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Intensive cultivation, raising a big crop on little land, can be carried on most profitably near areas of dense population; for perishable products, like fruits and vegetables, can be best marketed near the consumer. The limit for delivery by auto is about fifteen to twenty miles, and then only if roads are good; if the land selected lies on the line of a railroad which gives equal terms to way freight and to through freight, you will fare nearly as well.
Railroads control agricultural development. Sparsely settled regions always practice extensive cultivation, raising light crops on big farms, because only such crops can be grown as can be raised on large areas by machinery, and are not perishable. Staples like corn,wheat, pork, and beef are transported at low prices for long distances by the railroads. This forces the settlers in newly opened portions of the country to sell in a market created by the railroads, in competition with what is produced within the areas of intensive cultivation, that is, with access to adjacent markets.
So we find the bonanza wheat farms of California, the Dakotas, and the Canadian Northwest, the pampas of the Argentine, the Steppes of Russia, and the Indian uplands devoted to wheat raising; in the United States corn belt, fields of from five to twenty thousand acres are still not uncommon. Conversely, intensive cultivation is most advanced in China, where a dense population forced the people long ago to bring into use every foot of tillable soil that is left open to them.
Near the towns of the United States a few market gardeners supply such vegetables as the people do not raise for themselves. The states along the Atlantic seaboard have all the facilities for successful intensive cultivation--a dense population and idle,cultivable land. In choosing a location, the home crofter should well consider his experience, and try to enter a community where he can engage in analogous pursuits. Dairy regions never have enough men who understand cattle and horses; fruit-growing districts always need experienced pickers; market garden regions need men who understand rotating crops and making hotbeds, transplanting, etc.
If you have a little money, you can probably do best by buying and draining some swamp land, which is the most productive of all, as it contains the washings of the upland for centuries. Swamp land can usually be cleared and drained for from thirty to forty dollars per acre. It can be bought very cheap and when ready to cultivate will have increased many times in value.
The next best is the "abandoned" or worn-out farm. Proper methods of cultivation will bring it back to more than its original fertility.
The Eastern states from Maine to Virginia abound with them at from five to twenty-five dollars per acre. In many cases the buildings are worth more than the whole price asked.
The nearest land easily available in the East is in the state of New York. The writer believes it is true that "there are twenty thousand farms for sale in this state, and nearly, all at such low prices and upon such favorable terms as to make them available for any one desiring to engage in agriculture or have a farm home. The soil of these farms is not exhausted, but on the contrary is, with proper cultivation, very productive. Nearly all have good buildings and fences, are supplied with good water and plenty of wood for farm purposes, and in nearly all cases have apple and other fruit trees upon them." (List of Farms, occupied and unoccupied, for sale in New York State. Bureau of Information and Statistics, Bulletin, State of New York, Department of Agriculture.)
These farms are distributed all over the state, some in nearly every county. In Sullivan County, for example, there are farms for sale ranging in price from ten to one hundred dollars per acre. These can, almost without exception, be bought by small payments, balance on long mortgages, and it is wonderful how cheap they are. In Ulster County thirty farms, some of which I have seen, are offered for sale at trifling prices.
Of course, many of these farms have been sold since the first editions of this book, and the prices have advanced, perhaps on the average doubled; but cheap automobiles have improved roads and have made others available that were useless ten years ago. The development of the Southern states, with eradication of the cattle tick (the cause of "Texas Fever") and irrigation and rotation of crops, has opened up new countries. N. O. Nelson writes he has bought many Louisiana farms for his cooperative enterprise for about what the improvements are worth.
Cut over woodlands which we have learned to make produce incomes of about five dollars each year per acre by intelligent forestry, as well as swamp lands which we now know how to make healthful by drainage and by the extinction of mosquitoes, can still be had at low prices in New York and other states. Numerous others are in the market from five dollars per acre up, and so it goes through the state, from Wyoming County in the extreme western end, where farms ranging from thirty to three hundred acres are in the market at from thirty to forty dollars per acre, to St. Lawrence County in the north, where land can be bought as low as fifteen dollars per acre.
When it is considered that these lands are within easy access to established markets with transportation and mail facilities, rural delivery, and telephone a proper idea may be formed of their value in opportunity. The authority quoted further states that "probably fifty thousand agricultural laborers can find employment on the farms of New York at good wages. Families particularly are wanted to rent houses and work farms on shares." Wages for new hands run from twenty to thirty dollars and upwards per month with board. Men who know how to milk are especially in demand throughout the dairy regions. These conditions make it possible for experienced farmers,although entirely without money, to get to the soil.
