The capital required to the acre to equip and operate a vegetable garden or a farm depends upon the following factors: (1) The size of the farm. Small places require relatively more capital than larger ones. (2) The amount of glass desired. (3) The type of gardening to be followed. Market gardening requires much more capital to the acre than truck farming, and general truck farming requires more capital than special farming, as the growing of celery, onions, tomatoes and cabbage. The more intensive the business, the greater the capital needed. (4) The fertility of the land. Impoverished land requires heavy expenditures for manure and fertilizers to secure satisfactory crops. (5) Distance from market if produce is to be transported by wagon.
The estimates of capital required range from $20 to $500 an acre. Bailey states that the average in various sections is as follows: Florida, $95; Texas, $45; Illinois, $70; Norfolk, Va., $75 to $125; east end of Long Island, $75; west end of Long Island, $150; 10 miles out of Philadelphia, $200 to $300 an acre. Peter Henderson suggests $300 an acre for a 10-acre place, while Rawson claims that $500 an acre is not too great an expenditure for a 10-acre place under intensive cultivation. The reader should bear in mind that Rawson has always used a large amount of glass. To start on as comprehensive a scale as the gardener referred to at Cleveland, O., (7) would require much more capital an acre than the largest sum mentioned.
These figures should not be discouraging to beginners of limited means. It is possible to start on a few acres and succeed with very little capital. Progress is much slower, however, under such conditions, but it is better than to borrow money and to make heavy investments without certainty of financial success. Anyone who knows the value of horses, tools, wagons, sash, manure and fertilizers, as well as the cost of labor, must realize that considerable capital must be available before engaging in the business on even a fairly large scale.