NOTES FROM SEAFIELD.
[from an occasional correspondent.]
I am glad to see you have started the “ Guardian.” It is just what the farmers havewantedforsometime,and I hope they will take advantage of the facilities it offers for exchanging their views on farming, stock-rearing, and so forth. I know there are thinking men on these plains who could give valuable advice to their fellow settlers, and whose experience in many ways would’ be worth gold to many I know—myself included. I took a ride round the district a day or two ago, starting from Seafield, and I may as well tell you what I saw. But before I start just let me notice a few items about Seafield. The school is doing remarkably well; the master tolls me he has an average attendance of 26 children, and the parents seem, to be highly pleased with the master’s work, as the young ones are maldng satisfactory progress under him. Mr. H. W. Pai’sons has laid out the grounds around his house withfinetreesand shrubs, quite a picturesque appearance has been given to the township by the work. A considerable extent of blue gum planting has been done in the vicinity too. Mr. Hardwick has a nice lot of two years’ growth, looking uncommonly well, and promising fine shelter in the not very far off future. He has also a fine garden of fruit trees in full blossom. His wheat and oats, too, while I am speaking of his place, I may mention arelooking very well for a good harvest. Mr. Field is another of our neighbors who has not neglected the future as regards trees, and he has sown a considerable lot of gums and pines. This is a step in the right direction that I would like to see every farmer follow. Mr. Field’s crops are looking healthy for the season. Messrs. Jones and Co., have also done some planting of trees, but their most important plant is a butchery and bakery, and I wish them every success in their undertaking. They have also a farm of 200 acres, with a fair share of it under crop. Mr. Murdoch Bruce, their neighbor, has 300 acres, some in grass, and the rest in crop, and what is more a nice flock of cross-bred sheep, and some excellent milkers. Altogether Seafield is likely to become a pleasant little spot, and by-and-by will be quite a seaside resort of you Ashburton people. Saunders Bros, have about 900 acres of wheat in on the reserve, showing every prospect of a good return. As I said at the outset, I have been up Kyle way. Coming on the farm of Messrs. o‘Grady you find a hearty show of grass, wheat and oats. Not far off Mr. Brick has 360 acres of wheat and 140 of oats, with 10 of grass ; and I should say if things go right he will have a good show at harvest. I looked in at Mr. Alexander’s. He has sown gums with a view to a nice avenue, and has laid down a grand lawn in front of his house. Being close to the sea, to which a fine gully leads down, if you want an enjoyable country outing, you would seek it in a less promising locality than this. Mr. Hurley has some healthy crops, both wheat and oats, and Mr. D. Buckley has about GOO acres in good heart and looking remarkably rich. I called at Mr. E. S. Lowe’s, and found that he has a really nice place, well fenced and provided with capital buildings. His crop consists of 300 acres wheat, oats, and barley, the whole very well grown. At Kyle, Mr Lambie is still well to the fore with substantial improvements, amongst which I was pleased to notice about 100 acres of young gums. He has about 250 acres in wheat, 130 acres in oats, and a quantity of bai ley, and is now putting in more crop. The Kyle school is making excellent progress, the master reporting the average attendance at thirty ; and the grounds have been tastefully planted with gums, firs, and larches. I was particularly pleased to see the latter trees, as I think they will prove themselves well adapted to this soil and climate. I visited the properties of Messrs. McAnnlty, Messon, Johns, and Blackburn, and found a fair amount of crop, looking well in each place. One paddock I noticed which had been ploughed in, and this was looking well. I saw a quantity of nice milk cows and fat cattle in this neighborhood, and their condition speaks well for the land. In fact, if the forthcoming harvest is a tolerably good one, stock-breeding and building will be taken in hand by our farmers, and great improvements effected. I took a hurried trip round the Wakanui Creek district, but I must leave any further remarks until my next letter. In conclusion, it is very satisfactory to be able to add, that the crops generally are looking very well, although in some cases a little late. I think that this want of apparent growth, at this season of the year, is not a bad sign for the farmers ; and I confidently expect to see their labours this year rewarded by a bountiful harvest. I have previously omitted to notice a lot of excellent grass grown by Mr. Derden of Kyle, which is exceptionally good.
A Lost Planet. —Among the discovered asteroids, now numbering nearly 200, a few have already been lost, and not a few might well be spared. There is one, however, remarks Mr R. A. Proctor of the “ Newcastle Daily Chronicle,” which astronomers would regret to lose, viz., Hilda, which travels in a much wider orbit than any of the others. This planet could give more exact information respecting the mass of J upiter than any other member of the solar system, coming much more fully at certain times under his influence. Unfortunately, Hilda has leea searched for in vain at its first return to opposition, and astronomers begin to fear that the planet is, for the time being, lost. How to Make Bread. —Peel and boil 51b. of potatoes, strain and mash them, add one quart of cold water, strain through a calender ; add to the potatoes a pint of yeast, place in a large tin bucket or dish, stir in sufficient flour to make a thick batter, cover with a cloth, place by the fire ; do not fill the vessel more than half full ; when it has risen sufficiently put 151 b. of flour in a dish or trough, pour in the leaven, mix with tepid water and thoroughly knead ; keep it warm; in about two hours it will be risen ; make into loaves about 2ib.. place in tins, set, rise half an hour, put in the oven, bake one hour ; set the leaven at night, it will be fit to mix in the morning.
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