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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / The Wisconsin horticulturist
Vol. III, No. 9 (November 1898)

The power to observe essential to a farm education,   pp. 15-17 PDF (746.7 KB)

Page 15

and shrubs is the hot days of February and March.
The earlier grapevines are tied up, in April, the better,
as they then become inured to the cold nights, and if the
buds start they stand harder frosts than if left covered un-
til May.
At one of the meetings of the State Board of Agricul-
ture of New Jersey, several of the speakers advocated a
change in the methods of educating farm children. Their
earliest instruction should be from objects rather than from
books, with the view of training them to be observing.
With young children the chief work of the teacher and par-
ent should be to train natural powers of investigation.
One writer says: "There are very few farmers who
have ever learned to see well. They may be shrewd in
business and quite able to see a point in trade; they are not
able to observe what is going on about them. Buying some
honey the other day of a farmer, we discussed the short ap-
ple crop. I suggested to him that it was possibly largely
due to the premature hatching out of insects that bear pollen
from flower to flower, and then their killing off by the cold
May. He at once added that his bees fertilized his own or-
chard of close-set trees, but were unable to fly to other or-
chards to render similar service. The consequence was that
he had a fine crop while others got next to none. This man
knew how to see; and what he saw was this-that bees not
only make honey, but that they make our apple crop as
well. Is it at all likely that a man who can see as well as
that will not see a good many other things that his neigh-
bors fail to see?
Let us consider in how many ways this cultivated ob-
serving power may be of advantage. Of course the first
point to be generally considered is the financial-not the

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