Spring - Chores and Work
Hollis Miller said it took a lot of work to manage a farm in the 1920s.
|"In the spring you had to be organized and know what piece of ground you were going to put oats on or what piece of ground you was going to put your wheat on or corn on and what piece of ground that you were going to go to alfalfa with then. " -- Hollis Miller (Quicktime required)|
Housework and music:
Soon after school was over in May, a farm woman often gathered the children to help with spring house cleaning. They stripped beds of sheets, aired out feather mattresses, and took rugs outside to beat the winter dust out of them.
|"Cleaning the house was a big job because we didn't have vacuum sweepers then. We took a broom and you swept that carpet and the dust just flew all over… Sometimes in the evening when we girls were older … we'd sit around the piano, and when dad would come in and get washed up and … he'd come in and sit with us and we'd sing. I think he liked to hear us play. I never was as good at it as my two sisters, but I got by when I was teaching school, to sing with the kids." -- Merna Bailey (Quicktime required)|
Ruth Nettleton's mother baked bread about twice a week, and Ruth helped.
Planting a Garden
Vegetables from the garden fed farm families year-round, so planting and tending the garden were important duties. Farmers planted beans, peas, pumpkins, onions, potatoes, asparagus, carrots, beets, asparagus and squash, as well as strawberries and rhubarb.
Reading from a journal written in 1929, Ruth Nettleton said:
|"After breakfast, washed dishes and [cream] separator. Worked in the garden. I picked beans, strawberries, beets, and zucchini. I cut down the hollyhocks that were through blooming, then I canned the beans and cooked the beets. I fixed the strawberries to freeze. So thankful to have an [icebox] at the locker in town to keep frozen food. Then I cooked and strained soap grease … to make soap next week." -- Ruth Nettleton (Quicktime required)|
How to Milk a Cow
Like a lot of chores on a farm, milking the cows had to be done each day. Kenneth Jackson remembers what it was like.
Clyde Ehlers remembers raising baby chickens.