyledon of course.

After the rough sketch has been made, the pupils chew the seeds to see if any further changes have taken place. A few will discover that the seed tastes sweetish. Another process in the labratory of nature is here indicated and this is the story.

When the wheat plant was growing the green leaves aided by heat, light and moisture manufactured starch from the carbonic acid in the air. A part of this starch was stored up in each seed around the little plant. When the plant started to grow the starch was changed to sugar. A plant eats by absorption and its food must be in soluble form. Sugar wil dissolve in water, starch will not. We eat starch but it is changed to sugar before it is absorbed. Now the bigger, plumper seeds have more food stored up around them and that is one reason why it is better to take the finest wheat for the seed.

It is well to have one large box of carefully selected soil, the best loam that the neighborhood affords. Put holes in the bottom to insure drainage and plant in this box the best. seed that can be procured. The wheat in this box is left to grow through all its rounds of life. These stages may be recorded on a sheet of paper pasted on the side of the box. They will consist of the date of planting, time of coming up, forma

tion of heads, blossoming, setting of the grains, time they are in dough, and ripening. The pupils might be encouraged to keep this data in their note books. There will be some variation in these records for several of the stages are not sharply defined, but the important part of it is the careful observation called forth.

We now take up wheat as an important cereal crop in California. The annual crop is about 12,000,000 bushels. Each year about 12,000,000 bushels are ruined by the smut, and this smut may be practicaly eliminated if the seed is properly treated with formaldehyde or blue stone. In Frank Norris' great wheat story "The Octopus" the seed wheat is treated with blue stone. This is the method in general use in California. We can now take up the study of wheat as a national crop. By means of outline maps the wheat producing states may be indicated and listed in the order of amount produced. United States is the greatest wheat producing country in the world. Russia has the greatest acreage but her yield is less. In United States the average yield per acre is 14 bushels, in Russia 9 bushels and in Germany 28 bushels. These figures tell the story of the standard of agriculture that obtain in the three countries.

The history of wheat goes back to prehistoric times. Who can say when or where the first wheat was cultivated as food for man or tell what the first plants were like. The scriptures abound in references to the growing of wheat and its use as food. "Cast thy bread upon the waters," is a type of Oriental imagery that often calls forth the wrong image. The bread was the husbandman's store of wheat and he cast it out on the flooded plains of the Nile Valley trusting that it would return in the harvest many times increased.

I have not outlined plans for competitive work in wheat breeding because I feel that this preliminary work should come first. In due time we shall study our "King of Cereals" with science and enthusiasm as they study corn in the Middle West.

I. Soil and Climate


1. Temperature (wide range).
2. Rainfall (minimum 10 inches).
3. Soil.

1. Preparation of Ground.

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California Polytechnic School this spring closes its sixth year of work. Established at San Luis Obispo by act of the State Legislature in 1901, instruction was first given in the fall of 1903 to the twenty pioneer students who entered upon the three-year courses offered by the school. Next month, thirty boys and girls will be graduated upon the completion of courses of study and training in Agriculture, Mechanics, and Household Arts, the three main lines of instruction given by the institution since its opening days. The three-year course, however, is almost a matter of history, for it is now fully expected that the entering class of 1910 will launch out upon the four-year course. In the language of the act of 1901, the purpose of the school is to "furnish young people of both sexes mental and manual training in the arts and sciences, including agriculture, mechanics, engineering, business methods, domestic economy, and such other branches as will fit the students for the non-professional walks of life." The school is planned after the type of the agricultural and mechanical colleges founded under the Morrill Land Grant

Act of 1862, but is, however, an institution of purely secondary grade.

Polytechnic School believes that its field of usefulness lies in imparting instruction of the kind which will better fit the boys and girls under its care to meet the requirements

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of actual, every day life. The materials with which it deals in the class rooms, the shops, the laboratories, and the fields are the materials that are nearest to us and to the work of to-day. On the school farm are horses, cattle, pigs, chickens -best types of standard breeds. In the barns, shops, and laboratories are plows, churns, incubators, carpenters' benches, and tools, anvils and lathes, steam engines and dynamos, and chemical apparatus for analysis of the soil. In the Household Arts Building are sewing machines and the pans and pots and kettles of the kitchen. These things do not occupy all of the time of the students, but they do enter largely into his or her daily work. In general, it may be said that the morning hours are spent in the class rooms and the afternoon hours in the field, the shop, and the laboratory. The morning hours are occupied with English, mathematics, history, and the theory of the arts which are practiced by the hand in the afternoon hours.

The course in Agriculture is planned to meet the needs of the actual farmer rather than the teacher or experimenter. Among purely agricultural subjects taught are plant propaga

tion, soils and fertilizers, horticulture, dairying, animal husbandry, together with carpentry and forge work. As this article is being written, a class of first year boys are engaged in a small field near the school building in the work of experiments to determine the moisture and temperature of soils under different kinds of cultivation and under the use of various mulches. Part of the class is giving special attention to the effect of different kinds of commercial fertilizers used in a series of plats. The class in horticulture has this spring set out an orchard of a hundred fruit trees, including apple, pear, peach, plum, and citrus fruits. The care of this orchard. will devolve upon the students in the agricultural department under the direction of the instructor in horticulture. In the splendid creamery building provided by the Legislature of 1907, the classes in dairying are now engaged in butter and cheese making, together with dairy laboratory work, including the use of the Babcock test, the test for moisture in butter, and bacteriological work. Cuts found on these pages illustrate a group of boys at work in the creamery, and another group

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is a stock judging class, where they may be seen under the guidance of the instructor in animal husbandry scoring a pair of prize Clydesdale fillies owned by the school. A visitor to the poultry department at this season finds several incubators operated by students of poultry husbandry. The purpose of the work in all departments is to give the student, as

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