MONEY IN THE HOME ACRE.
Money at Home—What a Single Acre Will Do—Gold in the Soil—How a Dike Made a Klondike—$1,000 at Your Back Door—Nickels in Pickles! Livings in Pickings!—A Fortune in a Fat Slice of Earth—A Great (Grate) Way to Make Money.
There are multitudes of people who have a single acre of ground which could be made to yield much profit if they knew how to handle it. Others have an half or a quarter of an acre; not enough, perhaps, to give them a support, but which would add very materially to their income if properly cultivated. In this chapter we tell you what to do with the “home acre,” with examples of what others have done with it.
- Money in Pears.—Do you know that one acre of the best yielding pear trees will bring more profit than a five-hundred acre farm without a twentieth of the care or capital?
- Greenbacks in Greenings.—It is a fact that forty apple trees of the R. H. Greening variety on a single acre have yielded a crop worth $400.
- Plums of Gold.—A widow has in her garden twelve plum trees from which she regularly receives $60 a year.
- The Raspberry Acre.—“There are repeated instances of $400 and even $600 being made clear from a single acre of raspberries.” See Morris’ “Ten Acres Enough.”
- Profits in Big Peaches.—When ordinary peaches were selling at 25 cents a bushel, a grower received $2 a bushel. This is how he did it. When the fruit was as large as a hickory nut, he employed a large force of laborers and picked off more than one-half the fruit. The rest ripened early, grew large, and were of excellent quality. His net profit that year from eleven acres was between $3,000 and $4,000.
- Easy Tomatoes.—An easy crop, requiring little care. Says a grower in New Jersey: “My single acre of tomatoes netted a clear profit of $120. I am aware that others have realized more than double this sum, but they were experienced hands, while I was new to the business.” Four hundred dollars per acre has frequently been realized from this crop. One person had four acres from which he received from $1,500 to $2,000 annually.
- Assorted Strawberries.—Here is the experience of a novice: “I ran a ditch through my wet and almost worthless meadow land, and set it out with strawberry plants. The second year I had an enormous crop. The larger berries were separated from the smaller, and the show thus made by the assorted fruit was magnificent. For 600 quarts I received $300, it being a little early for strawberries in the New York market.” It pays to grow early and large fruit.
- Livings in Lettuce.—Fifteen thousand heads can be set upon an acre. These at the average price of $1.50 per hundred means $225 per acre. Five acres of this crop should give a fair-sized family a good living. It is an auxiliary crop and may be sowed between heads of cabbage.
- Sovereigns in Spinach.—There are few more important crops in market. It requires little labor, can be cultivated evenings and mornings by a busy man, and pays about $75 an acre.
- Thousand-Dollar Celery.—Celery may be grown as a second crop after beets, onions, or peas are cleared up. A little reckoning in the number of heads per acre shows that if the grower could get the consumer’s price of eight or ten cents a head, it would yield a clear profit of $1,000.
- Fortunes in Water-cress.—“I have no doubt,” says a large grower, “that in situations where irrigation could be used at pleasure, or regular plantations made as for cranberries, judging from the enormous price water-cress sells at, picked as it is in the present haphazard way, an acre would sell for $4,000 or $5,000.”
- The Dollar Blackberry.—When the Lawton first came out, so great was the praise of it and the rush to obtain it that many roots were sent through the mail at $1 apiece, and the lucky discoverer netted a small fortune. But any grower has the same chances to discover a new variety, or to improve on his present stock.
- Nickels in, Pickles.—Do you know that the enormous number of 150,000 cucumbers may be easily grown on an acre of land, and that at the low price of $1.50 per thousand this means $225 per acre? The crop also is very easily raised.
- The Beet Lot.—You can grow 80,000 roots per acre even when sown a foot apart, yet at $1 per hundred, deducting one-half for expenses, there still results a net value of $400.
- The Roasting Ear.—You can plant an acre of sweet corn, realize $100 for it, clear it off in August, sow the cleared ground with turnip seed, and from the second crop reap another $100.
- Paying Peas.—They are the early kind, marketed before the price falls. If grown under glass so as to be crowded on the market in early June, they will bring $4 a bushel, and at that rate an acre will mean $400. If delayed a month, they will not bring a quarter of that sum.
- Grated Horseradish.—The root is very easily raised, requires little cultivation, but is quite profitable. Grate finely and put in attractive white bottles with red labels. Give it some fancy name, as “Red Orchard,” or “Spring Valley.” “Little Neck” clams got their reputation largely in this way. Sell for ten cents a bottle.
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