SEGMENT: FARM BUSINESS, FARMING METHODS, & WOMEN'S WORK
Irene McGuire>ISM Interviews M-Z>ISM Interviews M-Z, Segment 1
- FARM BUSINESS
- Got into pumpkins. Kids loved it because the school kids could have a pumpkin as long as they could carry it. Kids got apple cider. Good promotion because the kids would tell parents and come back on the weekend. Got started in this adventure in the late 1960's. First bought in from Pekin IN & later grew there own.
- FARMING METHODS
- It was not her job to work in the field. Irene's job was working on the books. Some diseases were insect born and some were atmosphere born - always spraying for something. People wanted apples that were not sprayed, so left some orchard without spray and apples were more expensive because they were organic. Had to change tractor and machinery when entering that part of the orchard; the apples had worm holes without spray. A lot of organic food is sprayed.
- Product was shipped through Illinois Fruit Growers Exchange. Had broker who would get top dollar. One year got new hydro-cooler for peaches and got 12 dollars a box through the broker. As others got hydro-cooler new boxes were made so they did not need to use wooden boxes. Never had received so much for a box of peaches, but does not remember what kind of cut the broker got. Did not take the fruit directly to the market because they raised to much to transport. Did sell to markets that would come to the farm. Fruits were graded by size and quality; certain qualities and sizes were disposed of; a lot of waste because there is to much ripe fruit to eat.
- FARM ORGANIZATIONS
- McGuire Family was already involved in the exchange when she came to the family. Both her husband and father-in -law were on the Board of Directors. No initiation fee but took a percentage of what you grew. Got a number on boxes so everyone knew it was your peaches. This way the produce was marketed as Southern Illinois Apples instead of an individual name.
- WOMEN'S WORK
- Did not know how many bushels were produced in a year. Her job was to keep the books in the house. She saw checks that would come in for 50 or 100 bushels but does not remember total production.