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Communities Ava Student Showcase Farm Life

Farm Life in the Early 1900's

The following work was produced in May, 2001 by Ava 7th Grade Language Arts classes, Donna Sherman, teacher. The students read the "Farm Life" section of An Old-Timer Remembers as background material. The assignment: Write a short story describing someone about your age who is living on a farm in the early 1900's.
Farm Life
Matt Colson 
Life on the Farm
Mandy Hampton 
Summer Time
Susan Cummins
Busy Time in Springtime
Ashley Lawson 
The Summer Months
Wesley Davis 
Living on a Farm
Sarah Maggard 
A Day on the Farm
Bethany Everett
Farm Life on Bryant Creek
Lyndsey Porter
The Ways of Farm Life in the 1900's
Mistin Grace
Farm Life
Jarrin Yeary 

Farm Life           

By Matt Colson

It is summer, and we are caring for our crops. We have yellow watermelons, sweet corn, pinto beans, and Granny-Smith apples. We also have Jersey cows, pigs, and chickens.  The watermelons are growing in a pool by Bryant Creek. 

We barely have any money, so Dad barters eggs and produce to our friendly and kind  neighbors. We have finally gotten to swim in the creek. It is very cold other times. I have spent my spare time, after helping with the animals, gardening, school, or church, playing in the creek.
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Summer Time 

By Susan Cummins 

The summer has come and it's very hot. It's time to bury the food so it will keep. I wish we had a root cellar, then I wouldn't have to do this in the burning up weather. This is the main chore I have to do for today. My little brother doesn't know how deep to dig it so it won't spoil, but he's going to help me a little. I'm glad we don't have to bury the food in a haystack.  We don't keep haystacks.

I don't think it will take too long to bury it, at least I hope not. Tomorrow I am going to go to town to trade some eggs for some groceries. I always look forward to this because my parents let me get a stick of candy. 

This weekend my mom and I are going to start canning some of the fruits and vegetables.  We don't like burying all of our food. It's sort of fun canning food with  mom. We get to talk and have fun.  Summer time is a pretty busy time for everyone.

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The Summer Months 

By Wesley Davis

The year is 1905. It's mid-summer right now, and I am helping the family in the hay fields. I am 13 years old and papa said it's time I did a real man's work. Because we don't have one of those new fangled steam tractors, we have to cut, rake, and bale the hay by hand.

The day started early. We got up at 5:00 am. We were going to start with the south field.  You could see the golden hay everywhere in the morning sun. The birds were chirping, and the air smelled of rain coming soon.  But, not for long. 

We got the horses hooked up to the bale carrier, then we started work. One person led the horse (usually the youngest person). Ten people cut the hay. Twenty people rake it. I was at the back of the line, because I was just learning how to do it. The dust clouded my eyes and choked me. It was hard to breathe. At 9:00 we got it done. I was beat. I ate a big dinner and hit the sack. Tomorrow we do the north field.

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A Day on the Farm 

By Bethany Everett

This spring we are having a lot of baby animals on the farm. The creek has risen a lot because the snow has all melted. We have begun to dig our meat out of the hay, which is where we stored it during the winter. We are also building a new spring-house at one of our other springs, because we are expecting more milk this year. 

Today we took some eggs to the general store to trade for some things we need. Mom needed to get some more material for new dresses because we've outgrown some of our old spring and summer dresses. We don't want to wear our winter dresses because they're too hot. We also put our shoes up because we only wear them when the ground is too cold.

Next we went to the mill with some of our last year's grain. We took some of last year's seeds from the barn and began planting the crops. We mostly grow corn, green beans, and potatoes. We also plant wheat for flour. We use our horses to plow up the field, so it will be easier to plant. If we're lucky, we will get the field plowed and potatoes planted before sundown. Then we go in for a supper of freshly caught fish and go to bed early so we can get a fresh start in the morning. 

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The Ways of Farm Life in the 1900's 

By Mistin Grace

The days get harder and harder as I start to grow up on the farm. Each day I get up at the crack of dawn and work till the sun sets in the west. As I trudge home to claim my supper, I think about what it would be like to live in a place where there are not back breaking chores waiting to be done every time I turn around. But I knew if I never lost hope, nor my strength, I would make it out all right. I know I'm young, but I am very independent, and can keep my head in a panic situation. Like when Ma and Pa got really low on our supply of food. My younger siblings were always whining about how hungry they were, so I went out to the creek and caught some fish. There were only a few and they were small, but it would get us through for a couple of days. I found that the creek came in handy, so I began going more often and getting what I needed. A lot of the times there would be berries that I could pick where they had grown by the bank when it was damp.

Not many things have been going on since fall has rolled around, except of course getting food for my family still. I can see that Ma and Pa have been losing a lot of weight and every time I look at them I can see the sadness buried in their faces. But they won't be looking like that for much longer, due to the fact that I have found us a little place in town. It's more like a cottage I would say. There are not many people in our town, so we will not have any trouble finding jobs. There has already been an offer given to me, and it is a pretty complicated job, so there will be no arguing when Pa comes to help me. I am hoping that becoming a blacksmith at this age will do me some good, maybe a lot of good. 

