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Five Acres and Independence

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Maurice G. Kains
Dover Publications
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
2 - DRM Adobe
1. INTRODUCTION "A word about the author, his practical experience, and qualifications suggest reliability of the text."2. CITY vs. COUNTRY LIFE Advantages and disadvantages City vicissitudes "Dependence upon "income" to supply "outgo" "Country stability, productivity" "Dependence upon "outgo" to supply "income" Self-supporting "Occupancy of home in country vs. tenancy of "flat" in city " "Health, welath, happiness in country home"3. TRIED AND TRUE WAYS TO FAIL "Too little, capital, unfavorable location, uncongenial soil, too large area, inefficient soil preparation and tillage, lack of feding, big-headedness, inexperience, city hours, laziness, too many pets and guests"4. WHO IS LIKELY TO SUCCEED? Thinker and worker Owner on the Spot Absentee direction Book farming Observation as a teacher Hired help5. FIGURES DON'T LIE Striking figures from U.S. Census and Department of Agriculture reports Supply and demand Relation to and contrast with individual owner's problems on productive land6. THE FARM TO CHOOSE Soil survey maps Character of soil Nature of plant growth already on the land "Depth, drainage, slope, freedom from stones, previous crops and yields, neighborhood crops and yields"7. WHERE TO LOCATE Good roads Their up-keep Snow removal Site with respect to roadside sales Distance from market "Schools, churches, electric current, buses, stores, doctors, etc."8. LAY AND LAY-OUT OF LAND Elevation Aspect Frostiness "Impediments such as fences, boulders, stone walls" Fields-sizes and shapes "Roadways, lanes and paths" Arrangement of buildings9. "WIND-BREAKS, PRO AND CON" Importance Types Influence on crops Animals and residence Workability in their shelter Good and bad kinds Saving of fuel Production of fuel10. ESSENTIAL FACTORS OF PRODUCTION Good seed Good breed of animal Variety "Strain" Abundant water and available plant food in the soil Rational tillage Ample space between plants and for animals11. RENTING vs. BUYING Advantages and disadvantages of each Various ways to manage depend upon each Renting with option of buying Buying a small place but working large rented area12. CAPITAL Investment and working money Cost of land Rent of property Insurance Equipment Nursery stock and other plants Animals Labor Time needed to get returns13. FARM FINANCE Importance of credit Origin of capital How secured Borrowing for production Usury Fundamental rules for borrowing Character of borrower and business ability Annual inventory and budget Bank cashier as advisor and confidant Safety deposit boxes14. FARM ACCOUNTS Planning for production "Knowledge of market, and the truth about one's business" Record of crops and animals individually and of the farm as a whole Account books15. WATER SUPPLY Rain water and cisterns Filter cisterns Cistern capacities Cistern cleaning and purification Springs gravity piping Pneumatic pressure systems Hydraulic rams16 SEWAGE DISPOSAL Primitive methods Cess pools Septic tanks Tank construction Personal experience17. FUNCTIONS OF WATER Necessity in plant and animal growth Quantity needed by plants Types of water in soil Conservation by tillage and mulching18. DRAINAGE Importance Methods Instances to prove their value19. IRRIGATION Methods Types of apparatus Assurance of adequate water Success in spite of drought Use to supply fertilizer and certain kinds of spraying20. FROST DAMAGE PREVENTION What frost is How it affects plants Plant resistance to damage Hardy and tender plants Preventing fall of temperature to or below danger point Forecasting local frosts Methods available21. LIVE STOCK "Advantages and disadvantages of keeping cow, pig, poultry, rabbits, bees" Desirable and undesirable kinds to have22. POULTRY Chicken for eggs and meat "Duck, geese, turkeys, pigeons" Scrubs vs. breeds and strains "Housing, feeding, yarding, range, management " Hatching vs. buying day-old chicks Brooding Sanitation Etc.23. BEES Honey the principal interest Importance in fruit production Management easy but imperative24. GREENHOUSES Standardized styles preferable to home built Advantages Sizes desirable Avoidance of mistakes Types of houses Ventilation Heating Greenhouse builders' contracts and propostions25. COLDFRAMES AND HOTBEDS Invaluable to start seedlings Limitations of each Types of each How and where to make them Hardening-off plants Electric heating and regulation most desirable26. SOILS AND THEIR CARE Nature's soils injured by man Reclamation Types of soils and how to handle them Humus How to judge soil values Soil erosion and its prevention27. MANURES Stable manure best Why Scarcity and cost Fresh vs. rotted Dried and pulverized Amounts to apply Functons in the soil Experiences and experiments28. COMMERCIAL FERTILIZERS Supplements to manures Organic and inorganic Value of each Cautions in using Compositon Most important unmixed ones Functions of each "Mixed goods"   Importance of competent advice before attempting such work Many trees not worth reclamation How to determine useful ones Tree surgery not desirable from income basis Personal appraisal