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were steadily raising me to independence of
stimulants and sedatives alike. For the first time
in twenty years I can sit down and write a
chapter without the pipe. My health is con-
sciously better, I am more than a stone heavier,
and the housekeeper expands at a rate more rapid
still. The " improvement " in us, coincident
with the war, is a subject of local comment.

I can do more work. I am much less tired
after it. I can get out of bed an hour earlier.
The world appears to me a better place. To the
working man in the English town, dependent on
the foreign producer, and menaced by the German

208 My Little Farm

Submarine, my facts may excite envy rather
than afford a practical example ; but there is
plenty of idle soil in the United Kingdom, and if it
lies unproductive, this is mainly the fault of the
townsman himself. He has not yet come in sight
of the three acres and a cow, because he has
dictated policy for a hand-to-mouth existence in
the town alone, forgetting that the soil was the
last resource between him and starvation. He
has insisted on " cheap " food from abroad until
his scheme threatens his access to food from
anywhere. My own plot of the United Kingdom
is not more than thirty-five acres, and its annual
value is only 6 ; but most of the home products
which have enabled me to solve the food problem
come out of one rood, and the other 139 roods,
producing at the same rate, would make more
than ^500 a year. If the townsman has not the
life for porridge, and cannot produce his own milk,
that is his own affair. There is no lack of land,
and I have for more than twenty years been a
townsman, in the intensest sense of the term. A
healthy life gives a man an appetite for healthy
food, and it costs much less on the whole. The
real question is not the money income, but the
kind of man you can maintain on it.

Our feeding for the cattle and the horse was
a still more serious item, commercially considered.
Nobody about us could keep cattle without con-
centrated foods, chiefly imported, and the prices
of these had advanced at least 50 per cent. In
the market value of the cow and of her products,

Food Problem Individualised 209

there was also an advance, but the " aisy goin "
farmer dependent largely on foreign food for his
cattle, stood to lose on the whole by the change
in values, even with the price of cattle increased
by 30 to 40 per cent. Bullocks and " dry "
heifers might live, if not improve, on the usual
products of the farm, but it was not so with milk
cows and their calves. Even on the best of soil, a
calf must have something more than ordinary
fodder and pasture until he is at least a year old,
and unless we raise calves to-day we can have no
cows to-morrow.

I decided to produce at home also my con-
centrated foods for cattle. The war began just
early enough to sow winter crops, and I have been
cutting out these from May to October, buy-
ing next to nothing for stock food, while my
animals are in much better condition than those
of the neighbours, who are now buying at prices
increased by 40 to 50 per cent. They will
probably pocket not one cent in advanced prices
of cattle that has not already been more than
cancelled by the advance in imported cattle food.

This method of dispensing with imports for
farm animals is probably worth description in
some detail, since the prices of meat, milk, and
butter are largely affected by it. The prices of
imports at any time are practically beyond our
control, and more so now than ever, subject, as
they are, to a hundred influences and chances
which no man living can foresee ; but not so our
idle soil, which is at our will, ready to give us at

210 My Little Farm

any time the equivalent of our imports, and
certainly at less cost for the present. We must
have a large body of urban labour now displaced.
Is there no way to organise it for food production ?
Agriculture is the one craft in which productive
energy from other crafts can most easily be
adapted on a large scale : a tailor can be taught
to pull weeds more easily than a farm labourer
can be taught to make trousers.

