The Book of the Farm: Detailing the Labors of the Farmer, Farm-steward, Ploughman, Shepherd, Hedger, Cattle-man, Field-worker, and Dairymaid, Volume 1
Blackwood, 1844 - 326 pages
Replete with instruction and knowledge honed with experience, The Book of the Farm remains one of the finest agricultural guidebooks ever produced.
The 19th century saw the maturation of farming in Western Europe, with intensive methods and efficiencies achieved as never before. Published in the 1840s and successively revised over subsequent decades, this book is a summation of the ingenuity of large-scale agriculture. The production of ever-greater harvests required skill; no longer could any farm be maintained by rudimentary methods taught by example - farming had become a sophisticated, professional discipline reliant upon science and machinery.
Aimed at informing prospective students of farming, this work makes no secret of the difficulty and wits required of the modern farmer. Over 100 illustrations depict the tools required, from hoes and ploughs to the traction steam engines that served as forerunners to the modern tractor. Over 80 charts detail all manner of records: animal and crop weights, their prices on the market, mineral levels present in soil and fertilizer, costs of machinery and day-to-day operations.
In all, The Book of the Farm is both a superb agricultural history and guide, filled with insight and techniques useful even in the modern day.