methods Renovation methods37. FRUIT TREE PRUNING Principles Applications Methods good and bad Times to prune Tree architecture Building strong trees Vine and Bush training and pruning Knowledge of flower bud formation and position essential38. GRAFTING FRUIT TREES Simple methods Trees not to graft Best ones and best branches to use How to get and keep scions Time to graft Grafting waxes Paraffin Repair or bridge grafting to save girdled trees.39. HOW TO AVOID NURSERY STOCK LOSSES "Buyers, not nurserymen, most often responsible for death of stock" Right and wrong handling Loose planting Bearing age trees unsatisfactory Young stock best to order Pruning after planting Treatment of Y-crotch trees Staking Label removal40. VEGETABLE CROPS TO AVOID AND TO CHOOSE "Quick and slow maturing kinds, staple and fancy kinds high and low quality varieties, good vs. poor keepers, kinds saleable in several ways"41. SEEDS AND SEEDING Types of seeds Effect of weight on sprouting and the crop Seed testing Age of seed Seedsman's reputation "Special stock" seed" Seedsmen's trial grounds "Seed growing, selection" Sowing times Temperature Depth Etc.42. TRANSPLANTING Stages of development Pre-watering Preparation of soils and flats "Lifting, pricking-out, spotting board and dibble" "Depth, watering, hardening" Planting in the open After-care43. PLANTS FOR SALE Often highly profitable near town of amateur gardeners General and special stocks and sales methods Advertising44. SOMETHING TO SELL EVERY DAY Crops in demand "Crops that "work over well" "Pickles, jams, jellies, juices, syrups, preserves, "canned goods" Eggs Chickens Ducks Honey Plants Flowers45. STRAWBERRIES Regular season and everbearing kinds Culture systems of training "After fruiting, what? " Companion and succession crops Quickest fruit to bear Often highly profitable Every farm should have them46. GRAPES Planting Pruning Training Precocious and annual fruiting Long season of fruiting by successional ripening of varieties and storage47. BUSH AND CANE FRUITS "Raspberry, blackberry, currant, gooseberry, dewberry, blueberry" Varieties Culture48. SMALL FARM FRUIT GARDENS Does the ordinary farm orchard pay? Investigational experiment Improved methods of cultivation Varieties for home use Sequence of rippening Lay-out of orchard and small fruits49. SELECTION OF TREE FRUITS Varieties to choose Type of trade to work for "General market, roadside sales, personal trade" Successional ripening to hold trade Filler trees and other fruits Inter-tilled crops to help pay costs of development50. STORAGE OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES "Methods, good and bad for various types of crops" "Root cellars, pits, storage houses, lofts" Arrangement Ventilation Cooling Heating Sanitation Fumigation51. ESSENTIALS OF SPRAYING AND DUSTING "Spraying, dusting and other methods effective when properly used" Fruit and vegetable insect enemies APPENDICES INDEX
Everyone who has ever dreamed of getting back to the soil will derive from Maurice Grenville Kains' practical and easy-to-understand discussions a more complete view of what small-scale farming means. Countless readers of Five Acres and Independence have come away with specific projects to begin and moved closer to the fulfillment of their dreams of independence on a small farm.Whether you already own a suitable place or are still looking, Five Acres and Independence will help you learn to evaluate land for both its total economic and its specific agricultural possibilities. There are methods of calculating costs of permanent improvements — draining the land, improving soil, planting wind breaks, putting in septic tanks, cellars, irrigation systems, greenhouses, etc. — and methods of carrying out those improvements. There are suggestions for specific crops — strawberries, grapes, vegetables, orchards, spring, summer, and fall crops, transplanting, timing, repairing what already exists — with methods of deciding what is best for your land and purposes and techniques for making each of them pay. There are suggestions for animals for the small-scale farmer — goats, chickens, bees — and means of working them into your overall farm design. And there are suggestions for keeping your small farm in top production condition, methods of continually increasing the value of your farm, methods of marketing your produce and of accurately investing in improvements — virtually everything a small-scale farmer needs to know to make his venture economically sound.
Some things, of course, have changed since 1940 when M. G. Kains revised Five Acres and Independence. But the basic down-to-earth advice of one of the most prominent men in American agriculture and the methods of farming the small-scale, pre-DDT farm are still essentially the same. Much of the information in this book was built on USDA and state farm bureau reports; almost all of it was personally tested by M. G. Kains, either on his own farms or on farms of the people who trusted him as an experienced consultant. His book went through more than 30 editions in the first 10 years after its original publication. It has helped countless small farmers attain their dreams, and it continues today as an exceptional resource for those who want to make their first farming attempt.