Importation for feeding is mainly to attain
what experts call the " albuminoid ratio," but
this can be obtained from our own fields, at least
in the main. For six months of the year it can
be done by a plant now in cultivation with us
the common Vetch. Its advantages do not end
there. It holds the land only for about three
months of the year, and another crop, such as
rape, can be produced from the same area in the
same season. It leaves the soil richer instead of
poorer by its production, and if it cannot all be
consumed in the green state, the remainder makes
excellent hay. In August of last year, just after
the war started, I sowed rape and vetches. The
result is the abolition of the food bill since
February, and my cattle have never been in better
condition. The cultivation for these " catch "
crops is nearly all horse work, and so I make the
horse feed the cows instead of buying imports
at prices so high above their feeding value. Mean-
time, rape and vetches cost no more to produce
than they did before the war, and when the
vetches precede the rape, our manuring will do

Food Problem Individualised 211

for the two crops. There are other leguminous
things, but in the soil and climate of Connaught
I have found the vetch more suitable than any of
them. Its cultivation is simple, and the pro-
duction of rape is simpler still. Given plenty of
these, we can produce meat and milk in abundance,
even on " bad " land, at least from May to
November, and the rape stands good for winter
also. To be ready for winter feeding, it can be
sown in July, in land from which the vetch crop
has been taken. The fuller detail of the process
will be found in another chapter.

To the educated agriculturist my facts are
elementary, but how many of our agriculturists
are educated ? In England, they sometimes do
the right thing, but without knowing why. In
Ireland, they nearly always do the wrong thing,
with a reasoned defence for it. The man who
wants meat, milk and butter in the towns may
wonder why, with such a simple solution of the
food problem before us, we have to pay prices so
unnecessarily excessive to the rich and practically
prohibitive to the poor. The British working man
is no longer in a position to eat British beef, and
the tendency is to deprive him of meat in any
form, while we have a Departmental Commission
to discover, among other things, why the children
cannot get milk even in the agrarian villages of
Ireland. The Irish Department of Agriculture
had recently a commission to discover why the
lack of pigs, and now they start their third com-
mission of the kind, to find out how Ireland may

212 My Little Farm

advance in food production. They will not find
it out, and if they did, they would not dare to
mention it. These commissions discover nothing
to us but the old fact of Irish industrial incapacity,
and this must continue as long as primary educa-
tion is permitted to pervert the collective mind
into mediae valism. The Irish are people pretending
to go forward with their faces turned backward,
and I have already shown that their Department
could not touch this problem without an upheaval
like that which dismissed Sir Horace Plunkett.
In proportion as Englishmen run short of food,
it is possible that they may take an interest in
Ireland as one of their essential providers. Were
it not for Ireland we should have additional
millions of Englishmen at this moment deprived
of first class meat at any price ; but this Irish
provision arises from the kindness of Nature
rather than from the competence of man. There
can hardly be another country in the world where
a little advance in industrial character could give
us such results in increased food production. As
it is, Irish cattle have to be taken from some
of .the richest soil in the world to finish their
fattening on the comparatively barren hill sides
of Scotland. Meantime, the Scotchman looks
forward to the London meat market, while the
Irishman looks back to Brian Boru.

11 BETTER BUSINESS." A Quarterly Journal
of Agricultural and Industrial Co-operation.
Price 1 /- net. Inland Postage 3d. Annual
Subscription, by Post, 5/-. Through Book-
sellers and Newsagents, 4/-.

MESSRS. MAUNSEL have pleasure in announcing the publi-
cation of anew quarterly review of industrial and agricul-
tural co-operation under the title of BETTER BUSINESS.
The first number will be published on the 15th October,

The Review will be edited by the staff of the Co-operative
Reference Library of the Plunkett House, Dublin. This
Library acts as a centre of information for students of the
co-operative movement in the British Isles. By reason
of the close connections between the Library and the
various leading co-operative bodies throughout the world
with which it constantly corresponds and exchanges
publications, and also by means of a large and up-to-date
collection of books and pamphlets covering the whole
subject, the editors are specially qualified to provide the
public with interesting and informative material.

The Review will contain original articles dealing with
important questions which affect both the industrial and
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current questions of agricultural and national economics
as affected by this movement. Translations from foreign
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MESSRS. MAUNSEL feel confident that all persons
genuinely interested in what is now widely recognised a s
one of the most important forms of modern economic
development will gladly seize upon this unique opportunity
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details of the movement in an attractive form and at a
minimum cost.

