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Old Style Carrot Farming

A sandy soil or light loam is best for carrots, but they will grow anywhere under good culture. Enormous quantities are grown by the market gardeners, both under glass and in the open ground, for use in soups and for seasoning purposes. The short or half-long varieties are demanded by this trade.

Farm gardeners will do best with half-long and long kinds, unless a special demand calls for the smaller carrots. The large half-long and long ones are suited to both culinary and stock-feeding purposes.

It requires from three to four pounds of seed to the acre, depending on the distance between the rows. The plants should be from 3 to 5 inches apart in the rows, and the rows as near together as is feasible for horse work. Clean culture is demanded. The seed must be planted shallow, and may go into the ground as early as it can be worked in the spring, and from that time until the middle of June. The only danger about late planting is the possibility of dry weather.

The carrot is quite free from insect or other enemies, as a rule, and its culture is not difficult. It demands thinning and hoeing after the plants are well above ground, but no extra attention of any kind.

The winter storage is the same as for beets or turnips, either to be put away in earth-covered heaps or preserved in a cool, non-freezing root cellar.

The so-called Belgian carrots (both yellow and white) are used only as stock food; though the other sorts, such as Rubicon, Danvers and Long Orange, if in excess of market demands, are equally good for stock. Cows and horses are fond of them, and they are most wholesome. The farm gardener should raise them, however, for their cash value in the produce markets. The carrot is in high favor with good cooks everywhere.

The carrot does not demand excessively rich ground; in fact, too much manure tends to stimulate the growth of the top at the expense of the root, and fresh manure makes the root rough.

The smaller carrots are bunched and sold like radishes or early beets. The larger kinds are sold by measure—about 60 cents or more per basket at this time (January, 1898). This is at the rate of $1.50 per barrel, or about $300 per acre. The crop is a good one, if near a market where carrots are demanded.

This article was taken from,

FARM GARDENING WITH HINTS ON CHEAP MANURING, Quick Cash Crops and How to Grow Them

Author: JOHNSON & STOKES, Seed Growers and Merchants

Published 1898

Old Style Cabbage Farming

Early cabbage is not a farm gardener’s crop at the North, though in the Southern States the early varieties can be grown by farmers for shipment to the great Northern markets. The Northern farmer, unless provided with glass, usually finds more profit in the later and larger sorts, which mature in autumn.

Soil.—Rich, loamy soil, containing much clay, is best for this vegetable, which is a rank feeder. Large amounts of manure are demanded. The manure is best applied in a partially rotted form, as fresh manure of any kind (especially hog manure) is liable to produce the disease or deformity known as club-root, the spores of the disease apparently being in the fresh manure; though land too long cropped with cabbage is likely to produce the same disease without the application of fresh manure of any kind.

Seed — It is of especial importance that good seed be planted, as cabbage varies so much and shows such a disposition to go back to undesirable types that great dissatisfaction and loss attend all experiments with poorly-selected seed. The choice of seed not infrequently determines the size and success of the crop. Expert cabbage growers are well aware of this fact.

Planting — The manure should be broadcasted, and an ample amount used, with a high-grade fertilizer in the row. The young plants, previously started in a seed-bed, should (at the North) be set out in July. The seed for late cabbage is planted in May. A quarter pound of seed will give enough plants for an acre.

The rows should be 4 feet apart, and the plants 2½ feet apart in the rows. These distances favor good cultivation and quick growth. In some parts of New England the seed is sown in the open field, in rows where the cabbage is to grow, but the practice of transplanting from seedbeds is found most satisfactory.

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Old Style Bean Farming

Bean-growing in a small way is fully warranted in every garden, but on a large scale it is a different question, being somewhat a matter of soil and location.

Food Value.—The bean is one of the most excellent of human foods. Its botanical kinship is close to the pea, and both are legumes. The leguminous plants, it will be remembered, have the rare ability of obtaining nitrogen through the tubercles on their roots, taking this expensive element partly from the air, and not greatly impoverishing the soil by their growth.

Something of the food value of the bean may be learned by comparing its chemical analysis with that of beef. In 100 pounds of beans there are 23 pounds of protein (nitrogenous matter), while in 100 pounds of beef there are but about 15 to 20 pounds of protein. Peas are almost as rich as beans in protein, which is the tissue-building element of all foods, and, hence, it is easy to realize the fact that both beans and peas are foods of the highest economic value. They are  standard foods of the world, entering into the diet of soldiers, laborers and persons needing physical strength.

