Five Acres and Independence: A Practical Guide to the Selection and Management of the Small Farm

By M. G. Kains, B.S., M.S.

Originally published in 1935
Reprinted here in its entirety by Sportsman’s Vintage Press, edited and optimized for web viewing.


1. Introduction
2. City vs. Country Life
3. Tried and True Ways to Fails
4. Who is Likely to Succeed?
5. The Farm to Choose
6. Where to Locate
7. Lay and Lay-Out of Land
8. Windbreaks, Pro and Con
9. Essential Factors of Production
10. Part-Time Farming
11. Capital
12. Farm Finance
13. Farm Accounts
14. Water Supply
15. Functions of Water
16. Drainage
17. Frost Damage Prevention
18. Livestock
19. Poultry
20. Bees
21. Greenhouses
22. Cold Frames and Hotbeds
23. Soils and Their Care
24. Manures
25. Commercial Fertilizers
26. Green Manures and Cover Crops
27. Lime
28. Compost
29. Cropping Systems
30. Soil Surface Management
31. Tools
32. Fruit Tree Pruning
33. How to Avoid Nursery Stock Losses
34. Vegetable Crops to Avoid and to Choose
35. Seeds and Seeding
36. Transplanting
37. Plants for Sale
38. Something to Sell Every Day
39. Strawberries
40. Grapes
41. Bush and Cane Fruits
42. Small Farm Fruit Gardens
43. Selection of Tree Fruits
44. Home Freezing
45. Essentials of Spraying and Dusting


Seeds Recommended for the Long-Row Farm Garden
Distances for Fruit Plants in Feet
Best Varieties of Fruits
Vegetable Maturity Table
The Early Hardy Vegetable Garden
Data for Garden Planning
Frost Tender and Hardy Vegetables
Fertilizer Applications for Fruit Trees
Garden Tools and Accessories
Garden Insect Pests and Methods of Control
Water Definitions and Equivalents
Yields of Vegetables as Influenced by Soil Reaction
Drainage Tile Information
Facts About Ice and Ice Houses
Value of Electric Motors
Fertilizer Mixtures
Vegetable Planting Chart
Precautions Against a Wet Cellar
Power from a Stream
Farm Evaluation
Number of Plants Required to Set an Acre of Ground when Planted at Given Distances
Vegetable Storage Chart
Values of Farm Machines and Tools
Rate of Soil Loss
Cold Storage and Freeing Temperatures
Quantities of Material Needed to Construct Septic Tanks
Barn Plans

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Five Acres and Independence: A Practical Guide to the Selection and Management of the Small Farm