Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan eBook

Franklin Hiram King
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 311 pages of information about Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan.

A second gardener, growing potatoes, obtained a yield, when sold new, of 8,000 pounds per acre; and of 16,000 pounds when the crop was permitted to mature.  The new potatoes were sold so as to bring $51.60 and the mature potatoes $185.76 per acre, making the earning for the two crops the same season a total of $237.36, gold.  By planting the first crop very early these gardeners secure two crops the same season, as far north as Columbus, Ohio, and Springfield, Illinois, the first crop being harvested when the tubers are about the size of walnuts.  The rental and fertilizers in this case amounted to $30.96 per acre.

Still another gardener growing winter wheat followed by onions, and these by cabbage, both transplanted, realized from the three crops a gross earning of $176.73, gold, per acre, and incurred an expense of $31.73 per acre for fertilizer and rent, leaving him a net earning of $145 per acre.

These old people have acquired the skill and practice of storing and preserving such perishable fruits as pears and grapes so as to enable them to keep them on the markets almost continuously.  Pears were very common in the latter part of June, and Consul-General Williams informed me that grapes are regularly carried into July.  In talking with my interpreter as to the methods employed I could only learn that the growers depend simply upon dry earth cellars which can be maintained at a very uniform temperature, the separate fruits being wrapped in paper.  No foreigner with whom we talked knew their methods.

Vegetables are carried through the winter in such earth cellars as are seen in Fig. 88, page 161, these being covered after they are filled.

As to the price of labor in this part of China, we learned through Consul-General Williams that a master mechanic may receive 50 cents, Mexican, per day, and a journeyman 18 cents, or at a rate of 21.5 cents and 7.75 cents, gold.  Farm laborers receive from $20 to $30, Mexican, or $8.60 to $12.90, gold, per year, with food, fuel and presents which make a total of $17.20 to $21.50.  This is less for the year than we pay for a month of probably less efficient labor.  There is relatively little child labor in China and this perhaps should be expected when adult labor is so abundant and so cheap.



The 39th parallel of latitude lies just south of Tientsin; followed westward, it crosses the toe of Italy’s boot, leads past Lisbon in Portugal, near Washington and St. Louis and to the north of Sacramento on the Pacific.  We were leaving a country with a mean July temperature of 80 deg F., and of 21 deg in January, but where two feet of ice may form; a country where the eighteen year mean maximum temperature is 103.5 deg and the mean minimum 4.5 deg; where twice in this period the thermometer recorded 113 deg above zero, and twice 7 deg below, and yet near the coast and in

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Farmers of Forty Centuries; Or, Permanent Agriculture in China, Korea, and Japan from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.