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Three Acers and Liberty

Three Acers and Liberty

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Published by Hirudinea Returns
Three Acers and Liberty
Three Acers and Liberty

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Published by: Hirudinea Returns on Aug 03, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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"A sower went out to sow and he sowed that which was in his heart—for what can aman sow else!" 
From "THE GAME OF LIFE."Or, as the Vulgate has it,—
"Exitt qui seminat seminare semen suum." 
 All rights reserved.
 Copyright 1907 and 1918By THE MACMILLAN COMPANYSet up and electrotyped. Published March, 1907.Reprinted April, July, 1907; March, 1908; June,September, 1910; April, 1912; April 1914.New edition, revised February, 1918.
We are not tied to a desk or to a bench; we stay there only because we think weare tied.In Montana I had a horse, which was hobbled every night to keep him fromwandering; that is, straps joined by a short chain were put around his forefeet, so thathe could only hop. The hobbles were taken off in the morning, but he would still hopuntil he saw his mate trotting off.This book is intended to show how any one can trot off if he will.It is not a textbook; there are plenty of good textbooks, which are referred toherein. Intensive cultivation cannot be comprised in any one book.It shows what is needed for a city man or woman to support a family on theproceeds of a little bit of land; it shows how in truth, as the old Book prophesied, theearth brings forth abundantly after its kind to satisfy the desire of every living thing.It is not necessary to bury oneself in the country, nor, with the new facilities of transportation, need we, unless we wish to, pay the extravagant rents and enormouscost of living in the city. A little bit of land near the town or the city can be rented orbought on easy terms; and merchandising will bring one to the city often enough.Neither is hard labor needed; but it is to work alone that the earth yields her increase,and if, although unskilled, we would succeed in gardening, we must attend constantlyand intelligently to the home acres.Every chapter of this book has been revised by a specialist, and the authors wishto express their appreciation of the aid given them, particularly by Mr. E. H. Moore,Arboriculturist in the Brooklyn Department of Parks; Mr. Collingwood of the RuralNew Yorker and Mr. George T. Powell; and to thank Mrs. Mabel Osgood Wright,and also Mr. Joseph Morwitz, for many valuable suggestions; also all those fromwhom we have quoted directly or in substance.We have endeavored in the text to give full acknowledgment to all, but in somecases it has been impossible to credit to the originator every paragraph or thought,since these have been selected and placed as needed, believing that all true teachersand gardeners are more anxious to have their message sent than to be seen deliveringit.In truth, teaching is but another department of gardening.Practical points and criticisms from practical men and women, especially fromthose experiences in trying to get to the land, will be welcomed by the authors.Address in care of the publishers.The Report of the Country Life Commission, with Special Message from thePresident of the United States, is especially important as showing the connection of Intensive Cultivation with Thrift for war time.It tells us that:"The handicaps (on getting out of town) that we now have specially in mind maybe stated under four heads: Speculative holding of lands; monopolistic control of 
streams; wastage and monopolistic control of forests; restraint of trade."Certain landowners procure large areas of agricultural land in the most availablelocation, sometimes by questionable methods, and hold it for speculative purposes.This not only withdraws the land itself from settlement, but in many cases preventsthe development of an agricultural community. The smaller landowners are isolatedand unable to establish their necessary institutions or to reach the market. Theholding of large areas by one party tends to develop a system of tenantry andabsentee farming. The whole development may be in the direction of social andeconomic ineffectiveness."A similar problem arises in the utilization of swamp lands. According to thereports of the Geological Survey, there are more than 75,000,000 acres of swampland in this country, the greater part of which are capable of reclamation at probablya nominal cost as compared to their value. It is important to the development of thebest type of country life that the reclamation proceed under conditions insuringsubdivision into small farms and settlement by men who would both own them andtill them."Some of these lands are near the centers of population. They become a menaceto health, and they often prevent the development of good social conditions in verylarge areas. As a rule they are extremely fertile. They are capable of sustaining anagricultural population numbering many millions, and the conditions under whichthese millions must live are a matter of national concern. The Federal Governmentshould act to the fullest extent of its constitutional powers in the reclamation of theselands under proper safeguards against speculative holding and landlordism."The rivers are valuable to the farmers as drainage lines, as irrigation supply, ascarriers and equalizers of transportation rates, as a readily available power resource,and for raising food fish. The wise development of these and other uses is importantto both agricultural and other interests; their protection from monopoly is one of thefirst responsibilities of government. The streams belong to the people; under a propersystem of development their resources would remain an estate of all the people, andbecome available as needed."River transportation is not usually antagonistic to railway interests. Populationand production are increasing rapidly, with corresponding increase in the demandsmade on transportation facilities. It may be reasonably expected that the river willeventually carry a large part of the freight that does not require prompt delivery,while the railway will carry that requiring expedition. This is already foreseen byleading railway men; and its importance to the farmer is such that he shouldencourage and aid, by every means in his power, the large use of the rivers. Thecountry will produce enough business to tax both streams and railroads to theirutmost."In many regions the streams afford facilities for power, which, since theinauguration of electrical transmission, is available for local rail lines and offers thebest solution of local transportation problems. In many parts of the country local andinterurban lines are providing transportation to farm areas, thereby increasingfacilities for moving crops and adding to the profit and convenience of farm life.However, there seems to be a very general lack of appreciation of the possibilities of this water-power resource as governing transportation costs.

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