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Five Acres and Independenceby M. G. Kains
Synopses & Reviews
Everyone who has ever dreamed of getting back to the soil will derive from Maurice Grenville Kains' practical and easy-to-understand discussions a more complete view of what small-scale farming means. Countless readers of Five Acres and Independence have come away with specific projects to begin and moved closer to the fulfillment of their dreams of independence on a small farm.
Whether you already own a suitable place or are still looking, Five Acres and Independence will help you learn to evaluate land for both its total economic and its specific agricultural possibilities. There are methods of calculating costs of permanent improvements—draining the land, improving soil, planting wind breaks, putting in septic tanks, cellars, irrigation systems, greenhouses, etc.—and methods of carrying out those improvements. There are suggestions for specific crops—strawberries, grapes, vegetables, orchards, spring, summer, and fall crops, transplanting, timing, repairing what already exists—with methods of deciding what is best for your land and purposes and techniques for making each of them pay. There are suggestions for animals for the small-scale farmer—goats, chickens, bees—and means of working them into your overall farm design. And there are suggestions for keeping your small farm in top production condition, methods of continually increasing the value of your farm, methods of marketing your produce and of accurately investing in improvements—virtually everything a small-scale farmer needs to know to make his venture economically sound.
Some things, of course, have changed since 1940 when M. G. Kains revised Five Acres and Independence. But the basic down-to-earth advice of one of the most prominent men in American agriculture and the methods of farming the small-scale, pre-DDT farm are still essentially the same. Much of the information in this book was built on USDA and state farm bureau reports; almost all of it was personally tested by M. G. Kains, either on his own farms or on farms of the people who trusted him as an experienced consultant. His book went through more than 30 editions in the first 10 years after its original publication. It has helped countless small farmers attain their dreams, and it continues today as an exceptional resource for those who want to make their first farming attempt.
Classic of the back-to-the-land movement is packed with solid, timeless information and will teach new converts how to make their land self-sufficient. Covers economics, plants, crops, animals, orchards, soils, selection, host of other necessary things.
Great back-to-the-land classic explains basics of self-sufficient farming. The one book to get. 95 illustrations.
This classic of the back-to-the-land movement is packed with solid, timeless information. Written by a renowned horticulturist, it has taught generations how to make their land self-sufficient. 95 figures.
This classic of the back-to-the-land movement is packed with solid, timeless information. Written by a renowned horticulturist, it has taught generations how to make their land self-sufficient, with explanations of organic farming techniques and reliable advice on other topics, including irrigation, livestock, crops, greenhouses, fertilizers, much more. 95 figures.
Table of Contents
"A word about the author, his practical experience, and qualifications suggest reliability of the text."
2. CITY vs. COUNTRY LIFE
Advantages and disadvantages
"Dependence upon "income" to supply "outgo"
"Country stability, productivity"
"Dependence upon "outgo" to supply "income"
"Occupancy of home in country vs. tenancy of "flat" in city "
"Health, welath, happiness in country home"
3. TRIED AND TRUE WAYS TO FAIL
"Too little, capital, unfavorable location, uncongenial soil, too large area, inefficient soil preparation and tillage, lack of feding, big-headedness, inexperience, city hours, laziness, too many pets and guests"
4. WHO IS LIKELY TO SUCCEED?
Thinker and worker
Owner on the Spot
Observation as a teacher
5. FIGURES DON'T LIE
Striking figures from U.S. Census and Department of Agriculture reports
Supply and demand
Relation to and contrast with individual owner's problems on productive land
6. THE FARM TO CHOOSE
Soil survey maps
Character of soil
Nature of plant growth already on the land
"Depth, drainage, slope, freedom from stones, previous crops and yields, neighborhood crops and yields"
7. WHERE TO LOCATE
Site with respect to roadside sales
Distance from market
"Schools, churches, electric current, buses, stores, doctors, etc."
