The Fat of the Land eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 338 pages of information about The Fat of the Land.
If his cows are of the best, they will yield butter enough to pay for their food and to give a profit; the skim milk, fed to the hogs and hens, will give eggs and pork out of all proportion to its cost; and everything that grows upon his land can thus be turned off as a finished product for a liberal price, and yet the land will not be depleted.  The orchard is better for the hens and hogs and cows, and they are better for the orchard.  These industries fit into each other like the folding of hands; they seem mutually dependent, and yet they are often divorced, or, at best, only loosely related.  This view may seem to be the result of post hoc reasoning, but I think it is not.  I believe I imbibed these notions with my mother’s milk, for I can remember no time when they were not mine.  The psalmist said, “Comfort me with apples”; and the psalmist was reputed a wise man.  With only sufficient wisdom to plant an orchard, I live in high expectation of finding the same comfort in my old age.



September proved as dry as August was wet,—­only half an inch of water fell; and the seedings would have been slow to start had they depended for their moisture upon the clouds.  By October 1, however, green had taken the place of brown on nearly all the sixty acres we had tilled.  The threshers came and threshed the wheat and oats.  Of wheat there were 311 bushels, of oats, 1272.  We stored this grain in the cottage until the granary should be ready, and stacked the straw until the forage barn could receive it.  My plan from the first has been to shelter all forage, even the meanest, and bright oat straw is not low in the scale.

On the 10th the horse stable was far enough advanced to permit the horses to be moved, and the old barn was deserted.  A neighbor who had bought this barn at once pulled it down and carted it away.  In this transaction I held out several days for $50, but as my neighbor was obdurate I finally accepted his offer.  The first entry on the credit side of my farm ledger is, By one old barn, $45.  The receipts for October, November, and December, were:—­

By one old barn $45.00

By apples on trees (153 trees at $1.85 each) 283.00

By 480 bushels of potatoes at 30 cents per bushel 144.00

By five old sows, not fat 35.00

One cow 15.00

Three cows 70.00

Two cows 35.00

Three cows, two heifers, nine calves 187.00

Forty-three shoats and gilts, average 162 lb., at 2 cents
per lb 139.00

Total $953.00

The young hogs had eaten most of my small potatoes and some of my corn before we parted with them in late November.  These sales were made at the farm, and at low prices, for I was afraid to send such stuff to market lest some one should find out whence it came.  The Four Oaks brand was to stand for perfection in the future, and I was not willing to handicap it in the least.  Top prices for gilt-edged produce is what intensive farming means; and if there is money in land, it will be found close to this line.

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The Fat of the Land from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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