University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA)

 - Class of 1891

Page 53 of 168

 

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1891 Edition, Page 53 of 168
Page 53 of 168



University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1891 Edition, Page 52
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University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1891 Edition, Page 54
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Page 53 text:

fim li DF.t. 31 pelled to prepare plans, containing our system of work intended in detail, which must be handed to him at a short time hence. During this discussion, Prof. Brooks even dared to poi-tray a man in full dress tugging away upon a plot a second season, should he fail to attain a certain standard the first year. He informed us that the profits would be divided into two unequal parts, two- thirds of these to be again divided among the entire class, while the remaining one-third was in turn to be separated into three prizes — first, second and third — to be granted to such members as held these respective places in this work. He said the land would be free, the tools furnished, and that he saw nothing to hin- der us from making a fortune even while attending college. At last the bell rings, we during that hour, having passed through the success- ive stages of amazement, provocation, anger and fiattery, were glad to see the outside of that room again. Although we would not for an instant have any one suspect that a member of this class when not excited could break the third commandment, we fear as we now think of it that the pure air was tainted with words, during the remainder of that day, not to be found in a dictionary. For a few successive days each man made an experiment in the ground of fallacy, to see if he could find a reason satisfactory to Prof, by which he might escape the common law, but each man attained the same result, viz: — " as seed sown upon a poor soil " for whatever the Professor in charge agreed to, the President was sure to veto. Strange questions naturally arose as we went into the agricultural recitation room from day to day ; sonie wishing to know how any one who is working his way through college can spend his time upon such nonsense, while one man even dared ask who was going to do the work upon the plots. At last the day for the plans to be handed in dawned, and with them came a variety of ideas. Each one showed marks of great thought on the authoi ' s part in securing that crop which would require little or no labor. Quite a number select potatoes, one selects beets, others ensilage corn or field corn, while Brown is fully persuaded that nothing short of a good plot of corn would warrant to him the first prize. Hull and Field can imagine nothing more beautiful than a field of squashes, while Lage thinks there is an immense hid- den pasture to be disclosed only when his would-be crop of rice is grown. Gay thinks that a slovenly culture is well-suited both to the conditions of himself and to those of a crop of pop corn, so he wastes no time in selecting that crop. Paige having dreamed of beans for three nights in succession, forthwith chooses that. At length the land is fitted and seed-time is at hand, but not a student ap- pears upon the plots. Finally, Johnson, fearing lest his conscience would be- come irrecoverably hardened if he should much longer disobey its teachings, went down and dedicated the field on a Saturday morning and by the next Tuesday night one care-worn man is stricken from the list of would-be-planters. Duiing

Page 52 text:

Agriculture as She is Taught. WE have found it ! We have unfolded and are about to present to the public a fact, which but for the very observing powers of the class of ' 91, might and probably would for centuries to come, have remained among the many mysteries of science. But we should do great injustice to ourselves if we should develop so valuable knowledge without relating what vve experienced in acquiring it, for no one can truly appreciate the worth of a contribution to science without knowing something of its cost ; so it well becomes us to give you simply an outline of the troubles we were called upon to endure. On the morning of March .5th, 1889, the class of ' 91 was a happy body ; happy because the winter term with its confinements was nearly over, and soon to be followed by one which suggests to the minds of every student one more suited to out-door sports than for the study of books; but above all, happy when they contrasted their present condition with that of those students who in the earlier history of the college were obliged by the college authorities to work a certain number of hours each week upon the farm ; a practice which was not slow in showing its foolishness. But upon entering Prof. Brooks ' s recitation j-oom on that day all was changed for as we saw him standing, chalk in hand, writing upon one corner of a large blackboard, which still remained unmarked, we fairly shook at the idea of copying so much into our note books. Words cannot describe our astonish- ment and no one who was not there can even imagine the expression which sprang to our faces when Prof. Brooks moderately informed us that what we observed upon the board were the rules and regulations to be followed in the cultivation of one-sixth of an acre, which, as he said, was to be set off west of the dormitories for that siiecial purpose. Tlie pride of each man was abased, and was not only superseded by a feeling of anger, but (strange to say) each man could not help wishing that Japan had not allowed to have slipped away from her an idea peculiarly adapted to inexperienced agriculturists. Having recovered from our first attack, we were told that we should be com- (30)



Page 54 text:

32 tHEjlNDEX this same week Tuttle made an extra effort to plant his oats, but since the weeks were so short and the days as merely nothing, the Saturday following sees some of his oats unplanted. Sawyer, after having worried for two weeks after planting time about " what might have been " concludes that there is no time like the present, and his crop is sown beneath the sod. So it goes, crop after ci-op is planted, nothing unusual happening, unless it be that Arnold, Belden, Gay and Phillips arose one morning soon after cock-crow- ing and planted the latter ' s crop. Well, owing to some reason or other the crops were left for nature to bring up, and as might reasonably be expected the aspect looking west from the dormitories suggested to the Sophomore class, at least, a " go as you please " system. Since the race was open to all, both weeds and the respective crops entered for the contest. IS o hoes were allowed upon the track, and although the crop had all the advantage that Prof. Brooks ' s encouragement could give them, they had the good-will of the Sophomore class against them, and so we honestly be- lieve that each stood an equal chance to win. Nevertheless, it did not take long to see that the weeds had not only got the inside track, but were also get- ting in the way of the crop. A few students having got a little feeling of re- spect remaining for the impression which the present condition of the crops would leave upon any who might see them, went down even on Commencement week and hoed them a trifle. Prof. Brooks took a few friends down to visit them during Commencement, but a word concerning them escaped not from the mouths of, nor was a friend invited to visit them by a member of ' 91 during that time. No one experiences any sorrow at being called upon to leave the crop in somebody else ' s care during the vacation, but all have a desire that before they come back as Juniors their crop may all be harvested. Upon Brown fell the care of them during the summer, and he passed away his time, in counting smutty blades of straw, spending his half hours examining the crops, hoeing a little occasionally, now and then picking bugs, etc. By the way : — although a matter of minor importance, it might be well to remark just here that this work was to be carried out in the form of an experiment. At length the vacation is over and we come back, onlj ' to see most of our crops standing in the field. Days roll by and finally it is time for them to be shel- tered. Let us notice the crops which were gotten. Johnson gets twenty-four bushels of potatoes. Sawyer and Phillips a crop ea( ' h of weeds with a few potatoes as a supplement; Homer, a few beets; Field and Hull respectivel} a bushel, and a bushel and a half of squashes; Legate gets what corn the domestic animals l)clonging to the farm don ' t; and Lage gets— left. It undoubtedly would ))(■ interesting to some to know how the experiments

Suggestions in the University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) collection:

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