It is generally safe to grow beans for the retail market of any town or centre of population, but to compete in the open wholesale market demands experience and good equipment on the part of the grower to insure profits.

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ROOTS TURNIPS BEETS and CARROTS

If there be any who still hold that this country must ultimately rival that magnificent Turnip-culture which has so largely transformed the agricultural industry of England and Scotland, while signally and beneficently increasing its annual product, I judge that time will prove them mistaken.

The striking diversity of climate between the opposite coasts of the Atlantic forbids the realization of their hopes. The British Isles, with a considerable portion of the adjacent coast of Continental Europe, have a climate so modified by the Gulf Stream and the ocean that their Summers are usually moist and cool, their Autumns still more so, and their Winters rarely so cold as to freeze the earth considerably; while our Summers and Autumns, are comparatively hot and dry; our Winters in part intensely cold, so as to freeze the earth solid for a foot or more.

Hence, every variety of turnip is exposed here in its tenderer stages to the ravages of every devouring insect; while the 1st of December often finds the soil of all but our Southern and Pacific States so frozen that cannon-wheels would hardly track it, and roots not previously dug up must remain fast in the earth for weeks and often for months.

Hence, the turnip can never grow so luxuriantly, nor be counted on with such certainty, here as in Great Britain; nor can animals be fed on it in Winter, except at the heavy cost of pulling or digging, cutting off the tops and carefully housing in Autumn, and then slicing and feeding out in Winter. It is manifest that turnips thus handled, however economically, cannot compete with hay and corn-fodder in our Eastern and Middle States; nor with these and the cheaper species of grain in the West, as the daily Winter food of cattle.

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Old style potato farming

In no other form can so large an amount and value of human food be obtained from an acre of ground as in that of edible roots or tubers; and of these the Potato is by far the most acceptable, and in most general use. Our ancestors, it is settled, were destitute and ignorant of the Potato prior to the discovery of America, though Europe would now find it difficult to subsist her teeming millions without it. In travelling pretty widely over that continent, I cannot remember that I found, any considerable district in which the Potato was not cultivated, though Ireland, western England, and northern Switzerland, with a small portion of northern Italy, are impressed on my mind as the most addicted to the growth of this esculent.

Other roots are eaten occasionally, by way of variety, or as giving a relish to ordinary food; but the Potato alone forms part of the every day diet alike of prince and peasant. It is an almost indispensable ingredient of the feasts of Dives, while it is the cheapest and commonest resort for satiating or moderating the hunger of Lazarus. I recollect hearing my parents, fifty years ago, relate how, in their childhood and youth, the poor of New-England, when the grain-crop of that region was cut short, as it often was, were obliged to subsist through the following Winter mainly on Potatoes and Milk; and I then accorded to those unfortunates of the preceding generation a sympathy which I should now considerably abate, provided the Potatoes were of good quality.

Roasted Potatoes, seasoned with salt and butter and washed down with bounteous draughts of fresh buttermilk, used in those days to be the regular supper served up in farmers’ homes after a churning of cream into butter; and I have since eaten costly suppers that were not half so good.

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PEACHES PEARS CHERRIES and GRAPES

Our harsh, capricious climate north of the latitudes of Philadelphia, Cincinnati, and St. Louis—so much severer than that of corresponding latitudes in Europe—is unfavorable, or at least very trying, to all the more delicate and luscious Fruits, berries excepted. Except on our Pacific coast, of which the Winter temperature is at least ten degrees milder than that of the Atlantic, the finer Peaches and Grapes are grown with difficulty north of the fortieth degree of latitude, save in a few specially favored localities, whereof the southern shore of Lake Erie is most noted, though part of that of Lake Ontario and of the west coast of Lake Michigan are likewise well adapted to the Peach.

It is not the mere fact that the mercury in Fahrenheit’s thermometer sometimes ranges below zero, and the earth is deeply frozen, but the suddenness wherewith such rigor succeeds and is succeeded by a temperature above the freezing point, that proves so inhospitable to the most valued Tree-Fruits. And, as the dense forests which formerly clothed the Alleghenies and the Atlantic slope, are year by year swept away, the severity of our “cold snaps,” and the celerity with which they appear and disappear, are constantly aggravated. A change of 60°, or from 50° above to 10° below zero, between morning and the following midnight, soon followed by an equally rapid return to an average November temperature, often proves fatal even to hardy forest-trees. I have had the Red Cedar in my woods killed by scores during an open, capricious Winter; and my observation indicates the warmest spots in a forest as those where trees are most likely to be thus destroyed.

