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Labor Saving Machinery

( Originally Published 1915 )

Labor saving Machinery.—The ideal farm should have a small building about midway between the house and the barn. In this building there is to be an engine capable of transmitting power to either the house or the barn (Fig. 126). On the larger farms the machine will be one that generates electricity which may be used for either light or power. Our notion of what is proper for man and what is proper for woman to do came from colonial farm conditions. It is time now to discard part of it. The overworked woman who has her own washing or churning to do should have the help of some machinery, and this machinery should be tended if not run by one of the men on the farm. If the machinery is efficient, it does not need to take all forenoon to do a washing. The invention of the steam-power machines led to the concentration of power in the factories and that led to the building of modern cities. Now power must return to the country to make the country attractive to women who need surplus energy to help in community affairs. The washing machine, the wringer, the churn, the separator, the clarifier, the pump, the milking machine, if not the lights, should use some kind of power such as a gasoline engine or electric current.

Food for the Country Home.-Country people work hard and hence should have an abundance of wholesome food. Food in the country is relatively cheap. The directions given in Chapter VIII, for making a chart to see what fruits and vegetables a family may have each month in the year, make valuable exercises to use for food surveys for the country homes. If club girls learn to can garden truck in the modern canners they may add much to the food for the farm family without making the canning a burden. A ten-dollar outfit enables a 14-year-old girl to can 300 cans in a ten-hour day. We are learning that some vegetables, such as corn and peas, for example, deteriorate very rapidly after being gathered. Country people may can corn that has not been gathered more than one hour and make it so nearly like the fresh ears from the field that competent judges cannot tell the difference. Eggs and milk and the leaves of plants—lettuce, spinach, cress, cabbage—are the foods that give children muscle and bone, and these are the very foods that country people find easiest to get and most easily prepared. We do not want our schools when they teach domestic science to teach the girls how to prepare hospital dishes for sick people. We want the farm girls taught how to prepare dishes that keep people well and strong. We do not want the domestic science instructors to teach girls to cook on little fussy electric or gas irons; we want the girls to learn to make a fire in a kitchen range and make it easily and efficiently. We need the surplus energy of woman in the country to help in community affairs. She is to enjoy life more when she has more to do in shaping and con-ducting community affairs. This energy is to be freed by making her work more efficient, she is to work with better equipment, in plain but more beautiful homes, and she is to find happiness in preparing plain but wholesome food for happy, healthy, well-fed children and husband.

Farm Planning.—For the farmstead the following rules have been adapted from Professor J. B. Davidson's list

1. Have the buildings near the centre of the farm, giving due consideration to other advantages.

2. Have the buildings on a slight elevation whenever possible; a southern or eastern exposure is desirable.

3. Buildings should occupy the poorest ground, but be on well-drained soil.

4. Buildings should be conveniently located with reference to water supply.

5. A timber windbreak should be secured.

6. A garden and fruit plot should be near the house but not conspicuous from the road, and screened from the house.

7. Pastures should be adjacent to the stock barns.

8. The buildings should be so arranged as to serve as wind-breaks.

9. Buildings should be located on the side of the farm convenient to school, town, church and Grange hall.

10. The buildings should not be located on a high hill inaccessible from fields.

11. The buildings should not be located in low valleys on account of lack of air and water drainage, also danger from frosts.

12. The shop and machine shed should be convenient to house, barn and fields.

13. Where there are streams, the fields should border the streams so as to facilitate cultivation, watering stock and drain-age or irrigation.

14. Have as many fields as possible in direct contact with the barn (see Fig. 65).

15. The size of the fields should be in proportion to the size of the farm and the system of rotation. Fields should be of nearly the same size.

16. Land of the same quality should be in the same field. The number of fields must be regulated by the system of rotation. (See Farm Score Card, Chapter VI.)

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