Over three hundred thousand aliens annually settled in the cities of New York State during some years in the last decade. These people could be got out of the cities, where in normal times they are little needed, into adjacent country districts where they are much needed.
In the _Real Estate Record and Guide, _Mr. A. L. Langdon says: "It is most remarkable that there are on Long Island, within from thirty-five to seventy miles of New York, thousands of acres of land which have never been cultivated, which have for years produced nothing but cordwood, and which the owners allow to be overrun with fire almost every year. A large part of this land has soil two or three feet deep underlaid with gravel. The best water in the world is abundant and the climate is more equable than on the mainland,and in each locality where any reasonable effort has been made to cultivate the soil, it has produced plentifully of all fruits and vegetables which can be grown in this latitude."
Long Island should produce all the fruit, vegetables, poultry, eggs,and milk needed by its own residents, with a large surplus for the city markets, instead of getting, as it does, a large part of its supply of these things from the city.
When it is considered that about a quarter of a million acres of this land so close to the city is now scrub oak and uncultivated waste, and that there are about a million adult workers in the city,the importance of the experiment is obvious; especially as we learn from the United States census that over ten thousand of these workers are already in agricultural pursuits within the city limits.
"Here midway on Long Island, and just beyond the limits for a man to locate who expects to earn his living by daily work in the city, is a territory about forty miles long and ten miles wide which by intensive farming would yield a good living for more than two hundred thousand inhabitants. In this agricultural section, a man of small means who expects to live on the land the year round, should purchase a plot not too small to produce enough to support himself and family and a surplus to sell, not less than six acres. Probably all men have more or less land hunger a desire to own land and it is a worthy object to encourage to the extent of inducing a man to purchase what he can pay for and be satisfied with, but it is a shameful thing to induce a poor man, who has to earn his living in New York, to buy on the installment plan a small lot so far from his place of employment that he cannot live on it and travel to and from his work every day, and where there is the strongest probability that he will never make more than two or three payments, and will consequently lose what he does pay." The writer hears of one plot which was sold nineteen times and the contracts defaulted on after payments, before any one took title.
If the seeker is not satisfied with the opportunities which the state of New York offers, he may turn to New Jersey, equally accessible and equally rich in chances.
New Jersey Year-Book: "There are in the southern part of the State large tracts of land which are still uncleared, or covered with brushwood, and which are adapted to tillage and capable of producing large crops of small fruits and market garden vegetables. The wood on them is mainly scrub oak, with some dwarfed pitch pine and yellow pine, and hence they are called oak lands to distinguish them from the more sandy lands and tracts on which the pitch pine grows almost exclusively. The latter are known as pine lands. The total area of cleared (farm) lands in the southern division of the State,southeast of the marl belt, is about 450,000 acres. The pineland belts have an aggregate area of 486,000 acres, making at least 800,000 acres accessible by railways from the large cities and also near to tidewater navigation. The maps of the Geological Survey show the location and the extent of these lands, their railway lines, and their relation to the settlements already made and to the cities.
"The soils of these tracts are sandy and not naturally so rich and fertile as the more heavy clay soils of the limestone, the red shale, and the marl districts of the State, but they are not so sandy and so coarse-grained as to be non-productive, like some of the pineland areas. The latter are often deficient in plant food and are deservedly characterized as pine barrens, being too poor for farm purposes. The growth of oak and pine, as well as chemical analyses, shows that the oak-land soils contain the elements of plant production. They are not so well suited to pasturage or to continuous cropping as naturally rich virgin soils; they are better fitted for raising vegetables, melons, sweet potatoes, small fruits,peaches, and pears than wheat, Indian corn, hay, and other staples.
The eminent superiority of this kind of farming in New Jersey over the old routine of wheat, corn, hay, and potatoes is well known.
These South Jersey soils are easily cleared of brushwood or standing timber, and of stumps, with a hand or horse-power puller which is a cheap affair, and the wood is salable in all this part of the State at remunerative prices, often bringing more than the original cost of the land. The long working season and the short and mild winter favor the arrangement of work, so that all is done with the least outlay for help. They also favor the mosquitoes.
"The success of Hammonton, Egg Harbor City, Vineland, and other places is notable, and equally good results are to be had at a hundred or more places as well situated as they are. These lands are sold at low figures, and the settler saves in capital and interest account. Only the difficulty of getting money to help in building interferes with rapid settlement.