8. LAY AND LAY-OUT OF LAND
"Impediments such as fences, boulders, stone walls"
Fields-sizes and shapes
"Roadways, lanes and paths"
Arrangement of buildings
9. "WIND-BREAKS, PRO AND CON"
Influence on crops
Animals and residence
Workability in their shelter
Good and bad kinds
Saving of fuel
Production of fuel
10. ESSENTIAL FACTORS OF PRODUCTION
Good breed of animal
Abundant water and available plant food in the soil
Ample space between plants and for animals
11. RENTING vs. BUYING
Advantages and disadvantages of each
Various ways to manage depend upon each
Renting with option of buying
Buying a small place but working large rented area
Investment and working money
Cost of land
Rent of property
Nursery stock and other plants
Time needed to get returns
13. FARM FINANCE
Importance of credit
Origin of capital
Borrowing for production
Fundamental rules for borrowing
Character of borrower and business ability
Annual inventory and budget
Bank cashier as advisor and confidant
Safety deposit boxes
14. FARM ACCOUNTS
Planning for production
"Knowledge of market, and the truth about one's business"
Record of crops and animals individually and of the farm as a whole
15. WATER SUPPLY
Rain water and cisterns
Cistern cleaning and purification
Springs gravity piping
Pneumatic pressure systems
16 SEWAGE DISPOSAL
17. FUNCTIONS OF WATER
Necessity in plant and animal growth
Quantity needed by plants
Types of water in soil
Conservation by tillage and mulching
Instances to prove their value
Types of apparatus
Assurance of adequate water
Success in spite of drought
Use to supply fertilizer and certain kinds of spraying
20. FROST DAMAGE PREVENTION
What frost is
How it affects plants
Plant resistance to damage
Hardy and tender plants
Preventing fall of temperature to or below danger point
Forecasting local frosts
21. LIVE STOCK
"Advantages and disadvantages of keeping cow, pig, poultry, rabbits, bees"
Desirable and undesirable kinds to have
Chicken for eggs and meat
"Duck, geese, turkeys, pigeons"
Scrubs vs. breeds and strains
"Housing, feeding, yarding, range, management "
Hatching vs. buying day-old chicks
Honey the principal interest
Importance in fruit production
Management easy but imperative
Standardized styles preferable to home built
Avoidance of mistakes
Types of houses
Greenhouse builders' contracts and propostions
25. COLDFRAMES AND HOTBEDS
Invaluable to start seedlings
Limitations of each
Types of each
How and where to make them
Electric heating and regulation most desirable
26. SOILS AND THEIR CARE
Nature's soils injured by man
Types of soils and how to handle them
How to judge soil values
Soil erosion and its prevention
Stable manure best
Scarcity and cost
Fresh vs. rotted
Dried and pulverized
Amounts to apply
Functons in the soil
Experiences and experiments
28. COMMERCIAL FERTILIZERS
Supplements to manures
Organic and inorganic
Value of each
Cautions in using
Most important unmixed ones
Functions of each
Importance of competent advice before attempting such work
Many trees not worth reclamation
How to determine useful ones
Tree surgery not desirable from income basis
Personal appraisal methods
37. FRUIT TREE PRUNING
Methods good and bad
Times to prune
Building strong trees
Vine and Bush training and pruning
Knowledge of flower bud formation and position essential
38. GRAFTING FRUIT TREES
Trees not to graft
Best ones and best branches to use
How to get and keep scions
Time to graft
Repair or bridge grafting to save girdled trees.
39. HOW TO AVOID NURSERY STOCK LOSSES
"Buyers, not nurserymen, most often responsible for death of stock"
Right and wrong handling
Bearing age trees unsatisfactory
Young stock best to order
Pruning after planting
Treatment of Y-crotch trees
40. VEGETABLE CROPS TO AVOID AND TO CHOOSE
"Quick and slow maturing kinds, staple and fancy kinds high and low quality varieties, good vs. poor keepers, kinds saleable in several ways"
41. SEEDS AND SEEDING
Types of seeds
Effect of weight on sprouting and the crop
Age of seed
"Special stock" seed"
Seedsmen's trial grounds
"Seed growing, selection"
Stages of development
Preparation of soils and flats
"Lifting, pricking-out, spotting board and dibble"
"Depth, watering, hardening"
Planting in the open
43. PLANTS FOR SALE
Often highly profitable near town of amateur gardeners
General and special stocks and sales methods
44. SOMETHING TO SELL EVERY DAY
Crops in demand
"Crops that "work over well"
"Pickles, jams, jellies, juices, syrups, preserves, "canned goods"
Regular season and everbearing kinds
Culture systems of training
"After fruiting, what? "
Companion and succession crops
Quickest fruit to bear
Often highly profitable
Every farm should have them
Precocious and annual fruiting
Long season of fruiting by successional ripening of varieties and storage
47. BUSH AND CANE FRUITS
"Raspberry, blackberry, currant, gooseberry, dewberry, blueberry"
48. SMALL FARM FRUIT GARDENS
Does the ordinary farm orchard pay?
Improved methods of cultivation
Varieties for home use
Sequence of rippening
Lay-out of orchard and small fruits
49. SELECTION OF TREE FRUITS
Varieties to choose
Type of trade to work for
"General market, roadside sales, personal trade"
Successional ripening to hold trade
Filler trees and other fruits
Inter-tilled crops to help pay costs of development
50. STORAGE OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
"Methods, good and bad for various types of crops"
"Root cellars, pits, storage houses, lofts"
51. ESSENTIALS OF SPRAYING AND DUSTING
"Spraying, dusting and other methods effective when properly used"
Fruit and vegetable insect enemies
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