SEGMENT: FARM BUSINESS, LIVESTOCK, & FAMILY
Mary Stark>NIU Collection>NIU Collection, Segment 20
- FARM BUSINESS
- Mary discusses the difficulty getting started in farming. Tells about heating the small apartment at her in-laws. There was a fire. Some of insurance money bought machinery instead of replacing furniture.
- 20 years on farm in Cloverdale. 170 acres. Grew soybeans, corn, oats.
- Husband raised hogs, Mary raised chickens, sold her eggs at a roadside stand. Comments on taste of food today, more wholesome back then. Discusses policies, butchering today. Mary raised chickens until they moved to where they are today. Always had chickens, talks about chicken life cycle. She and Harry didn't butcher their hogs, did butcher the chickens.
- Family gatherings at Christmas, Easter.
- Mary did some sewing and embroidery, reflects that she has more hobbies now than back then! Today she does wood-carving, ceramics, yoga, calligraphy. She and Harry bowled back then, still do a bit.
- Wanted to get out of the more bustling county, in-laws and brother helped them, they moved to DeKalb county, the home where the interview is now taking place. Brother passed away, nephew still lives there. [Story is a little confusing.] Bought bare land in town, moved in 1975. Farming same land, they live 19 miles away, still go to same church.
- Harry is talking about retirement a little bit. Thinking of splitting with nephew.
- FARM WORK
- Mary helps on the farm during harvest, drives tractor, does transport, etc. Comments on the lack of conveniences out there still! Describes Harry's workshop on the farm, occasionally she cooks out there, quite an accomplishment! Farm is still a lot of work for Harry, better machinery now. As a girl Mary tended to chickens, made hay, but didn't like it. Describes hay-making and hot weather.