28 SEPTEMBER 1929, Page 15


These historical reminiscences are called up by a new and promising experiment undertaken by a few Essex market gardeners and farmers. They found, in accordance with the experience of other market gardeners on many occasions, that they received, as a result of Covent Garden sales, not a cheque but a bill. The expenses of rail, porterage and commission more than equalled the receipts. If only a few accounts showed an absolute deficit of this sort, very many indicated a heayy loss on the crop. Vegetables need intensive cultivation ; and intensive cultivation is never cheap ; apart from fer- tilizers, the labour bill is necessarily heavy. The two must be taken together as the philological side of the question indicates : for derivatively " manure " means manual labour. Faced by this trouble, the Essex producers have had recourse to the doctrine of one Samuel Smiles. The system of self-help that one or two.of them are now trying out is as follows.

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