Heart of the Home: Chores on the Family Farm

Working with her grandmother for a year putting her stories to paper for future generations, a reader shares part of her grandmother’s story of growing up in a large family, and the farm chores that kept everyone busy.

| Summer 2018

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    Remembering everything from canning vegetables to evenings spent by the river, it’s a sweet, nostalgic account of daily routines and simpler times.
    Photo by-studio busse-yankushev

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Grandma Shares Memories of Farm Chores With Granddaughter

Stacie – York, Pennsylvania

About five years ago, my then-96-year-old grandmother told me many stories about growing up in a large farming family. She has since passed away, but I worked with her for a year putting her stories to paper for future generations, and would like to share some of them with you.

Following are some of her memories, as told to me:

There was always plenty to do on the farm. We had a huge garden, and we raised our own meat, mostly pork, and kept milking cows. The produce from the garden was canned for the winter months, and we raised cash crops, such as cucumbers that were sold to the pickle factory in town.

After we had all the cows milked, the milk was taken up to the milk house for cooling. ... We had a manual crank milk separator. To separate the milk, we had to get the machine up to speed and keep it there. Each person took a turn of 100 rounds, and as you got to 90, you started counting out loud so that someone would relieve you. A bell rang when it was up to speed, and we would open the faucet. The whole job took less than an hour. Then, if the wind wasn’t blowing and the windmill wasn’t operating, we had to pump the water by hand to cool the cream.

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