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Title: A Living from the Land
Author: Duryee, William B.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A Living from the Land" ***

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[Illustration: (_Frontispiece_)

Country homes backed by intensive types of agriculture serve modern human



  _Secretary of Agriculture,
  State of New Jersey_


  _Copyright, 1934, by the_ MCGRAW-HILL BOOK COMPANY, INC.

  All rights reserved. This book, or parts thereof, may not be
  reproduced in any form without permission of the publishers.


  A division of the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc.

  _Printed in the United States of America by The Maple Press Co.,
  York, Pa._

  _To my friend_


Homesteading days are here again. The present movement of people back to
the land is of a different type and has different objectives from those
which prevailed when a continent was to be conquered and exploited. Today
we know that many urban industries will operate on a seasonal basis and we
know too that periods of unemployment and shorter working days will
provide more leisure and probably lower incomes for hundreds of thousands
of families. The utilization of this leisure time to supplement incomes,
to raise the standards of living and of health, and to attain some measure
of economic security will tend more and more to settlement on the land.

In these days of rapid transportation and all the attributes and
conveniences of modern country life, the hardships of the earlier period
of land development are non-existent. Although urban industrial
development has reached a point which will not be exceeded for many years
to come, the individual who needs additional income may adjust himself to
such circumstances by establishing a country homestead. Industrial
activity is tending to decentralize, largely as the result of widespread
power distribution, and a home in the country accessible to some form of
manufacturing or business employment offers undeniable attractions.

This book is prepared primarily for the family that is inexperienced in
country living and in soil culture. Such a family should know about the
nature of the soil on which it lives, how to make it serve the family's
needs and purposes, what to do, and what to avoid in order that success
may be attained and failure averted. Students of agriculture as a vocation
and practical farmers may find, beyond the elementary facts presented,
information of value and help to them. To know and to understand the
science and practice of agriculture is to have power to cope with and to
enjoy soil culture and animal husbandry. If this little volume helps to
answer clearly and definitely the many inquiries that are in the minds of
prospective and active homesteaders, it will have served its purpose.

The knowledge of many practical people and the resources of agricultural
institutions and agencies have been drawn upon for this book. Grateful
acknowledgment is made to those who have contributed constructive
criticism and have helped in the preparation of material. Especial credit
is due to the personnel of the New Jersey and New York colleges of
agriculture and to my associates in the New Jersey Department of



_December, 1933_.



PREFACE                                           ix






     V. SERVICING THE HOME                        54


   VII. FOOD FROM THE GARDEN                      95

  VIII. HOME FRUITS AND BEES                     110

    IX. POULTRY AS A SOURCE OF INCOME            123


    XI. THE FAMILY MILK SUPPLY                   159

   XII. MARKETING FARM PRODUCTS                  170


_Chapter_ I


America was founded on the rock base of agriculture. The early settlers
tilled the soil and derived from it the simple things that they needed.
Necessity compelled them to be self-reliant, courageous and resourceful.
The establishment of a home in early days meant the clearing of land, the
erection of a house for human habitation and the building of shelters for
a few farm animals. Each farm home became practically self-sufficient so
far as the family needs were concerned. Clothing was made there for each
member of the family. After clearing and subduing the land, the settlers
were able to produce their cereal foods. Animals were slaughtered and the
meat processed to provide sustenance throughout the year. Through the
exchange of commodities and ideas with neighbors, advances in living
conditions were made.

The family that was not resourceful in those days failed to survive.
Neighbors were too busy working out their own existence problems to
succor the incompetent. Resourcefulness was called upon in meeting
onslaughts of beasts or human marauders. Thus there was built up a
tradition of seeking and utilizing resources that has gone on to make our
country great and the wonder of the rest of the world.

Since pioneer days we have built a great industrial, commercial and
financial machine. American inventive genius, coupled with the best brains
of the civilized world, attracted by resources and opportunities on every
hand, has invaded every field and created a great industrial

With the genesis and development of a great industrial era in the United
States there started a movement of population from farms to established
centers of population. The application of the sciences to the problems of
filling human wants gave this movement greater impetus. Mining and the
refining of metal ores, the exploiting of coal deposits, the building of
railroads, the construction of buildings for business and residential
purposes, as well as dozens of other great enterprises, served to draw
from the country the best of its human resources.

Inventive genius began to concentrate on the solution of engineering and
construction problems created by congestion of population and successive
steps in industrialization. This same technical genius was applied also to
farm operations which required laborious effort by men and work animals.
That this development itself progressed rapidly is demonstrated by the
fact that while in 1810 the effort of nearly every person was required to
produce enough food to sustain the population, in 1910 the efforts of
one-third of the people were sufficient to provide food for the nation and
export vast quantities to other countries.

While the nation continued to grow rapidly in population and sought to
apply to ordinary practices the newer labor-saving devices, all was well.
It was inevitable, however, that the great industrial machine should
become over-developed, at least temporarily. Instead of machinery being a
servant of mankind it became an octopus that could not be checked.
Individual initiative, the wellspring of earlier developments in the
process, became atrophied. There came about such a high degree of
specialization in human effort as to make men dependent upon others for
work to do. Consequently, even a slight throwing out of gear of the
machine created unemployment, which reduced buying power for the
machine-made products and started a vicious downward spiral accompanied by
every form of economic distress.

When such partial or complete breakdown of the superstructure occurs,
thoughtful people are brought "down to earth," both collectively and very
intimately in thousands of individual cases. They begin to get back to
fundamentals and to seek means of becoming so reestablished as to avoid
future cataclysms. The family attracted to the city by the lure of high
industrial wages and by crowded avenues finds in such a breakdown that it
has lost its moorings.

In seeking means of reestablishment free of the terrifying complications
of industrial life, the mind turns to the country, to the soil, to growing
things that are not visibly affected by economic cycles. The open country
seems ready to welcome back her errant children graciously and to enfold
them within her protecting bosom. We cannot go back, however, to pioneer
days. Free land is not available and we have not the arts or the patience
to practice the means of livelihood of those days. To make the new or
renewed relationship with the soil a success, it is necessary to
understand that country life, too, has changed during industrial
revolutions. Mother Earth is now, as ever, a generous but exacting parent.
To try to reestablish relationships in a blind and haphazard manner is
likely to lead to further disaster. Such a debacle is quite needless,
provided some fundamental principles and practices are understood and

Unquestionably, the open country is now making the greatest appeal as a
place of residence that it has made at any time in the history of the
nation. To list the conveniences which now exist in the country is to
duplicate those which many people have considered as available only in
cities. In most areas of the country, for example, there are daily mail
delivery, telephone service, some measure of fire protection, and
transportation by automobile, bus or train. It is quite possible, for
example, to step into a bus at one's dooryard and be carried to any part
of the United States by the same method of transportation.

The development of the radio has brought to the country home all the
surging activities of national life and varied educational and
entertainment programs. The spread of electric light and power lines
through the country constitutes a boon that makes possible the use of all
kinds of electrical appliances known in the city, including refrigerators,
cooking ranges, washing machines, water pumps, water heaters and hundreds
of other machines and appliances, some of which are in their infancy. No
great difficulty is experienced in locating in the open country where such
electrical facilities are available.

[Illustration: (_Courtesy U. S. Department of Agriculture_)

An attractive farmstead offering requisites of a home in the open

[Illustration: (_Courtesy U. S. Department of Agriculture_)

Floor plan of house shown on opposite page.]

On the main highways in the northern sections of the country a heavy fall
of snow used to mean isolation for weeks. Today the snow is removed as
rapidly as it falls, and these highways are kept open. The problems and
perils of isolation are thus removed.

Tradesmen of all kinds are directing their sales toward country homes, and
supplies of ice and all kinds of food can be obtained almost daily at the
farm doorstep. There is also a tendency to develop factories in the
country away from the high-rent areas of cities and to utilize the
services of persons living in the vicinity of the factory for full or
partial time in the plants. The cost of living can be reduced by living in
the country, and opportunities for purchasing foods and other products at
wholesale prices and storing them against the time of need make further
economies possible.

The greatest asset that the country has to offer relates to the health and
character of those who live close to nature. It has long been recognized
by many European countries that the ownership of even a small tract of
land, no larger than a city lot, perhaps, is a definite asset in building
a nation and in building individual character. In Germany, in Denmark and
in many other nations, the government lends its aid toward the
establishment of people in the country and makes it possible for them to
acquire and retain small holdings of land which they may call "home." It
is on these small tracts that one sees veritable bowers of pastoral
industry and beauty.

Residence in the open country, in contact with the soil, contributes to
physical strength and to mental health. When a man lives in the country,
his house, his way of living and his contribution to the community stand
out where all may see them. These latter assets have always been inherent
in country life. When to these are added the conveniences and the
opportunities for community enjoyment that are now a part of rural life,
its appeal is not difficult to understand.

Anyone who intends to live in the country has his individual problems to
meet and to solve. In the solution of these problems there are many
resources and avenues to which he may turn in the present day for help and
for guidance. The tragic mistakes that have been made in the past can and
should be largely eliminated in the future. A clearer understanding should
be gained as to what one may obtain in the country in the form of a better
way of living, serving as an anchor to the windward even under favorable
economic conditions.

_Chapter_ II


In the selection of a residence in the country, the settler must decide
whether he wishes to locate on a farm of considerable acreage or whether
he wants to have a relatively small tract ranging from 2 to 15 acres. In
the latter case, he is thinking primarily of a place of residence with
sufficient acreage to make it possible to secure a partial living from the
land immediately surrounding the home. The trend in such purchases is
toward the smaller place for a number of reasons.

A large farm acquired by a relatively inexperienced person means a very
considerable burden in the development and maintenance of the land itself
on a producing basis. Capital is required for the purchase of equipment
and power. Parts of the land may need to be drained, and taxes must be
paid whether the land is productive or not. A person acquiring a farm of
50 or more acres will find that the major portion of his time, thought and
capital will be called upon to make it a success. If he has definitely
cut off his city connections and the idea of having a job there, and has
had experience in farming, then he may be in a position to take over a
large acreage so that his full time and possibly that of other members of
his family can be spent on various projects on the land he acquires.

We are here primarily concerned, not with those who desire to enter upon
farming on a large scale, but with the family which would like to live in
the country, secure a partial living from the land surrounding the home
and still have the opportunity of gaining a livelihood from some
industrial or commercial activity located in a near-by city or town. It is
quite likely that we shall have a shorter working week and probably
periods of unemployment for hundreds of thousands of ambitious people.
Therefore, a place in the country that is well located with respect to
hard-surfaced highways and accessible to urban centers offers
opportunities for combining the advantages and economic assets of country
life with urban employment.

_Getting Started Right._--Too much emphasis cannot be laid upon getting
the right start, particularly with respect to location. This is not only
essential for the satisfaction of the present occupant of the premises,
but also gives definite sales value in case circumstances make a change
of location desirable or necessary.

It will often appear that the best location is on the outskirts of a city
or town and from some angles this is good reasoning. There are some
factors, however, that make such a location undesirable. For one thing,
the tax rate is likely to be higher in such areas than in the open
country, thus adding to overhead without compensating advantages. In the
second place, urban centers develop without regard to soil type and this
is an essential factor to the family that expects to engage in some
agricultural pursuit. Again, the type of inhabitants that live on the
fringe of towns and cities may not make good neighbors or associates for
children, especially. None of these disadvantages may be present in
locations close to centers of population, but the prospective settler
should give all these factors full consideration. The sales argument
frequently advanced that such locations will grow in value due to growth
of population may be fallacious.

Many have found that the higher costs of living in these areas often
prevent the owner from holding on until the slow growth of population
outward makes a worth-while profit possible from his real estate.
Furthermore, the growth of cities and towns is definitely slowing down.
The expansion of city areas is greatly curtailed and is not likely to be
resumed soon.

The most important time to get expert opinion as to location is at the
beginning and not after purchasing. There are available in every locality
persons whose advice is useful in such matters. The county agricultural
agent located in nearly every county seat knows the countryside and his
advice on the subject of definite location should be sought once one has
decided upon the general area which seems attractive. In determining on
specific location the bank which has a clientele in the country will often
be found a helpful guide through suggestions or through ability to refer
the questioner to reputable and informed persons with more definite

Another source of information is the local dealer in farm supplies. He
will be found to know general soil types in the vicinity, especially those
types which bring business to him because they are productive. Owners of
such land are able to buy and use to advantage the supplies he has to
offer to the grower.

_Size of Tract._--There is the possibility that a person who goes back to
the land may acquire too little land as well as too much. Inadequate land
resources may seriously hinder possibilities of revenue from the place and
cramp facilities for his enterprises. In this connection it may be
helpful to point out that an acre of land comprises 43,560 square feet. A
city lot measuring 50 by 100 feet contains 5,000 square feet. An acre
therefore would comprise about eight and one-half such city lots. A 5-acre
tract is usually a minimum area for a small agricultural enterprise and
many have found it entirely adequate.

The size of the tract to be acquired and the enterprises that can be
engaged in will depend in considerable measure upon the size of the
occupant's family--whether they can assist in its operation and whether
the owner himself intends to put in all or only a part of his time. The
possibility of securing extra labor should also be looked into before
larger operations are attempted. No definite formula can be set down for
desirable area and enterprises in relation to time available for
operating. However, the owner will realize that one pair of hands can do
only so much work. To try to operate beyond the capacity of his own time
and that of others available is to become involved in striving to keep up
with exigencies that may make country life a struggle instead of a
pleasurable existence. It may result, too, in losses due to inability to
get things done on time, and nature deals harshly with those who neglect
the seasonable operations that come in any agricultural enterprise.
"Bulling through" or skimping or cutting corners simply will not work when
one is dealing with plant and animal life and only failure will come to
him who undertakes to bluff nature.

The successful operator of a farming endeavor must always be on top of his
work, that is, able to plan and direct his energies in the most productive
way at the right time. This is really managing and is likely to lead to
success and satisfaction. To have so much to do that one emergency after
another must be met brings the operator down under his farming projects.
He ceases to manage under these conditions and becomes driven by his own
creations. To avoid this unhappy state, which is entirely unnecessary,
planning must be effectively done and operations undertaken in a gradual
way up to one's capacity.

_Cost of Land._--The price one should pay for land in a relatively small
tract cannot be arbitrarily fixed. Those who own large farms or tracts
expect to receive a bonus for the acres located along a highway as
compared with an average price for the entire place. It should be possible
to buy a 5- or 10-acre tract of land in the open country with highway
frontage for from $150 to $250 an acre, depending on location. If the land
is located near town or city where speculative operations have enhanced
values, the cost will be considerably more. Where an entire farm is
desired, the buildings are frequently given no value, the cost being the
price of the land only. As has been stated, it is quite possible to
acquire too much land as well as too little. A few acres selected from a
tract of good, productive soil will usually be found a better investment
than a large farm that has been abandoned because of lack of fertility.

_Accessibility to Cities._--In deciding upon the location of a farm,
methods of transportation that are available are as important as nearness
to cities. A location near a railroad station offers the possibility of
low commutation rates to a point of industrial or commercial employment. A
location abutting upon an improved highway means that transportation by
bus or by personally owned automobile can be utilized at the least expense
and trouble the year round. The recent development of bus lines covering
almost every main artery of travel offers facilities for quick and
economical transportation unknown to country residents even a few years
ago. Furthermore, the selection of a place of residence accessible to
transportation to and from it is a factor to be borne in mind in
connection with the possible resale of the property, should that at any
time be desirable or necessary.

_The Soil._--The type of soil is a highly important factor in determining
upon location; also important is its crop-producing capacity. For all
general purposes, a soil which is loamy in texture is desirable. Types to
be avoided are the extremes of clay and sand. A heavy clay soil,
particularly where the land is in a depression, not only inhibits plant
growth of all kinds but is often undesirable as a place of residence from
the standpoint of healthfulness. A condition of extreme muddiness in wet
weather creates an unpleasant reaction on those forced to live near it. On
the other hand, areas which are so sandy in character as to furnish no
fertility for the growth of plants will be found undesirable in making the
surroundings of the home attractive and in growing the vegetables and
fruits which should constitute a part of the living.

One method of judging the soil consists of examining the vegetation that
is already growing upon it and determining on that basis whether it is
likely to be favorable for the growth of desirable plants. For this
reason, the selection of a site during the growing season is recommended,
rather than during a dormant season when it is difficult to form an
estimate of the vegetation that the soil will support.

_Availability of Electricity._--While it is possible to secure individual
electrical generating plants, it is far preferable to establish a home
where electric lines may be tapped. The obtaining of electrical energy
from a commercial line is desirable because of its greater dependability,
generally lower cost and the fact that unlimited use of electricity may be
obtained without the overloading that frequently occurs where individual
plants are set up. Probably the availability of public utility lines is
the greatest asset of comfortable country life and one of the most
important factors in creating genuine resale value. These lines bring to
the country dweller most of the advantages that are enjoyed by city
residents. This is true not only because of the advantages of electric
lights, but also because electricity makes possible the use of such modern
appurtenances to the home as electric refrigerators, washers, radios,
water pumps and various devices and machines for use in connection with
poultry keeping and vegetable growing.

_Type of Buildings._--Especial attention should be given to the
adaptability to the buyer's needs of the residence and the other buildings
that may already be in existence. If the plot being considered is on a
main highway, it is highly desirable to have the residence located back
from the highway a hundred feet or more as a means of eliminating noise
and promoting safety especially if children are in the family. The
location of a home directly on one of the main arteries of traffic
destroys many of the advantages of country life, owing to the distracting
noises that accompany intensive truck and passenger traffic.

The age of buildings and their previous care have a direct relation to
their value, particularly if they are of frame construction. If the
buildings have been standing for a number of years, full allowance must be
made for depreciation and repairs incident to weathering and long usage.
The actual investment represented in a building erected under war or
post-war conditions may not be in line with present values. In measuring
the value of the principal buildings that are already on a tract, careful
consideration should be given to the cost of replacement. Consideration
should be given also to the outbuildings that may be on such a place.
Instead of being an asset to the property, they may be a distinct
liability if they are not directly useful to the intending purchaser. From
the standpoint of economy of maintenance and generally good appearance, it
is much better to have one building serve a number of purposes than to
have a number on different parts of the property, adding to the cost of
maintenance and multiplying steps.

_Educational Facilities._--Where there are children in the family, the
location of schools and the facilities which they offer should be
investigated by the prospective buyer. It is desirable to locate as near
to schools as possible. In recent years there has been a strong tendency
throughout the country to do away with local schools and to consolidate
educational facilities in one building. Coupled with this trend is the
free transportation of pupils to consolidated schools. Therefore, it is
highly important to locate either near a school which will be kept in
operation or where transportation facilities are available to and from the
home and the school. It should be said that the trend toward consolidation
of schools has carried with it great benefits to children who live in the
open country by affording them educational facilities that are not
exceeded by most city schools.

_Community Advantages._--The community, in addition to educational
facilities that are available, should include those opportunities that
appeal especially to the family. The accessibility of the church of one's
preference should not be overlooked, and the general type of community
life is highly important too. Some communities are known for the
law-abiding proclivities of their residents while others do not have a
savory reputation from the standpoint of the peace and security of their
more respectable inhabitants. One should establish a residence in the
community with the thought that he is to become a factor in the life of
that community. He should be sure that there is a genuine spirit of
healthy and cooperative activity which constantly tends to upbuild the
neighborhood, by keeping out or suppressing undesirable elements and by
developing a concerted feeling of responsibility for the welfare of all
who live within its boundaries.

A resident of a city moving to the country frequently finds a difference
in his neighbors' viewpoint that surprises him. There is, and must be, in
the rural community a closer relationship between the people in that
community than ever exists in an apartment dwelling in the city. In the
country, one's neighbors are apt to show a surprising amount of friendly
interest in one's doings, since the whole trend of the community is based
upon the actions and attitude of the relatively few people who live within
it. It should be repeated, therefore, that the type of community and the
facilities which the people of that community have developed should be
given careful attention by the prospective resident and he should
determine for himself whether the particular community that he has in
mind is in accord with his ideas and ideals. To be out of step with the
community in which one lives is apt to create dissatisfactions and a
critical attitude on both sides that is not conducive to happiness.

A home in the country has more of the attributes of genuine ownership than
has a home anywhere else. The country home must be established with an
idea of permanence and of becoming really rooted in the soil where one
locates, if the true benefits of rural home ownership are to be secured.


Decide either on large farm or on house and small acreage.

Determine accessibility at all times of the year.

Purchase soil of loam texture, mixture of sand and clay.

Determine whether electricity is available.

Locate back from highway.

If present buildings are to be used, be sure of their condition and need
of repair.

Find out type and accessibility of schools and other community buildings.

Prepare to be _of_ the community as well as _in_ it.

Remember there are advantages of small tract over large farm where
available time is an important element.

Use local sources of information as to desirability of tract before

Work out a plan of management that fits into the time available for the
farm duties.


Don't overlook intrinsic values of the location, such as soil, low tax
rate and good neighbors.

Avoid excessive capital outlay.

Avoid extra heavy or extra sandy soils or evidently unproductive ones.

Don't overlook advantages of electric light and power.

Don't buy a place just because it has buildings. They may not be adapted
to your needs.

Don't buy too much land. It can be a burden.

Don't let the farm become your master.

Don't pay too much for land. There is plenty of it.

_Chapter_ III


Acquiring land for residence and for subsistence calls for the exercise of
good business judgment. Not only must the site and general location be
acceptable to the family, but the investment involved should be within the
capacity of the owner to finance without undue strain on his resources. It
should be recognized that there will be ordinary living expenses to be met
in the country and perhaps some extraordinary demands resulting from
emergencies. Consequently, adequate thought and preparation must be made
for financing the investment and making sure, as far as that is possible,
that the investment in a country home will not be lost through inability
to meet possible contingencies.

It goes without saying that the capital investment should be kept as low
as possible. Wherever feasible, the cash available should take care of the
full investment without the necessity for additional financing. This
reduces the drain upon resources through obviating the necessity of
meeting interest payments on mortgages and makes possible the use of any
surplus funds for improvement, for education and for giving the family the
advantages which country life offers. If it is necessary to borrow funds
for financing the purchase, special attention should be given to the type
of mortgage which is obtained.

_Mortgage Financing._--One of the most desirable types of financing is
through a financially sound building and loan association whereby the
interest and the amortization of the mortgage are taken care of through
monthly payments. Such building and loan mortgages are available in most
localities throughout the country. A series of monthly payments can be
made which will take care of the interest payments and the mortgage itself
so that within a period of from ten to twelve years, in most cases, the
mortgage is amortized and the owner has the advantages of a home that is
free of encumbrance. For example, if the mortgage amounts to $3,000,
subscription to fifteen shares of a building and loan association at $1 a
share per month would make it possible to clear off the mortgage in about
eleven years. This would call for the payment to the association of $15
per month and interest. Through the compounding of interest, the mortgage
can be lifted at less expense than any other procedure.

Another satisfactory plan is to place the mortgage with a bank or
financing company or insurance company that will not call the mortgage so
long as the payments are met, and at the same time start saving through a
building and loan association so as to complete the payments over a series
of years.

There is a far greater sense of security in having no mortgage or in
setting up a definite and practical procedure for eliminating it than in
always having a mortgage encumbrance with its interest payments and the
possibility of having it called at an inopportune moment. A home that is
free from mortgage can be carried at small cost, especially where the
owner is willing to make most of the repairs and attend to the upkeep
himself. The demand for outlay of cash for mortgage interest may be
financially embarrassing, especially where income is not guaranteed or may
be jeopardized through a drastic reduction at critical periods or as the
result of emergency expenses in the family, such as are entailed by
serious illness.

