- Why We Moved To the Country
- A Letter To Wives
- What Sort Of A Place Do You Want
- Setting Up A Homestead
- Houses Especially Designed For Country Living
- Plan A "Harvest Room" With Your Wife
- Finding A Suitable Place
- A Little House Can Grow
- Score Card Of What To Look For In A "Have-More" Homestead
- Water, Sanitation, Electricity, Roads
- Landscape Your Place Increase The Value 20%
- Plans For A Small Barn
- The Importance Of Raising Part Of Your Family's Food
- A Good Garden With A Lot Less Work
- Vegetable Planting Chart
- The Kind Of Berries And Grapes Money Can't Buy
- Two Ways To Have Tree Fruits On A Small Place
- Fresh Eggs From Your Own Hens
- New Easy Way To Raise Tender Chicken
- Geese Grow On Grass
- Turkeys Can Be a Profitable Side Line
- Ducks Are Easy To Raise
- Rabbit: 8 To 14 Cents A Pound
- Ham, Bacon, Pork, Lard
- The Miniature Dairy
- The Modern Dairy Goat
- A Family Cow
- A Few Sheep For The Small Place
- Veal and Beef On the Homestead
- Our Little Sugar Factory
- Have More In Winter Too!
- Winter Gardens: Cold Frames, Hot Beds, Small Greenhouses
- Grow Your Own Fish
- The Woodlot
- Transportation And Power
- Housekeeping On A Homestead
- Homestead Mechanics
- Earning A Living In The Country
- The Country Bookstore
- Let's Rebuild America
An Excerpt from Chapter 1
Why We Moved to the Country and What We Set Out to Accomplish
Carolyn, our son Jackie, and I haven't any land to sell, we aren't promoting anybody's products. We just want to tell you some things we learned about how to have more fun, more health and more security than 99% of the people in this world ever had before.
Back in 1942, we Robinsons lived in a big apartment house in New York. Far from having all the conveniences and easy living you are supposed to have in a big city, we discovered we had very little.
In the first place, we always felt restricted. Living in the city wasn't easy, it was difficult. And every time we turned around, it cost us money.
For example, just to let the baby walk or play outdoors cost us money and trouble. First, we had to dress the baby nice (because we were going to the park), then get together blankets, diapers, his toys, etc., carry all this and the baby out to the elevator, wait until the elevator came for us, then walk two blocks and wait for a bus, then ride about 15 blocks and get off the bus, carry everything to the park, and find a spot where we can sit down.
One terribly hot Sunday afternoon we had gone all through this procedure and finally found a spot that wasn't crowded, spread a blanket to sit on, unpacked the baby's toys, diapers, etc. and settled down for a few minutes' peace. Just then a policeman came up to us: "Look, you can't stay here," he said.
"Why not?" I asked.
"How long d'ya think the grass would last if everybody was allowed to set and walk all over it?"
I suddenly remembered as a boy how wonderful it had been to lie in the grass in back of our house in the little New England town in which I was brought up.
We got up to leave. I said to Carolyn, my wife, "Look let's get out of here!" &"It'll be awful hot back at the apartment" she said "and Jackie hasn't had any sun for a long time."
"What I mean is let's get out of this dirty, noisy city, let's go live in the country..."
That is how we began to think seriously about living in the country. I say think about it, because we thought about it for a long time before we did it. First, we couldn't see how we could afford living in the country. Then we began to wonder if we couldn't have a garden and maybe some chickens and be raising some of our food have more money so we could afford it.
The trouble was that a couple of our city friends who had farms always said the vegetables they raised cost about three times what they sold for in the store.
In fact, one man we knew about who had a fine modern dairy used to set before his guests two bottles. One was milk, the other champagne. "Take your choice," he'd say. "They cost me the same."
After we thought about this we realized these men were trying to run a commercial farm with a remote control. Usually they went to their farms weekends only because it was so far away and a hired man ran the farm for them. We wanted to keep a city job, for cash income; we wanted to stay near enough to the city to keep its advantages. We wanted to add the security and fullness of living that seemed more likely to come if we owned our home and some land not much land necessarily, but good land and at least enough of it to raise most of our food.
There was nothing new about this idea. We were aware that Henry Ford and many others had been advocating just this for years. We knew that hundreds of thousands of American families were already doing what we proposed to do.
We faced the fact that we knew absolutely nothing about raising any part of what our family needed to live. In fact our utter and absolute dependency on my job was appalling. If I should lose my job, even temporarily, we would have no money to pay our rent, the landlord would put us out... no money to buy groceries or pay the butcher and we wouldn't eat.
If there were another depression and I were to lose my job like millions in the last depression, then there wouldn't be a thing to do but stand in line and beg the government for "surplus commodities"... rent money... relief clothing until things got better again, which might be years!
Living in the city we couldn't save much. Everything we did, almost, cost money. Our biggest item was food. Suppose, we thought, we could raise a big part of our food... We knew nothing about farming. But we began to look at things we ate... started to study how we could grow them ourselves. For a long time before we actually did move into the country we studied how to raise things. Perhaps in all we read a couple of hundred books and pamphlets on this. We found that most material was out of date and most of the newer books were designed for commercial farming specialists. For example we found a dozen huge books on commercial dairy cattle but no simple, up-to-date little book telling us how to produce milk efficiently for our family and whether it was really economical to do so.Copyright by Storey Books