The Fat of the Land: The Story of an American Farm, John Williams Streeter (MacMillan Company, 1904)
The copy we have of this book is more than 100 years old, slightly the worse for wear, and yet as inspiring as if it were brand new. In the first chapter, Streeter says:
By choice and by training I was a physician, and I gloried in my work; but by instinct I was, am, and always shall be, a farmer. All my life I have had visions of farms with flocks and herds, but I did not expect to realize my visions until I came on earth a second time.
The wealth of the world comes from the land, which produces all the direct and immediate essentials for the preservation of life and the protection of the race. When people cease to look to the land for the support, they lose their independence and fall under the tyranny of circumstances beyond their control. They are no longer producers, but consumers; and their prosperity is contingent upon the prosperity and good will of other people who are more or less alien.
Only when considerable percentage of a nation is living close to the land can the highest type of independence and prosperity be enjoyed. This law applies to the mass and also to the individual.
The farmer, who produces all the necessities and many of the luxuries, and whose products are in constant demand and never out of vogue, should be independent in mode of life and prosperous in his fortunes.