From The January, 1823 Issue of The Wesleyan Methodist Magazine
LETTER FROM MR. PADDON TO DR. CLARKE
Plymouth, Nov. 11, 1822
Having been favored by a friend with the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazines for September and October last, wherein are related the particulars of an experiment made by you with two grains of wheat; and having myself taken some pains to ascertain the increase of wheat in a natural way for several years past; I trust you will not deem it a trespass on your valuable time, if I detail the particulars and result of my labor.
In the spring of 1818, a single grain of wheat, casually sown in my garden, (supposed to be brought in with the manure) produced eleven very fine and large ears, two of which were prematurely broken off; but from the remaining nine the grain was saved, and sown, and produced a most extraordinary crop, the general length of the ears being from five to six inches. Before it could be gathered, the birds destroyed nearly all, leaving only a few ears, which I cut, and threw by, through disappointment; but from those beaten out by the birds, some grains fell into the ground, and again sprung up; producing, in 1819, ears of similar length to the former. These were carefully saved, and, with the few ears before named, yielded sufficient grain to sow a piece of ground about thirty feet by two feet six inches; but from the want of sufficient netting to cover the whole, about one-third was again destroyed by birds. The remainder being reaped in August, 1820, produced one gallon of fine large grain; and was sown in a field in the parish of Buckland Monachorum, about eight miles from this town. The produce of this sowing in September, 1821, was ten gallons, which, being again sown in November following, has this year produced three bags and one peck! With the contents of the three bags, a field of three acres, on the same estate, was sown on the 8th ult., and is now in a healthy, thriving state, the remaining peck being reserved for another piece of ground. Thus, with all the discouragements that have been experienced, I have the satisfaction of seeing that my exertions have not been in vain; and should I be spared to gather in the produce in the ensuing year, (although it will not be more than a tenth part of what would naturally have been produced, yet) I trust it will, in some measure, show what may be effected by perseverance, where the Lord is pleased to give his blessing.
Should you, Sir, deem the foregoing statement worth publication, you may rely on its being perfectly correct; and perhaps it may prove useful, in some way or other, which would afford me additional satisfaction. -- I remain, Sir, very respectfully, your most obedient servant,
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