“As long as I can remember, even as a boy, there were bees kept on our farm,” wrote Jacob Biggle in his preface to The Biggle Bee Book. “If for no other reason than to insure the proper fertilization of fruit and other blossoms, every farmer, fruit grower, or gardener should keep a few bees upon his grounds.” Biggle’s fifty colonies of bees, though requiring just a small part of his time, paid Biggle a larger return than any other animal on his farm. Not only did he take pleasure in caring for these wonderful insects and enjoying the honey they produced, he also recognized that their presence on his farm meant that his orchards and crops would flourish.
If there are any so-called secrets to the art of beekeeping, Jacob Biggle does his best to expose them all in this delightful little volume. His hope was that readers could profit from his hard-earned wisdom that included:The benefits of keeping beesHow to care for bees through the winterThe marketing and selling of wax- and honey-based productsWhat bee-friendly plants to raise in the gardenHow to introduce a new queen to the hive
Written not only for the professional beekeeper, but also for the backyard farmer, and anyone interested in rural life, self-sufficiency, and farming techniques of the past, this book is an essential addition to the home library.
When Jacob Biggle first published The Biggle Swine Book in 1898, hog husbandry was undergoing major changes. New feeding methods had come into vogue, new breeds of hogs had been developed, and significant progress had been made in curbing swine-borne epidemics. Even the public perception of pigs as filthy creatures wallowing up to their knees in mud had brightened, and pigs were accorded a modicum of respect. But with the onset of railroad development across the United States, the backyard pig farmer started losing ground to slaughterhouses and large processing plants.
The Biggle Swine Book captures this moment in American history when home animal husbandry was giving way to more industrialized meat production. Nevertheless, Jacob Biggle continued to offer guidance to the small-scale farmer on all manner of livestock issues, centered around the proper breeding, feeding, and care of pigs. His book includes valuable instructions on:
What to do at farrowing timeConstructing the piggery and styKeeping on top of the manure pileButchering and curing meatsProtecting your animals from various pig ailments
Illustrated with photographs, engravings, and line drawings throughout of all things pig-related, this book is a glimpse into a bygone era when sows and their litters had a place on every farm, and people knew exactly where their bacon came from.
Once you’ve followed Harriet’s advice and determined the site for your orchard, the next task is to decide what kinds of trees to plant in it and learn how to care for them season after season. The Biggle Orchard Book includes everything you need to know about nearly every fruit tree under the sun, and also those that produce nuts. It includes instructions on:
How to prune newly set trees
When to pick fruit
How to pack fruit for the farmer’s market
And much more!
Written for backyard farmers, especially those interested in timeless orcharding techniques, The Biggle Orchard Book is an essential and charming addition to the home library.
“People ought to try to make their horses happy,” wrote Jacob Biggle’s wife Harriet in The Biggle Horse Book in 1894. “A happy, cheerful horse will do more work and live longer, and thus be more profitable to its owner, than one whose temper is kept constantly ruffled, whose disposition is soured by ill-usage, and whose peace of mind is often disturbed by the crack of the whip, the hoarse voice of the driver, the strain of overwork, the discomfort of a hard bed, or the pangs of hunger and thirst.” When it comes to the treatment of animals—especially the horse—the Biggles were ahead of their time.
Folksy and informative, this manual offers timeless tips on the effective and humane treatment and training of horses and detailed descriptions of all the major breeds. Practical horsemen and veterinarians of the era contributed their wisdom and insight, and their maxims on owning, riding, and working with horses will provide endless hours of entertainment. Here are just a few:“Proper food and lots of sentiment will make with good blood a good horse.”“If you must put frosty bits in some mouths, let it be your own. Suffering begets sympathy.”“The three greatest enemies of the horse are idleness, fat, and a dumb blacksmith.”“Don’t try to fit a horse to the collar. It won’t work. Fit the collar to the horse.”
Enhanced with beautiful engravings, illustrations, and snippets of poetry throughout, The Biggle Horse Book remains a loving and fitting tribute to “this noble servitor of man.”
Jacob Biggle shows just how easy it is to raise your own nutrient-rich berries. While the book’s emphasis is on more common fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, currants, gooseberries, and grapes, there is also information from other berry growers living in all parts of America who raised less familiar varieties such as dewberries, juneberries, loganberries, mulberries, and mayberries. Biggle’s trusty manual contains advice on, among other things:
How to keep your berry patch pruned, cleaned, cultivated, and in good order
How to protect your plants from fungus and insect damage
The best ways to pick, pack, and market your berries, if you’re willing to part with them,
Enhanced with color plates, beautiful engravings, and vintage photographs, The Biggle Berry Book is a treasure for anyone who appreciates the taste and freshness of homegrown fruit.
That passion for gardening continues today in fields, backyards, and urban community plots across the United States. According to a poll taken in 2009 by the National Gardening Association, more than forty-three million households in the United States grow some of their own food. Learn how to do things the “old-school” way as Jacob and Harriet Biggle guide you through the fundamentals of:
Soil preparation, sowing, and planting
Hotbeds and cold frames
Fertilization, cultivation, and irrigation
Flower gardening with old-fashioned favorites
Garden pests and friends
With a resurgence in organic farming, heirloom varieties, and self-reliant living, The Biggle Garden Book is more valuable than ever because of the time-tested advice it offers.
The various breeds of chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, and pigeonsThe most common diseases and enemies that threaten our feathered friendsRaising hens expressly for eggs rather than meatThe farmer’s flock versus the village henneryThe art of hatching eggs and caring for chicks
Written for the practical farmer who raises poultry and eggs for market,The Biggle Poultry Book will also appeal to collectors of farm ephemera and anyone else who is nostalgic for a simpler way of doing things. Illustrated with sixteen color plates by Louis P. Graham, and hundreds of black-and-white photographs and illustrations throughout, The Biggle Poultry Book is as beautiful as it is useful and a treasure for the home library.