The Book of the Farm: Detailing the Labors of the Farmer, Farm-steward, Ploughman, Shepherd, Hedger, Cattle-man, Field-worker, and Dairymaid, Volume 1

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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.


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Page 248 - Sometime, we see a cloud that's dragonish, A vapour, sometime, like a bear, or lion, A tower'd citadel, a pendant rock, A forked mountain, or blue promontory With trees upon't, that nod unto the world, And mock our eyes with air: thou hast seen these signs; They are black vesper's pageants.
Page 246 - The rising vapours catch the silver light: Thence Fancy measures, as they parting fly, Which first will throw its shadow on the eye, Passing the source of light; and thence away, Succeeded quick by brighter still than they.
Page 298 - That wave and glitter in the distant sun. When, if a sudden gust of wind arise, The brittle forest into atoms flies: The crackling wood beneath the tempest bends, And in a spangled shower the prospect ends...
Page 66 - In the rough bristly stubbles range unblam'd ; No widow's tears o'erflow, no secret curse Swells in the farmer's breast, which his pale lips Trembling conceal, by his fierce landlord aw'd : But courteous now he levels ev'ry fence, Joins in the common cry, and holloas loud, Charm 'd with the rattling thunder of the field.
Page 275 - When you can hear the fishers near at hand Distinctly speak, yet see not where they stand; Or sometimes them and not their boat discern, Or half-conceal'd some figure at the stern...
Page 227 - Winter comes, to rule the varied year, Sullen and sad, with all his rising train — Vapours, and clouds, and storms. Be these my theme ; These, that exalt the soul to solemn thought And heavenly musing. Welcome, kindred glooms...
Page 50 - The grand object of this institution has been, and is, to form a school of veterinary science, in which the anatomical structure of quadrupeds of all kinds, horses, cattle, sheep, dogs, &c. the diseases to which they are subject, and the remedies proper to be applied, might be investigated and regularly taught...
Page 302 - After a northerly wind, for the most of two months or more, and then coming south, there are usually three or four fair days at first, and then on the fourth or fifth day comes rain, or else the wind turns north again and continues dry.
Page 336 - Earth, sand, gravel, stones, and other transported matter which has been washed away and thrown down by rivers, floods, or other causes, upon land not permanently submerged beneath the waters of lakes or seas.
Page 83 - There is scarcely any wellinformed person, who, if he has but the will, has not also the power to add something essential to the general stock of knowledge, if he will only observe regularly and methodically some particular class of facts which may most excite his attention, or which his situation may best enable him to study with effect.

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