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The apple tree

If I were asked to say what single aspect of our economic condition most strikingly and favorably distinguished the people of our Northern States from these of most if not all other countries which I have traversed, I would point at once to the fruit-trees which so generally diversify every little as well as larger farm throughout these States, and are quite commonly found even on the petty holdings of the poorer mechanics and workmen in every village and in the suburbs and outskirts of every city.

I can recall nothing like it abroad, save in two or three of the least mountainous and most fertile districts of northern Switzerland. Italy has some approach to it in the venerable olive-trees which surround or flank many, perhaps most, of her farm-houses, upholding grape-vines as ancient and nearly as large as themselves; but the average New-England or Middle State homestead, with its ample Apple-orchard and its cluster of Pear, Cherry and Plum-trees surrounding its house and dotting or belting its garden, has an air of comfort and modest thrift, which I have nowhere else seen fairly equaled.

Upland Virginia and the mountainous portion of the States southward of her may in time surpass the most favored regions of the North in the abundance, variety and excellence of their fruits; for the Peach and the Grape find here a congenial climate, while they are grown with difficulty, where they can be grown at all, in the North; but, up to this hour, I judge that our country north of the Potomac is better supplied with wholesome and palatable tree-fruits than any other portion of the earth’s surface of equal or nearly equal area.

On the whole, I deem it a misfortune that our Northern States were so admirably adapted to the Apple and kindred fruit-trees that our pioneer forefathers had little more to do than bury the seeds in the ground and wait a few years for the resulting fruit. The soil, formed of decayed trees and their foliage, thickly covered with the ashes of the primitive forest, was as genial as soil could be; while the remaining woods, which still covered seven-eighths of the country, shut out or softened the cold winds of Winter and Spring, rendering it less difficult, a century ago, to grow fine peaches in southern New-Hampshire than it now is in southern New-York.

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Using manure as fertilizer

IMPORTANCE OF FARM MANURES

Of these two classes of manures the farmer should rely chiefly on the farm manures letting the commercial fertilizers take a secondary place because:

Farm manures are complete manures; that is they contain all the necessary elements of plant food.

Farm manures add to the soil large amounts of organic matter or humus.

The decay of organic matter produces carbonic acid which hastens the decay of mineral matter in the soil and so increases the amount of available plant food.

The organic matter changes the texture of the soil.

It makes sandy soils more compact and therefore more powerful to hold water and plant food.

It makes heavy clay soils more open and porous, giving them greater power to absorb moisture and plant food. This admits also of better circulation of the air in the soil, and prevents baking in dry weather.

Farm manures influence all of the conditions necessary for root growth while the commercial fertilizers influence mainly the plant food conditions.

The farm manures are good for all soils and crops.

They are lasting in their effects on the soil.

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Crop Rotation

Rotation of crops economizes the natural plant food of the soil and also that which is applied in the form of manure and fertilizer. This is because:

Crops take food from the soil in different amounts and different proportions.

Crops differ in their feeding powers.

Crops differ in the extent and depth to which they send their roots into the soil in search of food and water.

Crops differ in the time of year at which they make their best growths.

Rotation helps to maintain or improve the texture of the soil because the amount of humus in the soil is maintained or increased by turning under green manure and cover crops which should occur in every well-planned rotation.

Rotation helps to maintain or increase the plant food in the surface soil. When crops like cowpeas or clover which take mineral food from the subsoil and nitrogen from the air, are plowed under, they give up the plant food in their leaves, stems and upper roots to the surface soil, and thus help to maintain or increase fertility.

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Feeding Poultry

Experiments have demonstrated that what may be called the gastric juice in fowls has not sufficient power to dissolve their food, without the aid of the grinding action of the gizzard. Before the food is prepared for digestion, therefore, the grains must be subjected to a triturating process; and such as are not sufficiently bruised in this manner, before passing into the gizzard, are there reduced to the proper state, by its natural action.

Chickens eating table scrapsThe action of the gizzard is, in this respect, mechanical; this organ serving as a mill to grind the food to pieces, and then, by means of its powerful muscles, pressing it gradually into the intestines, in the form of pulp. The power of this organ is said to be sufficient to pulverize hollow globules of glass in a very short time, and solid masses of the same substance in a few weeks.

