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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/251

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Popular Science Monthly


���before your eyes strike the northeastern cor- ner of the tract. On that corner stand the conical towers of the silos — fodder-storage houses — in which is kept the winter's sup- ply of corn for the farm's four hundred odd cattle. This stock-farm, a pretty large proposition for an average farmer, is however a side

��issue. Two

��Some of the buildings on the great farm, which has its own garages, power plant, machine shops, smithies, maintenance shops, canneries, storage cellars and home communities

��discarded. It would waste a strip of muck at least a foot wide, they reasoned — and they would need such lengthy fences on the big farm that the aggregate loss of tillable soil would be enormous. When it came to the labor problem and the horse-feed prob- lem, the officials did not hesitate to blaze a new trail in farm-operating annals. Of course all modern farms have a few tractors, but this corporate farm has them by the dozen. Not only does the "steel mule" — light tractor — save in operation over the heavy-eating Dobbin — it saves the em- ployers from the ever present (on the ordinary farm) "hired man" problem.

"We find that the young fellows of the community just love to handle a 'mule' and learn to take care of its mechanism. There's something Twentieth Century about this way of ploughing, harrowing and general farm hauling that does not seem irksome. No labor problem because of discontent on this farm," the officials say. "Getting teamsters is a chronic difficulty on farms; we use 'steel mules' and other tractors — and find no trouble at all. Electric light, run- ning water, phonographs, clubhouses, tele- phones, steam-heat and billiard tables in our farm-hand dormitories — we count these scientific ways of helping to solve the farm labor problem, too." Which is sound effi- ciency.

A Farm Measured by Miles

Stand on the hill where the headquarters camp is located, on the southern side of the big farm, and you can look for three miles over a level expanse of coal-black muck

��miles to the south lie a group of apple or- chards on the sloping uplands that surround the muck. Various orchard gangs, under trained fore^Jlen, run miniature water-tower machines down between the rows of trees, spraying with insecticides. It is but an in- stance of the minute care given every wisp of plant life on the big farm. Daily reports on the condition of each orchard, each onion

���How the drainage canals were dug. With the completion of each mile of dredged ditch, immense acreages of submerged muck lands of great fertility were released for tillage

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