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that all skilled work is puttering

I have often been annoyed by the remarks of farmers in regard to nursery or green house work. They say, “It may do for you, but it is too much puttering for me.”
      They forget that all skilled work is puttering, and that only the simplest processes can be carried on in the “bang all” style.
      The machinest whom you pay fifty cents an hour is deliberate in every motion, while the maker of stoga cigars, at five for a cent, hurries his work constantly to the verge of neglect. The fine cabinet maker cannot work as does the wood butcher who builds coal sheds by contract.
      The curse of American agriculture has been the cheapness of land, and it will not be until people begin to be crowded, and horticultural methods have been adopted, that agriculture will take its highest stand in this country, and farmers begin to realize what their land is capable of.

— L. B. Pierce (Tallmadge [Ohio]), “Valuable Thoughts — The value of horticultural knowledge, especially to the young,” in Lectures and Addresses delivered at Farmers’ Institutes held in different counties of Ohio during the winter of 1883-84... in the Thirty-Eight Annual Report of the Ohio State Board of Agriculture, with an abstract of proceedings of the Country Agricultural Societies; to the General Assembly of the State of Ohio for the year 1883. (Columbus, 1884) : 457-468 (463)

8 April 2022