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It is not the mere language of compliment, Gentlemen, to say that, while you have been steadily, and patiently, and zealously engaged from month to month, and from year to year, in writing up our farmers to a higher level of intelligence and success, you have at the same time, and in the same measure, been writing up to a higher level the prosperity and affluence of our common country.
The clever author of "Ten Acres Enough,” in accounting for the success of his farming enterprise, remarked, with pardonable complacency, that he had manured his soil with brains. The metaphor will bear a wider application. It may be said with equal propriety that our agricultural writers have been for a series of years manuring a continent with the same remarkable fertilizer.
It is one of the most auspicious signs of the times, that the general public are beginning to take a much livelier interest than ever before in all that relates to the cultivation of the soil. Horticultural magazines and farming journals are finding their way into hundreds of families who, having no ground to cultivate, are yet waking up to a general interest in the subject. Quotations from the agricultural press are now frequently and almost constantly seen in the general newspaper; and people are beginning to discover that husbandry, in one form or another, is related to every condition of life, and that the welfare of the whole community is bound up in the success and prosperity of the farmer.
To you, Gentlemen, we are largely indebted for this improved and encouraging condition of the public mind. And though your services in this great cause have never yet been adequately appreciated, the day is undoubtedly near when a more generous recognition will be accorded to the influence and usefulness of your labors. One thing, at least, is certain. If contemporary justice is not rendered to the leaders and guides and expounders of American agriculture, another generation will gratefully record their names among the benefactors of our country. I am, Gentlemen, respectfully and gratefully yours,
In the preparation of this work, the Author has derived valuable information from various sources, which it gives him pleasure to acknowledge. Where the language of another writer has been employed, it is duly credited in the context. Besides these instances, he is indebted for facts and opinions to the following authorities :
“ Johnston's Agricultural Chemistry,” “The American Farmer's Encyclopædia,” “Burr's Field and Garden Vegetables of America,
,” “Harris's Rural Annual,” and “Tucker's Illustrated Annual Register.” Also to the productions of Dr. Harris and Dr. Fitch, “ On Injurious Insects;” to the “Transactions of the New York State Agricultural Society,” and to the American Institute Farmer's Club, whose weekly discussions abound in valuable practical information.
Prominent also among the works that have been of service to the writer, are the Agricultural Journals of our country. While they are gratefully recorded here as valuable auxiliaries in the present undertaking, the record may, perhaps, prove serviceable to the farming community by attracting their attention to these fruitful sources of knowledge and sure guides to prosperity.
New York City.
The American Agriculturist.
The Country Gentleman.
New England Farmer.
Germantown Telegraph. Colman's Rural World..... The Western Rural...
.Madison, Wis. .Augusta, Me. .Rochester, N. Y. Germantown, Pa. St. Louis, Mo. Detroit, Mich. Philadelphia, Pa. .Utica, N. Y. Baltimore, Ma. .Des Moines, Iowa. . Athens, Ga. San Francisco, Cal.
The importance of the subject, and the absence of any work specially devoted to it, is deemed a sufficient apology for the appearance of this book. For a number of years the author bas given much attention, both theoretically and practically, to the culture and uses of Indian corn, and has, during that time, accumulated a considerable amount of materials relating to the subject, and mainly derived from the experience of farmers in various sections of the country. Since no
has undertaken to supply a want widely felt and acknowledged in the agricultural world, he has at length concluded to digest and arrange his store of materials on hand into the form of the present volume, which is now offered to the public with a lively sense of its imperfections, but not without a profound conviction of the importance of the subject.
The aim has been to condense within a small compass all needed and useful information, and to state
facts, opinions, and results, as clearly and concisely as possible.
In the discussion of some of the leading topics, the author would gladly have devoted more space,
proportion to their importance, but it was found that such a course would render the work more voluminous and expensive, thereby possibly excluding it from the largest circle of readers.
The critical reader is here notified that he will find, in the course of these pages, some repetition of the leading thoughts which it is the object of this book to develop and impress. When a topic, already once treated, has reappeared in a different connection, especially if involving a principle of some consequence, the writer has not hesitated to improve the opportunity of reaffirming such principle, and again urging it on the attention of the cultivator. The same ideas have thus been, in several instances, partially reproduced. If they shall appear to the agricultural reader as important as they have seemed to the writer, no further apology will be needed. The reader who looks for imperfections will easily find them; but faults which, like this, have their origin in the force of the writer's convictions, however they may displease the critic, will not, it is thought, offend the practical farmer.