The rapidity of this process seems to be proportionate, generally, to the size of the bird. A chicken, for example, breaks up such substances as are received into its stomach less readily than the capon; while a goose performs the same operation sooner than either. Needles, and even lancets, given to turkeys, have been broken in pieces and voided, without any apparent injury to the stomach. The reason, undoubtedly, is, that the larger species of birds have thicker and more powerful organs of digestion.

It has long been the general opinion that, from some deficiency in the digestive apparatus, fowls are obliged to resort to the use of stones and gravel, in order to enable them to dispose of the food which they consume. Some have supposed that the use of these stones is to sheath the gizzard, in order to fit it to break into smaller fragments the hard, angular substances which might be swallowed; they have also been considered to have a medicinal effect; others have imagined that they acted as absorbents for undue quantities of acids in the stomach, or as stimulants to digestion; while it has even been gravely asserted that they contribute directly to nutrition.

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POULTRY STOCK, BREEDING, AND CROSSING

The following article was taken from:

Poultry: A Practical Guide to the Choice, Breeding, Rearing, and Management of all Descriptions of Fowls, Turkeys, Guinea-fowls, Ducks, and Geese, for Profit and Exhibition.

Author: Hugh Piper

Publication Date: 1872

Keep only good, healthy, vigorous, well-bred fowls, whether you keep them to produce eggs or chickens, or both. The ill-bred mongrel fowls which are so commonly kept, are the most voracious, and consume larger quantities of food, without turning it to any account; while well-bred fowls eat less, and quickly convert that into fat, flesh, and eggs.

“Large, well-bred fowls,” says Mr. Edwards, “do not consume more food than ravenous, mongrel breeds. It is the same with fowls as with other stock. I have at this moment two store pigs, one highly bred, the other a rough, ill-bred animal. They have, since they left their mothers, been fed together and upon the same food. The former, I am confident (from observation), ate considerably less than the latter, which was particularly ravenous. The former pig, however, is in excellent condition, kind, and in a measure fat; whereas the latter looks hard, starved, and thin, and I am sure she will require one-third more food to make bacon of.”

For the amateur who is content with eggs and chickens, and does not long for prize cups, excellent birds possessing nearly all the best characteristics of their breeds, but rendered imperfect by a few blemishes, may be purchased at a small cost, and will be as good layers or chicken-producers, and answer his purpose as well as the most expensive that can be bought.

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Poultry Nutrition

The following article was taken from:

Poultry: A Practical Guide to the Choice, Breeding, Rearing, and Management of all Descriptions of Fowls, Turkeys, Guinea-fowls, Ducks, and Geese, for Profit and Exhibition.

Author: Hugh Piper

Publication Date: 1872

With the introduction of commercial grade feed a lot of these lessons from the past are falling to the wayside. During a long term SHTF situation, this type of information will probably come in handy.

Protein, one great secret of profitable poultry-keeping is, that hens cannot thrive and lay without a considerable quantity of protein, and therefore if they cannot obtain a sufficient quantity in the form of insects, it must be supplied in meat, which, minced small, should be given daily and also to all fowls in winter, as insects are then not to be had.

Mr. Baily says: “Do not give fowls meat, but always have the bones thrown out to them after dinner; they enjoy picking them, and perform the operation perfectly. Do not feed on raw meat; it makes fowls quarrelsome, and gives them a propensity to peck each other, especially in moulting time if the accustomed meat be withheld.” Take care that long pieces of membrane, or thick skin, tough gristle or sinew, or pieces of bone, are not left sticking to the meat, or it may choke them, or form a lodgment in the crop.

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Chicken House Lessons From The Past

The following article was taken from:

Poultry: A Practical Guide to the Choice, Breeding, Rearing, and Management of all Descriptions of Fowls, Turkeys, Guinea-fowls, Ducks, and Geese, for Profit and Exhibition.

Author: Hugh Piper

Publication Date: 1872

In this work we shall consider the accommodation and requisites for keeping fowls successfully on a moderate scale, and the reader must adapt them to his own premises, circumstances, and requirements. Everywhere there must be some alterations, omissions, or compromises.

We shall state the essentials for their proper accommodation, and describe the mode of constructing houses, sheds, and arranging runs, and the reader must then form his plan according to his own wishes, resources, and the capabilities of the place. The climate of Great Britain being so very variable in itself, and differing in its temperature so much in different parts, no one manner or material for building the fowl-house can be recommended for all cases.

