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Life on the Farm in America - Early 20th Century

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  • I have talked to people that went through this period. It was a time where nothing was wasted, and everything was used for some purpose. No fast food, no industrialized economy, no jobs....terrible
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    • Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
      I have talked to people that went through this period. It was a time where nothing was wasted, and everything was used for some purpose. No fast food, no industrialized economy, no jobs....terrible
      And yet the people themselves had a very rich and full life because they did not have a need for the constant mindless entertainment and electronic pacifiers that we do. And their lives were better tan the previous generation's.
      Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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      • Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
        I have talked to people that went through this period. It was a time where nothing was wasted, and everything was used for some purpose. No fast food, no industrialized economy, no jobs....terrible


        sounds like freedom to me.

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        • Originally posted by Drusus Nero View Post
          I have talked to people that went through this period. It was a time where nothing was wasted, and everything was used for some purpose. No fast food, no industrialized economy, no jobs....terrible
          It was said of the German farmers that the only thing lost when they butchered a hog was its squeal. I suppose that was true for the most part of all farmers in days gone by.

          Both my paternal and maternal grandfathers were farmers, one born in 1872 and the other in 1878, respectively. I never knew my paternal grandfather because he died in 1938 before I was born. However, I loved to listen to my maternal grandfather's stories and visit him and my grandmother on their farm in the 1950s. One of the stories that impressed me was how during harvest time the farmers in the area would get together and help one another harvest their crops. My grandmother would prepare a huge amount of food and serve lunch to the men helping grandfather harvest his crop.

          Grandfather had a team of mules and an old horse. He had tried using tractors and didn't like them--I recall seeing the rusting remains of a couple of tractors on his farm. He told me how he had been plowing once with his horse and a mule teamed together when somehow he was thrown to the ground in front of the plow. He yelled "Whoa!" for the team to stop and the horse did but the mule kept trying to pull the plow forward. In short, Old Bess (the horse) saved his life. He rewarded Old Bess by putting her out to pasture for the rest of her life.

          My mother was the youngest of eleven children. (Large families were common in those days because the farmers needed help on the farm.) She was born in 1926; her oldest sibling had been born in 1902. I don't remember what the crops were that my mother told me my grandfather raised, but I do recall her mentioning tobacco and that it was a lot of work. She mentioned that grandfather had raised sheep for a time but that hogs and cattle were his usual choice, as was corn and wheat in crops. As for animals, grandfather had once told me he preferred raising hogs instead of cattle because a sow could have a litter of ten pigs or more but a cow would usually have only one calf; he could lose a pig or two and still make a profit, but if a cow lost her calf so also was the year's profit lost from the cow for that year.

          I could write a great deal more, but to be brief: Farmers worked hard, families were closer, and people helped one another when the need arose.
          "I have never known a combat soldier who did not show a residue of war." --Sergeant Ed Stewart, 84th Division, US Army, WWII

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          • Originally posted by Greybriar View Post

            It was said of the German farmers that the only thing lost when they butchered a hog was its squeal. I suppose that was true for the most part of all farmers in days gone by.

            Both my paternal and maternal grandfathers were farmers, one born in 1872 and the other in 1878, respectively. I never knew my paternal grandfather because he died in 1938 before I was born. However, I loved to listen to my maternal grandfather's stories and visit him and my grandmother on their farm in the 1950s. One of the stories that impressed me was how during harvest time the farmers in the area would get together and help one another harvest their crops. My grandmother would prepare a huge amount of food and serve lunch to the men helping grandfather harvest his crop.

            Grandfather had a team of mules and an old horse. He had tried using tractors and didn't like them--I recall seeing the rusting remains of a couple of tractors on his farm. He told me how he had been plowing once with his horse and a mule teamed together when somehow he was thrown to the ground in front of the plow. He yelled "Whoa!" for the team to stop and the horse did but the mule kept trying to pull the plow forward. In short, Old Bess (the horse) saved his life. He rewarded Old Bess by putting her out to pasture for the rest of her life.

            My mother was the youngest of eleven children. (Large families were common in those days because the farmers needed help on the farm.) She was born in 1926; her oldest sibling had been born in 1902. I don't remember what the crops were that my mother told me my grandfather raised, but I do recall her mentioning tobacco and that it was a lot of work. She mentioned that grandfather had raised sheep for a time but that hogs and cattle were his usual choice, as was corn and wheat in crops. As for animals, grandfather had once told me he preferred raising hogs instead of cattle because a sow could have a litter of ten pigs or more but a cow would usually have only one calf; he could lose a pig or two and still make a profit, but if a cow lost her calf so also was the year's profit lost from the cow for that year.

            I could write a great deal more, but to be brief: Farmers worked hard, families were closer, and people helped one another when the need arose.
            That was true of people in general at the tie. They had all endured hardship to come to America, so they had a common bond, and with no one else around for miles in many cases it was natural to help each other. Turning your back on someone is trouble was a major social error bordering on criminal.

            We're still like that out here in the country. When my wife and stop to watch the elk or something, every vehicle passing either way on the isolated dirt road will stop and ask if we need assistance. We do the same when we see someone stopped. N0 one takes it for granted that everything is OK, especially in areas with poor or no cell reception.
            Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

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            • Originally posted by Greybriar View Post

              ... One of the stories that impressed me was how during harvest time the farmers in the area would get together and help one another harvest their crops. My grandmother would prepare a huge amount of food and serve lunch to the men helping grandfather harvest his crop.
              I can't tell you how delighted I am every time I hear how people in past times, living close to earth, had this strong sense of community. Sharing knowledge and manpower, sharing crop yields... But what is most nice about, is that it happened all around the world, proving that it comes as a natural state of being.

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