_Taxes._--One of the factors that is frequently overlooked in the purchase
of a residence in the country is the cost of meeting taxes. Since taxes
must be met if the property is to be held, it is highly important that
the location be one in which tax rates are not excessive. On the other
hand, an exceedingly low tax rate may indicate lack of progressiveness in
the community and lack of facilities which from many angles would lessen
the value of the tract as a place of residence. In most localities, the
tax rate is based principally upon the costs of building and maintaining
highways and schools. Good facilities in both of these respects are highly
desirable, and yet excessive expenditures in either direction may so
advance the tax rate as to make them expensive luxuries.

In many rural communities, taxing districts are burdened with the costs of
building monumental schools or a very elaborate system of roads,
undertaken at some time through the flotation of bond issues. The
establishment of a sinking fund for payment of interest and amortization
of these bonds frequently constitutes a very heavy drain upon the
residents of the district. It is, therefore, necessary to determine not
only the tax rate in the locality under consideration, but also to know
definitely what are the current charges for maintenance of government.
Taxing methods vary so widely, even in adjoining districts, that the only
method of determining the annual charges for taxes is to secure from the
present owner or from the local tax assessor the definite payments that
must be made.

As a means of saving trouble later, an investigation should be made of the
property under consideration to make sure that taxes have been paid to the
date of purchase. This is distinctly the obligation of the owner. Unpaid
taxes constitute a lien on the property, and an investigation of the
status of the tax payments is essential in protecting the proposed

_The Title and Survey._--A great deal of possible trouble can be
eliminated by making sure that the title is clear. An investigation should
be made along this line by an attorney or agency equipped to secure
information from appropriate county offices. Very often the owner has had
a recent search made and is willing to pass this on to the purchaser, thus
saving expense and delay in tracing back the records over a long period of
years. Such study will show whether there are encumbrances or liens of any
kind on the property, and these, of course, must be cleared up before any
transaction is entered into.

The potential buyer should also have a survey made by a competent engineer
to definitely fix the boundaries of the property. Stakes can then be
placed, indicating the corners and any irregularities in the outline of
the area under consideration, showing the new owner exactly where his
property extends. In many sections of the country the buyer is in a
position to demand of the owner that such a survey be made at the owner's
expense. This survey is particularly important where an area of
considerable size has been cut up into parcels for sale to individuals.

The steps that have been outlined to protect the investment are only those
which a prudent purchaser will insist upon before transfer of ownership
takes place. Frequently a buyer becomes so enamored with a property that
he hopes nothing will interfere with his acquisition of it, and he is apt
to mentally minimize the possibilities of a cloud on the title or the
exactness of the property lines. So many people have suffered serious
losses from failure to look thoroughly before leaping that emphasis is
given to these points as a means of securing ample protection for the

_An Income from the Investment._--It is presumed that in most cases the
owner of even a small tract expects to secure some financial returns from
the land as a means of adding to his income. The plan that is proposed as
a means of securing an income from the land should not be too complicated
and should be of a type that can be carried on when the owner is
necessarily engaged in other work. This, of course, may run the gamut from
a small home garden to supply the vegetable needs of the household to the
operation of a larger tract on a commercial basis. Furthermore, as we get
into the commercial type of production, that may be planned as a means of
materially supplementing an income or eventually supplying the entire
family income.

Especial attention has been given in recent years to the use of poultry as
a means of supplying an income to the family which is willing to use its
own resources for taking care of the flock. Another means of securing an
income is the growing of vegetables and the sale of these vegetables at a
stand erected near the house for the convenience of the traveling public.
Many who engage in vegetable growing or egg production on a relatively
small scale will find an outlet for their products through associates in
some other line of work, who will be glad to buy from their country
friends on the basis of quality and freshness that may not be obtainable
through their community stores.

It should be pointed out that where the area under cultivation is small,
the production must be intensive. In other words, it would be uneconomic
for the owner of a small tract to try to supplement his income through the
growth of staple crops. He must specialize in some particular phase of
agriculture, horticulture or animal industry that will bring the largest
possible net returns per acre even though that implies a considerably
larger labor cost per unit of operation than would be the case in the
growing of the staple crops, such as the cereals. The successful
production of vegetable crops or poultry products, for example, and their
successful merchandizing, rest primarily on the interest and the
adaptability of the individual.

_Avoiding Causes of Failure._--To know what procedures to avoid is to be
fortified against failure and to be prepared to take advantage of those
constructive measures which are conducive to success. A recent survey has
been made in an eastern state on the causes of failure in farming,
frequently followed by necessitous abandonment of the farm and home. This
survey shows that one of the principal causes of failure is the effort to
manage a farm that is too large for the operator's capacity; his
inexperience and lack of knowledge constitute too great a handicap on a
large acreage. Best results can be secured in farming only by seeding,
cultivating and harvesting at the proper time in each case. To a greater
extent than is usually realized, success depends upon good management,
which means doing the things that need to be done at the right time.

If the farm is large there is a necessity for employing hired labor, and
the costs of this labor, especially under inexperienced management, are
likely to be out of line with the value of the products raised. In many
instances the lack of technical experience can be corrected by dependence
upon governmental agencies, such as experiment stations, county
agricultural agents and departments of agriculture. These services are
available to every farmer, in most cases without cost, and all that he
needs is the will to avail himself of such expert help. In the cases of
farms that have been abandoned, we find that the operators did not make
contacts with dependable sources of information, an indication of the
necessity of cooperating with the agricultural agencies or with
experienced and successful neighboring farmers.

Still another cause of failure lies in the purchase of a farm at a price
which requires the assumption of a mortgage which is too high in relation
to the income from the farm. In short, an attempt to operate on an
overcapitalized basis will, sooner or later, lead to disaster. Failure to
locate on a productive type of soil may easily lead to loss of the
investment. If the local conditions, including good roads, school
advantages and a healthy community spirit, are lacking, there will develop
a feeling of discouragement and mental dissatisfaction which destroys
morale and creates the desire to get out from under at any cost.

_The Stocked Farm._--The question is frequently raised as to whether a
farm should be bought already stocked with work and domestic animals and
with farm equipment or whether it should be stocked by the operator
himself. This will depend, of course, upon the type of equipment which may
be available in the individual case. Sometimes fairly good equipment will
be sold with the farm as a means of facilitating a sale, but the value of
each item should be determined by someone experienced in prices of such
livestock or commodities as may be sold with the farm.

In many cases the buyer has loaded himself with animals or equipment that
are ill adapted to the farm or that are of no particular value, and in
struggling to get along with them he may seriously handicap the efficiency
of his labors. In most cases it will be found a better practice to add
stock and equipment as the need becomes definite and the finances of the
operator make it possible for him to add them to the farm. In this way he
will be fairly sure of acquiring only those items which will be of direct
use and benefit to him and will avoid an accumulation of worn-out or
antiquated articles which will not meet the requirements he must observe
in selecting tools for his work.

_Avoiding Fire Loss._--Possibility of loss by fire is an ever-present
reality to the owner of a country place. There are two methods of
preventing loss, and the observance of both will contribute to the peace
of mind of the owner.

In the first place, he should make sure that adequate insurance is carried
on his buildings and equipment so that in case of loss through fire there
will be sufficient indemnity to permit the rebuilding of the destroyed or
damaged structures. Lightning heads the list of the causes of farm fires
and is frequently not reckoned with by urban residents who have seen
little evidence of its destructiveness. In cities, points of electrical
concentration are avoided by diffusion through piping, metal poles and a
number of other conductors of electricity. The owner of a country home can
secure quite complete protection from damage through lightning by the use
of electrical conductors, usually called lightning rods, properly
installed. Such equipment does away with 90 per cent of the risk caused by

In installing a system of lightning rods, it is well to observe a few
simple precautions. The most exposed parts of a building should be
provided with rods and the rod points should extend 3 to 4 feet above the
structure. Conductors from the rod point should go in the most direct line
possible to the ground and sharp bends in the conductors should be
avoided. One of the most essential precautions is to thoroughly ground the
conductors. Water pipes on the buildings furnish excellent grounding. The
grounds for the conductors must be deep enough in the soil to reach
permanent moisture. Lightning rods that are not properly constructed or
properly grounded may be a worse menace than if no such protection is
attempted. Specific methods of protecting farm buildings from lightning
damage can be secured from state agricultural agencies or from reliable
commercial firms which make a practice of erecting them.

Another cause of fires lies in unsound chimney construction. By using care
and the proper materials in the building of chimneys, fire may be avoided.
Chimney bricks should be laid flat rather than on edge, thereby
practically eliminating the development of chimney cracks through which
sparks can escape into floor spaces, attics and roofs.

Fire risks to residences and other buildings can be reduced by building
the roof of fireproof or fire-resistant materials. Wooden shingles, while
attractive and inexpensive, may become so dry at certain seasons of the
year as to furnish tinder for sparks that may rise from a brush fire or
from burning buildings in the vicinity. The use of slate or asbestos
shingles is recommended for roofs and there are other materials now on the
market which have fire-resistant qualities and can be safely utilized.
Flying sparks carried along on high winds constitute little menace to
those who have equipped their roofs with non-inflammable materials.

It is important to see that electrical wiring has been properly installed,
and for this purpose it is safest to secure expert help. If the menace of
fire is properly evaluated by the owner, he will naturally take suitable
precautions to cope with it, both through utilizing adequate preventive
measures and through having available equipment to make possible the
smothering of accidental fires which may develop. The application of these
available common-sense methods of fire prevention will practically
eliminate the fire risk. An ounce of such prevention effort is to be
stressed rather than placing dependence on means of fire suppression after
the combustion occurs.


Keep capital investment as low as possible.

If part of capital must be borrowed, select type of mortgage that can be
paid off most conveniently.

Determine tax rate before buying.

Make sure that title is clear and the property lines definitely fixed.

If some income is expected, check on possibilities of location with that
in mind.

Plan to secure income from intensive crop and animal projects, _e.g._,
vegetables and poultry.

Use governmental aids to the fullest extent.

Carry adequate insurance on buildings, equipment and furniture as
protection against fire loss.

Install protection against lightning.

Be sure electrical wiring is properly installed.


Don't become heavily involved with fixed financial obligations at outset.

Avoid localities with heavy bonded indebtedness, resulting in excessive

Don't expect to get an income from growing staple crops such as grains.

Don't become dependent on hired labor if it can be avoided.

Avoid unproductive soil and top-heavy investment of capital.

Don't buy a stocked farm unless the stock is adapted to needs and properly

Don't neglect to take every precaution against fire.

Don't forget chimney flues are potential risks.

Avoid roofs of inflammable materials.

_Chapter_ IV


The problem of selecting a home is always a serious one. Success in
choosing a satisfactory location and home in the country calls for careful
study and good judgment throughout the procedure. In urban centers many
services are taken for granted, such as water supply, sewerage, public
utility connections and delivery systems. The establishment of a home in
the country calls for the consideration of all these services. Some may
not be available and preparations must be made to do without them or to
set up such procedures as will take care of the family's needs on the
basis of the individual home.

_The Rural Home._--To give the elements of satisfactory living under
modest circumstances, the country home should be so located and serviced
as to give the maximum of comfort and convenience for the money invested.
The location, type of construction and interior arrangement of the home
are important factors in attaining these objectives.

Unless the location selected already has buildings on it which meet the
needs of the purchaser and his family, there will be the immediate problem
of building the home or remodeling the structure already in existence. In
recent years a great deal of attention has been given to rural homes,
stimulated no doubt by the very evident trend of population from the city
to the country. These homes should have attributes distinctly their own
and should harmonize with the purpose and the location in mind. A house
with lines that look well in town or city may be only a blot on the
landscape when set in the open country. Many excellent recommendations
have been made for country houses by the United States Department of
Agriculture, the President's Conference on Home Building and Home
Ownership (December, 1931) and by architects who have given this problem
the specific attention it deserves.

In general, we may say that the exterior of the house should have simple
lines and should not be ostentatious or covered with inappropriate
decorative effects. This is especially the case where the house is
comparatively small and is located in the open country where there is a
simple and pleasing natural background. The country house should be low
and broad, rather than tall and narrow. The windows and doors should be
of a size and shape that will meet utilitarian requirements and be so
situated as to give a pleasing and attractive appearance to the whole
structure. The materials used should be selected to meet the needs of
economy in the original construction and should be of long-lasting type,
assuring economy in maintenance.

_Essential Requirements._--In planning the house there are certain minimum
requirements which should be kept in mind. For example, the sleeping
facilities should include at least one bedroom for every two persons and
should contain not less than 100 square feet per room. All sleeping rooms
should be provided with cross ventilation, that is, with a window on each
of two sides, and sufficient closet or wardrobe space should be provided,
equipped with shelves and hangers for taking care of clothing. Ordinary
lighting facilities for each room include at least one window, with the
kitchen, living room and sleeping areas preferably having two. Windows
should be so placed as to permit direct sunlight to enter at least
three-fourths of the rooms. There should be daylight and artificial lights
on all work surfaces such as the stove, the sink, work tables and in the
family reading center.

Especial attention given in advance to the kitchen will be more than
repaid by the convenience and efficiencies secured. There should be ample
built-in kitchen equipment for small and large utensils, kitchen tools and
linens. Ample lighting devices should be employed and step-saving
arrangements provided so as to eliminate as much effort as possible in
carrying out the daily duties that are conducted in this important part of
the country home.

Where the funds available for construction or remodeling are limited, it
is important to know what the cost will be before the job is started. This
procedure calls for a plan which will show the exterior appearance, the
interior arrangement, and the cost of the completed job. Plans can be
secured from many sources in addition to those already mentioned. Persons
with architectural experience and ability may often be employed directly
to plan the house and to supervise its construction. If the prospective
builder wishes to select his own plans and to know in advance the complete
cost, he can secure from processors of lumber a catalog of plans which are
accompanied by costs of every item needed. Such processors cut the
material to fit at the factory and identify each piece so that the
mechanically minded man can do much of the work himself with help he may
employ. These companies will also quote prices on the cost of erection by
their own employees in addition to the cost of materials. The outlay
needed for lighting, plumbing and heating facilities can also be obtained
from the same source.

[Illustration: (_Courtesy U. S. Department of Agriculture_)

A modest country home.]

[Illustration: (_Courtesy U. S. Department of Agriculture_)

Floor plans of house shown on opposite page.]

Another method of procedure is to draw a plan of the house that contains
the rooms considered necessary, submit such plans to a lumber merchant and
get quotations on costs of various types of material necessary to
construct it. Such construction will usually require the services of a
skilled carpenter and mason but permits of more latitude in most cases
than is available under a set building arrangement.

_Types of Country Houses._--Illustrations of small houses suitable for the
country are shown on pages 8 and 44. The floor plans of these houses are
shown on the facing pages. There are many other types of small houses
adapted to use in the country and the selection of any one is largely a
matter of individual preference and ability to finance.

Because of the variation in prices of material in different locations, the
kind and quality of material that the owner may desire and also the amount
of labor that may be furnished by the owner, it is difficult to give in
definite terms the cost of various types of buildings. Estimates of costs
of materials and construction may easily be obtained from contractors in
the vicinity.

Simply with the idea of giving approximate costs, the Conference on Home
Building gives the following cost bases for building frame dwellings,
obtained roughly by multiplying the volume by the cost per cubic foot.
Naturally the cost will vary in different sections of the country, and the
level of artistry that is set up by the builder himself will be a factor.


                                                | Southern  |  Northern
  First recommended level--2, 3 or 4 rooms with |           |
   masonry base, fire-resistive flue, both sides|           |
   of studs covered, painted exterior, interior |           |
   finish.                                      |   *10-15¢ |  *12-18¢
  Second level--Bathroom space, better finish   |    12-18  |   15-21
  Medium level--5-6 rooms, with plumbing        |    16-23  |   20-26
  Fourth level--Adequate standard plumbing and  |           |
   hardwood floors                              |    19-27  |   23-30
  Fifth level--Comparable to better type of     |           |
   middle-class city home                       |    25-35  |   28-35
  * The cheapest type of shelter (shack) may be built for perhaps half
    this cost.

_Pre-fabricated Houses._--The field of house construction has been
occupied almost exclusively by the individual architect or builder who has
wrought according to the general ideas of the intending occupant or the
real estate developer. When the plans are completed and approved, the
contractor assembles the necessary materials from local sources, builds
and equips the house and turns it over to the buyer in completed
condition. Under such a procedure there is little application of mass
production measures which have reduced costs and raised quality standards
in many industries, notably in automobile construction, for example.

Thousands of houses built to sell in the recent construction era of the
1920's have proved unsatisfactory and costly to the occupants as the
result of shoddy building methods. Such methods seem to be typically
American as distinguished from the far more solid and permanent Old World
procedure. It now seems likely that the problem of economical and
substantial housing will be met in the method that is also
American--namely, by the pre-fabricated house to which various natural
resources of the country contribute. The parts of such houses are made
under mass production methods and easily assembled on the owner's lot. The
same idea can be applied with ease to apartment house construction in any
location. The first step in this direction has already been mentioned in
the case of mail-order companies which cut the lumber to fit and supply
every needed accessory to the last detail.

The next step, and the one that bids fair to inaugurate an entirely new
house-building procedure, is now in the making, although as yet it is in
the experimental and testing stage. Examples of such construction made
their first public appearance at the Century of Progress Exposition at
Chicago in 1933.

Materials that enter into the construction of these new-type houses
include steel, asbestos, aluminum and cement. As a rule, the buildings
have a steel frame erected on cement foundations and without a cellar; the
walls and partitions are of asbestos composition and the roof constructed
of steel sheets with aluminum insulation. Such a building is fireproof and
proof also against vermin, lightning, wind and earthquake. The house is
also adapted to and equipped with heating, lighting, plumbing and air
conditioning facilities. The whole building is pre-planned and
pre-fabricated as a unit with its component parts constructed under
economical and interchangeable mass production methods.

Modifications of the construction above mentioned include the use of
sound-proofed steel panels or insulation board for partitions and walls
with an exterior of painted steel. Many other modifications are being
developed to insure individuality, stability, insulation and economy in
first cost and maintenance. The lines of most of these houses are severe
and modernistic in design, although decorative and unique effects are
easily obtainable.

The costs of the complete house unit range from $600 for a one-room type
to $3,500 to $6,000 for a complete home of modest size. The principal
fabricators of these houses and their addresses are: General Houses, Inc.,
Chicago, Illinois; American Houses, Inc., New York City; American Rolling
Mill Company, Cleveland, Ohio; American Radiator and Standard Sanitary
Company, New York City; Columbian Steel Tank Company, Kansas City,
Missouri, and National Steel Homes, Inc., Los Angeles, California.
Information on types and costs can be obtained by addressing these

_Rural Home Life._--To have a successful experience in country life, one
must become identified with one's surroundings and become a part of the
community. Those who seek to establish a country residence simply as a
place from which to commute to city attractions will not only miss the
greatest asset in country living but will probably find this existence
unsatisfactory. To become interested in the growing plants and animals at
home, to do with one's own hands the things that make the home more
attractive and to develop a contact with the community that helps to
increase its normal activities mean the attainment of pleasure and
satisfaction so far beyond that obtainable in congested urban quarters
that there is no comparison. In many cases this direct affinity with one's
surroundings will come gradually and not always easily. It can be
cultivated and should be a part of the plan of every family expecting to
reside in the country.

_Trees as Assets._--One of the greatest assets that can be secured in the
country is well-developed shade. If the house under consideration is
already built and has around it trees that serve as a softening and
beautifying factor, as well as for shade purposes, the value is decidedly
enhanced. If the home is to be newly built and a site is available where
trees are already well grown, the house can often be placed in the midst
of such trees, thereby gaining a number of years in the benefits that
trees give and for which there is no substitute.

Few persons can resist the charm of trees. That they also have a definite
economic value is shown by the added desirability we all attach to an
attractively landscaped home where trees of various kinds and sizes
furnish the motif. In acquiring a place in the country the newcomer will
at once wish to plant trees, shrubs and ornamentals to beautify his
holdings. If this is carefully planned at the beginning, succeeding years
and a little care will add to the attractiveness and intrinsic value of
the home. The saying, "a house is not a home until it is planted," has a
great deal of truth behind it. Most nurserymen will be glad to render
assistance in properly planning and setting the ornamental landscaping of
the home, helping the owner avoid mistakes and costly movings and
replacements later.

_Commercial Horticulture._--In addition to the plantings around his home,
the owner of a few acres can at slight expense start small trees for later
ornamental use or for sale at a roadside stand, for example. Such small
trees and ornamental plants can often be purchased at wholesale prices
from nursery companies which have "laying out" stock, as it is called, for
sale. The standard large-growing evergreens and deciduous shade trees can
be thus transplanted to one's own acres, as can the popular dwarf types of
evergreens and flowering shrubs. These may be planted in one area where
they can be cared for as a growing crop, or they may be planted in groups
for beautifying the premises while they are growing. Again, single plants
may be set by themselves and given special attention, later becoming
"specimens" which are much in demand by admirers of the species.

An appreciation of tree habits can be thus developed by all the members of
the family, and considerable income may be obtained in later years, as
the trees become "of age," through their sale. We are entering upon an era
of making homes attractive as places in which to live and not as houses to
go away from. All forms of plant life that contribute to this end will be
admired and sought after in the years to come.


Give special consideration to location, type of construction and interior

If building a home, select a type that fits surroundings.

Strive for simplicity of lines and full utilization of every cubic foot of

Remember pre-fabricated houses are practical and likely to supplant some
other types of construction.

In buying a pre-fabricated house, be sure plans and construction fit needs
of family and materials used are adapted to the climatic conditions.

Give special attention to convenience and cheerfulness of kitchen.

Develop a plan of planting ornamental plants and trees to be carried out
in due course.


Don't try to build a city house in the country.

Don't neglect windows in number or size.

Don't overlook costs of completed job before commencing building or

Don't neglect the asset value of trees.

_Chapter_ V


Many types of services are available to the country home owner, including
rural mail delivery, the telephone and electricity. Rural mail delivery in
particular is so common that, on practically every highway, mail service
is secured by the placing of a mail box along the highway at the entrance
to the residence. Telephone service is available along practically all the
main-traveled highways and on a majority of the other types of roads.
Where the lines are not already installed, extensions may be obtained to
new locations, and this is facilitated when more than one residence is to
be served by the same line. The majority of families accustomed to city
conveniences will want to have electricity available so as to use electric
lights and the labor-saving devices that are operated by electric power.
With the expansion that has taken place in the development of rural
electric lines in recent years, there is not a great deal of difficulty in
getting a location which will give the housewife the advantages that
electricity offers.

Telephone service and electrical facilities may fall into the class of
luxuries for those with limited resources. It may be pointed out in this
connection that millions of farm homes are still using petroleum products
for lighting purposes and are finding it no hardship. Practically all
would, of course, use electricity if it were available and financially
possible. The new home owner in the country will find it advantageous to
locate where electric service is obtainable.

Other services for the country residents are pretty largely up to the
owner as to their utilization and type. It is necessary, of course, to
have an ample water supply, to maintain sanitary conditions through
sewerage of some description, to provide a method of heating the home
during cold weather and to provide storage facilities for food during the
dormant season.

