The Old Time Farm Magazines: Dairying, Forest Preservation, and Wintering Bees

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With the right planning, dairy farming can be a year-round occurrence.
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Hog Trough Gate:  Shown is a simple diagram of a device used to regulate the hogs during feeding time.

This page contains excerpts from issues of Successful
Farming dated 1907.
 

AGRICULTURE

The farmers of the country are requested to contribute
to this Department.

 

Dairying

Many farmers now pursue the method of all the year round
dairying and find it a profitable one. With a fine product
of butter a ready market is assured at good prices. Dealers
like to find such producers for the reason that there is
then a supply right along that can be depended upon.

This is quite different from summer dairying when with the
advent of cold weather production ceases, leaving the
dealer to look somewhere else for a supply.

To be successful with winter dairying requires suitable
accommodations for the cows, the best kinds of forage and
such grain feeds as will add to the value of the daily
ration and all necessary care.

With these there should be little or no difficulty in
making a fine quality of butter during the winter months,
such as will be in quick demand at good prices. At this
season of the year the work can be well attended to and
found to be profitable. Where this practice is followed the
cows should come fresh in milk during late autumn or early
winter, or some for a more uniform supply of milk might
plan to have them distributed through the year.

Where what is termed winter dairying is followed there is a
good opportunity afforded for raising heifer calves for the
supply of the dairy or for sale. With warm, comfortable
quarters and properly fed and cared for, these will grow
finely and by another spring be large enough to turn to
pasture. This is an advantage that should not be
overlooked. And then when there is skimmed milk for the
purpose swine may be kept at a profit, as many have found
from experience.

Of course, all of this implies careful attention to all
details, but this should come within the province of the
wide-awake, up-to-date farmer, who is willing and anxious
to do the best possible and is not afraid of the necessary
efforts for the desired success which he wishes to obtain,
and which is his by right as in the line of successful
farming.— E. R. Towle,Franklin Co.,
Vt.

Wintering Bees

My method of wintering bees is to bury them. I dig a trench
6 inches wider than the hive is long, and deep enough so
that with something to keep the hives from 4 to 6 inches
from the bottom, the hive is about one-third above ground.
I have always used 6-inch fence boards set on edge in the
bottom of the trench to set my hives on. This gives a  6-inch space below the hives.

If one does not have the boards, 2×4 scantling will do as
well. I remove the bottom boards so that all bees that die
daring the winter fall into the bottom of the trench.

Place the hives close together, then cover with two feet of
straw, then throw on all the dirt from the trench and when
this is done, dig a ditch on each side to carry off water,
throwing all the dirt over the bees. Donot
leave any vent holes.
The bees won’t smother.

Forest Preservation

The American people are impulsive. They rush into things
for the almighty dollar without a thought for the future.
The pioneer slashed down the trees and burned them, then
later planted shade trees about his house. The timber
merchant laid waste the fine forests that he might be
wealthy.

The great advance in the price of lumber in recent years is
due to the lumber trust, the protective tariff and the
scarcity of trees, all three combined. Instead of learning
from other nations in regard to the forests, we, like
sheep, have done just as they.

Now the sentiment of the people has awakened an interest in
timber preservation and replanting of the denuded mountain
sides. The government has taken a firm hand in this matter
and the western ranch-men are up in wrath against the
department of forestry. They who made free pasture of the
mountain sides, thus killing the young trees that would
have reclothed the naked mountain range, think the
government has gone too far. But has it? Must the greed of
a few men cause havoc to hundreds of thousands who are
dependent upon the forests.

W e do not refer only to the lumber interests. We can build
out of steel and cement if need be. But forests play an
important part in the distribution of surface water and in
this way farmers for hundreds of miles from forests are
concerned. If these mountain sides once covered with trees
were now being cultivated the havoc would not be so great.

Trees grow clear to the perpetual snow line. They not only
prevent avalanches of snow and’ ice but they form a mulch
that holds the melted snow water so that it does not rush
down the rocky sides, but percolates slowly through the
soil. Remove these and the soil soon washes away and the
big rain storms are rapidly carried down the rocks into the
ravines and canons in a great flood-head, carrying
death and destruction to everything in its way. Out upon
the plains the flood spreads beyond the river banks and
crops suffer for miles beyond the mountain ranges.

When the surface soil or mulch which the trees helped to
form is washed away what then can grow on the mountain
sides? What then will the rangeman do? He will have to
register his kick against a foolish fate rather than
against the government. But he must vacate just the same.

There are plenty of places to grow grass at a profit
without using the old forest lands. Trees can be grown
where no other crop but grass will grow. And good
agricultural lands are too valuable to be turned into
government forest reservations. Tree protection is in the
interest of all humanity and land grabbing by the few
ranchmen is not.