« ForrigeFortsett »
hills and valleys of the South, purified and purged of all the guilt of the past, clothed with a new and richer verdure, will lift up their voices in thanksgiving to the Author of all good, who has granted to them, amidst the agonies of civil war, a new birth and a glorious transfiguration. Then, the people of the North and the people of the South, will again become one people, united in interests, in pursuits, in intelligence, in religion, and in patriotic devotion to our common country.”
No one who has not visited Virginia since her desolation came upon her, can imagine how complete and terrible it has been. When the army first penetrated the country beyond Alexandria, it was asserted that the corps of axe-men was so large that it levelled an acre of timber every ten minutes. But much of this East Virginia land had been rendered barren by a ruinous system of cultivation before invasion came. Farms were abandoned as worthless, and were sold at one to five dollars per acre. Yet there is no region in the Union containing finer land than this. It is near to Alexandria, Washington, and Georgetown, cash markets in which all that a farmer can produce will sell at high prices. Its soil is capable of the highest improvement at a moderate cost, as was proved by numerous Northern farmers who settled there previous to the rebellion. They made it yield 40 bushels of wheat and 100 of corn to the acre, and raised the market value of their farms from $5 to $60. All these now desolated and abandoned lands must change owners. They can be purchased at extremely low figures. Their location and advantages are so superior, that of all the rebellious soil of the Southern States, these will probably be first purchased and redeemed by Northern farmers. Such of them as settled there before the rebellion were rapidly becoming rich. The chances for those who may settle there hereafter will be infinitely better.
Many kinds of Farmers Women managing Farms—Very Small
Ones-Eleven Acres—A Two-acre Farm—The Spade and the Fork-A Single Acre-Heads better than Hands—Help Your self.
THERE are all classes of farmers, the sick and the well, the sound and the cripple, women as well as men. Some are cultivating their thousands of acres, using the steam-engine as a ploughman; others are contented on a single acre, depending on the spade and hoe. Yet all seem to live. That they continue to do so is presumptive evidence of intrinsic goodness in the occupation, or that, if a poor one, they manage it so prudently as to make it a paying one. Some of them have been suddenly placed in charge of a farm, with no previous knowledge of the business, yet have done well. Thus some men may be said to be born farmers, as others have been born generals.
It is related by an agricultural journal, that an eminent London tradesman had married the daughter of a farmer who held three hundred acres near London, and who had acquired considerable property. The farmer having died, the widow carried on the farm, but after two or three years' experience discovered that she was losing money. The son-inlaw was consulted as to what it was best to do. On his way.
looking over the farmer's old accounts, he found that the farm had paid well before his death, and knowing no reason why it should not still do so, under proper management, agreed to take the farm himself. He had been eminent as a gunsmith, and now commenced as an agriculturist.
an agriculturist. Knowing literally nothing of farming, he began by reading all the books and papers on the subject which fell in
He had not read far before he found that a knowledge of chemistry lay at the foundation of good husbandry. He therefore put himself under the tuition of an intelligent working chemist until he made himself a good practical chemist for agricultural purposes. He then applied this knowledge by adapting his manures to the quality of the soil and the nature of the crop he intended to raise from it.
The result was that the neighbors, who began by ridiculing the “cockney farmer,” and who prophesied his ruin in three years, were glad, at the end of that period, to go to him for advice about their crops. His own crops of grain, hay, and roots, were the admiration of the whole country, and his wheat would often command more than the market price for seed. At the end of the fourth year, in making
his account, he found a balance of twelve hundred pounds in favor of the farm. Such was the result of science diligently acquired and judiciously applied ; and by such means, without any previous knowledge of the subject, did one who had been eminent as a tradesman become equally eminent as an agriculturist.
A lady is now residing in New Jersey whose case is quite as remarkable. She was living with her aged father, on a farm encumbered with mortgages to its full value. He offered to convey it to any one of his children who would agree to keep him for the remainder of his life. All declined the offer except the daughter. Her husband was in feeble health, could be of no assistance, and died soon after. But she engaged resolutely in the work she had undertaken, grasped with surprising readiness the whole details of what, in the eyes of her neighbors, was a hopeless case, and went on prosperously. There happened to be a large quantity of currant and gooseberry bushes on the place. She caused the fruit to be gathered, and converted it into excellent wine, for which she found ready sale in New York. Taking the hint from this, she enlarged her operations another season by buying all the common wild blackberries and currants that were brought to her. The farm was in an isolated location, with no ready sale for perishable fruits; but a market being thus established by her, supply followed demand. All the children for miles around took to picking blackberries, and the quantities offered to her were im
With characteristic energy she enlarged her facilities for handling them, and bought all that came, converting some into wine, some into syrup, and some into simple preserves.
Meantime, her ordinary farming operations went on with unabated energy. Without doing any of the work herself, she saw that it was done thoroughly and well. In her wine manufacture she