_The Water Supply._--Perhaps the most important attribute of the country
home is an adequate supply of water. This is particularly true where
families have been accustomed to utilizing municipal water supplies which
are safe and pure as to quality and unlimited in amount. In most country
homes it is necessary to construct a water-supply system, which means
reaching a supply of underground water, pumping it to the surface and
piping it to locations where it is wanted. Higher standards of living
create new and increased demands for water.

Water for domestic use should be clear, colorless, odorless, soft, neither
strongly acid nor alkaline, with a temperature averaging 50 degrees
Fahrenheit. Such water supplies can be obtained in nearly every section of
the country. Hot water is necessary in every home and there must be a
heater of some type, using coal, petroleum products, natural or artificial
gas or electricity for fuel. For this purpose a hot-water storage boiler
or tank must be installed.

_The Dug Well._--A dug well is one of the older types of wells. It should
be large enough in diameter to permit ingress and egress to all parts of
it for repairs or for cleaning. Most dug wells require cleaning
occasionally, due to the entrance of dirt at the top and to the washing in
of clay and silt with the ground water. Many of these wells contain
harmful gases which have proved fatal to those entering them. Before an
attempt is made to clean such a well or to make any repairs, a lighted
candle should be lowered into it. If the candle is extinguished, it will
be dangerous to enter until the well has been thoroughly ventilated.

A dug well will vary in depth from 20 to 60 feet, depending upon the
distance it is necessary to dig for an adequate supply of water. Types
of pumping apparatus are on the market to cope with any depth in digging
such a well. If dug wells are shallow, the water supply depends very
largely upon current rainfall and in times of prolonged drouth there may
be a serious shortage. Fairly deep wells of this type are usually very
satisfactory and will supply surprisingly large amounts of water when the
demand is made upon them.

[Illustration: Well drilling--an early step in locating in the country. In
the foreground may be seen part of the excavation for the house.]

_Artesian Water Supply._--Artesian wells have distinct advantages over dug
wells although they are more expensive to construct. The water from such
wells is absolutely pure and it never fails. This is because subterranean
streams have been tapped which are not subject to possible surface
contamination, nor are they dependent upon showers for replenishment.

Special power apparatus is necessary for constructing an artesian or
drilled well. The drilling costs from $3 per foot up, depending upon the
nature of the subsoil and whether rock is encountered. Unless such a well
has been drilled in the immediate vicinity it is not possible to hazard
even a guess as to when water will be struck. The consolation that such an
undertaking has for the owner is in knowing there will be no doubt as to
quantity or purity when the strike occurs.

_Water Pumps._--Pumps are now available which operate automatically by
electricity and constantly supply the home with fresh water drawn from the
earth as needed. The requirements for the pump and the motor will vary
with the depth of the well and the water requirements of the family. In
all such cases, therefore, it is desirable to call in for consultation
engineers or competent representatives of pump manufacturers or
distributors. It should be borne in mind that adequacy of supply is most
important and that economy in first cost, achieved at the sacrifice of an
adequate supply, may be a definite handicap to necessary home services.

_Heating Facilities._--The type of heating apparatus that is used will
depend upon the size of the house and its arrangement as well as upon the
funds available. The simplest type of heaters are those which do not have
a complete system of extending radiation through the home but depend upon
circulation of the air within the house to equalize the temperature. In
deciding upon the type of apparatus, it is necessary to make sure that the
system is as low in original cost as possible; that it will probably have
a long life, thereby spreading the first cost over a period of years; that
it be economical in operation through efficient consumption of fuel, and
that the system be easily controlled. The health of the family and the
ability to live in a satisfactory manner will depend to a considerable
extent upon the method of heating the home, especially in cold climates.

Particular care should be taken to make sure that whatever type of heating
is employed is adequate in size. It is more economical to operate a heater
that is somewhat oversized than to "rush" one which cannot easily maintain
a comfortable temperature in cold weather. Heating engineers and
contractors are available to furnish information on heating costs in every
locality. The generally used types of heating include stoves, circulator
heaters, warm air, hot water and steam systems, and fireplaces.
Specialists of the United States Department of Agriculture have developed
a great deal of information to enable the home owner to cope with the
heating problems in a practical manner. It is estimated by the department
that if a two-pipe hot-water system for a six-room house costs $500, the
other systems for the same house ordinarily would cost about as follows:

  Two-pipe vapor system               $600
  One-pipe steam system               $400
  A piped warm air furnace            $260
  Pipeless furnace                    $140
  Circulator heater or stove          $ 60

Of course, these systems vary in efficiency and in providing comfort as
much as they vary in cost, but these estimates will provide the home
owner with an idea of the outlay for taking care of the heating problem.

The ability to maintain a satisfactory temperature depends as much upon
the construction of the house as upon the heating apparatus itself. Heat
is readily lost through walls, roofs and windows. Most houses can be made
more comfortable at small cost by applying insulation or by correcting
defects in construction. The use of storm doors or storm vestibules where
doors are frequently opened to the out-of-doors will prevent drafts and
conserve heat. Metal weather stripping is the most effective means of
preventing air leaks around windows and doors and making the entire house

The fuel that is used will depend upon the type of furnace and the
relative prices prevailing for different kinds. Recent developments in oil
heating bring this fuel in close competition from the standpoint of
economy with coal or coke. Oil is particularly adaptable as a source of
fuel in homes in the country since tank trucks can readily deliver oil to
the home owner. Improvements in securing the maximum efficiency from all
types of fuel are being developed continually; and there are now on the
market furnaces, using anthracite or bituminous coal as fuel, which offer
many advantages that were unknown to older types.

_Fireplace Construction._--An open fireplace where wood can be used as
fuel is a great source of satisfaction and pleasure, as well as a comfort,
in country homes. Wood of proper length for fireplace burning can be
readily secured in the country and there is ample room for storing it.
Where the house is small in size, such wood fires can be used for heating
the house satisfactorily in spring and fall and can be used to supplement
other types of heating when desired.

No country home can be considered complete without a fireplace. The
comfort and homelike atmosphere that it gives make it a general asset for
the enjoyment of the family circle. Fireplaces should be constructed so as
to insure a good draft with a maximum of heat radiation. It is desirable
to build in the fireplace flue a damper which can be open when the fire is
burning and can be shut when it is desired to keep heat from escaping from
the room via the chimney. It is also a convenience to have a trap opening
placed in the back of the fireplace on the floor so that ashes may be
removed in this manner, eliminating the labor of carrying them from the

_Sewerage of Farm Homes._--All wastes from the farm home coming under the
term of sewage should go direct to a septic tank. Here the sewage is held
in a quiet state for a period of time, and through bacterial processes,
the organic matter is destroyed. A septic-tank installation consists of
four parts: first, the house sewer from house to tank; second, the sewage
tank, consisting of one or more chambers; third, the sewer from tank to
distribution field; fourth, the distribution field where the sewage is
distributed, sometimes called the absorption field. Plans for sewerage
construction may be obtained from state and local boards of health and
from federal health and agricultural agencies.

[Illustration: (_Courtesy New Jersey Agricultural Extension Service_)

An adequate sewage disposal plant is essential and inexpensive. A
practical one is shown here.]

The Rural Engineering Department of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment
Station recommends that the septic tank have a capacity adequate to hold
all the water used by the family for two entire days. For a family of six
persons the inside dimensions of the tank should be 4 feet in width with a
length of 4 feet in the first chamber and 3 feet in the second chamber.
The depth of water should be 4 feet, giving the tank a capacity of over
600 gallons, thus allowing 100 gallons for each person during the
forty-eight-hour period. The entire tank will be 4 feet wide, 8-1/2 feet
long and 6-1/2 feet deep.

Septic tanks are usually built of solid concrete, concrete blocks or
brick, waterproofed on the inside to prevent escape of the contents except
through the outlets described. These outlets should be 100 to 150 feet
away from any source of water supply to prevent contamination of potable

Leading from the outlet of the second chamber, several lines of tile 10 to
14 inches in depth should be laid at a gentle slope away from the tank,
permitting escape of the effluent at each joint. For a family of six
persons a total length of 150 feet of tile pipe will be sufficient in most
types of soil.

_Food Storage._--Every country home should have a basement in which a room
can be set apart for cold storage. Such a place is suitable for keeping
supplies of potatoes and other root crops, as well as commodities that
deteriorate under conditions of warmth. Surplus supplies of food from the
garden can be placed in such storages and be readily available for use
during the winter. With the surplus of perishable food products in cans
and with a good supply of non-perishable products in such a type of
storage room, economies in food purchase can be effected and the
healthfulness of the family maintained through their use when fresh
products are difficult to secure or are unseasonable and expensive.

If a basement is not available for food storage, root crops can be stored
outside the house and kept during the winter. These products should be
piled in a heap, covered with straw or other clean, loose material and
the mound then covered with earth. In this manner, potatoes and similar
crops can be kept throughout the winter and until late in the spring
without serious deterioration. It is important to select a site for such
outdoor storage that is well drained so that water will not collect and
freeze in the storage area.

_Services Available to the Country Resident._--Public agencies are
available for help in solving the problems of country residents, varying
from agricultural and horticultural practices to building construction,
water supply and sewage disposal. As a rule, these services are of advice
and suggestion, are free of cost and may be utilized freely by those
living in the country.

Most of the counties in the United States have a county agricultural
agent, who is located at the county seat and whose territory covers only
the county in which he resides. The costs of such service are paid by
federal and state appropriations, frequently supplemented by county
appropriations, and also frequently through annual individual
subscriptions. The county agricultural agent is really a field
representative of the United States Department of Agriculture and of the
state agricultural college in the state where he works. There is hardly a
problem of the country resident for which he cannot obtain aid from the
county agricultural agent. In many of the more thickly populated areas the
problems of the family getting a location on the land for a home are
already well known to the agricultural agent and he is therefore in a
position to guide the newcomer and help him to prevent mistakes.

In many counties there is also a home economics service connected with the
office of the county agricultural agent and supported in the same general
manner. This service, along the lines which the name implies, is available
to the country home maker. Groups of women are organized and meet at
intervals for discussions on food preparation, canning and storage and the
making of clothing for the family.

In nearly every state there is a state department of agriculture with
regulatory and promotional activities and dealing especially with law
enforcement provisions passed by the respective legislatures. These
agencies are also concerned with development of marketing facilities in
many states. They are supported by state and federal funds and carry on
such projects as the testing of cattle for tuberculosis, treatment in
prevention of communicable animal diseases and the control of insect and
fungous pests through quarantine and inspection activities. These
departments are located at the state capitols and information on the
services available can be secured by addressing the department in the
state where one resides.

Because there is a lack of understanding among newcomers to the country of
the services that are available through these agencies without cost, this
particular mention of them is made. It is recommended that each family get
in touch with the county agricultural agent, the college of agriculture
and the department of agriculture and learn definitely of the help that
can be secured without cost in meeting the problems of country life.

_Electric Wiring Principles._--Public utilities are organized to furnish
electric service and it will be found that they are ready to assist
customers in securing the most satisfactory use of electricity. Such
knowledge, based on experience, will be valuable in helping owners to
avoid costly mistakes and to provide for a wiring system that will be
economical and yet complete. When the plans and specifications of the
wiring system have been worked out, it is important to secure bids from
reliable contractors. Only those contractors who can do the work in a
capable manner should be employed and it should be determined in advance
that the installation will be in strict compliance with the National
Electrical Code. For wiring work it is necessary to know the number of
amperes the wire is to carry. This may be determined by dividing the load
in watts by the voltage which is to be used.

The service lateral is a system of wires which form a path over which
electricity is carried from the main line to the house. This is generally
built by the utility company and its cost will depend upon the distance of
the residence from the main line and whether the owner furnishes poles,
labor, etc.

Wires should be of such size as to give sufficient mechanical strength to
stand up under sleet conditions. Usually three entrance wires are used to
carry the electric energy from the utility connection to the house. The
lateral is the electrical doorway to the farm and is the most essential
part of the wiring system. The wires should be of adequate size so as to
provide proper voltage and give complete electrical service for all
ordinary requirements of current.

It is important to see that the electrical equipment is properly
"grounded," that is, the connecting to earth of certain metallic objects
which are near power conductors. The purpose is to carry to the earth any
heavy electrical charge which might exist on such objects and cause
electrical shocks when they are touched. Grounding may be secured by
connecting with water pipes that reach some depth under ground, or driven
pipe may be used as a means of securing intimate contact with moist earth.

Recommendations for outlets from the electrical wires in the house call
for centering ceiling lighting outlets, and placing wall brackets about
5-1/2 feet above the floor. Convenient outlets in the kitchen and bathroom
should be about 33 inches above the floor. In other locations they are
usually best placed in the baseboard. Wall switches are usually located 4
feet above the floor. A switch should be located at each door to a room or
entrance to a hall and in many cases three-way switches can be used to
advantage, since these afford control over the same lighting from two
separate locations.

With these general observations on a rather complicated subject, most of
which are based on the excellent recommendations of the National Committee
on the Relation of Electricity to Agriculture, the home owner should be in
a position to take care of his needs properly, bearing in mind that the
system of wiring should be adequate in every respect and the number of
outlets sufficiently numerous to provide easy and convenient service
throughout the house. An official check-up should be made of all
installations after completion. The method of securing such inspection
can be obtained through a local electrical contractor.

[Illustration: (_Courtesy New Jersey Agricultural Extension Service_)

Ground floor plan of a house, showing the number, the type, and the
location of electrical current outlets.]

_Tank Gas Supply._--A service of supplying compressed gas in portable
tanks has recently been developed for country homes located away from
public gas lines. This gas can be used either with a specially adapted
range which is supplied as part of the service or in some cases with an
ordinary gas range. Companies offering this service are located in most
cities and are understood to be willing to supply residences anywhere with
gas. The cost of first installation of the system is about $40. Renewals
cost approximately $12 per cylinder of gas. Each cylinder will supply a
family of four with gas for three to four months, making a monthly bill of
from $3 to $4, which compares favorably with artificial gas supply through
a meter from pipe lines. This gas may be used for any purpose for which
any other gas is adapted. The gas and the servicing of it constitute a
boon to country residents from the standpoint of utility and economy. It
is especially desirable for those previously accustomed to city gas
supplies and to whom the use of any other type of fuel is strange and
somewhat of a problem.


Remember that important service factors include mail delivery, telephone,
electricity, water supply and sewage disposal.

Be sure of adequate water supply of good quality.

Obtain artesian water supply wherever possible.

Provide for such heating facilities as the budget can stand.

Select the heating system in relation to fuel costs.

Make sure that the sewerage system is adequate for waste disposal.

Use fully such governmental agencies as county agents, home demonstration
agents, experiment stations and agricultural colleges, state and federal
departments of agriculture.

Provide storage space for surplus food products.

Remember electric wiring requires skilled workmanship.

Investigate advantages and costs of tank gas as a cooking fuel.


Don't forget that services automatically available to urban residents must
be planned for in the country.

Don't neglect construction defects that prevent full benefits from heating

Don't overlook the advantages of a well-built fireplace.

Don't install electrical service without full attention to principles of
convenience, safety and economy involved.

_Chapter_ VI


There are many treatises available that deal with the soil, its
composition and its treatment. No attempt will be made here to go
exhaustively into that subject. There are a few fundamental factors,
however, which the potential owner should know regarding soil treatment,
for that is the base upon which he will build his income-producing

The particles of soil have had their genesis in rock. The rock has become
disintegrated and decomposed through natural processes. The action of the
weather is the most important factor in creating soil. Water falling on
rock not only wears it away mechanically, but through certain mild acid
elements which it acquires, disintegrates the binding materials that hold
rock segments together. In addition, there is the action of frost and
freezing, too, making the moisture in rock expand and contract and thereby
causing the breaking down of the segments. With this action is coupled
that of hot suns which cause expansion and breaking up of the rock as it
becomes heated and cooled under atmospheric influence.

A great deal of the soil surface in many sections of the country is the
result of glacial action. These glaciers not only eroded the surface,
thereby creating millions of rock particles, but they also carried large
deposits of the rock particles to more distant areas and deposited them
over a subsoil that may be totally different in character from the surface
soil thus deposited.

_How Tillable Soil Is Made._--The action of plants themselves has a great
effect in adding to our supply of tillable soil. Seeds of plants or seeds
of trees become established in some slightly weathered rock areas and
begin to grow. The roots penetrate wherever there is any loose soil, and
partly by their pressure and partly through the acidity accompanying
decomposing plant tissue, complete a further breaking down of the rock.
There is a continuous process of destruction of rocks and leveling off of
mountains and hills to fill the valleys below.

Many groups of deep-rooted plants tend to increase the depth of the
surface soil by growth of the roots in the subsoil and by creating therein
a condition approaching that which already exists on the surface. The
action of earth worms and similar forms of life in bringing subsoil to
the top and in opening channels through which water and surface air can
penetrate constitutes another continually operating force in the creation
of a productive soil. A deeper layer of productive soil can also be
created through a plan of consistently deeper plowing, bringing up with
each annual plowing operation a small portion of subsoil which, when mixed
with the surface soil, tends to become like it.

[Illustration: (_Courtesy New Jersey Department of Conservation and

Soil is created from rock by nature's weathering processes and by plant
growth. At the bottom may be seen solid rock; just above are
disintegrating rock fragments, and at the top, the soil.]

Every type of real soil contains all the elements of plant growth. This
plant food results from a breaking down of soil particles and the setting
free of chemical elements which, either singly or in combination, serve as
food for plants.

Whatever the type of soil may be, it will be found that certain crops will
make better growth in it than others. As a general rule, it may be said
that the only way to determine which plants will grow best on a given soil
is by the trial-and-error method. However, by observation of the growth on
similar types of soil we can learn something of a soil's crop
adaptability. There are some crops that will grow in almost any soil and
there are others that need an exactness of texture, moisture and plant
food which makes them highly specialized products. The operator must learn
how to work in harmony with the peculiarities of his own soil before he
can hope to get the best results.

In acquiring a tract for the growing of plants of any kind it is desirable
to get a soil type that will meet the requirements of most plants. As a
general rule, this type contains enough clay to be retentive of moisture,
enough sand to be easily worked and is generally suitable for bacterial
growth. In other words, what is commonly called a loam is the ideal type
for general agricultural and horticultural purposes. This may be a heavy
loam, in which clay predominates, or a so-called light loam, in which sand
particles predominate. An examination of a handful of soil by a person
experienced in farming will indicate its nature and its adaptability to
ordinary crop production.

_Essential Elements of Plant Food._--Countless scientific experiments in
plant growth show that potassium, lime, phosphorus, magnesium, iron,
sulphur, nitrogen, carbon, oxygen and hydrogen are essential to normal
development. The carbon, hydrogen and oxygen elements make up nearly 99
per cent of the entire composition of the plant and are derived from the
atmosphere. All of the other elements are derived from the soil except in
the case of peas, beans, clovers and other legumes which secure most of
their nitrogen from the air.

The mineral elements are not needed in large amounts but well-balanced
plant growth is strictly dependent upon their presence in available form.
Of these elements, those most likely to be deficient either in total
amount or in availability are nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium and calcium.
It is entirely feasible and economical to apply concentrated chemical
fertilizers containing the first three elements so that their lack will
not constitute a limit to size of crops harvested. In many cases it is
necessary to apply chemical fertilizers to get satisfactory yields, even
where natural manures are available and can be applied as well.

In addition to supplying essential plant food, nitrogen, phosphorus and
potassium perform specific functions in plant growth. The application of
nitrogen in one of its readily available forms (e.g., nitrate of soda and
sulphate of ammonia) will stimulate vegetative growth. If too much of this
one element is applied, leaf and branch development may occur at the
expense of the crop. Good results follow the use of nitrogen on grass sods
and on leafy vegetables like spinach. On the other hand, corn, peas, beans
and other seed-forming crops need to have the nitrogen balanced with
phosphorus. Potatoes, in common with other tuber and root crops, will
utilize plenty of potassium in the development of starch.

_Sources of Plant Food._--Chemical fertilizers can be purchased at supply
stores in ready mixed condition and of analyses that will meet general
crop needs. A good formula for such a general purpose fertilizer is 4 to 5
per cent nitrogen, 7 to 9 per cent phosphoric acid and 7 to 10 per cent
potash to the ton. It is known that such a mixture will supply the food
needs of a large variety of plants in balanced amounts. Highly
concentrated mixtures are now on the market providing double the amount of
plant food in the example quoted, costing nearly twice as much but
effecting a saving by cutting in half the material handled to get the same
result. Care should be taken, in using these highly concentrated
fertilizers, to avoid contact with tender roots. A mixture for general
farm and garden purposes may contain the following ingredients:

    100 pounds nitrate of soda
    230 pounds sulphate of ammonia
    250 pounds animal tankage (7 per cent nitrogen)
  1,140 pounds superphosphate (16 per cent phosphoric acid)
    280 pounds muriate of potash (50 per cent potash)
  2,000 pounds.

This mixture will have a formula of 4-9-7 (4 per cent nitrogen, 9 per cent
phosphoric acid and 7 per cent potassium). The individual who wishes to
mix his own fertilizer may do so by purchasing the finely ground
ingredients separately, and by means of a shovel, integrate them all into
a mixture. Home mixing will not be found profitable where small amounts of
fertilizer are used. Those who practice home mixing for the first time
should realize that most combinations of ingredients will "set" or harden
if not used immediately, necessitating the breaking up and pulverizing of
the mass. When it is broken up after curing, no further difficulty should
be experienced with "setting" if the mixture is kept in a dry place. The
advantages of home mixing for the large user lie in lower cost per ton of
plant food as a rule; confidence in the quality of the ingredients which
he should purchase on the basis of guaranteed analysis; and the setting up
of a mixture which study of his soil and the plant requirements has
convinced him is best suited for his individual case.

_Chemical Soil Analysis Not Helpful._--There is a mistaken notion that it
is necessary to analyze soils chemically in order to fertilize them
intelligently. Such an analysis of a reasonably fertile soil will show the
presence of the essential elements of plant food, though perhaps not all
in sufficient amounts, to produce ordinary crops for centuries to come.
Only a small amount of the elements become available for root absorption
each year and a chemical analysis will not bring out this most important
factor--availability. The use of a few simple tests, mainly of a physical
nature by a competent soils specialist, will prove of some assistance in
the treatment of the soil. Such tests will show the presence of adequate
amounts of humus, and indicate the acidity content. The soil texture will
give some index of its crop adaptability and thereby serve as a basis for
fertilizing treatment that will meet the needs of both soil and crop. The
practical man will not expect any considerable aid from a highly technical
and costly chemical analysis of his soil.

Another factor that militates against worth-while benefits of chemical
soil analysis is the great variation in soil types frequently occurring in
the same field. To attempt to draw a representative sample by mixing soil
from several areas might result in a specimen that would not be really
typical of any area. For the purpose of ordinary physical examination and
testing for acidity, representative soil samples should be taken from
several parts of the same soil type, mixed together and a composite sample
for testing drawn from the mixture, weighing not less than a pound in each
case. If the soil is quite apparently variable it may be necessary to draw
two or more composite samples from the same area. Very helpful service in
intelligent soil treatment may be secured from the county agricultural
agent and the state college of agriculture in the county or state of

_Legumes as Soil Improvers._--A means of soil improvement that is well
understood by progressive farmers is the use of legumes to improve the
soil. The legumes include a large family of plants of which the bean, the
pea and the clovers are outstanding examples. Such plants have on their
roots nodules which house nitrogen-gathering bacteria. These bacteria
absorb nitrogen from the air in the soil and, in the ordinary process of
growth, death and decay, make this nitrogen available to the host plants,
leaving a residue in the soil for the roots of plants that are to follow.
Thus this group of plants, known as legumes, have been used for
generations as a method of increasing the nitrogen content of soils.
Nitrogen, incidentally, is the most costly element to buy in commercial
fertilizers. The soil-improving benefits of legumes may be secured by
growing them either for harvest as a source of animal food or for plowing
under as a means of utilizing them entirely for the development of soil

In reading of the studies of soil fertility that were made by George
Washington at Mount Vernon, we learn of the improvement that he made in
the relatively poor soils of that area by growing plants of the legume
family. The actual reason why such improvement was brought about was not
known in Washington's time, but the results were apparent. Today, the
value of legumes as soil builders is well recognized and we understand
much more definitely than Washington did the reasons for their being so
helpful in increasing crop production.

