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)
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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