Cato the Elder begins the De agricultura by distinguishing between three ways of making money: trade, moneylending, and farming. He describes agriculture as less risky than trade and much more respectable than moneylending but nevertheless a source of profit. Varro, in his discussion of agricultural labor, says that farming is done by slaves, free men, or both and that, while very many poor people farm with their children, others employ workers. Farmers had many possible strategies to choose from in order to earn the money they needed for their own essential purchases. The chapter considers the farmer's relative importance and the factors which would have altered their attractiveness in the late Republic and early Empire. The relative importance of different agricultural strategies for generating income in the form of coinage would have varied, of course, from place to place and over time. The chapter describes the considerable trade in firewood, wine, olive oil, flowers, legumes, fruit, nuts, poultry, and eggs.