"The West Jersey Railway, the Pennsylvania, and the Philadelphia and Reading's Atlantic City Railroad, the Philadelphia and Seashore Railway, the New Jersey Southern Railroad, and other branch roads afford excellent facilities for access to New York, Philadelphia,and the cities of the State. The Cohansey, Maurice, and Mullica rivers head well up near the northwest limits of these lands, and their navigable reaches run for miles across them. The waters of the Delaware Bay and the ocean are within a few miles of a large part of this oak-land domain.
"The advantages of an old settled and Eastern State, within easy reach of these large markets, of land which is easily tilled and generous and quick in its response to feeding, and at low prices,make them equal to, if not better than, the rich prairie soils of a new West, or the low prices and cheap lands of the abandoned hillsides of New England."
Wages for unskilled farm labor are about the same as for New York--twenty to twenty-five dollars per month. The canning and fruit industries make room for a large number of people in the late summer and fall, who may thus, by taking a temporary place, kind some permanent location where they may improve their health and fortunes.
"Delaware also offers unequalled opportunities to immigrants. It is ideally situated on the Atlantic Ocean and the Delaware Bay, and is penetrated by numerous creeks and rivers.
"The railroad, steam, and electric facilities of the State are developing steadily year by year, while every section of the State possesses easily navigable streams, with vessels for carrying freight and passengers.
"Over fifteen millions of people live within a radius of three hundred miles; the large majority reside in cities and towns and furnish the finest markets in the world. Within five hundred miles are more than one third of the people of all North America.
"Wilmington is a city of seventy-five thousand people, is growing rapidly, and is becoming a great manufacturing place.
"These people may be reached in one day by the luscious fruits that grow in Delaware, and every one of them is perfectly happy when he gets a Delaware peach. Many other Delaware products are as good as the peaches.
"As cattle and wheat raising developed in the great West, Delaware people thought that they were ruined. They did not change at once,but slowly discovered that the light lands are wonderfully productive of fruits and vegetables, and that they pay much better than cattle and grain ever could. But these new methods have not been adopted in all parts of the State, so that land neglected and unprofitable is for sale. The tides of immigration have swept westward and left Delaware untouched. Men, money, and enterprise are needed.
" There are few unoccupied or 'abandoned' farms in Delaware." The land is mostly held by descendants of the early settlers, who form a species of landed aristocracy. Lately, owing to the younger members of these families having become established in the newer states and on account of the death or incapacity of the older members left in possession, there has been a marked tendency to sell off these farms. However, "a large proportion of the farms in Delaware are not for sale at any price. Some of them have been in the same family for generations, and if put on the market would sell for from one to two hundred dollars per acre."
The soil is all the way from a heavy white oak clay, which is too stiff and too sticky for most crops, to very light sand.
The heaviest clay is made lighter and more porous, and the lightest sand is readily made retentive of moisture and extremely productive,by plowing in different kinds of crops as green manure, such as cow peas, soy beans, the vetches, etc.; crimson clover, winter oats,rye, turnips, and numerous other crops may be sown in August or later, and produce a fine crop for turning under early in the spring. Crimson clover grows nearly all winter. Pure cold water is reached at from twenty to fifty feet by dug or driven wells.
The climate is good; there are no cyclones. There is some damp weather in winter, but there are no malignant fevers, and there is little or no malaria, except in a few marshy places. There are some mosquitoes and flies, but they are not especially troublesome, and there are no poisonous reptiles.
The population is mostly native, five sixths white, one sixth colored. The white population is almost entirely of Anglo Saxon descent.
"Perfect titles may be secured, but all titles everywhere should always be searched by a competent lawyer, the usual fee for which is ten to twenty dollars.
"Farm hands receive from twenty to twenty-five dollars per month and board, for a season of nine or ten months, sometimes for the whole year. Day hands receive from seventy-five cents to two dollars per day and board themselves."
Those who are tempted by the advertisements for fruitpickers should beware. Delaware, like some other states, allows fees to constables and to the "squires"--Justices of the Peace they would be elsewhere--for arrests, and it is a common practice to advertise for fruit pickers, then arrest them as tramps when they come, and the next day release them on condition that they will leave the county at once--and leave the trap open for the next comer.
Delaware peaches have made fortunes for many, but will make still greater fortunes in the future for the owners of the land.