Many soil areas do not contain the particular type of bacteria necessary
to the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen by legumes. This is frequently the
cause of failure in growing alfalfa, soybeans, cowpeas and less well known
members of the legume family. Each legume has its own type of
nodule-forming bacteria. In order to assure the presence of the proper
bacterial family, means often must be employed to add them to the soil
where the specific crop is to be grown. This may be accomplished by adding
soil from an area where the legume does well to the new area, or the seed
may be inoculated with commercial cultures before seeding. Either method
is effective. If soil is used it should be drilled in or spread on a
cloudy day to prevent the destructive action of the sun's rays on the
exposed minute forms of plant life we call bacteria.

If it is not known that the legume to be planted has been grown
successfully in a given field within the previous several years, the
precaution of adding the proper bacteria should be taken. In some
sections, such legumes as red, alsike, crimson and white clovers have been
grown for many years and the bacteria for these plants are well
distributed. There, inoculation is not necessary for these crops, but it
probably should be practiced if other legumes such as alfalfa, cowpeas or
soybeans are to be grown on land for the first time.

_The Value of Humus._--In addition to the chemical elements of plant food,
all productive soils contain decaying vegetable matter, generally
classified under the term "humus." Humus serves as a source of
acid-generating material which further breaks down soil particles and,
most important of all, serves as a food for millions of microscopic plants
which develop and die quite beyond the scope of human vision. These
constitute a type of bacteria which are distinctly beneficial and
essential to human life since they make possible the growth of larger
plants that serve as human food.

Green plants, straw or leaves, when plowed under or spaded in the soil,
are attacked by bacterial agencies which gradually turn these products
into humus. The same process occurs when a "compost" is set up. This is
made of leaves, manure, soil, straw and other materials thrown into a
heap and allowed to decay. Such compost is excellent for placing around
plants when setting them out, since it holds moisture, supplies fertility
and creates optimum conditions for young root growth. Under practical
field conditions, humus may be added to soils by spreading animal manures,
followed by plowing them down, or by the growing of heavy green crops such
as wheat, rye, cowpeas or vetch and turning the entire mass under with the
plow when they are at their height.

_Lime and Its Application._--Reference has been made to the fact that
calcium is an essential plant food and is frequently deficient in soils.
As a matter of fact, the great majority of soils are deficient in calcium
and their productiveness is inhibited thereby. Lime supplies calcium and
also magnesium as food for plants. Its application accomplishes many other
desirable things such as correcting soil acidity. The growth of beneficial
bacteria is greatly stimulated in a soil that has had its acidity
neutralized by the application of lime. This product, therefore, creates a
more congenial condition for the growth of bacteria, which, in turn, make
for better crop production. Lime is also beneficial through furnishing the
element calcium with which other plant foods combine chemically and
thereby become soluble in the soil water. Unless plant foods are in a
state of solution, they cannot be absorbed by plant roots. Lime is a
potent force in creating chemical reactions in the soil, resulting in the
stimulation of growth through increased absorption of essential elements
in solution.

Lime also benefits soils of a clayey nature through its ability to cement
together the fine clay particles and in that way create air spaces so
greatly needed in tight clay soils. Lime is beneficial, too, in the case
of soils which have a large proportion of sand or large particles, and
serves as an agent in creating a better condition of tilth and of moisture

It makes little difference in what form lime is applied. It may be
purchased and applied in the form of ground limestone, a rock rich in
calcium which has been mechanically ground to a very great degree of
fineness. It can also be applied in the form of hydrated lime. This is
obtained by heating ground limestone and slaking it by adding water. A
common example of this is the slaking of lime for whitewashing purposes.
Another good source of lime is finely ground shells of oysters or other
forms of sea life which collect the calcium from sea water and deposit it
in their shells.

_Adjusting the Water Content of Soils._--Aside from the supplying of water
by irrigation, a rather costly process under most conditions, the water
resources of most soils can be greatly increased by adding to their humus
content. Humus, which, it has been pointed out, is decaying vegetable
matter, serves as a sponge for the absorption of soil water and for
underground water supplies. Therefore, the more humus that can be plowed
into the soil, other conditions being equal, the greater is the ability of
the plants growing in that soil to withstand drouth. As soils are
cultivated, the tendency is for the humus to become "burned out" and to
have a reduced moisture-holding capacity. To overcome this tendency, it is
necessary to add vegetable matter to the soil whenever it is possible.
Incidentally, the incorporation of large quantities of humus in the soil
creates a condition of acidity which may call for the application of lime
as a corrective.

There are many acres of land which contain too much water in the area that
roots should penetrate to permit of optimum plant growth. Roots of most
plants will not penetrate where there is an excess of water, and air
cannot circulate where moisture is superabundant. Usually these conditions
exist where the soil is of a clayey nature. The abundance of water may be
caused by the inability of surface water to percolate through the soil. It
may take so long, due to the nature of the soil, for this water to pass
through the lower depths of subsoil that the roots of plants are destroyed
by lack of oxygen. In such cases the application of lime, increasing the
humus content, and deeper plowing will be found helpful. Occasionally, the
discharge of dynamite or blasting powder in the area, if it appears to be
in the form of a pocket, will break up the hard pan subsoil and permit the
water to escape. Less dependence is now being placed on this means of
correcting a wet condition of the soil than was the case some years ago.

A similar condition of overabundant water in soil may be due to the
presence of springs or to a high water table. Little can be done to
correct a condition where the water table itself is so close to the
surface as to inhibit plant growth and this is assuredly one of the
factors to be looked into before a tract is purchased. Where the surplus
water is evidently being supplied by a spring, an underdrain made of tile
pipe, 3 or 4 inches in diameter, can be laid as a means of conducting the
water into a ditch or adjoining drain. In laying such a drain, it should
be placed above the area where the wet soil surface is most evident. If
such a drain is laid 18 inches to 3 feet deep above the wet area, it will
cut off the water seeping down underground and carry it away. Good results
cannot be secured if the drain is laid directly in the area of extreme
wetness or if it does not cut off the flow of water before it reaches the
area that is consistently too wet for plant growth.

From what has been said in this brief description of soil treatment and
soil improvement, it is evident that one must live with his soil for some
time in order to understand it and to be able intelligently to correct its
deficiencies, overcome its weaknesses and make it capable of supporting
plants which are desirable from the owner's point of view. In the great
majority of cases, the improvement process, while a slow one, is far from
hopeless and almost any soil that is not extremely sandy or clayey can be
so intelligently treated as to make it productive.

_Cultivation._--Any discussion of soil treatment is not complete without
mention of cultivation. Intelligent cultivation is an essential factor in
securing adequate crops. It is interesting to recall that the word
"manure," which has come to mean fertilization or fertilizer, is derived
from the Latin word "_manus_" meaning "hand" and implying "manipulation"
of the soil, which we now call cultivation. Cultivation has been most
frequently practiced as a method of destroying weeds, thereby making all
of the available plant food subject to absorption by the roots of the
desired plants and not by the intruders we call weeds. Cultivation does
more than destroy weeds, however. It opens up the soil so that air
containing atmospheric nitrogen can penetrate it and so that the bacteria
requiring air for their best growth may have it available. Furthermore,
cultivation conserves moisture and is more essential during dry periods in
the growing season than at any other time.

We know that in entering the soil the rain water follows certain channels
in and around the soil particles on its way to the subsoil. When the rain
has ceased and the top layer of soil becomes dry, the tendency is for the
water to work up through these same channels to the surface, where it
evaporates. Cultivation, by breaking up these channels, or capillary
tubes, checks the escape of moisture into the air. It creates a blanket of
dry surface soil which insulates the soil moisture from the air above. The
tendency of soil moisture to reestablish capillary methods of escape makes
recultivation necessary from time to time in dry weather. Care must, of
course, be taken that the cultivation is not harmful to roots of growing
plants. If these roots are disturbed or destroyed through cultivation,
more harm than good may result because of the damage to the root systems.

_Farm Power and Equipment._--Where the land area to be cultivated is
larger than the family garden some type of equipment for working the land,
propelled by horse or motor, will be found desirable and in larger areas
essential. One or more horses may be used where there are stabling
facilities and where arrangements can be made for the daily care and
feeding that these animals require. A horse suitable for work purposes may
be obtained for less than $200. The price will, of course, depend upon the
age and physical soundness of the animal, but should not exceed $150 for a
physically sound animal under ten years old. A person unskilled in the
assessing of animal values should obtain the services of a veterinarian or
an experienced horseman in making a selection. A horse for this purpose
should be of quiet, tractable disposition, bred and broken for work
purposes. The cost of caring for a horse for one year will approximate
$125, including feed and bedding, but without labor charge.

Leather harness costing $25 to $50 will be required and in addition tools,
including a plow, a harrow, and a cultivator costing about $15 each. Other
special equipment such as a mower will cost considerably more, depending
upon the type used.

If the members of the family are fond of animals and willing to assume the
responsibility for their daily care, the horse will be found an efficient
and useful source of power for tilling the land. In this connection it
should be pointed out that flies breed with great rapidity in the strawy
manure of the stable, and such wastes should be spread upon the land
almost daily or treated to prevent fly-breeding.

_Tractor Power._--Just as large tractors have supplanted horses and
horse-drawn equipment on thousands of farms in the United States, the
so-called garden tractor has become increasingly popular for the tilling
of small acreages. The tractor requires "feed" only when it is working, is
not subject to the ills that beset animals, and may be used for
twenty-four hours a day if necessary. It makes an appeal to the
mechanically minded members of the household and, if properly cared for,
will give economical and lasting service.

The usual type of garden tractor consists of two large wheels with lugs on
them to give traction and is driven by a one- or two-cylinder motor. A
plow, a cultivator, or mower may be attached to the drawbar, the operator
walking behind and regulating the speed and guiding the outfit by handles
provided for the purpose. Earlier types of these machines were not always
satisfactory owing to construction weaknesses and occasionally balky
motors. Those now on the market, however, are greatly improved, require
less attention, and rival their big brothers, the powerful farm tractors,
in dependability.

There are a number of types and makes of garden tractors now on the
market, ranging in price from $175 or less to $400, the cost depending
largely upon the size and capacity of the motor. In selecting a
satisfactory garden tractor attention should be directed to the simplicity
and power of the motor, the type of bearings, the method of lubrication of
all moving parts, the working speed and the economy of fuel. Bearings
ought to be of standard, long-wearing type since these are subject to hard
service. Two speeds are desirable, a slow one for heavy duty and a faster
one for lighter work. The tractor should operate all day on about 2
gallons of gasoline and a quart of oil. In addition to power applied at
the drawbar where special tools are attached, a pulley will be found a
desirable accessory for operating belt machinery such as small feed mills,
pumps, and cream separators. The rating of the motor should be not less
than 3 horsepower at the drawbar for the ordinary tasks it will be called
upon to perform.

All types of attachments are available for the garden tractor. These
include plows, disks, harrows, cultivators, mowers, fertilizer
distributors, planters, sowers and seeding accessories. The prices of
these vary according to make and quality. Levers are provided for
adjusting the depth of plowing, cultivating and seeding. Some of the large
type garden tractors are equipped with a seat on a sulky attached to the
machine so that the operator can ride and have complete control over speed
and the type of work he wishes to do. A modern garden tractor will be
found very useful in taking care of a lawn or garden. In the case of
larger areas under cultivation, but not of field size, this type of
machine is rapidly gaining popularity for performing efficiently and
economically the numerous jobs that are to be done on every small farm.


Select a soil type that is inherently productive, fertile, retentive of
moisture and easily cultivated.

Supplement soil fertility by adding chemical fertilizers either singly or
in combination.

Buy mixed fertilizers on the basis of guaranteed analyses.

Use legumes (peas, beans, etc.) to add nitrogen to soils and increase
humus content.

Add specific bacteria for the production of various legumes.

Use manure and green crops to supply humus.

Apply lime when soil test shows need for it as plant food and general soil

Practice methods that make soils absorptive of moisture and permit escape
of excess water.

Cultivate the soil to check escape of moisture and to kill weeds.

Use a horse or garden tractor for cultivation of areas larger than the
family garden.


Don't buy land that is continually wet and swampy.

Don't expect to produce satisfactory crops on soils that are extremely
heavy or clayey or so sandy as to quickly lose moisture and fertility.

Don't try to produce crops without maintaining the humus supply in the

Don't neglect cultivation as a means of conserving moisture, destroying
weeds and stimulating root growth.

_Chapter_ VII


The home vegetable garden should supply an important part of the food for
every family living in the country. Vegetables that are of the right
varieties and that are fresh and properly prepared are nutritious,
wholesome and economical. Not only does the well-organized home garden
reduce the cost of feeding the family, but it constitutes an effective
method of maintaining better health among all members of the household.
Even common vegetables that are grown from the best varieties and served
fresh will be a revelation to those accustomed to buying them in stores.
Deterioration in quality and palatability begins immediately in vegetables
when they are harvested. The more perishable the commodity, the greater is
the rate of deterioration.

The commercial vegetable grower usually inclines toward varieties that are
capable of producing a heavy yield per acre or that stand shipment and
temporary storage with the least apparent loss from deterioration. In
order to have his products reach the consumer in an attractive condition,
the commercial grower usually must harvest them before they are at their
best. The channels through which vegetables and fruits pass on their way
to the city consumer are devious, slow and costly. Such a consumer
therefore usually receives so-called fresh products that have been removed
from the plant or the soil before maturity is attained and after such
already poor quality has deteriorated through aging processes.

All these disadvantages of vegetables purchased in the city are eliminated
by the possessor of a garden where he may produce his family's needs (and
they are genuine needs) in the way of fresh vegetables. These products are
essential in supplying such necessary elements as minerals, vitamins,
acids, and cellulose. Dietary authorities advise that leafy vegetables,
sometimes called "greens," contain food elements not found in root
vegetables. For the maintenance of health, the diet should include a
variety of vegetables besides potatoes.

_Assets of a Garden._--A garden is a source of recreation, pleasure and
satisfaction to every member of the family. Real enjoyment can be had by
working in it a little time each day. To those whose work may be sedentary
and of a routine nature, the garden furnishes a source of inspiration
and adventure. Daily evidences of plant growth and the novelty of having
vegetables of one's own growing stimulate interest in it. The garden is an
aid in maintaining health through physical exercise and the liberal
consumption of the fruits of labor. There is no other avenue of activity
that can afford so much in the way of health, economical recreation and
pleasure as a well-planned garden.

[Illustration: (_Courtesy New Jersey Agricultural Extension Service_)

The well-planned garden furnishes food throughout the year for the entire

Having decided on a garden, the question immediately arises as to the
procedure to be followed to get the most out of it. Special attention has
been given to this problem by experts throughout the country and specific
recommendations are now available on the subject at state agricultural
colleges. These cover varieties, planting dates, adequate area,
fertilization, rotation of crops and storage. Typical recommendations
along these lines are given here for the north-central and eastern states.
Readers living elsewhere may wish to check them with the practices
recommended by authorities in their home states.

_Vegetable Growing by Rule._--The most effective method of presenting the
story of recommended vegetables, desirable varieties, seed required,
average yields and other pertinent data is in tabular form, such as that
used in Table I, which has been prepared for the aid of home vegetable
gardeners by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, and which is
based on years of study of the subject. Table II, prepared by the Michigan
State College of Agriculture, shows the amount of seed that should be
purchased to supply an adequate quantity and variety of important
vegetables for a family of six persons.

Examination of the planting table will show that the setting of plants or
roots is occasionally recommended instead of the use of seed. This is
desirable in some cases to get quicker results and in other cases is
essential if a crop is to be secured during a normal growing season. While
it is possible for the grower to raise these plants, or sets, himself,
usually more satisfactory results can be obtained through buying them from
a capable plant grower. The growing of sets is a specialized business
requiring conditions of heat, moisture, fertility and skill, frequently
beyond the patience and capacity of the amateur. There are plant growers
in nearly every neighborhood who will grow the needed plants at small
cost. Arrangements should be made in advance for growing the varieties or
strains that are wanted, and usually the grower can furnish his own seed
for the plants if that seems desirable to him. One desiring to grow one's
own plants from seed can secure full information from a practical grower
or from state and county agricultural agencies.



                   |                      |       |       |  Distance  |
                   |                      |       |       |  between   |
                   |                      |  Seed | Depth |  rows for  |
    Name of        |        Variety       |  for  |to sow |cultivation,|
    vegetable      |                      |  100- | seed, |  inches    |
                   |                      |  row  |inches |            |
                   |                      |       |       +------+-----+
                   |                      |       |       |Horse | Hand|
  Asparagus        |Washington, Palmetto  |1-yr.- |8-10   | 5 ft.|4 ft.|
                   |                      |old    |roots  |      |     |
                   |                      |roots  |       |      |     |
  Beans            |                      |       |       |      |     |
    Green bush     |Stringless Green Pod, |1/2 pt.|1-1-1/2|   30 |  18 |
                   |Bountiful             |       |       |      |     |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
    Yellow bush    |Currie's Rust Proof,  |1/2 pt.|1-1-1/2|   30 |  18 |
                   |Davis' White Wax      |       |       |      |     |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
    Pole green     |Kentucky Wonder,      |1/2 pt.|1-1-1/2|   36 |  30 |
                   |Old Homestead         |       |       |      |     |
    Bush lima      |Fordhook              |1/2 pt.|1-1-1/2|   30 |  30 |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
    Pole lima      |King of the Garden    |1/2 pt.|1-1-1/2|   48 |  36 |
  Beets--early     |Crosby's Egyptian     |1 oz.  |   1   |   28 |  15 |
         Late      |Detroit Dark Red      |       |       |      |     |
  Cabbage--early   |Jersey Wakefield,     |1 pkt. |    1/2|   30 |  30 |
                   |Copenhagen Market     |       |       |      |     |
  Cabbage--late    |Danish Ball Head,     |1 pkt. |    1/2|   36 |  30 |
                   |Succession,           |       |       |      |     |
  Cantaloupe       |Early Knight,         |1/2 oz.|   1   |54-60 |  40 |
                   |Fordhook              |       |       |      |     |
  Carrots          |Chantenay,            |1 oz.  |    1/2|   30 |  15 |
                   |Oxheart               |       |       |      |     |
  Celery           |Golden Self-blanching,|1 pkt. |    1/4|   36 |  30 |
                   |Easy Blanching        |       |       |      |     |
  Corn--early      |Golden Bantam,        |1/4 lb.|   1   |    36|   30|
                   |Howling Mob           |       |       |      |     |
  Corn--late       |Golden Bantam,        |1/4 lb.|   1   |    36|   30|
                   |Evergreen             |       |       |      |     |
  Cucumber         |White Spine,          |1/2 oz.|1/2-1  | 48-60|   48|
                   |Davis Perfect         |       |       |      |     |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
  Eggplant         |New York Improved,    |1 pkt. |    1/2|    48|   48|
                   |Black Beauty          |       |       |      |     |
  Endive           |Green Curled, Broad   |1 pkt. |    1/2|    30|   18|
                   |Leaved Batavian       |       |       |      |     |
  Kale             |Scotch Curled,        |1 pkt. |    1/2|    30|   18|
                   |Siberian (over winter)|       |       |      |     |
  Kohlrabi         |White Vienna          |1 pkt. |    1/2|    30|   15|
  Lettuce          |                      |       |       |      |     |
    Spring and fall|Green-leaved Big Bos. |1 pkt. |    1/2| 18-20|   15|
    Summer         | N. Y. Salamander     |1 pkt. |    1/2| 18-20|   15|
    Romaine        | G. R. Exp., Trianon  |1 pkt. |    1/2| 18-20|   15|
  Okra             |Perkins Long Pod      |1 oz.  |   1   |    36|   30|
  Onion sets       |Yellow Strasburg,     |1 qt.  |   1   |    18|   14|
                   |Japanese (Eberheser)  |       |       |      |     |
  Onion seed       |Yellow Globe Danvers, |1 oz.  |    1/2|    18|   14|
                   |Southport Globe       |       |       |      |     |
  Parsnips         |Hollow Crown          |1/2 oz.|    1/2|    18|   15|
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
  Peas             |Little Marvel,        |1 pt.  |1-1-1/2|    30|   30|
                   |Laxtonian, Telephone  |       |       |      |     |
  Peppers          |Ruby King, Pimento    |1 pkt. |    1/2|   36 |  30 |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
  Potatoes         |Irish Cob., Green Mts.|1/2 pk.|3-4    |   36 |  36 |
  Pumpkins         |Cheese, Small Sugar   |1 oz.  |    1/2|   60 |  60 |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
  Radish           |Scarlet Globe, Icicle |1/2 oz.|    12 |   15 |   5 |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
  Rhubarb          |Victoria              |Roots  |5-6    |   48 |  48 |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
  Spinach--spring  |Bloomsdale, Savoy     |1/2 oz.|    1/2|   20 |  15 |
  Spinach--summer  |New Zealand           |1 oz.  |   1   |   48 |  36 |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
  Spinach--fall    |Va. Dis., Resist.     |1/2 oz.|    1/2|   20 |  15 |
                   |Savoy                 |       |       |      |     |
  Squash--summer   |Gold. Sum. Crookneck, |1 oz.  |1-1-1/2|   48 |  48 |
                   |White Bush Scallop    |       |       |      |     |
  Squash--winter   |Boston Marrow,        |1 oz.  |1-1-1/2|   72 |  72 |
                   |Warted Hubbard        |       |       |      |     |
  Sweet potatoes   |Yel. Jersey           |Plants |  --   |   36 |  36 |
  Swiss chard      |Lucullus              |1 oz.  |    1/2|   30 |  30 |
                   |                      |       |       |      |     |
  Tomatoes--early  |Chalk's Early         |Plants |    1/2|   48 |  36 |
                   |Jewel, Bonny Best     |       |       |      |     |
  Tomatoes--late   |Matchless, Stone      |Plants |    1/2|   48 |  36 |
  Turnips          |Purple Top Strap. Leaf|1 pkt. |    1/2|   24 |  15 |
  Rutabagas        |Golden Ball,          |1 pkt. |    1/2|   24 |  15 |
                   |Lg. Island Improved   |1 pkt. |    1/2|   24 |  15 |

