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Wisconsin State Horticultural Society / Annual report of the Wisconsin State Horticultural Society for the year 1910
Volume XL, Part II (1910)

Ingham, J. W.
Why farmers don't have good gardens,   pp. 42-46 PDF (1.2 MB)


Page 43


SUMMER MEUINNG.
of gardens, by the majority of farmers, is not practiced success-
fully-that the majority have poor gardens and the majority do
not deny it. Some writers have ridiculed farmer's gardens by
saying they had to take a scythe and mow the weeds before they
could find their vegetables.
The late Waldo F. Brown of Ohio, said: "A majority of
farmers fall below their privileges in not having a good garden."
Of course they do. They have the privilege-there is no law
against it, either human or divine, then why don't they have one?
They have the privilege of going to the seaside, or some fashion-
able summer resort of the wealthy during the heated term, to
obtain the pleasure and comfort to be there obtained. Then
why do they not go? The simple reason is they neither have the
time nor the money to spare. Some farmers may be in debt for
their farms, or improvements, and must raise money, and all are
anxious to raise good field crops to obtain funds to erect new
buildings or put down some tile drains. Good field crops are
absolutely necessary to profitable farming and must have the
tillage at the proper time, and as often as required to secure a
good yield. The field crops are the farmer's main dependence,
the gardens are not. Perhaps some one will dispute me here by
saying that the garden is the most profitable piece of ground on
the farm and pays the best for the labor expended and the ma-
nure put on it. According to my experience a family will eat
nearly as much bread, butter and meat and drink just as much
tea and coffee and consume twice as much sugar when they have
good gardens and plenty of pie plant, currants, gooseberries,
raspberries, strawberries and grapes. A gocd garden is a luxury,
not a necessity. Perhaps someone will say that a good garden
pays in saving doctor's bills. There is no proof to support it.
There is more sickness during the garden season than in the win-
ter. Summer complaint originates from the garden. That
farmers don't have good gardens is evidence that good gardens
do not pay in dollars and dimes. I have had a long experience
in gardening and farming and I say it deliberately and without
fear of successful contradiction that I can plow the ground, plant
and tend the corn on ten acres with less labor than I can plant
and tend a good half acre garden.
My land will produce 50 bushels of shelled corn per acre-
call it only 48. Half the stalks will pay for cutting up with the
corn ia4vester, one-eighth will pay for husking; half the stgW
43


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