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

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

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Our Farm of Four Acres and the Money we Made by it, by Miss CoultonThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.netTitle: Our Farm of Four Acres and the Money we Made by itAuthor: Miss CoultonRelease Date: March 13, 2004 [EBook #11555]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK OUR FARM OF FOUR ACRES ***This etext was produced by Jared Fuller.OUR FARM OF FOUR ACRES AND THE MONEY WEMADE BY IT.Miss CoultonFrom the Twelfth London Edition.WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY PETER B. MEAD, EDITOR OF THE HORTICULTURIST.1860Preface 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 fromexpressing my gratitude for the kind treatment I have experienced. From many of the criticisms which have appearedrespecting "Our Farm of Four Acres," I have received not only complimentary remarks, but likewise some useful hints onthe subjects of which I have written. With the praise comes some little censure; and I am charged by more than onefriendly critic with stupidity for not ordering the legs of our first cow to be strapped, which would, they consider, haveprevented both milk and milker from being knocked over. Now this was done, but the animal had a ...

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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Our Farm of FourAcres and the Money we Made by it, by MissCoultonThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: Our Farm of Four Acres and the Money weMade by itAuthor: Miss CoultonRelease Date: March 13, 2004 [EBook #11555]Language: English*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK OUR FARM OF FOUR ACRES ***This etext was produced by Jared Fuller.
OUR FARM OF FOURACRES AND THEMONEY WE MADE BYIT.Miss CoultonFrom the Twelfth London Edition.WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY PETER B. MEAD,EDITOR OF THE HORTICULTURIST.1860Preface to the Twelfth London Edition.This little volume has been received with so muchfavor, both by the public and the press, that Icannot refrain from expressing my gratitude for thekind treatment I have experienced. From many ofthe criticisms which have appeared respecting "OurFarm of Four Acres," I have received not onlycomplimentary remarks, but likewise some useful
hints on the subjects of which I have written. Withthe praise comes some little censure; and I amcharged by more than one friendly critic withstupidity for not ordering the legs of our first cow tobe strapped, which would, they consider, haveprevented both milk and milker from being knockedover. Now this was done, but the animal had a wayof knocking the man and pail down with her side;every means was tried, but nothing succeeded tillher calf was parted with. We have been askedwhether we had to keep gates, hedges, &c., inrepair, or whether it was done at the expense ofthe landlord. As far as regarded the gates andbuildings, that gentleman was bound by agreementto keep them in order, and as for hedges we havenone. A stream runs round the meadows, andforms the boundary of our small domain. Since ourlittle work was written we have had nearly eighteenmonths' further experience, and have as muchreason now as then to be satisfied with the profitswe receive from our four acres. I must add a fewwords concerning our butter-making. Some doubtshave been expressed relative to our power ofchurning for four hours at a time. Now it certainlywas not pleasant, but it was not the hard work thatsome people imagine: fatiguing certainly; but thenH. and myself took it, as children say, "turn andturn about." We did not entrust the churn to Tom,because he was liable to be called away to performsome of his many duties. Had we not had the toil,we should not have acquired the knowledge whichnow enables us to complete our work in three-quarters of an hour. We have been pitied for beingalways employed, and told that we can never know
the luxury of leisure. We answer this remark withthe words of "Poor Richard," that "leisure is thetime for doing something useful."INTRODUCTION TO THE AMERICAN EDITION.This little volume will possess rare interest for allwho own a "four-acre farm," or, indeed, a farm ofany number of acres. Its chief value to theAmerican reader does not consist in its details ofpractice, but in the enunciation and demonstrationof certain principles of domestic economy ofuniversal application. The practice of terra-culturemust be varied to meet the different conditions ofsoil and climate under which it is pursued; butsound general principles hold good everywhere,and only need the exercise of ordinary judgmentand common sense for their application to our ownwants. This is now better understood thanheretofore, and hence we are better prepared toprofit by draughts from the fount of universalknowledge. We would not be understood asintimating, however, that only the general principlesset forth in this little book are of value to us; thedetails of making butter and bread, feeding stock,etc., are just as useful to us as to the Englishreader. The two chapters on making butter andbread are admirable in their way, and alone areworth the price of the book. So, too, of domesticsand their management; we have to go throughpretty much the same vexations, probably a littleintensified, as there is among us a more rampantspirit of independence on the part of servants; but