          |        |            |             |
          |        |            |             |Average
  Distance|Time of |            |   Average   | days
  between |planting|  Time of   |   yield     | from
  plants  |seed    |  harvest   |   100-foot  | seed
  in row, |outdoors|            |   row       |  to
  inches  |        |            |             |harvest
          |        |            |             |
       16 |   --   |Spring-     |15 2-lb.     |2 yr.
          |        |July 1      |bunches      |
          |        |            |             |
          |        |            |             |
        3 |Apr 15  |June 20     |2 bu.        | 40-65
          |July 15 |Sept. 15-   |             |
          |        |    Frost   |             |
        3 |Apr. 15 |June 20     |2 bu.        | 50-70
          |July 15 |Sept. 15-   |2-2-1/2 bu.  | 95-100
          |        |    Frost   |             |
    10-30 |May 1-20|Aug. 15     |2-2-1/2 bu.  | 95-100
          |        |            |             |
       10 |May 1-  |Aug. 1-Frost|2 bu.        |110-120
          |July    |            |             |
       36 |May 15  |Aug. 1-Frost|2 bu.        |110-120
      2-3 |Apr. 1  |July 15     |2-2/1/2 bu.  | 45-60
          |July 20 |Nov. 15     |             |
       18 |Apr. 15 |July-Sept.  |45-55 heads  |100-120
          |        |            |             |
       18 |July 1  |Oct.-Nov.   |45-55 heads  |120-150
          |        |            |             |
  48 hill |May 15  |Aug. 10     |6-8 fruits   | 90-1l0
          |        |            |per hill     |
  1-1-1/2 |Apr. 1  |Aug. 1      |2 bu.        | 65-90
          |July 1  |Nov.        |             |
        6 |June 1  |Sept. 15    |200 stalks   |120-150
          |        |            |             |
  15 or 30|May 1   |July 12     |4 doz. ears  | 60-75
    hill  |        |            |             |
  18 or 30|June 15 |Aug. 20-    |4 doz. ears  | 75-90
    hill  |July 1  |   Frost    |             |
  48 hill |May 15  |July 10     |200 cucumbers| 60-75
          |        |Aug. 20     |1-1/2 bu.    |
          |        |            |  pickles    |
        48|June 1  | Aug. 20-   |125 fruits   |140-160
          |        |   Frost    |             |
        56|Apr. 15 |June 15     |65 plants    | 60-90
          |July 15 |Oct.-Nov.   |             |
        18|Apr. 1  |June 1      |60 bu.       | 55-65
          |Sept. 1 |Apr.        |             |
       3-4|Apr. 15 |June 15     |2 bu.        | 50-70
          |Apr. 15-|Aug. 15-Oct.|             |
     14-18|June 1  |Oct.        |70 head      | 70-90
     14-18|May 15  |June 1      |70 head      | 70-90
     14-18|Aug. 1  |July-Aug.   |70 head      | 70-90
     10-15|May 15  |Aug. 10     |900-1000 pod | 90-140
         1|Apr 1   |May 15      |140 bunches  | 45-75
          |        |            |             |
         1|Apr. 1  |Aug. 20     |1-1/2-2 bu.  |110-130
          |        |            |             |
       3-4|Apr. 1- |Sept.-Nov.  |2 bu.        |140-160
          | May 15 |            |             |
         2|Apr. 1- |June 10-July|2 bu.        | 45-70
          |     15 |            |   (in pods) |
    18-20 |May 15  |Aug. 15-    |5 bu.        |125-150
          |        |     Frost  |(6 per plant)|
       14 |Apr. 15 |July 1      |3 bu.        | 90-120
       48 |May 15  |Sept. 1-    |75 pumpkins  | 70- 90
          |        |      Frost |             |
        1 |Apr. 15 |June 1      |100 bunches  | 30-65
          |Sept. 1 |Oct. 25     |             |
       48 |Mar.-Apr|May-Nov.    |8-10 stalks  |  1 yr.
          |        |            |plant        |
        2 |Mar.    |May         |3 bu.        | 45
       36 |Apr. 15 |June 15     |Cut all      | 65-120
          |        |            |summer       |
        2 |Aug. 15-|Oct.-Nov.   |3 bu.        | 50-60
          |Sept. 15|            |             |
       48 |May 1   |July 10     |136 squash   | 60-70
          |        |            |             |
       48 |June 1  |Oct.        |75 squash    |120-130
          |        |            |             |
       18 |May 15  |Oct. 1-10   |3 bu.        |140-150
        6 |Apr. 15 |June 5-     |Pull until   | 50
          |        |     Frost  |   frost     |
       36 |May 15  |July 10-Aug.|4 bu.        |120-150
          |        |            |             |
       36 |June 1  |Aug. l-Frost|4 bu.        |150-170
        2 |Apr. 1  |June 1      |2 bu.        | 45-70
        2 |Aug. 1  |Oct.-Nov.   |2 bu.        | 45-70
        2 |Aug. 1  |Oct.-Nov.   |2 bu.        | 45-70



    Vegetable              | Amount to purchase
  Asparagus                | 66 plants
  Beans, snap (in variety) |  2 to 3 pounds
  Beans, bush lima         |  1 pound
  Beet                     |  4 ounces
  Cabbage:                 |
  Early                    | 1 packet
  Late                     | 1/2 ounce
  Carrot                   | 1 ounce
  Cauliflower              | 1 packet
  Celery                   | 1 packet
  Corn, sweet              | 2 pounds
  Cucumber                 | 1 ounce
  Eggplant                 | 1 packet
  Kale                     | 1 ounce
  Lettuce                  | 1/2 ounce
  Muskmelon                | 1 ounce
  Onion sets               | 4 quarts
  Onion seed               | 1 ounce
  Peas                     | 2 to 4 pounds
  Parsley                  | 1 packet
  Parsnip                  | 1 ounce
  Radish (in variety)      | 2 ounces
  Rhubarb                  | 20 plants
  Salsify                  | 1 ounce
  Spinach                  | 1 pound
  New Zealand spinach      | 1 ounce
  Summer pumpkin           | 1 ounce
  Winter pumpkin           | 2 ounces
  Squash                   | 2 ounces
  Tomatoes                 | 1 packet or 50 plants
  Turnip                   | 4 ounces
  Rutabaga                 | 1 ounce
  Watermelon               | 2 ounces

_Planning and Operating a Home Garden._--In planning the home vegetable
garden there are a few essential points to be kept in mind. The time to
plan the garden is in winter when adequate consideration can be given to
the selection of those vegetables that the family likes best and can use
in large amounts. Seeds required should be ordered early for the entire
garden. By drawing the plan of the garden on paper and following it, the
procedure is simplified and the most efficient results attained.

Vegetables should be planted in rows rather than in beds, and those
maturing at about the same time should be grouped together to facilitate
succession planting. After the early-maturing crops have been harvested,
other crops can be sown on the same area, thus fully utilizing the land
throughout the growing season. Perennial crops, including asparagus and
rhubarb, should be kept by themselves.

A practical farmer wanting to express perfection in soil preparation is
apt to say, "It is just like a garden." This implies good fertility,
optimum moisture conditions and proper tilth. To attain these conditions
in garden soil it is desirable to cover it with strawy manure some time
previous to plowing, in order that rains may carry the soluble fertility
elements into the surface inches of the soil. In the early spring a
thorough job of plowing or spading should be done to reasonable depth,
completely covering the surface straw or dead plants. Every two or three
years lime should be applied after plowing and worked into the top soil at
the rate of 1 pound of hydrated lime to every 25 square feet of soil.

_Fertilizing and Culture._--The fertility supplied through application of
manure should be supplemented by the use of commercial fertilizer. This
can be purchased in burlap bags from local supply agencies and should
contain about 5 per cent nitrogen, 8 per cent phosphoric acid and 7 per
cent potash. Moderate variations in analysis from 5-8-7, as above, are not
important so long as the amounts of each element are well balanced. The
fertilizer should be broadcast over the garden after plowing, at the rate
of 1 pound to every 25 square feet and worked into the soil before
planting. Poultry or sheep manure may be used as top dressing to alternate
with commercial fertilizer. It should be borne in mind that such animal
manures are richer in nitrogen than in other elements and if used to
excess may stimulate leaf growth at the expense of yield and quality.

Frequent shallow cultivations are desirable. The ordinary wheel hoe will
be found helpful in the cultivating procedure. It should be well
understood that cultivation is essential to prevent weed growth and
conserve moisture.

If watering or irrigating is necessary in dry weather, it should be
thoroughly done. One soaking of the soil to a depth of 4 to 6 inches is
far more effective than frequent light sprinklings. The latter may be more
harmful than beneficial through reestablishing capillary movement,
permitting the escape of subsoil moisture. Water should be applied under
the same conditions that apply when rain falls--on cloudy days or after
sunset to prevent "baking" or encrusting of the surface soil as well as to
conserve the amount of water needed.

_Meeting the Insect Problem._--The sponsor of a garden in which
diversified vegetables are grown must be prepared to meet the onslaught of
equally diversified insect species. While it is true that insects are
multiplying as to species and voraciousness, it is equally true that
methods of control are becoming available to cope adequately with most of
them. One unfamiliar with our insect infestations will be amazed to find
that certain species apparently have had advance notice of his intentions
and are sitting about the planted rows awaiting the appearance of the
tender shoots.

One of the best methods of combating insects is to create ideal conditions
for plant growth. Plants that are underfed through inadequate soil
fertility or are weakened by other causes suffer severely from insect
attack, while vigorous plants will come through with much less damage. It
is advisable to insure rapid germination of seed through careful soil
preparation, to seed at the proper time for a quick and vigorous start and
to have sufficient available fertility to stimulate growth once the plants
have started.

There are two distinct classes of insects, the division being based upon
their feeding habits. The larger group, both in the size of the insects
themselves and in the number of species, is the leaf-chewing group. These
can be destroyed by the application of stomach poisons to the plants under
attack. The other group consists of the sucking insects, which penetrate
the veins carrying nourishment to the leaves and appropriate it for
themselves. Such insects multiply with extreme rapidity, generally feed on
the underside of the leaves and may cause complete wilting of the plant
before their presence is suspected. In such cases a "contact" spray or
dust must be used. This is based on the principle of causing the insect to
"inhale" the material through breathing pores along its body. The
insecticide must be composed of extremely fine particles or must be of
such an oily nature that it will readily penetrate such pores. In
addition to these, certain repellent materials are being developed which
cause the insect to seek food where the disagreeable conditions do not



   Plants attacked |   Chewing    |   Character   |      Treatment
                   |   insects    |   of damage   |
  Tomato, pepper,  |Flea Beetles  |They gnaw or   |Dust or spray with
  eggplant, turnip,|              |eat small holes|a prepared nicotine
  cabbage, etc.    |              |in the leaves. |or pyrethrum mixture.
                   |              |               |Bordeaux mixture
                   |              |               |sprayed, or dusting
                   |              |               |for disease is also
                   |              |               |effective as
                   |              |               |a repellent.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  Asparagus        |Asparagus     |Feeds on the   |Dust with either
                   |Beetle        |shoots and     |arsenate of lead or
                   |              |brush.         |calcium arsenate,
                   |              |               |mixed with 1 part of
                   |              |               |wheat flour. Spray
                   |              |               |with arsenate of lead
                   |              |               |or calcium arsenate,
                   |              |               |1 tablespoonful if a
                   |              |               |paste or 1/2
                   |              |               |tablespoonful if a
                   |              |               |powder, and 1
                   |              |               |tablespoonful of lime
                   |              |               |to 1 gallon of water.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  All kinds of     |Mexican Bean  |Eats the under |Dust with 1 part of
  beans            |Beetle        |side of leaves |magnesium arsenate
                   |              |               |mixed with 3 parts of
                   |              |               |lime, or dust the
                   |              |               |yellow larva under
                   |              |               |the leaves with a
                   |              |               |pyrethrum dust.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
                  {|Cabbage Maggot|               |Keep the ground
                  {|              |               |thoroughly cultivated
                  {|              |               |around the base of
  Early cabbage   {|              |               |the plant or use tar
  and cauliflower {|              |               |paper discs for
                  {|              |               |larger plantings.
                  {|              |               |
                  {|Common Cabbage|Feed on the    |Same as for asparagus
                  {|Worm          |shoots and     |beetle. Pyrethrum
                  {|and Cabbage   |brush.         |dust is also very
                  {|Looper        |               |effective.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  Cucumber, squash,|Striped       |Eats the leaves|Protect with a
  and melons.      |Cucumber      |and the stem of|cheesecloth or do the
                   |Beetle        |the very young |same as for the
                   |              |plants.        |asparagus beetle.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  Pumpkins and     |Squash Vine   |Kills the vines|Take a sharp
  squashes         |Borer         |by eating in   |thin-bladed penknife
                   |              |the stem.      |and slit the stem
                   |              |               |lengthwise, opening
                   |              |               |it and killing the
                   |              |               |borer. Then bank the
                   |              |               |ground around the
                   |              |               |stem of the plant.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  Tomato, eggplant,|Potato Beetle |Eats the       |Same as for Cabbage
  potato           |              |leaves.        |Worm.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  Tomato           |Tomato Horn   |Eats the       |Same as for Common
                   |Worm          |leaves.        |Cabbage Worm.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  Tomato fruits    |Tomato Fruit  |Eats the tomato|Same as for Cabbage
                   |Worm          |fruits.        |Worm.
                   |              |               |
  Tomato, eggplant,|Cutworms      |Cut the plants |Protect with paper
  pepper, cabbage, |              |off near       |collars placed
  and other crops. |              |the surface    |around the stem of
                   |              |of the ground. |the plant, extending
                   |              |               |2 or 3 inches above
                   |              |               |the ground, or
                   |              |               |distribute poisoned
                   |              |               |bran mash, placing
                   |              |               |it near the plant.
                   |              |               |Thoroughly mix
                   |              |               |2 level
                   |              |               |tablespoonfuls of
                   |              |               |paris green in
                   |              |               |5 pounds of dry bran,
                   |              |               |then add from 4 to 6
                   |              |               |quarts of water in
                   |              |               |which 1/2 pint of
                   |              |               |cheap molasses has
                   |              |               |been mixed. Cutworms
                   |              |               |work at night,
                   |              |               |therefore apply the
                   |              |               |mash in the late
                   |              |               |afternoon or
                   |              |               |evening.
   Plants attacked |   Sucking    |   Character   |      Treatment
                   |   insects    |   of damage   |
  Tomato, potato,  |Leaf Hopper   |Feeds under the|Dust or spray with
  strawberries,    |              |leaf, causing  |a prepared nicotine
  and beans.       |              |a whitening and|or pyrethrum mixture.
                   |              |curve of the   |Bordeaux mixture is
                   |              |leaves with    |also effective as
                   |              |a dying of the |a repellent.
                   |              |edges.         |
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  Practically all  |Aphis         |Sucks the      |Either dust or spray
  garden vegetable |(plant lice)  |juices on the  |with a nicotine or
  plants.          |              |under side of  |pyrethrum mixture as
                   |              |the leaves and |recommended on the
                   |              |on the stems.  |package. Be sure to
                   |              |               |hit the insects on
                   |              |               |the under side of the
                   |              |               |leaves.
                   |              |               |
                   |              |               |
  Cabbage group,   |Red Spider    |Sucks the      |Apply a dusting
  strawberries,    |              |juices from the|sulfur.
  and beans.       |              |under side of  |
                   |              |the leaves,    |
                   |              |producing      |
                   |              |a whitish cast |
                   |              |on the cabbage |
                   |              |group and      |
                   |              |a brownish cast|
                   |              |on the other   |
                   |              |groups.        |
                   |              |Especially     |
                   |              |prevalent      |
                   |              |during         |
                   |              |prolonged dry  |
                   |              |hot spells.    |

Table III (pages 107-108) describes the character of damage done by both
groups of insects, the plants attacked and the most effective methods of


Grow vegetables for health, recreation and economy.

Organize the vegetable garden for a maximum of output, variety of foods
and to facilitate its care.

Use lime and chemical fertilizer or manure liberally for intensive

Combat insects by stimulating plant growth and by using appropriate lethal


Don't plant a garden in hit-or-miss fashion, if maximum food return is

Don't neglect first appearances of insect damage. Find out the cause of
injury and use recommended measures for control.

_Chapter_ VIII


A wide variety of fruits may be grown satisfactorily for home use. Where
no fruit trees are growing the best plan is to set out individual trees or
bush fruits of the standard types and varieties, adding to the collection
later as the needs of the family develop and the adaptability of the area
for varieties manifests itself through crop production.

All fruits thrive best on a deep, well-drained soil. It is difficult to
secure good results where the area is depressed and air drainage is poor.
Elevation of the area planted is desirable therefore from the standpoint
of both water and air drainage.

A number of questions confront the prospective grower of fruits. He needs
to know, among other things, the kind of fruit to plant, the necessary
distance between the trees or plants and the probable yield. The following
planting guide will be found helpful in answering these questions.



  Average|                |        |        |
  number |                |        |        |     Estimated yield
    of   |                |Distance|Distance|       at maturity
  plants |  Kind of fruit |between |between +------------+------------
    to   |                |  rows, | plants,|  Average   |   Average
    the  |                |  feet  | feet   |  per acre  |  per plant
   acre  |                |        |        |            |
      27 |Apples          |  40    |   40   |135 bushels |  5 bushels
      90 |Pears           |  22    |   22   |90 bushels  |  1 bushel
     200 |Quinces         |  16    |   16   |100 bushels |1/2 bushel
      90 |Peaches         |  22    |   22   |90 bushels  |  1 bushel
      90 |Nectarines      |  22    |   22   |90 bushels  |  1 bushel
      90 |Plums           |  22    |   22   |90 bushels  |  1 bushel
      90 |Cherries (sour) |  22    |   22   |90 bushels  |  1 bushel
      48 |Cherries (sweet)|  30    |   30   |50 bushels  |  1 bushel
   6,000 |Strawberries    | 3-1/2  |    2   |2,250 quarts|  3/4 pint
         | (matted row)   |        |        |            |   per stool
   1,800 |Raspberries     |   8    |    3   |2,000 quarts|  1 quart
   1,800 |Blackberries    |   8    |    3   |2,400 quarts|1-1/4 quarts
   1,200 |Dewberries      |   6    |    6   |1,800 quarts|  1 quart
         | (hill system)  |        |        |            |
   1,800 |Gooseberries    |   8    |    3   |5,400 quarts|  3 quarts
   1,800 |Currants        |   8    |    3   |3,600 quarts|  2 quarts
     680 |Grapes          |   8    |    8   |4,000 pounds|  6 pounds

The selection of varieties of tree fruits is highly important. Some sorts
are preeminently adapted to home use because of their high quality of
edibility while others are preferred for commercial production on account
of their good shipping qualities and high yields per acre. It is advisable
for the grower to inquire of his state agricultural college regarding
varieties to plant. Responsible nursery firms will also advise on
varieties that will best meet the needs of the purchaser from the
standpoint of family use and adaptability to soil and climatic

The following varieties are recommended for general home use in
north-central areas of the United States, subject to check by local
authorities. The apple and peach varieties are given in the order of

  Peaches (all freestone):
    Golden Jubilee
    Georgia Belle
    J. H. Hale
    Montmorency or Early Richmond (sour)
    Black Tartarian (sweet)
    Damson (blue)
    Burbank (red)

About fifty strawberry plants will be needed for a row 100 feet long.
Because of weed infestations in old beds, it will be more satisfactory to
set a new row each year and destroy the old one. The plants during the
season of setting should be trained to form a matted row about 2 feet
wide. Mulching the plants after a freeze in the fall with straw or other
similar material will prevent injury caused by "heaving" of the soil.

Currants and gooseberries should be pruned annually and only the one- or
two-year-old wood retained for production. Thinning out in this manner
will give better size and quality. Where the currant worm is troublesome
the foliage should be dusted with arsenate of lead or Paris green as soon
as it is well developed and before the fruit is started. About thirty
currant or gooseberry plants will be needed for a 100-foot row, and they
can be planted along a fence or other boundary line.

Blackberries and raspberries should be set 3 feet apart in the row, 100
feet requiring thirty to thirty-five plants. Old canes should be pruned
out after fruiting and the weaker new canes should be removed when
dormant, leaving 6 or 8 inches between the standing canes. Lateral
branches should be cut back in early spring to about 1 foot in length and
the upright canes cut back to uninjured wood, thus removing about
two-thirds of the growth.

Grapes need severe pruning to produce satisfactory yields of good quality.
This is best done in late winter. It is a good plan to prune so that from
15 to 30 or possibly 40 buds are left on each mature vine, depending upon
the vitality of the plant. Two or three clusters of fruit will develop on
the shoot that grows from each bud. A 100-foot row of grapes will require
twelve plants. There are many fine varieties of grapes and several can be
used in a single row.

In ordering stock for planting, care should be exercised in making sure of
the reliability of the nursery. As a general rule it is better to order
from a nursery in the vicinity, thus eliminating losses due to shipping
great distances and also making sure that the varieties or strains were
grown for use in the area in question. Upon the arrival of the stock from
the nursery, it should be "heeled in" at once. That is, the roots should
be covered in a trench so that they will not dry out before they can be
planted in the desired location. In the case of a few trees that can be
set immediately, this is not necessary.

Nearly all country places have sufficient area for planting small fruits
and, as is the case with vegetables, freshness and fine-flavored varieties
will compensate for the labor involved in growing them. Strawberries,
currants, gooseberries, blackberries, red and black raspberries and grapes
are especially desirable for home plantings. Some high-quality varieties
are given for the choice of the home owner, subject to confirmation by
authorities acquainted with specific conditions and intended primarily for
home use.

  Strawberries (in order of ripening):
    Howard 17
    Mastodon is recommended for the everbearing type.
    Eldorado for bush types
    Black Diamond for the trailing type requiring a trellis and
     ripening late in the season.
  Red Raspberries (in order of ripening):
  Black Raspberries:
  Grapes (general list, in order of ripening):
    Ontario (white)
    Fredonia (black)
    Delaware (red)
    Brighton (red)
    Golden Muscat (white)
    Concord (blue)
    Sheridan (black)
    For those desiring a succession of blue-black varieties,
      Fredonia, Concord and Sheridan are recommended.

_Controlling Insect and Fungous Pests._--Plant pests of various kinds
infest tree fruits and small fruits. In general, the best method of
controlling leaf-chewing insects is by applying arsenate of lead on the
foliage. Care must be taken to avoid staining the fruit with poisonous
spray or thorough washing will be necessary before it is safe to consume.
The control of other insect pests and fungous plant diseases has been well
worked out by agricultural experiment stations throughout the country, and
these methods should be sought before attempting any campaign of
suppression. A barrel spray pump, mounted on a hand truck or on a vehicle,
equipped with plenty of hose will be found satisfactory for spraying
plantings of modest size.

_Rejuvenating an Old Orchard._--The purchaser of an old-established farm
will usually find he has acquired some apple trees of uncertain age and
health. In many instances these trees can be renovated and rejuvenated so
that they will again bear fruit. If the trees have several sound limbs and
are making some growth each year, they may be considered worth saving. On
the other hand, broken tops and limbs accompanied by large rotted cavities
will create too great an expense if an attempt is made to restore them to
usefulness. The varieties should be determined before serious efforts at
renovation are undertaken, so that the strenuous work necessary for
restoration may not be wasted on undesirable fruit.

_Steps in Renovation._--The first operation in renovation is pruning. Most
of this should be done in early spring during the dormant season and
supplemented in June or July when the trees are in leaf. Large broken
limbs and dead wood should be removed, together with interfering branches,
and those reaching too high should be headed back. At about the same time
that pruning is started the loose bark should be thoroughly scraped off
and burned, thus destroying insects and fungi that attack the fruit.
Harboring places for further infestations are also thus removed. If the
trees are badly in need of pruning, it is best to do the job over a period
of two or three years rather than all at one time, due to the tendency of
trees to "sucker" and develop a multiplicity of small non-bearing

Spraying, fertilizing and cultivation, where that is possible, should
follow the pruning and scraping jobs. Spray schedules and cultural
practices best adapted to the region can be obtained without cost by
applying to state or county agricultural agencies. Ordinarily two or three
years are required to rejuvenate these trees and begin to secure a crop.
Production will then increase in quantity and quality during succeeding

_Bees as Pollinators._--The production of fruits of all kinds is dependent
upon pollination of their blossoms by bees and other winged insects. Bees
of many species are useful in pollen distribution, but the most important
is the honey bee, which is available in larger numbers just at flowering
time, seeking nectar from the flowers. In large commercial orchards
colonies of honey bees are set at regular intervals to insure adequate
pollination, usually one hive per acre.

