Thursday, March 1, 2018

Book cover: "Five Acres and Independence"

  • Title: Five Acres and Independence
  • Subtitle: A Practical Guide to the Selection and Management of the Small Farm
  • Author: Maurice Grenville Kains (1868-1946)
  • Cover illustrator: Not credited
  • Original publication: 1935
  • This edition: Sixteenth printing (revised and enlarged edition), March 1943
  • Publisher: Greenberg, New York
  • Original price: Unknown (dust jacket is clipped)
  • Pages: 401
  • Format: Hardcover
  • First sentences: People who think they "would like to have a little farm" naturally fall into two groups; those who are sure to fail and those likely to succeed. This book is written to help both!
  • Random sentence from middle #1: Borrowing money for production is not more dishonorable than borrowing tools for the same purpose.
  • Random sentence from middle #2: No fruit is easier to grow, quicker to yield a crop, surer of a demand, or more likely to be profitable than the strawberry.
  • Goodreads rating: 3.98 stars out of 5.0.
  • Excerpt from a Goodreads review: In 2014, Alger wrote: "There is not an ounce of bad advice in this book, if you only have access to 1930s technology, and if you really want to achieve a depression-era standard of subsistence this book will get you there comfortably. I never really made a complete go of the Independence part of the title, but I got close enough to see that it was just possible. That's why I keep this resource around; maybe someday I will need it again."
  • Amazon rating: 4.4 stars out of 5.0
  • One Amazon review: In 2015, Gary F. Strickland wrote: "I originally purchased this book 35 years ago when I had bought a 5 acre parcel of land. While it has some useful information, much of it is dated. Still, it is a book worth having, if only for the sake of dreams."
  • Notes: Kains' resume is shoehorned onto the title page: "Special Crop Culturist, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Formerly Head of Horticulture Department, Pennsylvania State College; Horticulture, Agriculture and Botany Editor, New International Encyclopedia; Garden Editor, Pictorial Review and other National Magazines; Lecturer on Horticulture, Columbia University." ... The front of the book leads off with this quote from Abraham Lincoln: "The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land." ... Chapter titles include: City vs. Country Life, Tried and True Ways to Fail, The Farm to Choose, Where to Locate, Farm Finance, Drainage, Frost Damage Prevention, Green Manures and Cover Crops, Grafting Fruit Trees, Something to Sell Every Day, and The Farm Library. ... If you're looking for some more recent books on this topic, check out this list from The Anarchist Family Blog.

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