The raw produce of this parish varies with the seasons, very considerably.
When the spring weather is favourable for sowing, and the months
of June and July warm, so as to mature the crop in the month of
September, the produce amply compensates the labour of the farmer;
but when frosts attack the corn, as they occasionally do in September,
before it is ripe, the produce is very limited, and from that
cause is rendered unfit for use. This was particularly so in
the year 1836, and year 1838, when the corn in the poorer districts
yielded only 7 or 8 pecks of meal, and that in the richer about
12 or 13 pecks per boll, after deducting the mill dues, which
is a peck per boll. The average of four years prior to 1836 of
the number of bolls of oats was about 7570, and 180 bolls of barley
of the Stirling new measure. The produce of the Annexation may
amount to 2767 bolls of oats, and 120 bolls of barley. The quantity
of potatoes raised in favourable seasons, is very considerable.
There are at least 3000 bolls, including the annexation. The
quantity of cabbages and turnips is very extensive; but the produce
is very irregular, from the nature of the climate, of which they
who live in favoured districts can form but little conception.
There were formerly very considerable crops of lint raised in
the parish, and the quantity was understood to be much finer than
what is now raised. The reason assigned for this deterioration
in quality, is that the ground for lint is over-limed; still the
quantity sown is very considerable, and the return abundant in
a good season. Several proprietors have set a spirited example
to others, in dividing their lands, in draining, and enclosing
them by many judicious belts of planting, so that in a few years
their estates will attain a much higher state of cultivation.
Mr Ralston of Glenellrig, who is a resident heritor has been
at great pains in laying out the grounds in the vicinity of his
mansion house ; and the farm-steadings which he has lately erected
on his estate may vie with any of the same class in the country
both for neatness and convenience. Mr Waddell of Balquhatston
has commenced to make similar improvements on his estate. Mr
Stone of Bankhead has made a very great improvement on his estate,
in draining, planting, and in laying out his fields. The great
distance from the Bathgate and Cumbernauld lime-works, and the
indifferent roads, is a great obstruction to the rapid improvement
of this parish.