A practical method of adding to county life enjoyment and adding to income
as well is the keeping of bees for honey production.

_Securing a Honey Crop._--Bee husbandry can be carried on successfully as
a specialized side line where only small areas of land are available.
Colonies can be located at one side of the garden or placed under trees
where they will not be disturbed either through accident or by cultivation
of the plot immediately surrounding them. The activity of the bees during
the nectar-gathering season, accompanied by the well-known hum as they
dart in and out of the hive, makes a genuine appeal to the country
dweller. This appeal is heightened by the fact that they are working for
him, in part at least, and without his having to pay for their raiding the
nectar from the flowers around. He knows that his efforts in providing
favorable working conditions for the bees will be repaid by a harvest of
salable honey. A colony at full strength just at the right time will
invariably gather a surplus.

_First Principles in Beekeeping._--The beginner in bee husbandry should
purchase established colonies from a reputable business concern or from
beekeepers in the neighborhood of his home. He should begin in a small way
with a few colonies, learn the business with a small investment and then
increase as his liking for the work develops and the market for the
product expands. Being able to read the signs at the entrance to the hive
is the surest way to success. Too much manipulation is just as harmful as
neglect. The novice in beekeeping who is really interested and follows
carefully a few details gained from a reliable bee book should harvest at
least 30 pounds of honey a year from each colony. Experts get much larger
yields and have been known to secure 200 pounds per colony and 200
sections of comb honey from one hive. The deciding factor in producing
honey is the skill of the watchful beekeeper, assuming of course that
there is a sufficient supply of nectar-secreting blossoms in the area.

The cost of engaging in bee husbandry is nominal. An established colony of
the preferred Italian bees should cost about $8. The equipment should
include two fitted supers for each colony in which the bees may store the
honey, costing about $3 each; a veil to protect the head and face,
linseed-oil-soaked canvas gloves, a bee smoker, a hive tool and a bee
escape (needed for removing the bees from filled supers), each item
costing less than a dollar. An additional piece of apparatus, a queen
"excluder," is needed for each hive, to keep the queen in the lower
chamber and prevent the mixing of stored honey surplus and developing

The principal nectar-secreting plants are the clovers, sumac, buckwheat,
cranberry and blueberry blossoms, goldenrod, asters and mallows. Since
these plants bloom at varying periods during the growing season, the
beekeeper will find it necessary to adjust his operations in accordance
with the nectar-producing capacity of his own region. The experience of
successful beekeepers will be found helpful as a guide in taking the
successive and orderly steps necessary to secure maximum honey crops. In
many states there are associations of beekeepers formed for mutual
advantage and the promotion of the industry. The novice can hardly expect
to learn unless he affiliates himself with such groups and attends their
meetings. Subscription to a good bee journal is also desirable.

[Illustration: Colonies of honey bees located near the source of nectar

_Selling the Product._--Honey can be marketed in the comb or in glass jars
in the extracted or crystal form. Many suburban beekeepers dispose of
their crop in their own neighborhood or at roadside stands. Many food
products are being promoted which contain honey as one ingredient, and
this opens an attractive field to the resourceful beekeeper. The healthful
qualities of honey for human consumption are being given greater
recognition and it appears that the market for locally produced honey of
high quality is steadily expanding.


Fruit trees should be included in every country homeowner's plan.

Be sure varieties are such as will yield, plentifully, good quality fruit.

Use bush fruits as ornamentals and sources of food to be put in cans.

Seek advice on fruit problems from the state agricultural college.

Old orchards may be rejuvenated under proper systems of management.

Use colonies of bees to pollinate fruit blossoms and to produce honey.

Begin bee husbandry in a small way at first and get advice from
experienced bee culturists.

Sell surplus honey in home markets.


Don't plant varieties of fruits that are ill adapted to climatic

Don't overlook the necessity of preparing for insect attacks in advance of

Don't establish bee colonies without making sure that proper care of them
can be taken.

Don't try to practice horticulture or bee husbandry without frequently
obtaining expert advice.

_Chapter_ IX


The majority of the owners of small farm properties are interested in the
possibilities of poultry keeping as a means of adding to the family
income. Efforts in this direction are logical from a number of angles. For
example, the keeping of poultry appeals to them as an interesting line of
work for the sake of the activity itself. Furthermore, the cost of housing
a comparatively large number of laying hens is not expensive, as compared
with the investment required in other agricultural enterprises. Again,
there is a ready market for the eggs and for the poultry in the
neighborhood where the enterprise is carried on. No doubt, too, the more
or less fabulous stories of easy profits have stimulated a desire to get
into this business and to make it a rather important source of income.
Again, there is the thought that the work involved in feeding and caring
for the flock can be carried on by another member of the family when the
owner or principal bread-winner is engaged in some other activity

All these factors have tended to develop in the mind of the settler in the
country a pretty definite idea that he can supplement the family income
with poultry. Sometimes this idea is erroneous and there is apt to be
little definite knowledge on the part of the new owner as to costs,
problems and profits that are likely to accrue. It is the thought of the
writer to outline some definite recommendations for the prospective
poultryman which will enable him to safeguard his investment and prevent
the very serious losses that have occurred to many who have not taken into
consideration all of the factors involved.

_Soil Type._--The prospective poultryman will, if he is wise, make sure
that the soil is adapted to the project. The ideal soil for poultry
raising is sufficiently porous to furnish good water drainage and yet not
so open or sandy as to be incapable of crop production. A porous soil is
warmer than a clay soil and is more conducive to good sanitation through
permitting moisture and debris to be carried quickly to the subsoil. If
the subsoil is of a gravelly nature the natural condition will be
improved. Presumably the same type of soil that will bear the poultry
plant should be capable of producing garden crops, growing shade or fruit
trees satisfactorily and producing grass and short-rooted crops that can
be used in conjunction with the poultry plant or the beautification of the
home surroundings. Consequently, the soil type must be productive and
capable of improvement while being well drained and conducive to good
sanitation. Heavy clay soils or those with rock strata close to the
surface are to be avoided.

Successful poultry farms are operated on both level and rolling lands.
Extremely flat topography should be avoided and also precipitous slopes.
If the site is on rolling land the poultry plant should be located on a
slope with southern exposure to secure warmth, quicker drying conditions
and protection from cold north winds.

_Breeds of Poultry._--Fowls have been domesticated and bred for ages all
over the world. As the result of various crossings a large number of types
or breeds of poultry are available for present-day use and propagation.
Some of these breeds are maintained for show or novelty purposes only and
furnish an interesting field for the fancier.

For the person who is engaging in the commercial poultry business the
choice of breed narrows to a very few utility types. For purely
egg-producing purposes or for broilers weighing slightly over a pound at
killing time, the light Mediterranean breeds are the most efficient. Less
feed is needed for maintaining the egg machine itself and less room per
bird required. Of these so-called egg breeds, the White Leghorn is in a
class by itself. This breed is noted for its large white-shelled eggs
which top the markets where this color egg is in demand. In the most
intensive egg-producing areas of the country the White Leghorn
predominates. On the other hand, this breed is not a good meat producer,
the mature birds being light in weight.

For the dual purpose of egg and meat production the American breeds are
the most popular. The principal commercial types of this general purpose
group are Plymouth Rocks, Wyandottes and Rhode Island Reds. In some
instances crosses of these breeds are proving good layers and highly
efficient meat producers.

The Rocks, Wyandottes and Reds have bright yellow skin, shanks and beak
which are desired in market poultry. They are good winter layers,
particularly, and some strains have been developed that rival the Leghorn
in the number of eggs per bird. Both the White and the Barred Plymouth
Rocks are popular among those seeking a dual purpose breed, and being
slightly heavier than White Wyandottes and Rhode Island Reds they are
preferred by many poultrymen. The latter two breeds are rapidly increasing
in popularity and their best qualities are being brought out more
uniformly by careful selection of breeding stock in each case. All of
these American breeds lay brown eggs.

In addition to the egg and the dual purpose types of poultry epitomized by
the Leghorn and the Plymouth Rock, respectively, there are breeds which
are primarily meat producers. Less attention is paid to the egg-producing
ability of these than is the case with the others mentioned. The Brahmas,
Cochins and Langshans stand in high regard as economical meat producers.
The Jersey Black Giant is a more recent addition to the popular heavy
breeds, especially for the capon trade.

These Asiatic types grow slowly and are phlegmatic in movement so that
they utilize feed for the economical development of high quality meat and
attain great weight. For broilers of more than 1-1/2 pounds each, for
roasting chickens and for capons, the dual purpose breeds are becoming
more popular than the extremely heavy breeds due to their more rapid
growth and more popular weight average at marketing time.

_Buying Stock._--The advantages of buying and maintaining definite breeds
of poultry are now so well understood that the mixed or mongrel flock is
fast disappearing. Having decided which type of fowl is best adapted to
one's market and ideas, there is no difficulty in finding a breed that
will fit the need. As has been pointed out, the attributes of high egg
production or fine quality of meat are inherent in certain breeds. A
single breed means uniformity in color, size and shape of the eggs which
increases their marketability. More attractive appearance of the flock and
greater efficiency from feeding without additional cost are other
advantages pertaining to standardizing the flock as to breed.

Stock may be acquired as day-old chicks, as ten- to twelve-week-old
pullets or as adult birds ready to lay. Hatching eggs may also be bought
if desired, but it will be found more satisfactory and just as economical
for the inexperienced person to buy the hatched chick or the more mature
birds. The hatching and brooding processes are fraught with difficulties
which may be especially acute for the amateur. The greatest demand at the
present time, and properly so, is for day-old chicks. A highly specialized
industry has been developed for the purpose of supplying this demand and a
reputation for reliability has been established by many concerns catering
to this trade.

_Poultry House Construction._--Where flocks of poultry are to be kept for
egg production, special laying houses must be provided in addition to
brooder houses that will be needed in any case.

One of the best types of brooder house is the two-room type developed by
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Such a house should be about 8 by 14
feet, and mounted on skids for convenience in moving. A movable partition
divides the house into two rooms. Thus a cold room is provided for
exercising and a warm room for sleeping. The marked difference in
temperature between the two rooms helps to harden the chicks, while the
reduced space about the hover conserves the heat.

A great deal of study has been given to the construction of laying houses
for poultry. The purposes in mind have been to obtain maximum sunlight
throughout the day, protection from storms and from dampness, and adequate

In the construction of a modern laying house, 1 square foot of glass
should be provided for every 20 square feet of floor space. The windows
should be hinged so that they may be opened in warm weather. One of the
commercial glass substitutes that are now on the market may be used
instead of ordinary glass to allow violet light rays to reach the
birds. The other openings permit free circulation of air through the
house. They should be equipped with muslin curtains to be used during
storms and in extremely cold weather. Such a house can be used the year

[Illustration: (_Courtesy of Poultry Tribune_)

This sketch shows an end view of a practical and inexpensive shed-roof
laying house. Detailed blue prints for use in constructing such a house
can usually be obtained from county agricultural agents or state
agricultural colleges.]

[Illustration: A fine flock of layers. The hoppers furnish laying mash and
the fountains supply drinking water. Scratch grain is thrown in the

The floor of the laying house must be dry at all times if vigor and health
are to be maintained. During the winter there should be about 10 inches of
dry litter in the form of straw, peat moss or shavings mixed with the
straw. Small windows in the rear wall will make for better distribution of
the litter, since the birds scratch away from the light.

_Equipment and Appliances._--A great deal of hand labor and daily drudgery
can be eliminated by equipping the house with properly constructed
appliances. These will not only save labor but will also supply the birds
with their needs at the time the need for certain materials is felt and
thus contribute to health and flock efficiency.

The best method of feeding dry mash is from a hopper. This should be so
constructed as to hold a reserve supply at all times that will run into
the feed trough as it is consumed. Care should be taken in construction to
prevent the birds from throwing out the mash with their beaks and thus
wasting it.

Water fountains of a standard type that will furnish the birds with a
constant amount of fresh water are available at poultry supply houses.
Receptacles should also be provided for grit, ground oyster shell and
charcoal which can be easily filled. A sloping board should be placed over
these receptacles to prevent the birds from roosting on them and soiling
the contents.

Bins so constructed as to be vermin-proof and moisture-proof should be
available for storing the scratch grain and other concentrated feeds.
Provision for storing litter where it can be kept clean and dry will be
necessary. If long straw is to be used, a cutter operated by hand or by a
motor will prove useful in fining the straw. The scratch grain will be
spread through the litter on the floor, compelling the birds to scratch
for it and thus obtain needed exercise.

_Artificial Lighting._--Modern laying houses are equipped with electric
lights that are turned on and off automatically. Artificial lighting
prolongs the hen's working day when the days are short, resulting in
greater food consumption and more exercise which will increase egg
production and give better health and stamina at seasons when more eggs
augment profits. A 40-watt bulb should be placed in one receptacle with
reflector for each 200 square feet of floor space, located midway between
the front wall and the front line of perches.

_Investment Needed for the Start._--The prospective poultryman should be
familiar with the principal items of cost before engaging in the business.
To be thus forewarned is to be forearmed. The scale upon which one takes
up commercial poultry production should depend upon experience in coping
with the industry's peculiar problems and upon the amount of capital
available. Success depends, of course, both upon skill in handling the
poultry and upon the capitalization of the plant. It should be recognized
that costs can be only approximate and are usable as guides only. They
will vary according to geographical location, general economic conditions,
labor costs and the bargaining power of the individual. The figures here
given are for a plant comprised of 1,500 laying hens--the minimum number
from which a living can be obtained and probably the maximum number that
can be cared for by one person.

The houses for the flock will necessarily include a laying house of the
multiple unit or other similar type, which should cost about $1,000. In
addition, eight brooder houses will be needed to care for the chicks and
growing stock, costing about $100 each, or a total of $800. The growing
stock when on range will need shelters for protection against hot sun and
rain, and these should be built for about $25 each, or a total of $200,
making a total cost for buildings and the necessary interior equipment
about $2,000. In addition to this item, there will be needed about $1,500
for the purchase of pullets at $1.00 each, making a grand total of $3,500.

If baby chicks are purchased, it will be necessary to buy not less than
4,000 of these if the operator is to obtain 1,500 desirable laying birds.
The cost of these chicks will depend upon the breeding that is behind
them, upon whether they are blood-tested to eliminate bacillary white
diarrhea (a scourge of young chicks) and the general care that has been
taken in the hatchery to produce good, livable chicks. This care,
incidentally, must extend to flocks from which the hatching eggs are
secured, as well as to the final incubating process. Chicks sold at
extremely low prices are rarely bargains. Quality is far more important
than low first cost. Assuming a cost of 14 cents per chick as an average
for chicks that will produce virile, productive layers, the initial
investment for this item will be between $500 and $600. Therefore, if
chicks are purchased, it will reduce the item for stock from the amount of
$1,500 given above, which would represent the cost of partly grown

Assuming that the complete poultry plant already stocked will cost $3,500,
we must add to the budget of the prospective poultryman a sum for the
purchase of a farm of from 5 acres upward, including a residence. In most
localities a small tract with a modest house can be purchased for about
$4,000. If only the land is purchased, that should be available at $200 an
acre as a subdivision of a larger tract. Assuming that a house costing
$3,000 will be suitable for the operator and his family, the total outlay
will be in the neighborhood of $7,500. Experienced poultrymen estimate
that a modest poultry farm of the type above described can be put into
operation for an investment of $5 per bird. If it is planned to begin with
a smaller flock than 1,500 individual layers, the same figures can be
applied in proportion to the number of birds to be kept. In short, the
poultry house and equipment should be estimated on the basis of not less
than $1.50 per bird and the cost of the farm, residence and stock will be
in addition to such a charge. The allowance of $1.50 per bird provides
only for simple housing facilities for the flock.

Using these figures, it will be easy to understand the reason for the
general recommendation that a total investment of $10,000 is a requisite
for a poultry establishment from which a modest living can be obtained.
While the investment in housing, land, residence and stock may not exceed
$7,500, there will need to be sufficient capital for paying the living
expenses of the family until the flock begins laying and to enable the
operator to purchase feed and other necessary adjuncts to his
establishment before an income is obtained.

For a flock of smaller size than the so-called maximum one-man type above
described, the costs per bird for the various items will apply in most
cases. It is, in fact, advisable to begin with a smaller flock if the
owner is inexperienced.


Poultry keeping must be efficiently carried on to yield returns to the
country home owner.

Select well-drained soil that is free of infection.

For egg production, use the Leghorn; for both meat and egg purposes, the
American breeds are best.

Standardize on one breed if possible.

Buy the best chicks or mature stock available.

Use a brooder house for the young birds.

The laying house must be well ventilated, fully lighted and easily

Use latest mechanical feeding and watering devices to save labor.

Employ artificial lighting to lengthen the hen's working day.

Work toward the "one-man plant"--a total of 1,500 laying hens--for most
efficient results.


Don't try to raise poultry in buildings that may still carry infection.

Don't economize by buying cheap chicks or breeding stock.

Don't overlook importance of health factors and productive qualities in
determining value of stock purchased.

Don't try to operate a poultry plant with ill-adapted buildings and

_Chapter_ X


The successful poultryman will have set up his establishment with due
attention to adequate housing, good stock, facilities for maintaining
sanitation and for creating generally favorable conditions for egg
production. His next problem will be that of adopting successful methods
of management so that he may obtain a satisfactory net income from the

_Feeds and Feeding._--There are two groups of materials that are essential
in food rations for all ages of poultry. The organic feeds include grains
and grain by-products, hays, grasses and vegetables. The inorganic feeds
include salt to increase palatability and digestibility of the ration;
lime, to aid in building bone and body tissue as well as to furnish the
shell material; bone ash, especially for growing chicks, and water in
liberal amounts supplied by a fountain as well as from succulent green
foods. The fact that a dozen eggs contain approximately one pint of water
demonstrates the necessity of having drinking water before the flock at
all times.

The feeding of baby chicks, young stock and laying hens has been
scientifically worked out by research and practical experience over a
period of many years. The poultryman, especially if he is a novice, will
do well if he carefully observes the recommendations of competent
authorities. The ration for each of the three ages will consist of a grain
feed and a dry mash composed of grain by-products reinforced with
materials that supply the birds' daily nutrition requirements.

The following rations and recommendations for management have been
prepared by the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station, New Brunswick,
New Jersey:


         Baby Chick Grain

         200 pounds finely cracked yellow corn
         100 pounds cracked wheat

     Fed morning and evening, beginning when chicks are 36 hours old.

         Baby Chick Mash

         20 pounds ground yellow corn
         20 pounds wheat bran
         20 pounds flour middlings
         20 pounds pinhead oats
         10 pounds meat scrap (50 per cent protein)
          5 pounds dried buttermilk or skim-milk
          2 pounds oyster shell meal or limestone flour or bone meal
          2 pounds cod liver oil (mixed with the pinhead oats)
          1 pound table salt

     This mash is fed to the chicks as soon as they are placed under the
     brooder stove. It may be placed in hoppers. Let the chicks have all
     they want to eat; some of the mash should be before them at all

     Teach the chicks where to find the warmth by enclosing them for a few
     days with a 1/2 inch mesh wire one foot high and set from 10 to 12
     inches from the edge of the hover.

     Put some clean grit on bits of cardboard in several places around the
     hover when the chicks are first brought from the incubator.

     A little sour skim-milk or semi-solid buttermilk, diluted 1 to 7 in
     founts should be available from the beginning.

     After the chicks are 60 hours old or when you are sure they are
     hungry, begin to feed, using cardboard in the same manner as before.
     Follow the feeding chart.

     Feed little and often. Keep the chicks slightly hungry.

     Watch for dead chicks and remove them as soon as they are noticed.

     Attend to heaters early and late; be sure at all times that they are
     in good working order.

     Clean out litter, particularly beneath the hover as often as it
     becomes soiled.

     Induce exercise and keep the youngsters occupied.

     Get them out-of-doors as early as possible, even if only for a few
     minutes in the warmer part of the day.

     Feed green feed. Feed early and late. Keep the chicks growing.

_Growing Stock Ration._--The baby chick mash can be used for feeding the
growing birds, omitting the cod liver oil if they are on range. The baby
chick grain ration can be used also during this period but it need not be
so finely cracked. Plenty of grain should be available at all times.

_Laying Ration._--When the birds are getting ready to lay, the ration
should be changed so that during the winter laying season the mash will
include equal amounts of yellow corn meal, wheat bran, wheat middlings,
ground heavy oats and meat scrap. Twenty-five per cent of dried buttermilk
or skim-milk may be substituted for an equal amount of meat scrap.

The grain ration should consist of equal amounts of cracked or whole
yellow corn and wheat. This should be fed in the late afternoon, giving
sufficient to satisfy the appetites of the birds between the time of going
to roost and a light morning meal. It should be fully consumed by eight
o'clock in the morning. Adequate consumption of mash is a prime requisite
in egg production. The feeding of semi-solid buttermilk at the rate of 3
to 5 pounds to 100 hens daily is recommended. Ten pounds of mangel beets
per 100 hens or 1 square inch of well-sprouted oats per bird will supply
needed green food during the winter.

In many cases it will be found more satisfactory to purchase ready mixed
rations from a local dealer who handles reliable and scientifically
compounded feeds for poultry. This is particularly applicable where the
number of birds is of ordinary proportions. Little, if any, economy will
be found in purchasing small quantities of each ingredient and attempting
to thoroughly mix them at home. If the flock is very large there may be
worth-while economy in home-mixing of the ration. The efficient poultryman
will compare the cost of branded feeds with ingredient costs to guard
against being overcharged.

In addition to the standard rations the growing stock and laying birds
should have access at all times to grit, shell and charcoal, kept in
suitable containers. These may be obtained of the local dealer.

_Sanitation._--When growing stock and laying hens are kept under modern
intensive conditions the observance of the rules of sanitation is
essential. Failure to observe them is likely to result in loss of
production, serious sickness of the flock and the nullifying of all other
constructive factors.

Dropping boards beneath the roosts must be cleaned frequently and
regularly to prevent accumulation of filth. If the dropping boards are
constructed of matched lumber with the boards running in the direction in
which they are to be scraped it will facilitate the cleaning process.

Before the birds are placed in winter quarters the laying house should be
thoroughly cleaned of all litter and debris. The interior may then be
thoroughly sprayed with a disinfectant composed of some good coal tar
preparation, and this repeated in the spring. The surface will need to be
painted with a good disinfectant, of which there are a number of
commercial preparations on the market. A close watch should be made for
vermin in the house and on the birds, and if lice or similar parasites are
discovered, immediate action should be taken to destroy both the adults
and the eggs, since these parasites will debilitate the flock and prevent
their development and may seriously check their ability to lay.