Pears, plums, grapes, watermelons, and cantaloupes thrive, and find an ideal home, and small fruits all flourish. Sweet potatoes yield bountifully and are of the finest quality. Asparagus and early white potatoes pay handsome profits. Tomatoes, the great canning crop, are grown by the thousands of acres.
"The grasses and clovers grow in luxuriance, and hence dairying and beef production are profitable. Poultry pays as well as anywhere else; chickens often run on green clover all through the open winter.
"The game consists of various species of ducks, quails, reed birds,hares, marsh rabbits, and other small creatures. Shad, trout,herring, crocus, black bass, pike, white fish, rock fish, oysters,clams, crabs, and terrapin are abundant in Delaware waters."
The tax in the rural counties is generally sixty cents on the hundred dollars. Besides this there are taxes on business and a very light school tax. There is no state tax, yet the state makes large appropriations for the support of the public schools, which are free to everybody.
Maryland has established a State Bureau of Immigration in Baltimore to give information to home seekers, and advise them as to choice of location, opportunities for getting started in agricultural production, and aid them in any way consistent with a State Bureau.
Most of these facts are taken from such reports.
Southern Maryland and the eastern shore are especially adapted to gardening and trucking, as well as fruit growing. Land is cheap and can be purchased in tracts of any size from an acre upwards, at from ten to fifty dollars per acre. Farms from twenty acres to seven hundred acres and up are for sale in nearly every county in the state. The removal of a large part of the negro population from the country to the cities has resulted in the partition of the large estates into smaller farms, thus affording an opportunity for home seekers who are seeking cheap land amid congenial surroundings.
Nearly all of these farms have buildings, some in need of repair,others in very good condition.
For those who wish to avoid the hard work of breaking woodlands, the eastern and western shores offer abundant well-cultivated lands with buildings, orchards, and woods, in the immediate vicinity of navigable rivers and railways, on good roads at from twenty dollars per acre upwards. That seems cheap.
For settlers who are accustomed to mountainous regions, western Maryland has land for sale at even cheaper rates.
"There are many large tidal marshes in Maryland, as might be expected in a territory watered like this state. They are of the richest soil to be found, because the Chesapeake Bay is a great river valley, receiving the drainage of a vast area of fertile land,comprising nearly one third of New York and nearly all of the great agricultural states of Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. Every year this drainage brings down a black sediment, called oyster mud,which is deposited on the marshlands and enriches the soil, making it, with proper cultivation, of productivity like that of the rice and wheat fields of Egypt. These unreclaimed lands are used chiefly for grain."
Proper drainage of small tracts of this land would bring unsurpassed and absolutely untouched fertility.
The Chesapeake River valley is not so large as that of the Nile or Ganges, but is of enough consequence to play an important part in human affairs and to support in comfort and prosperity a population as large as that of many famous states.
"The eastern shore is uniformly level, with good roads. The proximity of the ocean and the bay greatly modifies the temperature.
It has a great trunk railway, with connections along its entire length, called the Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania railroad,which furnishes direct transportation to Philadelphia, New York, and other northern cities."
"On the eastern shore there are many thousand acres of land devoted to garden truck, and the strawberry crop has of late years become of importance. Over one hundred carloads of strawberries are shipped daily during the season to the Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York,and Boston markets."
Land properly cultivated will yield four thousand quarts of strawberries to an acre.
The canning of various fruits and vegetables has grown to be larger than that of any other state and is one of the most profitable of the industries of Maryland. The principal articles canned are peaches, peas, and tomatoes.
The tomato crop is also profitable to the grower. The young plants are set out in the spring; many do this with a machine, but two persons can easily plant seven acres in a day by hand.
An acre will produce from six to eighteen tons of tomatoes,according to the quality of the soil. All such products bring better prices now in Maryland markets than they did before canning was resorted to. The Maryland tin can is known wherever civilization reaches.
Tobacco is extensively produced only in southern Maryland, although it can be raised in any section of the state.
In the neighborhood of the larger cities trucking and fruit growing are profitable, combined with poultry raising, often on farms of not more than five or ten acres.
Many farmers devote part of their time successfully to bees, and there is nowhere a better climate for flowrs than that of Maryland.
Two English florists who have settled in Baltimore County, ten and thirteen miles northeast of the city, daily send to all parts of the United States and even to Canada many large boxes of beautiful roses, carnations, violets, and other choice flowers. Both of these men began on a small scale and have prospered.
