COMMON MILLET. 37
It has its highest nutritive value when in bloom; after that the quality of the hay deteriorates rapidly. When sown for hay or pasture, thirty pounds of seed should be used per acre; when grown for seed, twenty pounds are sufficient.
Seed: The seeds of Common Millet are considerably larger than those of the Foxtail Millets. They are about one-eighth of an inch long, ovate, somewhat flattened, with the outer side more convex than the inner, shiny and differently coloured in different varieties. The ordinary colours are white, red, yellow, brown, grey and black. The seed of Japanese Panicle Millet, which is the most widely grown variety of Common Millet in Canada, weighs sixty pounds to the bushel.
Even though the earth lie waste and barren, it may still declare its nature; since a soil productive of beautiful wild fruits can by careful tending be made to yield fruits of the cultivated kind as beautiful.—Xenophon, The Economist, 434-355 B.C.
Many persons, for the more effectual protection of millet, recommend that a bramble-frog should be carried at night round the field before the hoeing is done, and then buried in an earthen vessel in the middle of it. If this is done, they say, neither sparrows nor worms will attack the crop. The frog, however, must be disinterred before the millet is cut; for if this is neglected, the produce will be bitter. It is pretended, too, that all seeds which have been touched by the shoulders of a mole are remarkably productive.—Pliny, Natural History, 23–7g.
Be suer of hay, and of provender some,
For labouring cattle, till pasture be come.
And if ye do mind, to have nothing to sterve,
Have one thing or other, for all things to serve.
—Thomas Tusser, Five Hundreth Pointes of Husbandrie, 1557.
A soil that is blackish and rich under the entered ploughshare, and whose mould is loose and crumbling, for this we aim at in ploughing, is generally best for corn That land which
exhales thin mists and flying vapour, and drinks in the moisture, and emits it at pleasur..; and which, always green, clothes itself with its own grass, and does not hurt the ploughshare with scurf and salt
rust that, you will find by experience, to be both suitable for cattle and fitted for
agriculture.—Virgil, Georgics, 37 B.C.
It is a world also to see how manie strange hearbs, plants and annuall fruits are dailie brought unto us from the Indies, Americans, Taprobane, Canarie Iles, and all parts of the world: the which, albeit that in respect of the constitutions of our bodies they doo not grow for us, because that God bath bestowed sufficient commodities upon everie countrie for hir ovine necessitie ; yet for delectation sake unto the eie, and their odoriferous savours unto the nose, they are to be cherished, and God to be glorified also in them, because they are his good gifts, and created to doo man help and service.—William Harrison, 1593.