_Management of Artificial Lights._--The electric lights mentioned in the
previous chapter should be turned on about four-thirty in the morning and
kept on until daylight or used for an hour in the late evening. When
lights are used there should be plenty of food and water available to
enable the birds to take advantage of the additional feeding period. The
scratch grain should be increased by 2 pounds daily for each hundred birds
when lights are used. Many poultrymen find it advantageous to have a low
wattage light burning all night so that hungry individuals may get a meal
and return to the perches at all times. Three to five kilowatt hours per
month for each hundred birds represents the average current consumption
where lights are used.

_Practical Suggestions for Efficient Management._--A number of successful
poultrymen were recently asked to state the requisites for success in the
poultry industry, with particular reference to what is known as the
one-man poultry flock. Such a flock is of adequate size to take
practically the full time of one person in its operation. As the result of
the development of standardized feeding practices, improved equipment and
better methods of management, the maximum number of birds that can be
successfully managed by one person has greatly increased in recent years.
Likewise, the problems of proper feeding, adequate disease control and
successful selling have increased as the size of the unit has grown and as
greater intensiveness is practiced.

All of the successful men questioned advised that the keeping of poultry
should be begun in a small way in order that experience can be gained
without the risk of losing the initial investment, or that the intending
operator should gain practical knowledge of the business by working on a
poultry farm for a year. Valuable knowledge can also be gained by
attending short courses in poultry husbandry that are being offered at
most agricultural colleges with a very moderate expenditure of funds.

One of these successful men writes as follows: "We are working with a man
now who was let out of a position recently but who has some savings and
who desires to go into the poultry business. He has purchased six acres of
ground, has built a bungalow on it and has the foundations in for three
laying houses of 500 birds' capacity each. He will have ample range for a
two-yards system for each laying house, and, in addition, will have two
ranges to alternate yearly for growing his young stock. His program calls
for putting out about 2,400 chicks yearly from which he should have at
least 1,000 pullets, which he will house in two of the laying houses. The
following year he will carry over about 500 of these birds and can fill up
with 1,000 pullets. This is to be a one-man plant with possibly some
assistance in the spring.

"I feel that 1,500 birds is the minimum required from which one man can
make a living, and five acres devoted to poultry, properly laid out, is
sufficient area for this purpose. If more land is available, so much the
better. These are minimum requirements, as I see it, and with regular feed
deliveries directly to the poultry house, running water and other
labor-saving devices, there is no reason why one man cannot successfully
take care of this number of birds, particularly where a man is starting on
new ground where there have never been any chickens and therefore less
chance of disease. We advise buying baby chicks rather than partly grown
or mature stock. If he follows a definite economic and sanitary program
right from the start, there is no reason why his plant should not carry on
profitably, indefinitely."

This practical man says further: "It is our experience that the majority
of the people going into the poultry business go in 'blind.' Their chicken
houses are put up irrespective of range facilities and then after two or
three years when they begin to run into trouble they find their mistakes.
I would suggest that you point out to prospective poultrymen the
advisability of first, buying land and developing their own poultry plant
rather than trying to make over someone else's plant; second, buying in a
location where buying and selling facilities have been developed; third,
getting in touch with a reliable local poultryman for guidance in laying
out his plant and following only one advisor. By hooking up with only one
poultryman he is presented with one way of doing things which this
poultryman has found successful in his own business."

Another successful man states that the most economical time to start the
business is in the spring when day-old chicks can be secured and purchased
at a lower cost than is possible in the buying of laying stock at other
seasons of the year. He further advises that the greatest mistake made by
many starting in the poultry business is the lack of adequate capital. Too
many invest all of their money before any income can be secured, according
to this man. Should there be a set-back during the first year or two,
there is no way of continuing and the whole investment may be lost.

Still another practical man states that "Site is, in my opinion, the most
important factor to be considered after the decision is made that a person
wishes to go into the poultry business. Successful poultry keeping
probably requires more careful selection of a farm than any other
agricultural industry. There should be light soil with good air and water
drainage and an area of sufficient size to permit shifting the poultry on
different areas as a means of preventing disease infection and as a means
of securing vigor in the birds." He, too, points out that old poultry
farms should not be considered by prospective poultrymen unless they have
been approved by an expert in these lines, for the reason that these farms
are frequently offered for sale because of persistent disease infection
which it is very difficult to eliminate, or because of some fundamental
difficulty, such as poor soil drainage.

"In the construction of buildings," continues this experienced poultryman,
"sufficient housing should be provided to prevent overcrowding and the
difficulties that come in the train of that condition. About three square
feet of floor space per bird is required for the lighter breeds such as
Leghorns, and four to five square feet per bird for the heavier breeds.
For the one-man plant, the recommendation is for a maximum of about 1,500
birds. This would require from 4,500 to 5,250 square feet of floor space
suitably arranged for the lighter breeds of the Leghorn type. For the
young stock to be used as replacements, seven to ten brooder houses, 10 by
12 feet in size, would be required and about the same number of range
shelters, usually 6 by 8 feet, for the purpose of sheltering growing young
stock from hot sun and heavy rains when they are out on range."

_Probable Net Income._--Many persons who have started in the poultry
business have been misled as to the amount of net income they will be
likely to receive from a one-man plant. It is pretty well established that
in normal times a net income of from $1,500 to $2,500 annually can be
secured from a plant housing 1,500 birds. A great deal depends, of course,
upon the skill of the operator, and a plant of this size requires the full
time of one competent person. It should be borne in mind that this net
income is in addition to the residence and such food as would be taken in
the form of poultry products and from the garden.

_Sales Management._--Every prospective poultry keeper should determine the
marketing possibilities for the product in the area under consideration
before he makes a choice of location. There are at least four methods of
marketing eggs and poultry meat, any one of which can be used exclusively
or two or more used in combination as a means of disposing of the product
to the best advantage. The system that he will adopt will depend largely
upon his location, as well as upon his individual preference, and upon the
facilities that are available in the area where he operates.

In many sections of the country there are cooperative egg marketing
associations where the eggs are received in bulk from the producers, are
graded and marketed in large quantities, the producer receiving the full
selling value less, of course, the costs of operating the distributing
agency. In the northeastern states, egg auctions have been very
successfully developed. Under this system the individual producer brings
his eggs to the auction market where they are graded and sold on the basis
of weight, size and other factors pertaining to quality. In this method of
selling the producer receives a definite price for his eggs less a small
charge per case made by the selling agency.

A successful type of direct marketing is through roadside stands. This is
especially successful in or near large centers of population where eggs
can be purchased, together with other farm commodities, at the same stand.
Another method is the operation of a retail route in which the producer
sells the eggs by the door-to-door method in a near-by city. This method
is followed successfully by many poultrymen who deliver eggs as regularly
as the milk distributor or the baker deliver their products.

Still another method is the use of mail or express as a means of
transporting the eggs to consumers in urban centers. This method, while
largely in use some years ago, has not proved so generally successful as
have some of the other methods previously given.

A well-organized program of work is essential in successful poultry
keeping. The following schedule is followed by many successful poultrymen
as a means of distributing their time to the best advantage during the


  Based on a One-man 1,500-bird Farm Producing Market Eggs
  7:00-8:00 A.M.--Feed and water all stock.
  8:00-9:00 A.M.--Fill mash hoppers and clean dropping boards.
  9:00-11:00 A.M.--Two hours for cleaning houses, cultivating yards,
                   repairing of buildings, preparation of egg cases,
                   packing eggs and miscellaneous jobs.
  11:00-12:00 M.--Feed green feed and collect eggs.
  12:00-1:00 P.M.--Lunch hour.
  1:00-2:00 P.M.--Water all stock.
  2:00-4:00 P.M.--Same work as from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M.
  4:00-5:00 P.M.--Feed and collect eggs.

_Ducks, Geese, Turkeys and Other Fowl._--While the raising and keeping of
chickens occupy the largest and most important part of the general
operation of poultry keeping, there is a growing interest in the
production of other types of fowl, including ducks, geese, turkeys, and in
some instances, guinea fowl and pheasants. Each of these really
constitutes a separate and distinct poultry industry, requiring specific
feeding, breeding and management practices. Some of the fundamental
factors in the care of these types of poultry are given for the beginner.
In the case of these fowl, as in chickens, it is essential to start in a
small way and develop as experience dictates.

_Ducks._--From a rather obscure and unknown source of poultry meat, the
duck and the duckling have become common to restaurants and the home
table. This has been accomplished through the operations of large
commercial duck farms which sell hundreds of thousands of birds annually.
The selection of breed types, proper feeding and management and skillful
marketing have made it possible to attract a wide public interest and an
appetite for these fowls on a permanent basis.

The best known varieties of ducks are the Indian Runner, a small type and
primarily an egg producer; the Muscovy and the Pekin, both of which are
used for meat purposes, the former being best adapted to general farm use
and the latter to intensive breeding on large establishments devoted
solely to the purpose of duck raising. The old simile, "Like a duck takes
to water," implies the fondness of ducks for the aquatic element. However,
ducks will do well without swimming facilities.

Incubation of duck eggs can be carried on in the same manner as chicken
eggs, except that more moisture is essential to good hatches. The period
of incubation is 28 days for all types, except for the Muscovy, for which
it is 33 to 35 days. The growing birds, like mature ducks, are hardy and
ordinarily show a much lower mortality percentage than chickens. If only a
few ducks are kept, they will follow the habits of a flock of chickens and
need be given no special attention. When they are raised without other
poultry an open shed is all that is necessary for winter quarters and
some shade arrangement for protection against hot summer sun.

The feed rations that have been given for baby chicks and growing stock
can be used for ducks, or any standard commercial feed for the respective
ages. It is recommended that the chick and growing mashes be mixed with
fine, chopped greens such as cabbage or lawn clippings, and sufficient
water added to the mixture to make it moist. One pound of sand or grit may
be added to furnish the duck with grinding material. Fresh water in
shallow dishes should be available during the feeding periods which ought
to be three times a day. For the mature birds, the laying mash, previously
given, and moistened, will be found satisfactory with fresh greens added,
unless grass is available on range. Hoppers containing sand or grit should
be available if a number of ducks are kept.

_Geese._--Geese can be raised successfully wherever other types of poultry
will grow. That they are not so popular as ducks is shown by the fact that
only about one-third as many geese as ducks are raised in this country.
The most popular breeds, in order of popularity, are Toulouse, Embden,
African and Chinese. The Toulouse is the largest and most favored, the
mature gander weighing 26 pounds and the adult goose about 20 pounds.

Geese are usually kept in small numbers in areas where there is an
abundance of grass and a supply of water for swimming. They, like ducks,
are hardy and are rarely affected with diseases or parasites. A plentiful
supply of grass is sufficient feed for the growing goslings. The demand
and prices for geese are lower than for most other types of poultry. For
housing, only a shed in winter and a sun-shade in summer are required.

The period of incubation varies from 30 to 35 days, depending upon the
size of the breed. The young goslings are easily killed by excessive
moisture or may become lost and therefore they require considerable
attention during the early stages. A good food for the goslings is stale
bread soaked in milk or water, fed after they are 48 hours old. Scalded
cracked corn may also be given or a mash made of four parts corn meal and
one part grain middlings. Plenty of drinking water is essential. Whole
grain may be fed after the goslings are well feathered. When the geese
near the marketing period they should be kept in confinement and fed a
moist mash made of one part grain shorts and two parts corn meal. A
bedding of short straw will keep the fattening pens clean and provide
roughage. Best prices are obtainable during the late fall and early winter

_Turkeys._--Because the turkey is such a popular form of meat during the
holidays and so much attention is directed to it as an indigenous native
bird, it rivals the American eagle as a national emblem. Turkey raising on
a commercial scale has had its ups and downs for a great many years. One
of the principal scourges has been the so-called black-head disease and
this has destroyed the industry in many areas. It is now known that this
disease is carried by a small parasitic worm common to chickens, which,
however, it apparently does not seriously injure. The black-head germ,
carried by this worm, clogs the blood in the head of the turkey and causes
quick death. For this reason, it has been found impracticable to raise
turkeys where chickens are present, unless they are kept entirely separate
by confinement.

The principal varieties of domesticated turkeys are the Bronze, White
Holland, Bourbon Red, Black, Narragansett and Slate. All are large,
handsome birds, each breed having a following of admirers. The Bronze is
the largest and heaviest and most popular, the mature adult male weighing
36 pounds and the mature hen 20 pounds. Under ordinary conditions turkeys
do not require much in the way of housing, except in cold weather when
covered roosting sheds should be available. The period of incubation is
28 days and they may be hatched under the same conditions as chickens. The
day-old young birds, or poults as they are called, can be shipped in the
same manner as day-old chicks.

For feeding the poults, the United States Department of Agriculture
recommends fine-chopped hard-boiled eggs, including the shell, mixed with
green feed for the first ten days. This may be followed by feeding the
chick ration previously mentioned. Milk, especially buttermilk, is
excellent for the poults, and grit must be provided if it is not available
on range. Cod liver oil will be found helpful if added to the ration.
Turkeys are great rangers and travelers if they have the opportunity and
will pick up enough insects to keep them going through the day. A grain
ration should be fed just before they go to roost. Where they are raised
in confinement, or semi-confinement, more food must be given and under
these conditions the strictest sanitation must be practiced.

Both old and young turkeys should be protected from dampness, and the
growing birds, especially, kept free from lice. The turkey grower who
practices the best systems of management and feeding will be successful
and will find a ready market for his product at Thanksgiving and during
the Christmas holidays. A few birds may be successfully kept in
confinement and used as a home-raised source of high quality meat during a
considerable portion of the year.

_Guinea Fowl._--The guinea is known for its watch-dog proclivities, making
a characteristic raucous noise when strangers appear; for the rich quality
of the eggs which are produced in good quantity; and for the delectability
of the breast meat when properly prepared. The young guinea may be fed as
has been recommended for young chicks. The older birds are excellent
foragers and require little attention. The country home owner, if he does
not object to their noise, will find a few of these unusual birds an
interesting and valuable asset.

_Pheasants._--Many persons with a flair for the new and unusual are
successfully raising pheasants, the Ring Neck variety being the most
popular. While they are not so hardy as chickens and must be given some
added care for that reason, they may be fed in the same manner and kept
successfully in confinement. Pheasants may be used as an additional source
of income since they are nearly always in demand for meat. The eggs may be
hatched in incubators or by hens and the young pheasants brooded like
chicks. The period of incubation is 21 days. Shelter is not necessary
except in extremely cold weather and not then if trees or shrubs are
available. Detailed information on game bird production can be obtained
from More Game Birds in America, Inc., 500 Fifth Avenue, New York City.


Net income depends upon efficient management and each phase of the latter
must be mastered.

Feed a well-balanced chick ration to the very young and growing stock.

Be sure the ration fed to laying stock is adapted to their needs in egg

Sanitation measures are fundamental in good management and their neglect
may be fatal.

Follow the management recommendations of practical and successful

Use the marketing system best adapted to the locality and the personal
factor of sales ability.

Determine possibilities of selling ducks, geese, turkeys and other fowl as
a means of supplementing income from chickens.

Remember each type of poultry requires specific management.


Don't neglect scientific feeding of the poultry flock.

Don't go into poultry production on a large scale without experience.

Don't neglect local markets as outlets for the sale of eggs and poultry
and don't make shipment of eggs and stock to commission houses of unknown

Don't over-extend in poultry investment to the point where temporary
reversal would be disastrous.

_Chapter_ XI


Living in the country should make possible an adequate and safe milk
supply for the family. The transportation of milk from the farm and its
distribution in the city constitute a costly process under present
methods, and this limits consumption. Furthermore, the ordering in advance
of a definite quantity each day means as a rule that only the milk
delivered will be consumed. A maximum amount of milk is thereby set, based
upon factors that may be alien to real needs of the family for this food
beverage. Using milk and dairy products freely from a near-by supply will
contribute much to the health of the entire family and especially of the
children. The term "family" is used in this case to denote two or three
adults and the same number of children.

Nutritional experts declare that milk is the most important of the
"protective" foods. Scientists agree that milk protects by providing in
the best form those necessities which are often lacking in other foods.
Milk supplies calcium so necessary for sound bones and teeth, phosphorus,
easily digested protein, butter fat and milk sugar. Most important of all
are the vitamins found in milk. Milk acquires these properties from the
cow, a living factory manufacturing milk from raw products, which are the
foods the cow eats--the pasture grasses and the cured hay, supplemented
with carefully blended grain rations. Nutrition authorities recommend at
least a quart of milk daily for every child and ample amounts for adults
as well.

_Sources of Milk Supply._--The country resident will have little
difficulty in securing an adequate supply of wholesome milk at low cost.
He may obtain it from a neighbor who is in the dairy business or he may
maintain a cow or two where the area is large enough to provide some
pasturage and where a building for stabling is available.

If the milk is bought from some near-by farm it is important that the
purchaser assure himself of the health of the cows producing the milk and
of the sanitary conditions surrounding production and handling. Quality in
milk is much more than cream content. Cleanliness in production and
handling is far more important, and this the country resident can
personally determine by occasional visits to the source of supply, an
advantage difficult for the urban resident to attain. Quality in milk is
not necessarily measured by the investment in the milking barn or the
showy external features of the producing and handling plant.

The essential factors in the production of clean, wholesome milk are
healthy, clean cows; healthy milkers; clean, sterile utensils; and
sanitary stables and premises. These conditions can be attained by any
careful dairyman and can be checked by any layman interested in securing a
dependable supply of safe milk. The purchaser should insist that the cows
be tested regularly under government supervision for tuberculosis and the
reactors to the test removed from the herd. This is important in all
circumstances and particularly so where the milk is consumed in the
unprocessed state by children.

_Producing Milk at Home._--It is entirely feasible for the rural family to
produce at home an ample supply of milk at low cost. To do this it is only
necessary to have stabling facilities for one or two cows and to have a
member of the family sufficiently interested to feed, care for and milk
the cow or cows. If this plan is to be followed the owner, if he is
inexperienced, should enlist the aid of a neighbor or friend in making the
purchase. The animal should be fresh, that is, just starting the period of
lactation, and preferably not more than four or five years of age. A cow
that is fresh can be judged as to ability to produce good milk from all
four quarters of the udder in adequate amount.

_Selecting the Family Cow._--The breed to be selected is not important,
except that for family use a cow of the so-called Channel breeds (Guernsey
or Jersey) is considered better adapted because of the higher butter fat
content of the milk as compared with the Holstein-Friesian, for example,
which usually produces a larger total quantity of milk with less butter
fat. It is not necessary to purchase a pure-bred animal of any of the
breeds, so far as milk production is concerned. On the other hand, a
pure-bred registered cow may often be purchased at moderate cost. The
owner will undoubtedly take greater pride in such an animal and her
offspring will have higher selling value.

In making a purchase the new owner should insist upon having a tuberculin
test chart delivered with the animal, and certification as to freedom from
contagious abortion (B. abortus) should also be obtained if possible. If
production records have been kept during the animal's previous lactation
periods, these should be secured, as they will definitely indicate
milk-producing ability over a considerable period of time. For family use
a cow that produces milk steadily in uniform amounts over eight or ten
months is far more desirable than one which produces a large volume
following freshening and then slumps off rapidly.

[Illustration: Desirable types of utensils for a small dairy. _A._ Crock
for temporary milk storage or for gravity separation of cream. _B._
Milking stool. _C._ Twenty-quart milk can and cover. _D._ Strainer. _E._
Stirrer. _F._ Circulating water cooler for freshly drawn milk (not
essential for a one- or two-cow dairy if other cooling practices are
followed). _G._ Sanitary covered-top milk pail. _H._ Measuring rod. _I._
Small churn for family butter making.]

_Importance of Pasture._--Pasturage plays so important a part in
economical milk production and in contributing to the health of the animal
that it is unwise to consider keeping one's own cow unless 3 or 4 acres of
pasture land per animal are available. When the cow is on pasture from May
until November no other roughage is required, provided of course the
grasses and clovers are plentiful. Plenty of water is essential, and if
this is not made available by a stream in the pasture, it will be
necessary to furnish drinking water three times daily.

_Stabling and Feeding._--From early November until May it will be
necessary to provide stabling facilities, roughage in the form of hay,
ensilage or beet pulp, and concentrated feed to keep the animal producing.
About 3 tons of good timothy-and-clover hay or alfalfa will be needed per
animal during these six months. Storage room will be needed in the
building for the hay and for the concentrated feed. A good practice is to
keep the cow in a box stall 12 by 14 feet in size. Ample bedding should be
provided, consisting of straw, wood shavings, shredded corn stalks, peat
moss or dried leaves. These will absorb the liquid manure and after such
use should be applied to the garden or other land areas for fertilizing

The daily ration of the cow when stabled will consist of from 15 to 25
pounds of hay daily and 1 pound of concentrated feed for each 3-1/2 pounds
of milk being produced. (A quart of milk weighs about 2.2 pounds.) Milk
flow can be stimulated and the health of the cow conserved by feeding
moistened beet pulp, where silage is not available. This may be purchased
locally at the feed store, where the grain concentrate may also be
obtained. The latter can be bought in bags and a mixture analyzing about
20 per cent protein is recommended. When the cow is on pasture the grain
ration may be reduced by one-third or one-half, depending upon the quality
of the pasture available.

_Cost of Milk Production._--Where all of the feed mentioned above is
purchased, the cost per quart of the milk will approximate 3 cents,
excluding labor and overhead costs of buildings, etc. This cost can be
reduced if pasture does not have to be rented and if some of the other
food requirements are raised at home.

_Management._--Feeding the cow twice daily and milking at the same
interval will give the best results. Morning and evening are usually the
most convenient times for milking and the same hourly routine should be
observed daily. Feeding the grain ration after milking is desirable. A
good practice is to furnish hay and beet pulp between milkings.

To insure cleanliness of the milk, the udder and teats may be wiped with a
damp cloth before milking. Flanks and the udder should be clipped of hair,
thus facilitating a clean condition of the animal at all times. Soiled
bedding should be removed and clean material substituted as required.

The normal cow should produce an average of 10 quarts of milk daily over a
period of ten months. In the remaining two months the cow will not be
producing milk but will be resting and building up body reserves for the
coming period of lactation. The cow should be bred about nine months
before it is desired to have her bear a calf. The time of year when such
freshening should occur is not important, although either spring or fall
months are considered best, to avoid weather and temperature extremes at
the critical calving period. Under this plan it will be noted that the
family will not have milk from home sources for two months during the
year. The alternative is to have two cows, one freshening in April and the
other in October, ensuring a continuous supply, or to purchase milk during
the "dry" period.

_Utilizing a Large Supply of Milk._--The urban consumer of milk accustomed
to 1 or 2 quarts daily may wonder how an average of 10 quarts or more per
day can be utilized. Plenty of uses will be found for the product. Milk
will be used more often as a beverage; cream will be found delightful in
many ways, in the form of butter and home-made ice cream, for example; and
cheeses will provide an outlet for surplus whole or skimmed milk. Milk of
good quality can be disposed of readily to neighbors. If two families own
one cow each, a plan may be worked out for furnishing each other with milk
when one cow or the other is not producing. Wherever facilities are
available and there is a willingness to care for a family cow or two, the
availability of large amounts of milk will compensate for the trouble and
bring health and vigor to the rural family.

