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Pictorial Practical Vegetable Growing - A Practical Manual Giving Directions for Laying Out Kitchen Gardens and Allotments, Describing the Value and Use of Manures, Advising as to the Destruction of Pests, Dealing with the Principal Tools and Appliances a
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An excerpt from the first chapter: A Kitchen Garden, and the Wonders it Works. Vegetable growers have their failures as well as their successes. Why, therefore, do they not suffer the depressions of other men? Ah! There's the crux! Any ass can be happy when the sun shines and the thistles are thick, but it wants a philosophical ass to be able to bra cheerfully when food is scarce and beatings fall thick and fast. Without claiming that this is a particularly complimentary metaphor, I yet proceed to extract the kernel from it. The vegetable grower is the superior member of society which he is simply and solely because he is able, through good and through evil report, to retain his equanimity. It is not easy to say why vegetable growers are, as a class, so contented, but the fact is beyond dispute. If I myself were asked to define that fascination which makes my Potato patch more enjoyable to me than an art gallery, or a theatre, or a Parliament house, or a. museum, I should very likely be at a loss to answer. Even in the inner ring-the garden itself, with its rockery, its Rose beds, its fruit quarters, its greenhouse-the kitchen garden is the centre of interest. Yes! there is no possible doubt about it, vegetable culture is of all things on this earth the most completely seductive and satisfying. In the few chapters on vegetables which I propose to give, I want my readers to agree with me in putting the subject on this higher plane. I want them to go into it as I do, with an enthusiastic and wholehearted joy. There is, in some quarters, a craven fear of acknowledging the fascination of Pea growing; we will have none of it here. I once heard the words infra dig. murmured in connection with manual labour in a kitchen garden. I responded with the one pun of my life, and here it is: " Yes, and I am IN FOR A DIG!" The pun was execrable, but the spirit of the response I unflinchingly support. Let "Infra dig." be the watchword of the lily-fingered, and "In for a dig" be the battle-cry of you and I. Is there a person reading these lines who is hovering on the brink of kitchen gardening? His plot is small, mayhap, and he has had no training; perhaps his purse is shallow. Let me link his arm in mine, and tell him, in words of earnestness if not of eloquence, to fear not neither to despair; rather to take his courage in both hands, an send his seed order off by the very next post....
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