Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker

 -  This is an extent of grazing land
sufficient for the support of the cattle required for producing

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This Is An Extent Of Grazing Land Sufficient For The Support Of The Cattle Required For Producing Manure.

In a country with so large a proportion of forest as Ceylon, this is not always practicable; in which case land should be cleared and grass planted, as it is now proved that without manure an estate will never pay the proprietor.

The locality being fixed upon, the clearing of the forest is commenced. The felling is begun from the base of the hills, and the trees being cut about half through, are started in sections of about an acre at one fall. This is easily effected by felling some large tree from the top, which, falling upon its half-divided neighbor, carries everything before it like a pack of cards.

The number of acres required having been felled, the boughs and small branches are all lopped, and, together with the cleared underwood, they form a mass over the surface of the ground impervious to man or beast. This mass, exposed to a powerful sun, soon becomes sufficiently dry for burning, and, the time of a brisk breeze being selected,. the torch is applied.

The magnificent sight of so extensive a fire is succeeded by the desolate appearance of blackened stumps and smouldering trunks of trees: the whole of the branches and tinderwood having been swept away by the mighty blaze, the land is comparatively clear.

Holes two feet square are now dug in parallel lines at a distance of from six to eight feet apart throughout the estate, and advantage being taken of the wet season, they are planted with young coffee trees of about twelve inches high.

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