_The Goat as a Source of Milk Supply._--The milk goat is especially useful
to those who desire a smaller quantity of milk than that produced by a cow
and where the space is inadequate for keeping a larger milk-producing
animal. In composition, goat's milk closely resembles that of the cow, the
butter fat ranging from 3.2 per cent to 4.4 per cent with total solids of
nearly 12 per cent. The average production of a good milk goat is about 2
quarts of milk daily, sufficient for many a family. The milk is pure
white in color and the cream rises very slowly. If goat's milk is properly
produced and handled, the bad odor, associated with the animal in the
public mind, should not be present. Keeping dirt or hair out of the milk
when it is being drawn, and clean quarters, are essential in eliminating
odor in the milk. It has been proved that goat's milk is especially
valuable for children and invalids and exceeds cow's milk in ease of

Goats are in their prime at about five years of age, but will continue to
produce milk for several years after that. They should be bred twice a
year. The usual number of kids is two, although occasionally four are born
at one time. The period between breeding and giving birth is about five
months. Goats may be successfully fed with the same rations as the dairy
cow. Although they consume only about one-seventh as much feed as the cow,
the common impression that the goat can produce milk on practically no
feed is erroneous. A ration for winter feeding, suggested by the United
States Department of Agriculture, consists of 2 pounds of alfalfa or
clover hay, 1-1/2 pounds of silage or roots and from 1 to 2 pounds of a
concentrated grain ration, composed of 100 pounds of corn, 100 pounds of
oats, 50 pounds of bran and 25 pounds of linseed meal. In the summer when
pasture is available they should be fed 1 to 1-1/2 pounds of the grain
mixture. Data from experiment stations indicate that the annual feed cost
of a milk goat is about $11 and the feed cost per quart of milk produced,
about 1-1/2 cents.

Good milk goats bring good prices and in most instances will cost almost
as much as a cow. They are much more prolific, however, permitting more
rapid additions and offering greater revenue from the sales of young
animals, wherever there is a market for them. The two principal breeds are
the Toggenburg and the Saanen, both originating in Switzerland, and the
Spanish Maltese whose original home was in the island of Malta. Goats are
thoroughly domesticated, are contented with a small grazing area and may
be easily handled. They are subject to stomach worms, indicated by loss of
flesh and weakness, and to Malta fever, which can be transmitted to man,
in whom it is evidenced by recurring high temperatures. The former can be
controlled by using, as a drench, a copper sulfate solution of 1 ounce to
3 quarts of water. Where the latter trouble is present the milk should be
pasteurized or scalded before it is consumed. As an economical source of
easily digested milk, the goat is recommended, especially to those
families with rather small acreage. They can make the most of poorer
pasturage, are clean in habits and docile.


Use milk freely for its food value to every member of the family.

Make sure of the quality of the milk purchased.

Acquiring a family cow is the best and cheapest source of an adequate milk

Management of the right kind will make the family cow an invaluable asset.

Learn to use surplus milk in nutritious and palatable ways.

Determine the possibilities of securing from the goat an adequate milk
supply for a small family.


Don't use canned milk except as supplement to liberal, fresh supply.

Don't overlook the need of pasturage for economical milk production.

Don't supply family with milk of doubtful sanitary quality.

Don't neglect to have a veterinarian make health tests of the cow or

_Chapter_ XII


The distribution of farm products on an efficient basis is one of the most
difficult problems in agriculture. Because of the demand of the consumer
for small quantities of products at each purchase, the breaking up of
wholesale packages, involving additional labor and containers and the
elimination of unfit specimens, increases handling costs and delays the
arrival of the product from the farm to the consumer. In recent years the
producer has sought various means of eliminating some of these costs of
distribution so that he could get a larger share of the consumer's dollar,
and the consumer has welcomed the opportunity of buying products direct
from the producer.

Unquestionably, one of the best means of selling farm commodities is
through the medium of roadside markets that have now become so common
along the principal highways of the country. These range in type from the
display of a few baskets of farm commodities on the ground or on a table,
with sales of $100 a year or less, to those of a more pretentious nature
in which buildings and equipment are erected suitable to the purpose. That
there are great possibilities of developing a successful business in
selling products in this manner is evidenced by some of the more elaborate
markets, transacting an annual business of $30,000 or more. In most cases
these have been developed from small beginnings and the facilities have
increased as the good reputation of the market has spread.

_Advantages of Roadside Marketing._--From the standpoint of the producer
or the operator of the roadside stand, there are certain advantages that
have contributed to the growth of the movement. For example, there is no
expense or time involved in delivering the products to a distant market,
since the produce is sold by a member of the household, or by the
operator's employees in the larger types of markets. It is possible
through such a market to build up a clientele of buyers who will return
for further purchases. They will tell their friends about the good
quality, dependable produce which they have been able to purchase at some
particular stand. Furthermore, a wide variety of products can be sold in
this way at one stand, which might have to be segregated and shipped to
different markets if some other method of marketing were being followed.
This would add considerably to the expense of selling, especially where
the volume of each commodity is small. Furthermore, in such a method of
selling, the producer comes in direct contact with the consumer. Ideas are
exchanged, mutual confidence is developed and both should share
financially in the advantages accruing from eliminating ordinary means of

_Problems in Roadside Marketing._--On the other hand, there are certain
disadvantages of roadside selling which operate against successful
merchandising in such a manner. These should be fully considered in
deciding how the surplus farm products are to be disposed of. Due to the
difficulty experienced by many potential buyers in getting satisfactory
produce, they have become discouraged and will often drive by all roadside
markets rather than take a chance on buying commodities that may be
misrepresented. Naturally, this works against the development of adequate
business and makes it necessary for the individual to spend considerable
time and effort in selling himself and his market to the public and in
creating confidence and good will.

There is necessarily some loss due to depreciation in the quality of
perishable commodities. In many cases it is necessary to expose these
commodities to the sun and weather, and if they are not sold promptly
they will not long maintain the standard of quality which the operator
must have identified with his market. The operator has no knowledge of the
number of customers he will have when he displays his products, nor does
he know the whims of the individuals who may patronize his market that
day. To avoid the losses resulting from unsold products it is desirable to
have some other outlet which will absorb unused quantities, even though
the price is not so good as would be secured from ordinary sales at the
market. Many of the commodities can be delivered to some wholesale market
to be sold for what they will bring. Another outlet that is available is
through canning or preserving the commodities and selling them later in
the season under the label carried by the roadside stand.

It should be borne in mind that the business of operating a roadside
market has its own peculiar problems and success in it depends upon
following good merchandising principles, to which are added those finer
points which pertain to direct selling. The attitude of the public must be
studied and plans for promoting sales must be adopted which will result in
attracting and holding customers. Beyond doubt, the two most important
factors in the operation of a successful roadside market are
attractiveness of the stand itself and the quality of the products that
are offered for sale.

_Plans for a Roadside Market._--A roadside market need not be expensive to
be attractive. The thought motivating the whole project should be to
create in the buyer's mind a farm scene, laying emphasis upon such factors
as are easily associated in the public mind with farming. These include
neatness of the establishment, cleanliness and honesty in every phase of
the operation. One should not undertake to run a roadside market in
competition, so far as appearance goes, with the corner grocery store in
the city. It should have an individuality of its own and be _of_ the
country as well as _in_ the country.

The location of the market has a great deal to do with its attractiveness.
It is well to locate it a short distance from the house, so that it stands
out as a market, and it should be placed back from the highway to permit
motorists to drive off the highway in making stops for purchases. In some
states, highway regulations require that such stands be located far enough
from the highway to permit all four wheels of a standing vehicle to be off
the road surface. If the stand can be located under some good shade trees,
that in itself constitutes an invitation to the sun-blinded traveler to
stop and partake of the commodities offered for sale.

[Illustration: A wayside market that meets every need and attracts

So far as the design of the market itself is concerned, there are endless
opportunities for one's genius to be brought into operation. It should be
borne in mind that, while there are certain standard requirements in the
way of display shelves and facilities for keeping reserve stocks
immediately available, as well as a safe container for funds, originality
in design attracts attention. Here again, the design should not be
obtrusive, but one that blends with the atmosphere of the place where the
stand is set up. It must convey the impression that the owner of the
property is himself the operator of the stand and has transferred to the
stand the same interest which is manifested in his home and its immediate

Most purchasers at roadside stands want to see the whole display without
having to stumble over baskets and other articles to find out what is
offered, and they expect prompt attention. As a general rule, the more
nearly the stand can supply the complete needs of the purchaser in that
field, the more likely are buyers to stop and become regular patrons. In
addition to the display of seasonable fruits and vegetables, it is
desirable to have eggs and dairy products, including butter, cottage
cheese, canned fruits or jellies that have the home-made farm atmosphere
about them.

In most cases, ice is available or electric refrigeration can be utilized
for keeping cold milk, buttermilk, cider and other products available for
immediate consumption for the hot and thirsty traveler in the summertime.
Hot coffee or hot chocolate can be made available for service in colder
weather. Very often the road-stand operator destroys the genuine sales
appeal that such stands have by specializing in manufactured concoctions
that have no relation whatever to the location where they are sold. Too
often the stands are covered with advertisements of such commodities, and
this immediately creates sales resistance so far as the promotion of fresh
farm products is concerned.

_Origin of Products Offered._--The ordinary purchaser at a roadside market
likes to think that he is buying products raised or processed on the place
where they are sold, and believes that he is thereby securing fresher and
better commodities in which the seller has had an interest from planting
time to harvest. Certainly some of the commodities sold should come
directly from the tract where the market is located, and visual evidence
should be given of that fact. On the other hand, there is no objection to
the addition of other commodities so long as they are in accord with what
a producer might be expected to have for sale at that season of the year.
Many operators have found that the sale of gasoline and lubricating oil
and tobacco in various forms can be offered for sale to good advantage
simply as a part of the service being offered by the market to the public.

_Quality the Keystone._--The fundamental basis for success in the
operation of any roadside market lies in the quality of the products that
are offered for sale. This is a rather difficult condition for the
operator to maintain consistently, but it is fundamental in securing
customers and in keeping them. Products that have become stale,
unattractive or unpalatable for any reason should never be offered for
sale and should be discarded, made into some by-product or sold through
some channel which will not identify the article with the stand itself. A
satisfied customer who develops confidence in the integrity and good faith
of the stand operator is a decided asset, and no effort spent in
cultivating such confidence is wasted.

Every successful roadside stand operator has built his business on honest
dealing and a personal interest in seeing that the buyer is satisfied.
This contact between the owner of a small business and a buyer is one that
can be capitalized to a very great extent. It is one of the handicaps
which a chain-store organization has to face and one that must be
developed by the person who wishes to establish a permanent and
satisfactory business in this merchandising field. Very often the sale of
farm products can be supplemented to the advantage of the stand by
offering small ornamental plants or by the display of pet animals,
particularly for the younger members of the traveling public.

_Success Factors._--A definite program of advertising can be developed
with many original features that apply directly to the type of business.
If the operator has pride in his products he will be glad to have his name
on every package of commodities that he sells. This is good sales
propaganda even if it only indicates the confidence of the seller in his
products and his willingness to stand behind them. Besides that, however,
it creates a knowledge of his name or the designation of his farm or stand
among purchasers who will then have a means of identifying it to their
friends. A small leaflet, describing the products that are offered for
sale and the intention of the operator to give the customer service, can
be put in each package at very small cost with good results. It is also
possible to prepare leaflets dealing with methods of cooking or of
preparation of the commodities sold that will build good will on the part
of customers.

The most successful operators, again, are those who do not depend upon
casual visitors for their trade but who make of the casual visitor a
regular customer and one who will speak a good word to others. In other
words, genuine effort must be made to identify the location as a place to
which buyers will wish to return as they do to any other place of business
that gives satisfactory service. In this way the operator distinguishes
himself from his fly-by-night competitors who exist during a week or two
when surpluses of commodities are available at low prices and who have no
thought beyond that of the immediate sale.

Wherever possible, the attention of the passing consumer should be
directed to the stand before he reaches it so that he will be prepared to
stop when he comes upon it. Signs of this type on either side of the
stand, but some distance each way from it, are more important than is
generally recognized. They constitute invitation cards and should be so
worded as to excite curiosity and create a feeling in the intending
purchaser's mind that he will make no mistake in stopping to fill his
wants at the stand. It goes without saying that both the advertising and
the stand itself must be so planned as to attract the purchaser, and every
effort should be concentrated on the psychology of such an appeal,
avoiding any appearance of slouchiness, which would be more repellent than
attractive. The purchaser forms a quick opinion of the stand from the way
in which it is conducted and from the appearance of the one who is there
to make sales. An attitude of cordial cooperation on the part of the
attendant, who is, of course, appropriately dressed and in the right
mental attitude, is a factor that must not be overlooked in the effort to
create a favorable impression.

_Meal Service Amid Farm Surroundings._--Many operators, located at
strategic points near main highways, have found that maximum profits are
obtained by serving meals prepared from the vegetables supplemented by
poultry or other products of the little farm. These meals may be served in
a booth or building adjoining the roadside stand or in a room of the house
turned into a seasonal dining room. Persons who are city residents quickly
learn to appreciate the virtues of fresh vegetables and freshly killed
poultry that may be thus served. A schedule of reasonable prices must be
maintained if trade is to be built up. Usually special dinners or lunches
can be prepared from available products in season, thereby giving the
customer more for his money at the least cost and trouble to the operator.

This small home restaurant business can be handled frequently by members
of the operator's household and countless examples can be given of real
financial success following such ventures. Expansion can take place as
consumer demand develops. Cleanliness, good home cooking, generous
portions and prompt and courteous service will work wonders in such a

_Tourist Guest Houses._--A large number of country homes are now open to
the public as tourist guest houses, their owners finding that they can
obtain a modest but worth while supplement to other forms of income from
them. These tourist guest houses are largely a development of the past
several years. Their popularity with automobile travelers appears to be
increasing, and there is genuine opportunity for the housewife on a small
farm to operate one of these establishments.

It should be kept in mind by the housewife who thinks of opening her home
to tourists that the proposition has its drawbacks as well as its
advantages. Only a modest fee, often $1.00 for a room and 30 or 35 cents
for breakfast, is obtained from each tourist guest. However, a great
number of American women have found that the work and trouble occasioned
by taking in tourists are worth while and actually enjoy their contacts
with the traveling public.

The tourist guest house, obviously, should be located on a road that is
well traveled by tourists. A simple and attractive "Tourists
Accommodated" sign and a neat and pleasing front yard are needed to
interest passers-by in the place. The porch should be neat and attractive
and the interior of the house should give the appearance of restfulness,
simplicity and comfort.

Tourists usually inquire about prices and look over a place before
deciding to stop there; if there are women in the party, one of them
usually makes the inquiry. The family should be courteous in answering
questions and showing the prospective customers about. They should not be
indifferent, and yet must not seem to be too anxious for business. When
the travelers decide to stay, the family should endeavor at once to make
them feel at home. The guests will frequently ask questions about roads,
local resorts and near-by recreational facilities, and the family will
find it useful to be informed on these matters.

_Dog Breeding as a Source of Income._--Many persons who have located in
the country, and who have a liking for domestic animals, have found dog
breeding an interesting and frequently profitable enterprise. By placing a
wire cage along the highway the attention of the traveling public is
attracted to the puppies. Some of the more popular breeds of dogs include
the Airedale; the Boston, Fox and Irish Terriers; the Chow Chow; the
Collie, and the English and Irish Setters.

The breeding of dogs is a highly specialized activity, particularly where
it is carried on under intensive conditions and with little range. Dogs
are subject to external and internal parasites requiring preventive and
curative measures. As in the case of all other animals, sanitation is an
essential factor to success and feeding methods must be adjusted to the
age and the breed.

The beginner in dog raising should consult a recognized veterinarian who
specializes in small animal practice, and observe his recommendations.
Such professional men are located in most communities and their advice
will be found most helpful.

The prices obtainable for male and female young animals vary with the
locality. There is usually an established scale of prices which may easily
be obtained and which it will pay to observe. Dog shows are growing in
popularity and exhibitions at these expositions will serve to advertise
the breeder's stock. Advertising in local papers is effective in bringing
to the public the availability of stock of distinctive breeds. Fashions in
dog breeds change with the times and the public must be catered to along
the lines of current interest.


Use the roadside market or near-by outlets for disposing of excess farm

Fully utilize the possibilities of roadside stands in building a permanent

Road stands, as well as the products on display, must have sales appeal.

Produce at home all farm products offered for sale, if possible, and make
the growing area the background of the market.

Stress quality of products and the responsibility of the operator.

Advertising of the right type will multiply sales.

Offer meal service with farm surroundings wherever possible.

If considerable traffic passes the premises, try out possibilities of
accommodating tourists.


Don't try to dispose of miscellaneous surplus of farm commodities by
shipment to market if a roadside market can be set up.

Don't ruin standing of roadside market by selling inferior or stale

Don't try to run a city fruit stand with a farm background.

Don't destroy country home life by over-commercialization.


Timely and valuable publications of the United States Department of
Agriculture, state departments of agriculture and state agricultural
colleges and experiment stations are available to country residents.
Copies of them may be obtained by writing to the agencies mentioned. To
supplement them and also to supplement advice received from county
agricultural agents, a number of useful books are listed below. Those
interested in them may, in many cases, obtain them from local libraries,
or may find it useful to own certain of them themselves.

  Author              Title                            Year  Publisher

  Agee, Alva          "First Steps in Farming"         1923  Harper

  Arnold, Schuyler    "Wayside Marketing"              1929  De La Mare

  Auchter, E. C.,     "Orchard and Small             1929  Wiley
  and Knapp, H. B.      Fruit Culture"

  Ayres, Q. C., and   "Land Drainage and Reclamation"  1928  McGraw-Hill
  Scoates, D.

  Bailey, L. H.       "Manual of Gardening,"           1925  Macmillan
                        Rev. ed.

  Bear, E.            "Soil Management"                1927  Wiley

                      "Theory and Practice in          1929  Wiley
                        the Use of Fertilizers"

  Bottomley, M. E.    "Design of Small Properties;     1926  Macmillan
                       a Book for the Home-Owner in
                       City and Country."

  Bush-Brown, Mrs.    "Flowers for Every Garden"       1927  Little
  Louise (Carter)

  Chenoweth, W. W.    "Food Preservation; a            1930  Wiley
                        Textbook for Student,
                        Teacher, Homemaker and
                        Home Factory Operator"

  Chupp, C.           "Manual of Vegetable             1925  Macmillan
                        Garden Diseases"

                      "Manual of Vegetable             1925  Macmillan
                        Garden Insects"

  Cline, L. E.        "Turkey Production"              1933  Orange Judd

  Cox, J. F.          "Crop Production and             1930  Wiley

  Crosby, C. R., and  "Manual of Vegetable             1918  Macmillan
  Leonard, M. D.        Garden Insects"

  Davenport, Eugene   "The Farm"                       1927  Macmillan

  Foster, W. H., and  "Farm Buildings"                 1928  Wiley
  Carter, D. G.

  Fraser, Samuel      "American Fruits; Their          1927  Judd
                        Propagation, Cultivation,
                        Harvesting and Distribution"

  Fraser, W. J.       "Dairy Farming"                  1930  Wiley

  Galpin, C. J.       "Rural Social Problems"          1924  Century

  Gustafson, A. F.    "Handbook of Fertilizers"        1932  Orange Judd

  Hottes, A. C.       "1001 Garden Questions           1930  De La Mare

  Hurd, L. M.         "Practical Poultry Farming"      1931  Macmillan

  Jull, M. A.         "Poultry Husbandry"              1930  McGraw-Hill

  Knott, J. E.        "Vegetable Growing"              1930  Lea

  Langstroth, L. L.,  "Honey Bee," Rev. by             1927  American Bee
  and Dadant,           C. P. Dadant, Ed. 23                 Journal

  Larson, C. W., and  "Dairy Cattle Feeding            1928  Wiley
  Putney, F. S.         and Management"

  Lewis, H. R.        "Productive Poultry              1928  Lippincott

  Lippincott, W. A.   "Poultry Production"             1927  Lea & Febiger

  Millar, C. E.       "Soils and Soil Management"      1929  Webb Pub. Co.

  Murray, P.          "Planning and Planting           1932  Orange Judd
                        the Home Garden"

  Pellett, F. C.      "Productive Bee-Keeping"         1923  Lippincott

  Phillips, E. F.     "Bee Keeping; a Discussion       1928  Macmillan
                        of the Honey Bee
                        and of the Production
                        of Honey," Rev. ed.

  Powers, W. L., and  "Land Drainage                   1922  Wiley
  Teeter, T. A. H.      for Farmers"

  Rice, J. E.         "Practical Poultry Management"   1930  Wiley

  Rice, J. E., and    "Practical Poultry Management"   1925  Wiley
  Botsford, H. E.

  Root, A. I., and    "ABC and XYZ of Bee              1923  Root
  Root, E. R.           Culture"

  Rose, M. S.         "Feeding the Family"             1928  Macmillan

  Rowe, H. G.         "Starting Right With Bees"       1922  A. I. Root Co.

  Sanderson, E. D.    "Insects Pests of Farm,          1921  Wiley
                        Garden and Orchard,"
                        Ed. 2, rev. and enl. by
                        L. M. Peairs

  Sears, F. C.        "Productive Orcharding;          1927  Lippincott
                        Modern Methods of Growing
                        and Marketing Fruit"

                      "Productive Small Fruit          1925  Lippincott

  Sharp, M. A.        "Principles of Farm Mechanics"   1930  Wiley

  Smith, R. H.        "Agricultural Mechanics"         1925  Lippincott

  Thompson, H. C.     "Vegetable Crops"                1931  McGraw-Hill

  Thorne, C. E.       "Maintenance of Soil             1930  Orange Judd

  Watts, R. L.        "Vegetable Gardening"            1921  Orange Judd

  Worthen, E. L.      "Farm Soils, Their Management    1927  Wiley
                        and Fertilization"



  American Agriculturist           New York, N. Y.

  Country Gentleman                Philadelphia, Pa.

  Farm Journal                     Philadelphia, Pa.

  New England Homestead            Springfield, Mass.

  New Jersey Farm and Garden       Sea Isle City, N. J.

  Pennsylvania Farmer              Pittsburgh, Pa.

  Rural New Yorker                 New York, N. Y.


  American Bee Journal             Hamilton, Ill.

  American Honey Producer          Producers' League, Fargo, N. D.

  Bee-Cause                        Watertown, Wis.

  Gleanings in Bee Culture         Medina, Ohio


  Ayrshire Digest                  Spencer, Mass.

  Dairy Farmer                     Des Moines, Iowa

  Guernsey Breeders' Journal       Peterboro, N. H.

  Hoard's Dairyman                 Fort Atkinson, Wis.

  Holstein-Friesian World          Laconia, N. Y.

  Jersey Bulletin                  Indianapolis, Ind.

_Flower Gardening_

  American Home                    Garden City, N. Y.

  Better Homes and Gardens         Des Moines, Iowa

  Flower Grower                    Calcium, N. Y.

  Gardener's Chronicle of America  New York, N. Y.

  Horticulture                     Boston, Mass.

_Fruit Growing_

  American Fruit Grower            Chicago, Ill.

  Better Fruit                     Portland, Ore.


  Breeders' Gazette                Chicago, Ill.

_Market Gardening_

  Market Growers' Journal          Louisville, Ky.


  American Poultry Journal         Chicago, Ill.

  Everybody's Poultry Magazine     Hanover, Pa.

  New England Poultryman           Boston, Mass.

  Poultry Garden and Home          Dayton, Ohio

  Poultry Item                     Sellersville, Pa.

  Poultry Success                  Springfield, Ohio

  Poultry Tribune                  Mt. Morris, Ill.


[1] Prepared by New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

[2] Prepared by Michigan State College of Agriculture.

[3] Prepared by New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station.

[4] New York State College of Agriculture, Cornell University, Ithaca, New

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