New England Farmer 7: 544 (December 1855)

CHARCOAL FOR WHEAT

There are many instances on record, going most conclusively to demonstrate the very high value of charcoal as a manure for wheat. We scarcely, indeed, take up an agricultural publication in which its efficiency, as a stimulant, is not rendered apparent by the most convincing and undeniable facts. A late writer in the Lewisburg Chronicle, in some remarks upon this subject, says:—"A few days since, in company with Mr. Jacob Dorr, of East Buffalo, I visited a spot on the land of my brother, John Dorr, on which the excellent effects of charcoal were plainly visible. Before reaching the spot, I noticed the beautiful bright green of the wheat in the lower part of the field, even at this season—the dead of winter—and remarked to Mr. Dorr, that that must be the spot. He stated that he had not visited it for a number of years, but was under the impression that it was higher up the field. When we arrived at the spot of beautiful green wheat, we found, indeed, that it was the locality of the charcoal. In some places the soil was black with the coal, and the wheat plants were very large and healthy. Their appearance is very fine, and they can be seen from all parts of the field, so superior are they to those surrounding them." It appears from the communication, that some fifty or sixty years ago, a blacksmith shop occupied this spot and near it there was a coal pit. This accounts for the presence of the coal, but not for the continued and undiminished fertility and surprising productiveness of the soil enriched by it.

But it is well known to many of your readers, no doubt, that charcoal is, in its nature, nearly indestructible. It remains in the soil for generations without scarcely any perceptible change or alteration, and when applied in large quantities, as a stimulant of vegetable life, acts from year to year, and even from generation to generation, without any obviously apparent diminution of energy or effect.—Fountain and Journal.