XI. CULTIVATED CROPS - GRAIN CROPS (cont.)
The cereals and legumes now enumerated constitute the staple grain-crops of Great Britain. Others re grown occasionally, but more for curiosity than profit. Zealous attempts were made by the late William Cobbet to introduce maize or Indian corn as one of our regular crops. It has been conclusively proved that none of its varieties yet tied can be ripened in the ordinary seasons of this country. It has indeed been suggested that it might form a useful addition to our garden vegetables,-using it, as it is done in America, by cooking the unripe cobs, and also that we might grow it beneficially as a forage crop. Lentiles have recently been grown in different parts of the country; but both of these grains can be imported of better quality, and at less cost, than they can be grown at home.
There is great inducement to agriculturists to endeavour more earnestly to obtain improved varieties of grain by cross-impregnation of existing ones. Something has already been accomplished in this direction, but only enough to show what encouragement there is to persevere. Whenever the same skill and perseverance are directed to the improvement of field crops that our gardeners are constantly exerting, with such astonishing results, on fruits, flowers, and vegetables, we may anticipate a great increase of produce, not only from the discovery of more fruitful varieties, but of such as possess a special adaptation to every diversity in the soil and climate of our territory.
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Agriculture - Table of Contents