The Bean-field (Ch.7), Part 7 to blupete's Essay
"Thoughts On Thoreau And Walden"
"Daily the beans saw me come to their rescue armed with a hoe, and thin the ranks of their enemies, filling up the trenches with weedy dead."And, so, Thoreau was a farmer; he grew beans, potatoes and peas (it seems he put a few turnips in, but he didn't sell any). He had his field plowed, harrowed and furrowed, and paid someone $7.50 to do it. He paid 54¢ for a hoe, $4.90 for seed, and set to work. At the end of the season he had sold nine bushels of beans and fourteen bushels of potatoes, realizing sales of $23.44, which, after deducting his expenses, gave him $8.71½ worth of profit.
He only got $4 or so for his potatoes, his beans however brought in $17: Thoreau became a bean specialist.
"This is the result of my experience in raising beans: Plant the common small white bush bean about the first of June, in rows three feet by eighteen inches apart, being careful to select fresh round and unmixed seed. First look out for worms, and supply vacancies by planting anew. Then look out for woodchucks, if it is an exposed place, for they will nibble off the earliest tender leaves almost clean as they go; and again, when the young tendrils make their appearance, they have notice of it, and will shear them off with both buds and young pods, sitting erect like a squirrel. But above all harvest as early as possible, if you would escape frosts and have a fair and salable crop; you may save much loss by this means."
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