"THINGS AS THEY ARE," "THRIFT," ETC.
"A sower went out to sow and he sowed that which was in his heart—for what can a man sow else!" From "THE GAME OF LIFE."
Or, as the Vulgate has it,—
"Exitt qui seminat seminare semen suum."
THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
All rights reserved.
Copyright 1907 and 1918
By THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
Set up and electrotyped. Published March, 1907.
Reprinted April, July, 1907; March, 1908; June,
September, 1910; April, 1912; April 1914.
New edition, revised February, 1918.
We are not tied to a desk or to a bench; we stay there only because we think we are tied.
In Montana I had a horse, which was hobbled every night to keep him from wandering; that is, straps joined by a short chain were put around his forefeet, so that he could only hop. The hobbles were taken off in the morning, but he would still hop until he saw his mate trotting off.
This book is intended to show how any one can trot off if he will.
It is not a textbook; there are plenty of good textbooks, which are referred to herein. Intensive cultivation cannot be comprised in any one book.
It shows what is needed for a city man or woman to support a family on the proceeds of a little bit of land; it shows how in truth, as the old Book prophesied, the earth brings forth abundantly after its kind to satisfy the desire of every living thing. It is not necessary to bury oneself in the country, nor, with the new facilities of transportation, need we, unless we wish to, pay the extravagant rents and enormous cost of living in the city. A little bit of land near the town or the city can be rented or bought on easy terms; and merchandising will bring one to the city often enough. Neither is hard labor needed; but it is to work alone that the earth yields her increase, and if, although unskilled, we would succeed in gardening, we must attend constantly and intelligently to the home acres.
Every chapter of this book has been revised by a specialist, and the authors wish to express their appreciation of the aid given them, particularly by Mr. E. H. Moore, Arboriculturist in the Brooklyn Department of Parks; Mr. Collingwood of the Rural New Yorker and Mr. George T. Powell; and to thank Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright, and also Mr. Joseph Morwitz, for many valuable suggestions; also all those from whom we have quoted directly or in substance.
We have endeavored in the text to give full acknowledgment to all, but in some cases it has been impossible to credit to the originator every paragraph or thought, since these have been selected and placed as needed, believing that all true teachers and gardeners are more anxious to have their message sent than to be seen delivering it.
In truth, teaching is but another department of gardening.
Practical points and criticisms from practical men and women, especially from those experiences in trying to get to the land, will be welcomed by the authors. Address in care of the publishers.
The Report of the Country Life Commission, with Special Message from the President of the United States, is especially important as showing the connection of Intensive Cultivation with Thrift for war time.
It tells us that:
"The handicaps (on getting out of town) that we now have specially in mind may be stated under four heads: Speculative holding of lands; monopolistic control of streams; wastage and monopolistic control of forests; restraint of trade.
"Certain landowners procure large areas of agricultural land in the most available location, sometimes by questionable methods, and hold it for speculative purposes. This not only withdraws the land itself from settlement, but in many cases prevents the development of an agricultural community. The smaller landowners are isolated and unable to establish their necessary institutions or to reach the market. The holding of large areas by one party tends to develop a system of tenantry and absentee farming. The whole development may be in the direction of social and economic ineffectiveness.
"A similar problem arises in the utilization of swamp lands. According to the reports of the Geological Survey, there are more than 75,000,000 acres of swamp land in this country, the greater part of which are capable of reclamation at probably a nominal cost as compared to their value. It is important to the development of the best type of country life that the reclamation proceed under conditions insuring subdivision into small farms and settlement by men who would both own them and till them.
"Some of these lands are near the centers of population. They become a menace to health, and they often prevent the development of good social conditions in very large areas. As a rule they are extremely fertile. They are capable of sustaining an agricultural population numbering many millions, and the conditions under which these millions must live are a matter of national concern. The Federal Government should act to the fullest extent of its constitutional powers in the reclamation of these lands under proper safeguards against speculative holding and landlordism.
"The rivers are valuable to the farmers as drainage lines, as irrigation supply, as carriers and equalizers of transportation rates, as a readily available power resource, and for raising food fish. The wise development of these and other uses is important to both agricultural and other interests; their protection from monopoly is one of the first responsibilities of government. The streams belong to the people; under a proper system of development their resources would remain an estate of all the people, and become available as needed.
"River transportation is not usually antagonistic to railway interests. Population and production are increasing rapidly, with corresponding increase in the demands made on transportation facilities. It may be reasonably expected that the river will eventually carry a large part of the freight that does not require prompt delivery, while the railway will carry that requiring expedition. This is already foreseen by leading railway men; and its importance to the farmer is such that he should encourage and aid, by every means in his power, the large use of the rivers. The country will produce enough business to tax both streams and railroads to their utmost.
"In many regions the streams afford facilities for power, which, since the inauguration of electrical transmission, is available for local rail lines and offers the best solution of local transportation problems. In many parts of the country local and interurban lines are providing transportation to farm areas, thereby increasing facilities for moving crops and adding to the profit and convenience of farm life. However, there seems to be a very general lack of appreciation of the possibilities of this water-power resource as governing transportation costs.
"The streams may be also used as small water power on thousands of farms. This is particularly true of small streams. Much of the labor about the house and barn can be performed by transmission of power from small water wheels running on the farms themselves or in the neighborhood. This power could be used for electric lighting and for small manufacture. It is more important that small power be developed on the farms of the United States than that we harness Niagara.
"Unfortunately, the tendency of the present laws is to encourage the acquisition of these resources on