30 January 2012

Farmer's Plans


Haying in the Agrarian Nation
(click the picture to see enlarged view)
A live farmer, always awake to the spirit of improvement, will have his farm, at the end of ten years, in a vastly better condition in respect to attractiveness and real value than it was at the beginning, while another will plod on, work quite as hard, perhaps, and find his farm no better, and probably worse, than it was in the beginning. 

The difference will be found in the planning, the brain work, of the two men. One has an idea in his brain that he means to attain, and by degrees it is developed into actual results; the other merely plods on from day to day, always hesitating about undertaking anything out of the ordinary routine of farm labor, working hard enough with his hands, but little with his brain. If there is a waste place in his lot, an ugly eyesore, he is slow to begin its improvement. if there is a rock in the way of the scythe or the plough, it lies there year after year, though an hour’s work might remove it.

The true way to progress on the farm is to do something, be it more or less, every year. It may not amount to a radical change in any one year, but in the aggregate the improvement will be apparent, and the real money value of the farm enhanced.

If the profits of farming are less apparent than those of mercantile pursuits at certain times, it should be borne in mind that neither are the wear and tear of mind and body, nor the labor and risks so great. The chances of a happy and comfortable life are greater upon the farm than in any other calling, and if the spirit of improvement exists in the mind, the sources of real and permanent happiness are inexhaustible.

We hope to see the time when our young men will incline to the culture of the land, rather than to dissipate their intellect and their energies in our villages and cities. To hasten this time, we must increase their intelligence, their sense of the true dignity of agriculture, adopt new methods of farming, apply  more science and more knowledge to the details of this calling, make farming attractive, agreeable, and productive, and this is to be accomplished by the system, the forethought, and the plans of the human brain.
[Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac]


Anonymous said...

"The true way to progress on the farm is to do something, be it more or less, every year."

I have found this to be true even on a small scale in my back yard. Every year, I have tried to move forward with new projects. Last spring we added the chickens and expanded the garden.

Regarding the two photos, I found it strange to see the people dressed in what I consider to be "good" clothes. Is this because they were having their photo taken? They just don't look like work clothes to me.

It's good to be reminded that farmers can harvest hay without mechanization. That's what we would like to do whenever we are blessed with some land. The plan is that my son will be able to give us a hand with the hard work of the harvest. My husband and I were watching an old movie on the weekend, and it showed a fellow in a hay loft full of loose hay--no bales.

Thank you for another interesting post!

Jet Set said...

I completely agree about doing a little each year. I have slowly reclaimed a brier patch on the north side of the house, planted fruit trees. Hopefully, this year I will get to the siding that is rotting from the rain splashing on the porch roof.

As far as the clothes go, I'm inclined to think that was standard clothing. My guess is that "good" clothes probably amounted to being clean, less careworn, and probably more of an actual suit and tie. Certainly the women had much nicer dresses for when the occasion called for such.

I would have to politely disagree on the subject of hay. If I had no choice I could and would harvest it loose, but, and perhaps this is just my allergies talking or the fact that I don't like chaff where it doesn't belong, I would prefer hay to be in baled form.

Perhaps an inventive agrarian needs to come up with a ground driven baler to be pulled behind beasts of burden instead of powered by fuel. Any takers on that? ;-P