The Review will contain ninety-six pages of reading
matter, and will be got up with every possible attention
to the convenience and pleasure of its readers.

By the Author of " My Little Farm."


Cloth, 21- net. Paper cover, 1 /- net.

This is an inquiry into the peculiarities of the productive
process in Ireland, especially the hindrances ; in other
words, it attempts to show why Ireland is poor and decay-
ing, and special attention has been given to customs and
characteristics of the people as causes of their own poverty.
It is quite independent as to party standpoints, and con-
fined strictly to lines of economic and sociological investi-
gation. It has been written in the field and in the work-
shop rather than in the library, with living facts as its
main data ; but the author has also a university qualifica-
tion in economics, not to mention a good deal of economic
writing already to his credit, both in Dublin and in
London, or the further fact that he puts his doctrines into
practice as an Irish agriculturist.

" There is a tradition among re "viewers that < n!y big
books deserve careful reviews ; but anyone who will take
t e trouble to read ' Pat's ' Economics for Irishmen will
be forced to the conclusion that the book is a serious con-
tribution to the discussion of many Irish questions,

although it is issued in paper covers It is the

work of a man who has a clear insight into the root-
principles of sound economics, and who possesses a happy
knack of expressing those principles in racy phrases that
are far more effective than the ponderous elaborations of
the academic professor." Spectator.


By "PAT." Cr. 8vo. Paper cover, I/- net.

Cloth, 21- net.

" No more moving book than this has been written on
Ireland for a century past." Publisher and Bookseller.

" No student of the Irish question can afford to pass
this little volume over." The Crown.

"The brilliant Irishman who writes as 'PAT* has
certainly given us much to ponder, as well as much delight-
fully racy reading in ' The Sorrows of Ireland.' " The

" Interesting and in many places distinctly entertaining,
for ' PAT ' is a pointed and witty writer." The Aberdeen

" The indictment of clerical control is the more severe
because it is obviously not written in foolish rage." Pall
Mall Gazette.


Written by STEPHEN GwYNN, and Illustrated by
HUGH THOMSON. Large Cr. 8vo, gilt Irish

Design, 5/- net.

This book is a companion volume to the " Fair Hills of
Ireland," carrying further the same idea. The earlier book
dealt with selected places momentous in Irish history,
dwelling specially on the associations with Pagan and
early Christian ages. In " The Famous Cities of Ireland "
the same procedure is followed with emphasis rather upon
modern tunes. Thus, Waterford stands mainly for the
first stages of Norman invasion, though every object that
suggests earlier and later periods in its history is touched
on. Kilkenny is specially associated with the period of
resistance to Cromwell, though the varied record of its
monuments is rehearsed. All of the great towns are in the
volume, and to them is added, for historic reasons, chapters
on Antrim and Maynooth.

Mr. Thomson's illustrations are as full and excellent as
hi the earlier book, and coloured plates illustrate Dublin,
Belfast, Limerick, and that critical region, the Gap of the


By STEPHEN GWYNN. Illustrated by HUGH
THOMSON. Large Cr. 8vo, Cloth, gilt, 5/-

net ; Cheap Edition, 2/6 net.

This book is the record of a pilgrimage to historic and
beautiful places in Ireland, so arranged as to give an idea
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history for which they stand. Places have been chosen
whose greatest fame was in the days before foreign rule,
though often, as at the Boyne, they are associated with
the later story of Ireland. In each chapter the whole
range of associations is handled, so that each reviews in
some measure the whole history of Irish civilisation as it
concerned one particular place. But in a fuller sense the
chapters are arranged so as to suggest a continuous idea
of Irish life, from the prehistoric period illustrated by
Cyclopean monuments down to the full development of
purely Irish civilisation which is typified by the buildings
at Cashel. Seats of ancient sovereignty like Tara, or of
ancient art and learning like Clonmacnoise, are described
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to-day, and what the student can learn from native Irish
Poetry and annals regarding them.


