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Farming for Pleasure and Profit


    THAT there is a certain amount of pleasure infarming culture as there is in every other occupation in life no one will deny, but whether the pleasure goes hand in hand with profit is another question. In these days of agricultural depression anything that can conduce to either pleasure or profit in farming would, we doubt not, be hailed by thousands; for farmers, however, to take up with market gardening in all its details as laid down by Mr. Ablett, would be to revolutionise the practice of farming as generally accepted, and to constitute themselves into market gardeners pure and simple, this the author seems to have considered impracticable, except in the neighbourhood of London or large towns where in the markets the produce can be quickly disposed of. To adopt a legal phrase we may say we do not think he author has made out a case for the more general adaptation of farm lands for market garden produce, because while fully believing that many of the more important vegetables might be cultivated on a much more extended scale, we do not see that the crops would be more profitable to the grower than those with which he is more accustomed, and which, instead of requiring an immediate sale, can be stored and disposed of at any time. But while many vegetables, more particularly root crops, as potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, &c., may with profit be grown by farmers, we very much doubt whether mushrooms would be generally-taken up or prove advantageous, and still less so the morell and truffle, all of which are included in Chap. X, the two latter of which the author says are not objects of cultivation in this country, a remark that is quite true, and therefore it does not form the slightest excuse for admitting even a notice of them into the book. Still less can any excuse be found for the occupation of three-quarters of a page by the Fly Agaric (Agaricus muscarius), a well-known poisonous species.

    Farming for Pleasure and Profit.

    Eighth Section—Market Garden Husbandry for Farmers and General Cultivators. By William H. Ablett. (London: Chapman and Hall, Limited, 1881.)

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