Here’s some old-time wisdom we can benefit from today!
Growing Corn Successfully: A Treatise on Corn Culture From Plowing and Planting to Harvesting and Marketing by E. S. Teagarden was originally published in 1895 as a protest against a problem all too prevalent in the author’s time—farmers were trying to grow more corn than they could properly manage. As quantity increased, quality suffered. Sound familiar?
While this brief work starts as a guide to raising field corn from start to finish, as the subtitle claims, most of the book expounds on Teagarden’s basic philosophy:
Do well whatever is attempted and best results will always follow, whether it is growing corn for the general crop, or for seed, or any other work to be done on the farm, whether in connection with growing crops or raising stock, or in any other of the many departments of farm work.
Teagarden believed that by working on sound business principles farmers could increase their yields and avoid problems like soil depletion. Accordingly, the methods of seed selection, plowing, cultivation, and even using corn for fodder are explained from the point of view of one who broke with the conventions of his day and made quality his aim. Throughout the book we find a philosophy we would do well to heed: it is better to do a little well than to do much poorly.
Growing Corn Successfully is a must for those who plan to raise corn, but we all can benefit from Teagarden’s thoughts on quality of work as well.
This book is in the public domain and available for free download.