This Acme Pulverising harrow, clod crusher and leveler was claimed as “Best Selling Tool on Earth” in the May 1887 of the Nor-West Farmer and Manitoba Miller.
The paper’s editors were running a series of competitions inviting readers to submit essays on various topics. That month’s issue featured two entries on the topic “How to start a quarter-section farm.” An entry by F. Young of Souris outlined two scenarios — one for “An old-country tenant farmer with a wife and family of four children with a certain amount of personal effects and $500 cash in his pocket,” and another for an “Ontario man, single, with $200.”
Step one for the family arriving in April was to pitch a tent and if possible select a site on a river or ravine. Next was to get a good load of poles to build a stable, followed by digging a well, building a house (“14×16, 1 1/2 storeys high, ought to be large enough for the first two years”) and plowing two fire breaks around each building. “All this work should be done by the end of May. On the 1st of June the settler could commence breaking, and he might plant half an acre of potatoes and turnips on the breaking, which would give him vegetables for the first year and seed potatoes for the next. He ought to have thirty acres broken and one acre for a kitchen garden, not too near the house, by the end of June.”
He then recommended cutting about 15 cords of firewood to last the winter, and with the help of neighbours, getting up 12 tons of hay.
“By the first week in August he ought to be what they call ‘well fixed,’ and after backsetting his thirty acres he will be able to work out with his team all harvest and fall at $2 per day all round.”