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warded. Come to this place after thirteen moons, and you shall find something that will be of great benefit in nourishing you and your children to the latest generations. They did so, and to their great surprise found plants they had never seen before, but which from that ancient time have been constantly cultivated among us to our great advantage. Where her right-hand had touched the ground, they found maize; where her left-hand had touched it, they found kidney-beans; and where she had seated herself they found tobacco."
The native country of barley is as little known as that of wheat. Some travellers have mentioned it as being produced in a wild state in distant parts of the world; but there is reason for believing that all statements to this effect have been founded in error, since the hardiest varieties of the cultivated grain have never yet been seen to propagate themselves during two following years. The seed of cultivated barley, when chance-sown, will indeed produce plants; but the grains which these bear are rarely, if ever, seen to germinate. Some grasses which have been placed by botanists in the same genus with barley, bear to it a strong outward resemblance, yet none of them can, by any degree of culture, be brought into use as human food, nor indeed be made to exhibit any marked improvement. One of these grasses, the hordeum murinum of Linnæus, known commonly as wall-barley, bears the nearest resemblance of any to the cultivated plant.
In one respect barley is of more importance to mankind than wheat. It may be propagated over a wider range of climate, bearing heat and drought better, growing upon lighter soils, and coming so quickly to maturity, that the short northern summers which do not admit of the ripening of wheat, are
yet of long enough duration for the perfection of barley. It is the latest sown, and the earliest reaped of all the summer grains. In warm countries, such as Spain, the farmers can gather two harvests of barley within the year, one in the spring from wintersown grain, and the other in autumn from that sown in summer. Barley sown in June is commonly ready for the sickle in three months from the time of the seed being committed to the ground; and in very
northern climates the period necessary for its growth and perfection is said to be of still shorter duration. Linnæus relates, in his tour in Lulean Lapland, that on the 28th of July he observed the commencement of the barley harvest, and although the seed was sown only a few days before Midsummer, that the grain was perfectly ripe, the whole process having thus occupied certainly not longer than six weeks.
The property of not requiring moisture admirably fits barley for propagation in those northern countries where the duration of summer is limited to a very few months in the year, and where wet is of very rare occurrence from the time when the spring rains are over, at the end of May or the beginning of June -after which period the seed-time commences until the autumnal equinox, previous to which the harvest is reaped.
So hurtful is excessive moisture to the plants, that even heavy dews, if of frequent occurrence, are found injurious. Wet is detrimental at all periods; but the mischief is exhibited in a very different manner, according as it occurs before or after the formation of the ear. If during the former stage, the leaves, as already mentioned, will become yellow and sickly, and the ears will probably not make their appearance; whereas if these should already have been formed and completely filled when visited by rain, the grain Premature gernination of an ear of Barley. will sprout in the ear, and should the weather which follows be warm and genial, this growth will be so rapid that the ears will put on the appearance of tufts of grass. Barley is besides very liable to be beaten down by rain and to lodge; and should this occur after the filling of the ear, germination of the grains will take place to such a degree that the first growth will be completely rotted and destroyed by the second. Gentle showers, however, if of short continuance, and if they do not happen either very early after the plant is above the ground, or during the time of blooming, or when the ear is full, are rather beneficial than hurtful. It is worthy of remark that the very quality which renders barley so precarious a crop in unsettled climates, imparts to it likewise its chief value. The facility with which the grain is made to germinate is favourable to the operation of converting it into malt, which is, in fact, simply the process of germination induced and carried forward up to and not beyond the point when the maximum quantity of saccharine matter is developed in the grain.
In its composition barley differs materially from wheat: it contains more starch, far less gluten, and about seven parts in a hundred of saccharine matter ready formed, which latter constituent wheat does not possess previous to germination.
Botanical writers enumerate four distinct species of barley: of these there are many varieties produced by differences of soil, climate and culture.
SPRING BARLEY-Hordeum vulgare-is the kind most commonly cultivated in England. Of this species farmers distinguish two sorts; one the common, and the other the rath-ripe barley. These, in fact, are the same plant, the latter being a variety occasioned by long culture upon warm gravelly soils. If seeds of this kind are sown in cold or strong land, the plants will ripen nearly a fortnight earlier than seeds taken from other strong land; but this holds good only during the first year. This variety is said in extraordinary seasons to have been returned to the barn within two months in this country. Siberian barley, another variety, was brought into culture in the year 1768, by Mr. Halliday, who received a very small portion out of about a pint of seed which had been presented by a foreign nobleman to the London Society for the Encouragement of Arts. This variety exhibits, on first coming up, a broader blade, and is of a deeper green than common barley. The ears are shorter, containing only from five to nine grains in length, while the common sort has from nine to thirteen grains. Siberian barley arrives at maturity about. a fortnight earlier than other kinds.
Winter or SQUARE BARLEY, called also Bear, or Big-Hordeum hecastichon—is the second species, (B). This is rarely cultivated in the southern parts of England; but in the northern counties and in Scotland is very generally sown, being a much more hardy plant than spring barley. The grains are large and plump, and the spike is thicker and shorter than the last-described species, being seldom longer than two inches, and square.
Maltsters in the southern division of the kingdom are of opinion that this barley does not answer their purpose so well as that more usually cultivated among them, while in Scotland this idea is considered to be an unfounded prejudice.
The number of grains in each ear is greater than