The farmer who has a couple of thousand dollars to pay cash for a small farm in Maryland is assured of a good living. But also a less favored settler, if he has only from four to eight hundred dollars,can have a good start in Maryland, and probably as good a chance for independence and prosperity as anywhere.
Families of immigrants when traveling to the Western, Northwestern,and Southern states of America have to spend from one hundred and fifty to two hundred dollars for railroad tickets from New York to their destination; by going to these adjoining states they can save all that money, and invest it in land.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Immigration also publishes information for the home seeker.
To most people the name Virginia carries with it limitless vistas of tobacco fields covered with darkies plying the hoe, or picking off the ubiquitous worm. Before the War this picture would have been a true one; but since the awakening of the younger generation to a better understanding of her resources, together with the withdrawal of large numbers of the colored people into industrial occupations,no state offers more attractive inducements to the homecrofter than Virginia. In climate, diversity of soils, fruits, forests, water supply, mineral deposits, including mountain and valley, she offers unsurpassed advantages. Truly did Captain John Smith, the adventurous father of Virginia, suggest that "Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man's habitation."
Virginia lies between the extremes of heat and cold, removed alike from the sultry, protracted summers of the more southern states, and the longer winters and devastating storm and cyclones of the North and Northwest. Its limits north and south correspond to California and southern Europe.
The climate is mild and healthful. The winters are less severe than in the Northern and Northwestern states, or even the western localities of the same latitude, while the occasional periods of extreme heat in the summer are not more oppressive than in many portions of the North.
Tidewater Virginia, or the Coastal Plain, as it is sometimes called,receives the name from the fact that the streams that penetrate it feel the ebb and flow of the tides from the ocean up to the head of navigation. It consists chiefly of broad and level plains, while a considerable portion, nearest to the bay, has shallow bays and estuaries, and marshes that are in most instances reached only by the ocean tides. These marshes abound with wild duck and sora.
Tidewater is mainly an alluvial country. The soil is chiefly light,sandy loam, underlaid with clay. Its principal productions are fruits and early vegetables, which are raised in extensive "market gardens," and shipped in large quantities to Northern cities. The fertilizing minerals--gypsum, marl, and greensand--abound, and their judicious use readily restores the lands when exhausted by improvident cultivation.
Middle Virginia is a wide, undulating plain, crossed by many rivers that have cut their channels to a considerable depth and are bordered by alluvial bottom lands that are very productive. The soil consists of clays with a subsoil of disintegrated sandstone rocks,and varies according to the nature of the rock from which it is formed.
The principal productions of middle Virginia are corn, wheat, oats,and tobacco. The tobacco raised in this section and in Piedmont,known as the "Virginia Leaf," is the best grown and the best known in the United States. In this section, as in Tidewater, the low bottom lands formed by the sediment of the waters are exceptionally productive.
The Piedmont section is diversified and surpassingly picturesque.
The soil is heavier than that of middle Virginia, the subsoil being of stiff and dark red clay. On the slopes of the Blue Ridge grapes of delicious flavor grow luxuriantly. These produce excellent wines,and the clarets have a wide fame. The pippin apples of this section are of unrivaled excellence.
The "Great Valley," as it is descriptively called, is in the general configuration one continuous valley, included between the two mountain chains that extend throughout the state; it is one of the most abundantly watered regions on the face of the globe. Deep limestone beds form the floor of the Great Valley, and from these beds the soil derives an exceeding fertility, peculiarly adapted to the growth of grasses and grain, and it bears the name of the "garden spot" of the state.
Five trunk lines of railroads penetrate and intersect the state. The lines of steamboats that ply the navigable streams of eastern Virginia afford commercial communication for large sections of the state with the markets of this country and of Europe. Norfolk and Newport News maintain communication with the European markets by steamers and vessels, while from these ports is also kept up an extensive commerce along the Atlantic seaboard. The seaports are nearer than is New York to the great centers of population, and areas of production, of the West and Northwest.
Market garden crops of every description can be grown. The following result was obtained on a four-acre patch near Norfolk:
"The owner stated that in September he sowed spinach on four acres.
Between Christmas and the first of March following he cut and sold the spinach at the rate of one hundred barrels to the acre, at a price ranging from two to seven dollars per barrel--an average of $4.50 per barrel. Early in March the four acres were set out to lettuce, setting the plants in the open air with no protection whatever, 175,000 plants on the four acres. He shipped 450 half-barrel baskets of lettuce to the acre, at a price ranging from $2 to $2.75 per basket.
