Ten Acres Enough: The Classic 1864 Guide to Independent Farming

By Edmund Morris

When writer Edmund Morris left the enterprise international and purchased a small farm within the early 1800s, he was once so happy with the implications that he made up our minds to inform others how he did it. His easily written chronicle — essentially the most well known books of its time — emphasizes that agricultural good fortune relies now not on how a lot you develop yet on what and the way. among considerate discussions of selecting the site, crop choice, and upkeep, he contrasts urban and kingdom existence, despairs over weeds and elevating pigs, and writes concerning the pleasure of creating a home.

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This unforeseen consequence happy my spouse ever afterwards that it used to be caliber, and never mere volume, that the industry sought after. Her personal backyard revenues might have confident her of this, had she saw them heavily; yet having ignored effects there, it required an indication too impressive to be gainsayed, and this the peach-trees supplied. a majority of these figures seem in Kate’s account-book. I had supplied her with one expressly for the backyard operations, a pleasant gold pen, and each different attainable comfort for making entries in the meanwhile any transaction happened. I had additionally taught her the easiest shape for maintaining her money owed, and triggered her to maintain a pass-book with the shop, within which each consignment might be entered, in order that her publication and the storekeeper s might be a payment on error that will be present in both. She therefore turned tremendous specialist at her money owed, and as she took especial curiosity within the topic, may perhaps inform from reminiscence, on the week s finish, what percentage money’ worthy of produce she had offered. i discovered the volume working up fairly optimistically because the season complicated, and whilst it had closed, she introduced the complete to be $63 with out the peaches, or $121 by means of together with them. yet she had paid a few cash for seeds; as an offset to which, no money were expended in digging, as Dick and myself had performed all of it. lots for the backyard this 12 months. On my 9 acres of ploughed land there has been lots of paintings to be performed. Our previous enemy, the weeds, didn't appear to have lowered in quantity, though our slaughter the former yr. They got here up as thick and energetic as ever, and required particularly as a lot hard work to grasp them, because the hoe was once oftener required one of the rows of raspberries and strawberries. My dogged fellow, Dick, took this subject with ideal unconcern—said he knew it'd be so, and i might locate the weeds couldn't be killed—but he may in addition paintings between them as at any factor else. I ceased to argue with him at the topic, and as I had complete religion in popping out correct after all, used to be content material to silently bide my time. This 12 months I planted an acre with tomatoes, having raised abundance of good crops in a hotbed, in addition to egg-plants for the backyard. I set them out in rows, 3 and one-half toes aside each one method, and manured them good, two times as seriously as a lot of my friends did. This gave me 3,760 vegetation to the acre. The product used to be nearly tremendous, and amounted to 501 bushels, or approximately 5 quarts a hill, a higher yield than I had had the 1st yr. From a few hills as many as ten quarts every one have been accumulated. I controlled to get twenty baskets into manhattan marketplace one of the first actual of the season, the place they netted me $60. the subsequent twenty netted $25, the subsequent twenty simply $15, as a variety of opponents got here in, and the following thirty cleared not more. After that the standard glut got here on, and down went the fee to 20 or even fifteen cents. yet at twenty and twenty-five I endured to ahead to Philadelphia, the place they paid greater than to allow them to rot at the floor.

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