SEGMENT: FARMING METHODS, ACTIVITIES, & LIVESTOCK
Walter Culver>UIS Collection C-G>UIS Collection C-G, Segment 8
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- FARMING METHODS
- Learned to use last year's corn stalks as soil fertilizer at University of Illinois instead of burning the stalks. Also learned about rotating crops like wheat and clover. Had 35-40 bushels of corn in a good year, now they get 150 bushels. Father had 340 acres with some swamp but installed drain tile in the swamp area. Tiling was done by a hired ditch digger by hand, about 3 feet down. Describes using a walking plow for tiling. Paid hired man $35 per month. In winter they harvested ice from their uncle's pond. After a day of harvesting the workers would swim in the uncle's pond.
- Rode a bicycle for fun but it was difficult because of the hard rubber tires. Got a bicycle with regular tires and rode it farther staying in the horse tracks on the road. Played with neighbors' children when he was young and the families would stay at each others' houses all day.
- Had cattle and grain on the farm. Fed cattle ear corn, which children snapped in half so cattle could eat them. Children also gave hogs ear corn until they got self-feeders. Raised Poland-China hogs and sold them to a buyer in Athens. Recalls driving pigs to Athens on the road. Would sell 20-25 pigs at once. Remembers when paying 8c per pound to buy and butcher a pig was a high price.