Seed-time and Harvest

One of the most interesting features of modern agriculture is the development of varieties of grains, fruit, vegetables, etc. Within the memory of men still in their prime, the farmer dipped from his own grain bin what seed he needed and sowed it, usually, just as it came, —good, bad, and indifferent . This lack of care resulted in a motley crop of grain and weeds, and where similar primitive disregard of agricultural means and methods has prevailed, as it usually does in line with this slipshod style of seed selection, the land has gradually but surely overrun with weeds and the quality and quantity of the crops as steadily decreased.

The thinking farmer, however, who concluded that a good seed would produce good seed, proved the truth of his conclusion by trying the experiment. The results have been that by the selection of individual seeds the varieties of many plants are now numbered by the hundreds. Not only has each of these been developed in approximation to the ideal of certain growers, but a still greater refinement or narrowing of qualities has produced what are called strains of certain varieties. In these a particular character has been striven for and emphasized, so that a still higher ideal has been approached. The farmer has therefore only to decide upon his needs and he can secure from the seed specialist a variety or strain which meets it. As the more wide-awake farmers saw the advantages of this method, they forsook the crude ways of their forefathers and practised the new. Some advantages of this course are improved yield and reduction of weed troubles. The farmers have thus, perhaps better than any other class of people, learned the law that "like begets like," or as Paul puts it, that "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

An Aspect of Evil
April 7, 1906

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