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RURAL LIFE.

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RURAL LIFE. BY A SON OF THE SOIL. THB DOG'S ACCOMMODATION. .Why is it that those of us whose privilege ft is to give advice to the reading public are to often asked about dog ailments? It ia partly because of wrong and over-feeding, partly through lack of exercise, but chiefly had and insanitary accommodation. Yet dogs are much better housed on the whole than they were a few years ago, and considering what little trouble and expense is necessary to give them quite satisfactory quarters, thera is no reason at all why any dog-owner should be open to criticism on this account. A dog that is chained up most of the day, and is compelled to retire to its kennel for shelter and shade, cannot remain in good health, and if the kennel is rarely cleaned out and becomes filthy and fcetid, as well as alive with parasites, it is wonderful that the dog aurvives at all. In providing a kennel, the aim should be to have one that can be per- fectly cleaned, and if it is so constructed that SANITARY IDOO KENNEL. parte of it are out of reach or are always in darkness, be sure that it will not long re- main wholesome. The sketch shows a kennel the lid or roof of which readily lifts off, making it easily possible to wash over the whole of the inside with disinfectant after cleaning it and exposing it to sunshine. The kennel should be bedded with straw which is often changed, but a fair substitute is a piece of old carpet, which can often be .washed in disinfectant and thoroughly dried. It adds considerably to the comfort of the dog if there is a small raised platform on which he can lie down in the open, yet off the damp ground, when he wants to. An outdoor kennel is undoubtedly best for all healthy, vigorous dogs; coddling is always bad for them,and generally shortens their lives. When a dog has to be kept under restraint, it is kindest if possible to give him the run of an enclosure, but if this is not possible, a fair tabstitute is to fix up a long wire from one building to another, attaching to it by a ring & chain with a swivel, so that the dog can at least have a good long run. EDIBLE FLOWERS. Our range of vegetables includes every part ti plants, from the root to the flower, but few people can believe it possible that the im- mense flower buds of the Globe Artichoke are fcaten by anybody. Yet on parts of the Con- tinent it is a favourite vegetable. The plant is one that needs a good deal of space, but its culture is not at all difficult. A deep, rich sandy loam suits it best; plantations are usually made in April and May, and if the eoil is well prepared beforehand, will last for several years. A good plan is to put in three plants together in rows 3ft. 6in. apart, with 4ft. between the plants. If set out singly, a 2ft. space between each plant would suffice. The plants begin to bear in June or July, tinless forwarded by being protected with frame-work in the spring. The plants are not quite hardy, and in late autumn, or after the last of the flower heads have been re- tnov'jthe old flowering stems and decayed leaves should be cut away, and when the GLOBE ARTICHOKE. ground has been forked over a covering of lit- ter or a mound of sifted coal-ashes should be placed around each clump Heads are usually cut as required for use, but they can be pre- served by planting the entire stems in moist eand in a cellar, and cutting off small sections from the bottoms of the stems once or twice a week. The heads should never be left on the plants too long, or they become hard, but ehould be cut as soon as fully developed yet whilst young and tender. The plants are eometimes raised from seed, but a much easier method of propagation is by taking off euckers when about nine inches high. They ehould have each a bit of root attached, and it is these from which plantations are usually formed. Sometimes the summer suckers of the Globe Artichoke are blanched, and these are known as chards. Usually the plants are allowed to produce a crop of heads until July, when they are cut down to within a few inches of the ground. The soil should then fee stirred, mulched, and copiously watered, when numerous shoots will be thrown up. The weaker ones are promptly removed, and the others left till the end of September, when on a fine day they are drawn together and tied with raffia, and then wrapped round from the base upwards with hay or straw bands, afterwards earthing up. Five weeks later they will be bleached and fit for use, and may be lifted and packed in sand. THE LARGEST DOMESTICATBD GOOSE. It is a remarkable fact that although geese have been kept in this country for many cen- turies, we have not a truly native breed. Only two types of geese are commonly bred for profit in Britain, and these are the Toulouse, a name which suggests a French origin, and Embden, a name which implies that the breed is derived from Germany. Yet TOULOUSE GOOSE. I a hundred years or so ago, before the com. mons began to be enclosed so much, there was hardly a district without its flock or flocks of geese. I have been told that in the days when quill pens were in general use, many owners of geese made more from the sale of quills than from the carcases of the birds. Probably the depreciation in the value of the quills has had as much as the enclosure of commons to do with the fact that so few flocks of geese pro seen nowadays as one passes through the joufltry, Tne xouioase is essentially tnt goose ior the Christmas market; by that time it has matured and has reached a weight of any- thing over twenty pounds. For the Michael- mas trade it does not put on flesh to be in a II fit killing condition so well as Embdens. It is a very massive bird, with a long, deep body. The breast is carried well forward and low, so that the line of the body is almost level with the ground, and the paunch is very low. The bird is broad across t[:e shoulders and back, and the head and neck are thick and very strong. The bill is rather short but strong, and is oranso in colour. There is a dewlap on the throat in most birds. The legs are short and heavy in bone. With the ex- ception of the stern, paunch, and tail, which are white except for a band of grey across the tail, the body colour is grey, and. the back, wings, and thighs are laced with light grey. The goose is a good layer, averaging about forty eggs in a seaton. These are white- sheiled as a rule, and are exceedingly large. Although such a big bird, she seems to be lest disposed to become broody than other geese, and consequently is not to be trusted as a mother, but the goslings, when once hatched, are remarkably hardy, and if any bird can b$ said to rear itself, it applies to them. It is fortunate that with so few breeds of geese the two principal types are so different, as a cross between them is all the more valu- able, for it gets rapidity of growth from the Embden and big frame from the Toulouse, and the product of Toulouse ganders and Embden geese is, on the whole, the beet utility goose available. KILLING NETTLES BY SPRAYING. In some grounds nettles are one of the most persistent. weeds, and it cannot pos- sibly be claimed that they are in any way orna.ment.al; while a-s their presence almost invariably indicates good soil they are best got rid of. On an experimental field mlUlCh trouble waey caused by their profuse growth, which withstood the efforts made to get rid of the weeds by frequent mowing and stubbing. It then occurred to the controller of the experimental station that spraying them with chemicals—a process which was so successful with charlock—might have the desired effect. Accordingly, four infested plots were selected in the spring, and sprayed respectively withl sulphate of copper, sulphate of iron, kainit, and 40 per cent. of potash manure salts. All the different chemicals proved effective; the leaves of the plants became black, and feU off. That was in spring; during the summaer the plants threw out fresh shoots, so in autumn the process was repeated, with the result that the entire plants were killed. The trial having been so successful, a larger surface was treated the following spring with a 15 per cent. kainit solution. The young nettle plants appearing above the gra.5S were well sprayed. They died off, so that the grass got the upper hand. and at harvest time the field appeared quite free from nettles. The process is so simple that it seems worth a trial. )

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