many of these vexations may be avoided, we haveno doubt, by following the suggestion of our author,of procuring "country help" for the country.Domestics accustomed to city life not only lack therequisite knowledge, but are unwilling to learn, andwill not readily adapt themselves to thecircumstances in which they are placed; in fact, themajority of them "know too much," and arealtogether too impatient of control. A woman,however, must be mistress in her own house; thisis indispensable to economy and comfort; and theplan adopted by our author will often secure thiswhen all others fail.We have not deemed it advisable to add anythingin the way of notes; we have made a fewalterations in the text to adapt it better to the wantsof the American reader, and for the same reasonwe have altered the English currency to our own.In other respects the work remains intact. In someworks of this kind notes would have beenindispensable, but in the present case we havethought we could safely trust to the judgment ofthe reader to appropriate and adapt the generalprinciples set forth, leaving the application ofdetails to the shrewdness and strong commonsense characteristic of the American mind. Theobject of the work is rather to demonstrate ageneral principle than to furnish all the minutiae ofpractice, though enough of these are given toserve the purpose of illustration. The Americanreader will not fail, of course, to make dueallowance for the difference of rent, prices, etc.,between this country and England, and the matter
of adaptation then becomes a very simple affair.In conclusion we present the work as a model instyle. It is written with a degree of simplicity whichmakes it readily understood, and is a fine specimenof good old Anglo-Saxon. Portions of it are fully asinteresting as a romance. It is written by a lady,which fact gives it an additional interest and valueas a contribution to the economy of country life, inwhich it may be admitted that women are ourmasters. The incidents connected that women areour masters. The incidents connected with hiring"our farm of four acres" are related in a life-likemanner, and will be appreciated by our own May-day hunting country-women, who, we trust, willalso appreciate the many important facts set forthin this little volume, which we heartily commend tothem and to all others, with the wish that it may beas useful and popular as it has been at home.P.B.M..CHAP. I.—WHERE SHALL WE LIVE? II—OURFIRST DIFFICULTY. III.—OUR SECOND COW. IV—HOW TO MAKE BUTTER. V.—WHAT WE.MADE BY OUR COWS. VI.—OUR PIGS. VII—OUR POULTRY. VIII.—OUR LOSSES. IX.—OURPIGEONS. X.—HOW WE CURED OUR HAMS. XI.—OUR BREAD. XII.—OUR KITCHEN-GARDEN.XIII—THE MONEY WE MADE. XIV.—THE NEXTSIX MONTHS. XV.—OUR PONY. XVL.—CONCLUSION.
OUR FARM OF FOUR ACRES.CHAPTER I.WHERE SHALL WE LIVE?"Where shall we live?" That was a question askedby the sister of the writer, when it becamenecessary to leave London, and break up a oncehappy home, rendered desolate suddenbereavement."Ah! Where, indeed?" was the answer. "Where canwe hope to find a house which will be suitable forourselves, six children, and a small income?""Oh," answered H., "there can be no difficultyabout that. Send for the 'Times' and we shall finddozens of places that will do for us." So that mightyorgan of information was procured, and its columnseagerly searched."But," said I, "what sort of place do we really meanto take?""That," replied H., "is soon settled. We must have agood-sized dining-room, small drawing-room, and abreakfast-room, which may be converted into aschool-room. It must have a nursery and five goodbed-chambers, a chaise-house, and stable for thepony and carriage, a large garden, and three or
four acres of land, for we must keep a cow. It mustnot be more than eight miles from 'town,' or twofrom a station; it must be in a good neighborhood,and it must—""Stop! Stop!" cried I; "how much do you intend togive a-year for all these conveniences:""How much?" Why, I should say we ought not togive more than $250.""We ought not," said I, gravely, "but I greatly fearwe shall for that amount have to put up with a farinferior home to the one you contemplate. Butcome, let us answer a few of theseadvertisements; some of them depict the veryplace you wish for."So after selecting those which, when they haddescribed in bright colors the houses to be let,added, "Terms very moderate," we "presentedcompliments" to Messrs. A., B., C., D., and in duetime received cards to view the "desirable countryresidences" we had written about. But our hopes ofbecoming the fortunate occupants of any one ofthose charming abodes were soon dashed to theground; for with the cards came the terms; and wefound that a "very moderate rental" meant from$600 to $750 per annum. We looked at each otherrather ruefully; and the ungenerous remark of "Itold you so" rose to my lips. However, I did not giveit utterance, but substituted the words, "Nevermind, let us send for another 'Times,' and onlyanswer those advertisements which state plainly
the rent required." This time we enlarged our ideason the subjects of rent and distance, and resolvedthat if that beautiful place near Esher would suit us,we would not mind giving $300 a-year for it.In a few days arrived answers to our last inquiries.We fixed on the one which appeared the mosteligible, but were a little dismayed to find that "nearEsher" meant six miles from the station."Never mind," said H., resolutely, "the pony cantake us to it in fine weather, and in winter we mustnot want to go to London."We started the next morning by rail, and found the"Cottage" almost as pretty as it had appeared onpaper. But, alas! it been let the day previous to ourarrival, and we had to return to town minus fivedollars for our expenses.The next day, nothing daunted,—indeed, ratherencouraged by finding the house we had seenreally equal to our expectations,—we set off toview another "villa," which, from the particulars wehad received from the agent, appeared quite asattractive. This time we found the place tenantless;and, as far as we were concerned, it wouldcertainly remain so. It had been represented as a"highly-desirable country residence, and quiteready for the reception of a family ofrespectability." It was dignified with the appellationof "Middlesex Hall," and we were rather surprisedwhen we found that this high-sounding namesignified a mean-looking place close to the road;