Plans for poultry establishments on large scales for the hatching, rearing, and fattening of fowls, turkeys, ducks, and geese, are given in our smaller work on Poultry.

The best aspects for the fowl-house are south and south-east, and sloping ground is preferable to flat.

“It is only of late years,” says Mr. Baily, “poultry-houses have been much thought of. In large farmyards, where there are cart-houses, calf-pens, pig-styes, cattle-sheds, shelter under the eaves of barns, and numerous other roosting-places, not omitting the trees in the immediate vicinity, they are little required–fowls will generally do better by choosing for themselves; and it is beyond a doubt healthier for them to be spread about in this manner, than to be confined to one place. But a love of order, on the one hand, and a dread of thieves or foxes on the other, will sometimes make it desirable to have a proper poultry-house.”

Each family of fowls should, if possible, have a house and run; and if they are kept as breeding stock, and the breeds are to be preserved pure, this is essential. And where many kinds are kept, the various houses must be adapted to the peculiarities of the different breeds, in order to do justice to them all, and to attain success in each.

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Rice Recipes

Rice is probably the main food item that survivalist are stockpiling. The problem is food fatigue. It does not matter if you have a ton of rice, once food fatigue kicks in, you are not going to eat rice.

Hopefully this list of recipes will help break rice food fatigue.

RICE MUFFINS

1 cup cold boiled rice.
Yolk of egg and white beaten separately.
1 teaspoon sugar.
1/2 teaspoon salt.
1 cup sweet milk.
2 cups flour.
2 teaspoonfuls baking powder.

Put the rice, yolk of egg, sugar and salt in a bowl and beat together; then add 1 teacup sweet milk alternately with the flour, in which has been sifted the baking powder. Add the stiffly-beaten white of egg; bake in muffin pans in hot oven. This makes about fifteen muffins.

RICE WAFFLES

Add 1 tablespoonful of butter and 1 tablespoonful lard to 1 cup of cold, boiled rice; 2 yolks of eggs, the whites beaten separately and added last; 2 cups of flour, 1 teaspoonful salt and 2 teaspoonfuls baking powder, sifted together; 1 teaspoonful of sugar and 1 teaspoonful of molasses, and enough sweet milk to make a thin batter.

Bake in hot waffle irons. With these serve either maple syrup or a mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

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Egg Recipes

Chickens are probably the perfect livestock for a long term SHTF survival situation. Unlike a lot of farm animals, chickens will produce food every couple of days in the form of an egg. Once the chicken has matured and stopped laying, the chicken can be butchered and eaten.

One of the problems that people will experience after SHTF will be food fatigue. Even though the chickens may be laying eggs everyday, once food fatigue kicks in people will be sick of eggs.

To help ward off food fatigue, here is a list of various egg recipes.

OMELETTE

3 fresh eggs.
1 cup sweet milk.
3 level tablespoonfuls of flour.

Place a small pan on the range, containing one tablespoonful of butter.

Place 3 tablespoonfuls of flour in a bowl, mixed smoothly with a portion of the cup of milk, then added the three yolks of eggs which had been lightly beaten and the balance of the milk and a pinch of salt.

Stir in lightly the stiffly-beaten whites of eggs.

Pour all into the warmed fry-pan and placed it in a moderately hot oven until lightly browned on top.

The omelette when cooked should be light and puffy, and remain so while being served.

Double the omelette together on a hot platter and sprinkle finely chopped parsley over the top.

Serve immediately.

HARD BOILED EGGS

Eggs to be hard boiled should be carefully placed in boiling water and cooked 15 minutes from the time the water commences to boil again.

If cooked a longer time, the white of egg will look dark and the outer part of yolk will not be a clear yellow, as it should, to look appetizing when served.

SOFT BOILED EGGS

The quicker way to prepare eggs is to drop them in a stew-pan containing boiling water, and let boil 3-1/2 to 4 minutes, when the white part of the egg should be “set” and the yolk soft, but a soft
boiled egg is said to be more easily digested if dropped into a stew-pan of rapidly boiling water.

Remove the stew-pan of boiling water the minute the eggs have been put in from the front part of the range to a place where the water will keep hot, but not allow the eggs to boil. Let the eggs remain in the hot water from 8 to 10 minutes. On breaking the egg open, the yolk will be found soft, and the white of the egg a soft, jelly-like consistency.

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