"Early in April, just before the lettuce was ready to ship, he planted snap beans between the lettuce rows; and today, June 2d,these are the finest beans we have seen this season.
"The last week in May he planted cantaloupes between the bean rows,which, when marketed in July, will make four crops from the same land in one year's time. The cantaloupes will be good for 250 crates to the acre, and the price will run from $1 to $1.50 per crate. A careful investigation of these 'facts, figures, and features' will show that his gross sales will easily reach $2000 per acre; his net profits depend largely upon the man and the management; but they surely should not be less than $1000 clear, clean profit to the acre."
"This is for farming done all out of doors. No hothouse or hotbed work--not a bit of it, with no extra expense for hotbeds, cold frames, or hothouses."
"Intensive," thorough tillage and care of the soil will probably pay as well here as at any point in the United States.
Apples are the principal fruit crop of the state. There is a yearly increasing number of trees. In one of the valley counties a seventeen-year-old orchard of 1150 trees produced an apple crop as far back as 1905 which brought the owner $10,000, another of fifty twenty-year-old trees brought $700. Mr. H. E. Vandeman, one of the best-known horticulturists in the country, says that there is not in all North America a better place to plant orchards than in Virginia;on account of its "rich apple soil, good flavor and keeping qualities of the fruit, and nearness to the great markets of the East and Europe."
The trees attain a fine size and live to a good old age, and produce abundantly. In Patrick County there is a tree nine feet five inches around which has borne 110 bushels of apples at a single crop; other trees have borne even more. One farmer in Albemarle County has received more than $15,000 for a single crop of Albemarle Pippins grown on twenty acres of land. This pippin is considered the most delicious apple in the world.
The fig, pomegranate, and other delicate fruits flourish in the Tidewater region.
New England, from Maine to Rhode Island, is suffering from one disease--lack of intelligent labor. Thirty years ago the sons and daughters who, in the natural course of events, would have stayed to cultivate the home acres, left to form a part of the westward throng making for the level, untouched prairies of Illinois and Iowa.
The old folks have died or become incapacitated. New interests chain their children to adopted homes. Result,--unoccupied lands by the hundred thousand acres, awaiting energy, skill, and faith.
Ten dollars an acre is a common price for the rocky hills of New England. The choice river bottoms, and land near the larger cities is as high priced as similar land anywhere else. Intending settlers can buy small areas for little money; usually the smallest farms have good buildings worth in many cases more than the price asked for the whole farm. Climatic conditions are not favorable to single cropping. In the old days general farming, grain, beef, sheep, and hogs were the rule; nowadays, special crops, dairying, fruit growing, etc.
Tobacco is the great staple in the rich Connecticut River bottoms,and even on the uplands, if properly manured, it pays from one to three hundred dollars per acre. Tobacco can be raised on small areas far from the railroad, as, when properly cured and packed for shipment, it is not perishable. To many the worst feature of New England is the climate--long, cold winters and short summers. Maine being farthest north suffers most in this respect, but that does not prevent her producing hundreds of thousands of tons of sweet corn for canning and vast quantities of eggs and butter. Fruit does well on the lower coast; a small orchard of peaches or plums will in three or four years from planting make a comfortable living. Bush fruits grow in abundance and give never-failing crops.
Poultry is peculiarly successful on the rocky hills, because they are nearly always dry or well drained. Dairying can be made to pay if near a creamery, or where milk can be sold at retail. The prospective settler here should bear in mind that wherever he goes,the first year will produce little more than a kitchen garden; the second enable him barely to pull through, and the third give him a start at a permanent income. In farming, as in all other businesses,only those will succeed who know what they want and how to get it;who have selected with care the locality best suited to the special crops they intend to raise; and after having once made a selection,stick until they have compelled success.
The lure of the vast West and of the new South is not forgotten; but the time has passed when the young man could go West to take a farm of Uncle Sam's. Desirable land is too expensive for the pioneer, and the constant toil and comparative isolation of the prairie farm offers but a poor sort of liberty, though it still affords a living.
But close to the growing towns in those states small plots of land can still be had to work with the same bright prospects that are offered near the great metropolis.
In nearly all the sections within the area of intensive cultivation,timber is still plentiful enough to make it the cheapest building material; and persons who really want to get to the land can contrive a sufficient shelter, like a pioneer's, for from two to five hundred dollars.