Friday, January 9, 2015

Ten Acres Is Enough, 1906

“Ten Acres Enough,” from the Editorial Page of the Jan. 9, 1906, issue of the Semi-Weekly Messenger, Wilmington, N.C.

We are indebted to the Carolina Trucking Development Company for a copy of a very charming little book bearing the above title. This book, bound in cloth, octavo size, of 250 pages, is a remarkable one in more respects than one. It is on the subject of intensive farming and was written to show what a man of pluck and energy could do in the way of making a competency for himself and family on a small farm by growing fruits and vegetables for the city markets. It is an interesting account of the experiences of a man who gave up his business in a city and moved with his wife and six children to an 11-acre farm purchased and stocked out of the proceeds of the sale of his business in the city. There is much of advice and practical information in it for those who contemplate truck farming, and it will afford pleasant reading to others not intending to take up such occupation. It is an interesting and pleasantly written account of the experiences of this family—as interesting as a novel. But it is not a fancy sketch of present day conditions; for a remarkable circumstance about the book is that it was written about 40 years ago and portrayed the conditions then existing.

For some years the book has been out of print. The Cultivator Publishing Company of Atlanta has issued a reprint of the original, and in the preface it is stated that the conditions existing at the time of the issue of the original were so similar in many respects regarding the matters therein treated that it was found necessary to make remarkably few changes, only one or two chapters requiring rewriting, these being such as on the subjects of “Revolution in Agriculture” and “Where to Locate.”

The book is exactly the thing for farmers and truckers in this section of the country whose chief aim is to contract the area planted and at the same time expand the results of their farming. A general distribution of this book among the truckers of eastern North Carolina would, we believe, have good results in aiding in increasing the value of the trucking business of our section.

We remember reading a few years ago an account of a Frenchman who lived near Paris and supported his family on the proceeds from sales of the products of a quarter of an acre of land. His was farming of the most intensive kind with frequent repetition of crops. Every square inch of his little patch of ground was highly fertilized and was kept growing one kind or another of crops all the time.

This Frenchman’s experience and success was referred to in this article.

“Ten Acres Enough”—This is the key note to successful truck farming in this section, as well as elsewhere. What we need to make farming successful to the farmers and a means of adding to the general prosperity of our section is to have the old plantations and the waste lands divided into small farms whose owners or renters can cultivate carefully and keep under a high state of fertilization.

We are glad to know that a movement looking to this end is being energetically and intelligently pushed in our midst. Small farmers with a good class of owners or tenants, whatever their nationality may be, is the present-day need of our section and we are glad to believe that in the very near future this much desired state of affairs will be realized.

Accompanying the book treated of in this article is a chart “showing times for planting different crops in Wilmington section” designating for each month of the year the vegetables which should be planted. This chart was prepared by Mr. Albert S. Root, soil expert for the Carolina Trucking Development Company, showing that in this section gardening and truck farming can be carried on the whole year round.

January—English peas, radish, onions, beets, and cabbages; the last three are planted in hot beds; also figs, grape vines, fruit trees and cassava.

February—English peas, radish, beets, cabbage, tomatoes, egg plant, carrots, peppers, Irish potatoes, turnips, spinach; figs, fruit trees, grapes and cassava.

March—Onions, radish, Irish potatoes, turnips, beets, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, egg plant, and rhubarb.

April—Cantaloupes, watermelons, beans, table peas, okra, cucumbers, squash, corn, sweet potatoes, onions, tomatoes, beets, pepper, asparagus, and rhubarb; also cow peas, velvet beans and teosinte.

May—Corn, squash, beans, late melons, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, sweet potatoes, asparagus, beans, peas, squash and velvet beans.

June—Beans, tomatoes, corn, cow peas and velvet beans.

July—Rutabaga turnips, cow peas, cabbage, beans, beets, Brussels sprouts, Irish potatoes and strawberries.

August—Strawberries, turnips, collards, kale, beans, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, beets, and lettuce in latter part of month.

September—Mustard, collards, cabbage, kale, turnips, strawberries, and lettuce first part of month; also alfalfa, clover and vetch.

October—Lettuce, strawberries and lettuce first part of month; also alfalfa, clover and vetch.

November—Strawberries, spinach, cabbage, beets, lettuce, turnips, kale, cauliflower, clover, alfalfa and vetch.

December—Strawberries, turnips, spinach, onion sets, beets and cabbage under glass; and figs, fruit trees, grapes, clover, alfalfa and vetch early part of the month.

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