While we were at war it was highly desirable that as many town people as possible should be persuaded to cultivate war gardens. That was one means of adding a small margin to our food supply, to the end that a little more flour and meat could be spared to feed our friends across the ocean. Now that the war is over, the chief effect of daylight saving will be to enable town people to spend a little more time in self amusement.
Personally it would be very pleasant for me if I could have that added hour of daylight for golf or some other form of amusement. For the country as a whole I am convinced that it is undesirable. Our greatest industry is farming, and it is vastly our most important industry. Our farmers are the most important part of our population; and their interests should be considered ahead of all other special interests. In fact, our own interests depend more upon them than upon any other class or occupation. The farmers generally do not want daylight saving and for excellent reasons.
Farming Subject to Seasons.
Since farming is an outdoor rather than an indoor industry, it is subject to times and seasons. The farmer's work must be done when outdoor conditions are right and not when the farmer would prefer to work. This is a point which many indoor people fail to grasp. They are so independent of the sun and so much the slaves of the clock that they can not even rise an hour earlier in the morning without setting their clocks ahead.
The outdoor people, on the other hand, find it necessary to follow the sun. Hay-making, for example, cannot begin when the hands of the clock have reached a certain point on the dial, it must begin when the sun has dried the dew. A thousand other farm operations are similarly regulated by the sun rather than by the hands of the clock.
Stop Early or Miss Entertainment
The farmer and his family also have their general, social, intellectual, and religious interests. If all lectures entertainments, and meetings, as well as all railroad trains, are moved an hour ahead, the farmer must either deprive himself and his family of these advantages, or he must stop an hour earlier in the evening in order to fit himself into the general schedule. Since he cannot start an hour earlier in the morning, he therefore, in the latter case, loses an hour every day. Even if he were willing himself to work a full day, he cannot persuade his hired man to do so. The result is less work accomplished on the farm, reduced production, greater scarcity, and some addition to the already high cost of living.
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