A series of books dealing with the lives and works
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ence to the Artistic, Literary and Political Movements
with which they have been associated.

2/6 net, each Volume.
The first volume is now ready.

I. Sir Edward Carson. By ST. JOHN G. ERVINE.

In rapid preparation.

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III. W. B. Yeats. By J. M. HONE.

To be followed by

IV. George Moore. V. Sir Horace Plunkett.

VI. John Redmond.

MY LITTLE FARM. By "PAT," Author of
" Economics for Irishmen " and the " Sorrows
of Ireland." 3/6 net.

" My Little Farm " is a book about Irish, farming, by
an Irish farmer, who is also an established man of letters,
but it is not less valuable as a revelation of peasant life
and character, necessarily more authentic than fiction,
but not less intimate and not less readable. " Pat's "
" Economics for Irishmen " and " The Sorrows of Ireland "
will be guarantee for the literary workmanship, and there
are not many men alive who have much to teach " Pat "
about either farm profit or peasant psychology. In
addition, and incidentally, we have here the life and
character of the author himself, a man who varies his
observation between Society in the West End of London
and Agriculture in the West End of Ireland ; who can
plough, waltz, address learned societies in our leading
Universities, and breed dairy bulls with apparently equal
ease. The unique feature of " Pat's " writing always is
his curious capacity to make actual life, and even abstruse
thought, as interesting as a story, and more vital than
almost any story. That is what makes a book by him
a national event, and probably his most finished piece of
work so far is " My Little Farm."


This Series of Translations from the best modern
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I. With a Diploma. By V. I. NEMIROVITCH-
DANTCHENKO. Translated from the Russian by

In this volume by the well-known Russian author,
whose work is so highly appreciated in his own country,
we are brought face to face with the two opposite poles of
Russian society, the peasant in his obscure village,
hidden away somewhere in the vast expanse, vaguely
termed the " provinces," and the fashionable world of
Petrograd and Moscow, full of restless thought and eager
for every new idea from the outside world. The tragedy
of love between two beings of unequally matched tempera-
ments, intensified by social inequality, is brought before
us in a series of poignantly vivid incidents which build
up day by day the life histories of a woman and a man
a woman whose essential nobility of character is revealed
to its full under the direst stress of circumstances, while
the character of the man stripped of the veil of pseudo-
romanticism lies before us in all its essential meanness.

One of the finest qualities of the author's writing is hie
power of making his personages reveal their personalities
as it were, unknown to themselves, out of their own
mouths are they convicted, and the simplicity and direct-
ness of the style is one of the secrets of the author's charm.

II. The Bet and other Stories. By ANTON
TcHEKOV. Translated by J. MlDDLETON MuRRY

III. The Blind Musician. By VLADIMIR


IV. A Book of Stories. By ALEXANDER



LYSAGHT. Quarter Parchment, 31- net.

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" Mr. Lysaght, unlike many poets, not only praises a
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" Here is a true return to nature. ... A sense of
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not a review, it is a eulogy . . . my gratitude to him
for the new music and new fancy and new grace which he
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These and many similar notices sent the first edition out
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A study in Irish Nationalism by EMILE MoNTEGUT.
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A remarkable essay by a well-known French critic, the
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French politics. It is to be compared as an analysis of
Irish discontent only with the preface to Mr. Shaw's
" John Bull's Other Island." The Irish critic, Mr. John
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" see himself as others see him " should read this essay.

M. Montegut was the translator of Shakespeare and a
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By E. SEILLIRE. Translated, with an Introduction
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the books which have so far appeared have been written
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honour and policy. On the material side, indeed, Ireland
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Collected and edited by STEPHEN GwYNN and
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11 There is a stirring ring about the songs that suits the
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" This stirring little batch of poems." Times Literary

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Online LibraryPatrick D KennyMy little farm → online text (page 14 of 15)