Well I am growing up and it's getting harder, I am now 17 and have been through a lot in my time. I feel as if I am growing up too fast. I hope to be going off to another territory real soon, now that all my brothers and sisters are old enough to take care of themselves! Ma and Pa do not approve, but I am a young man and am fit to make a living and I plan to do it by panning gold. 

Well, I am doing mighty fine and have been panning gold for a mere 40 years now. I mean I am doing fine omitting my illnesses, and my hacking cough. Sometimes I think that I am going to lose my lungs.

Lately been sitting away watching the days go by. My breath is getting shorter and the days longer, so to all my people I'm signing away. Much thanks to Bryant Creek for helping me and my family survive. Goodbye.

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Life on the Farm

By Mandy Hampton 

It feels like this is going to be a plentiful spring. Our animals are having babies and our crops are growing very well, which means that we are going to build a bigger springhouse, and a bigger waterhole. My family is very happy about it though. But today is Sunday and we have just gotten home from church. I wore my best Sunday dress today. We can't work hard because today is our day to go into town. We are going to trade some of our eggs for a few groceries.

Today is now Monday and we are going to have to work very hard all week. My first chore is to cook breakfast for everyone. There are eight of us to feed. We are going to build our springhouse today and dig up some of the vegetables that we buried at the first of winter. 

Our springhouse is half way finished and I am cooking lunch. Mother has just come home from the mill, and Father is working the cattle.

Our work is done for today and we have just gotten finished eating dinner. After dinner we all say our goodnight prayer together and then head on to our beds.

That is what goes on about every day out here on our farm.

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Busy Time in Springtime             

By Ashley Lawson

My name is Ashley. My parents own a farm by Mansfield, Missouri. It is springtime right now.  That is a busy time of year for me. My sister, mother, and I have to spend most of our waking hours in the garden. While we are in the garden, my father and two brothers are in the field making hay. In the garden we plant corn, potatoes, strawberries, watermelons, and tomatoes. Then, to make our yard look nice, we plant a flower garden. This year it is very beautiful.  Many colors like blue, pink, white, yellow...just like the rainbow! 

Every morning we get up at 5:00 in the morning and work in the garden until 9:00 in the morning. Then, we have to go feed the horses, cattle, hogs, and chickens. Father and my two brothers usually get very tired in the afternoon, so we have to bring them a container full of cold water. They get home at dark. By then we have the house clean and dinner cooked. We go to bed at 8:30 to get a good night's sleep. 

In the morning my mother gets up to make a small breakfast for us. Then, my father and brothers leave to go out to the field. We are done planting now, so, we stay home. Within a week after we get done planting, my father and brothers are done in the field. So we wait one month or so and we go pick the corn, potatoes, strawberries, watermelons, and tomatoes, and go sell them in town.

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Living on a Farm

By Sarah Maggard

It was early summer and the Medlock family were getting ready to harvest their crop. Andy and his sister Becky came along to help. They started by helping in the garden. Becky started pulling up the carrots. "How  great these smell," she said. Mrs. Medlock was gathering onions. They got to their feet when they heard the tractor coming. It was Mr. Medlock coming out of the field.  He had just cut the hay. 

Andy went right to work in the field. They got the hay baled by lunch. When they came in, Mrs. Medlock and Becky had lunch ready. They had carrot soup and for desert there was blackberry pie. Andy and Mr. Medlock went back out to the field. Then Mrs. Medlock and Becky started canning their vegetables.

After supper they all went right to bed. They were so tired. The next day they went out and did the chores. The men went back to the fields, and the ladies went back to their work. They had gotten a lot done and hoped to get even more that day.

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Farm Life on Bryant Creek 

By Lyndsey Porter

When Riley looked over the hill, he saw the Bryant Creek running through the hills and making its way past the bridge. He saw the old Slater place up on the other hill and waved a friendly greeting to his neighbor friend, Dakota. He turned and started to run back up the hill toward his family's cabin. He didn't want his mother to be angry that he had taken so long at the creek.

When he reached his home, there was no one there. They had already taken their produce to the root cellar. They had left a big pile of all the other food that was his share to put away somewhere. He didn't realize that he had taken so long getting the milk to the creek. He would have to hurry to catch back up with his family. He grabbed the meat and eggs and ran towards the huge oak tree that his family used as a root cellar.

After they got all the food put away, Riley got the wheat stalks out of the corner and started to rake the grains off of the stalks. He had to get the rest of the grain into the wheat bag before winter really set in, so that they could take the bag into town and have it ground for their winter bread supply. 

Riley fell into his bed that night exhausted from another farm's day work.

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Farm Life

By Jarrin Yeary 

Well, since mama went to the store today, me and dad went to the creek. We had to go bury the groceries in the back yard to keep them cold, but since it's December we had to make sure we didn't bury them too shallow. If we did that they would freeze. Daddy and I went to the general store today to sell farmer John our finest hen's eggs. Farmer John said "All right sonny boy but I ain't gonna pay 2 cents an egg for those cotton pickin' things." So I sold them to farmer Bob for 25 cents an egg.

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