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"About a Thousand Quarts...Every Summer!"


Fri, Jun 15th, 2001
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June 18, 2001

The Art of Farming is a project of the Collaborative for Watershed Sustainability to gather stories about farm life in southeastern Minnesota before World War II. Stories have been gathered from individuals near Harmony, Lake City and Wells Creek near Red Wing.

We raised hybrid seed corn in Indiana and had quite a few nephews. In the summertime these kids would want to come. My sister-in-law had boys who wanted to come too, which was great; they were kids youd like to have around. Sometimes I would have as many as nine extra people with us at meals. My brother-in-law lived with us part of the time because he was single and no place to go. My husbands brother and wife and seven year old little girl lived across the road. This brother was a schoolteacher and had some type of illness, which now I think was Alzheimers. So actually I had a big family all the time and a lot of them to cook for. This sister-in-law across the road was always very helpful and the situation was beneficial because I could share with them things they could very well use. (There was no government assistance back then, just what you could make on your own.)

We raised a big garden, loads of vegetables and fruit which was our main diet anyway and what we all loved. I always canned about 1,000 quarts every summer. So I had all this stuff in the basement plus milk, eggs and butter. Butterfat was 5 cents a pound during the Indiana years. Eggs were maybe a nickel a dozen. We had our own meat supply, so what more do you really need? I could fix a pretty good meal. (without spending a cent!) Well, you always had to buy sugar and flour. (and canning jars!) The energy expended was the thing that was valuable.

But back to explaining why we had all those extra kids around... In raising hybrid corn, you have to de-tassel. Consequently those kids were the hand-detasselers. Of course that had to be done periodically. They pull the tassel out of the top of the corn stalk. Eventually they had a stool on wheels to ride along in the cornfield because some of it was high. So you had to have large-sized kids and they were big eaters. They even used to like lunching in between meals. My husband never lunches if he can avoid it. He eats three meals a day and thats it. So it was a new thing to him to have kids forever eating.

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I de-tasseled corn in Iowa when I was in the fifth grade, thats how I earned my first bicycle. I was tall en .....
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Niagara Cave

Fri, Jun 15th, 2001
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Monday, June 11, 2001


Our guide flips a switch and plunges us into a darkness so black no eyes can see. It is cold down here over 200 feet below the surface. The roar of a 60-foot waterfall drowns all other sounds. Even those of us who ha ..... 
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"Come Hell or High Water"

Fri, Jun 15th, 2001
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Monday, May 28, 2001

Weaver Dunes Field Report Mid Spring 2001

Peepers and Chorus Frogs now sing in earnest from wetlands throughout Fillmore, Houston, Winona, and Wabasha Counties. The incredible din of these tiny inch long fr ..... 
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To manure or not to manure

Fri, Jun 15th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, June 18, 2001

Whether compost or manure, fresh or aged, you can help your garden grow by adding organic matter to your soil. If you garden on a small scale like I do, without the aid of tractors or plow horses, it can se ..... 
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Stuck in the Mud

Fri, Jun 15th, 2001
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Monday, June 18, 2001

This has been one of the wettest springs ever. Most of the rain didnt seem to fall heavily, just steadily. Farmers have gotten only a brief period of fair weather to get their crops planted. Most of the acres are planted ..... 
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The Death Penalty, with Chinese Characteristics

Fri, Jun 15th, 2001
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Monday, May 28, 2001

The European Parliament, considers capital punishment to be both barbaric and inhumane, regardless of the means by which the death penalty is carried out. They routinely mention the United States in the same breath as Chin ..... 
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