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Our Farm of Four Acres and the Money we Made by it   By:

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This etext was produced by Jared Fuller.


Miss Coulton

From the Twelfth London Edition.



Preface to the Twelfth London Edition.

This little volume has been received with so much favor, both by the public and the press, that I cannot refrain from expressing my gratitude for the kind treatment I have experienced. From many of the criticisms which have appeared respecting "Our Farm of Four Acres," I have received not only complimentary remarks, but likewise some useful hints on the subjects of which I have written. With the praise comes some little censure; and I am charged by more than one friendly critic with stupidity for not ordering the legs of our first cow to be strapped, which would, they consider, have prevented both milk and milker from being knocked over. Now this was done, but the animal had a way of knocking the man and pail down with her side; every means was tried, but nothing succeeded till her calf was parted with. We have been asked whether we had to keep gates, hedges, &c., in repair, or whether it was done at the expense of the landlord. As far as regarded the gates and buildings, that gentleman was bound by agreement to keep them in order, and as for hedges we have none. A stream runs round the meadows, and forms the boundary of our small domain. Since our little work was written we have had nearly eighteen months' further experience, and have as much reason now as then to be satisfied with the profits we receive from our four acres. I must add a few words concerning our butter making. Some doubts have been expressed relative to our power of churning for four hours at a time. Now it certainly was not pleasant, but it was not the hard work that some people imagine: fatiguing certainly; but then H. and myself took it, as children say, "turn and turn about." We did not entrust the churn to Tom, because he was liable to be called away to perform some of his many duties. Had we not had the toil, we should not have acquired the knowledge which now enables us to complete our work in three quarters of an hour. We have been pitied for being always employed, and told that we can never know the luxury of leisure. We answer this remark with the words of "Poor Richard," that "leisure is the time for doing something useful."


This little volume will possess rare interest for all who own a "four acre farm," or, indeed, a farm of any number of acres. Its chief value to the American reader does not consist in its details of practice, but in the enunciation and demonstration of certain principles of domestic economy of universal application. The practice of terra culture must be varied to meet the different conditions of soil and climate under which it is pursued; but sound general principles hold good everywhere, and only need the exercise of ordinary judgment and common sense for their application to our own wants. This is now better understood than heretofore, and hence we are better prepared to profit by draughts from the fount of universal knowledge. We would not be understood as intimating, however, that only the general principles set forth in this little book are of value to us; the details of making butter and bread, feeding stock, etc., are just as useful to us as to the English reader. The two chapters on making butter and bread are admirable in their way, and alone are worth the price of the book. So, too, of domestics and their management; we have to go through pretty much the same vexations, probably a little intensified, as there is among us a more rampant spirit of independence on the part of servants; but many of these vexations may be avoided, we have no doubt, by following the suggestion of our author, of procuring "country help" for the country. Domestics accustomed to city life not only lack the requisite knowledge, but are unwilling to learn, and will not readily adapt themselves to the circumstances in which they are placed; in fact, the majority of them "know too much," and are altogether too impatient of control... Continue reading book >>

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