Growing Up On A Delaware Farm
Growing up on a Delaware farm was a wonderful and rewarding experience for me.
I grew up in an area where a couple of dozen families in an area of about hundred square miles had farmed, married each other and been a stable community for centuries, along Delaware Rout One just north of Lewes.
In my early youth, I grew up on a farm where we had 33 cows, 18 we milked twice a day, 3 horses, some chickens, 60 acres of corn, hay and pasture. It was a farm that my maternal grandparents owned. There were barns, tractors, long hours and Sundays in church. We grew corn, hay and pasture. We had a large garden and some fruit trees. We hunted, foraged, and grew what we ate and used in most cases. We ate duck, goose, pigeon, muskrat, fish, crabs, shell fish, groundhog, mustard greens, collards, wild garlic, onion, persimmons, wild cherry, wild strawberries, blueberries, figs, mint, wild carrots, herbs and wild spices.
We had plenty of beef, chicken, milk, cream and our own homemade butter, as well as at least two kinds of handmade soap. We cooked on a woodstove which also heated the house. I slept under quilts and on feather beds that were over a hundred years old. We had a little coal furnace but coal was expensive and that was only for the coldest times. We had electric and a phone too. We shucked and shelled corn, some of which we traded to neighbors for pork, veal or turkey.
I lived on my grandparent's farm and my great grandmother lived with us as well. My grandmother and great grandmother were both school teachers by profession. I was doted upon, taught and encouraged to read several hours a day. The home was filled with old books and I was the only student they had at home. In the attic were books handed down through the family from the 1500's and since. We lived on land, some pieces of which had been in our family ownership for hundreds of years and is now divided down from thousands of acres to small pieces. We lived much the same as people lived on farms in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Yet, we had phone and TV, neither of which was used much.
My grandfather taught me much; to milk cows by hand and by machine and much more. I shoveled tons of sloppy manure, fed the cows and horses and learned to carpenter, make tools, and to keep things repaired. I learned to make do and keep it going. I learned to mend harness, to render pine resin from the sap of local trees and mix it with bee's wax to treat the home-made linen thread that was used to mend harness. I learned to do minor animal surgery such as castration, dehorning and at least once I helped pull an infected tooth in a cow. I learned to make my own knife at age 4. By 5 I was driving the old Ford some. At 6, I was able to drive the tractors and the truck. By 7 I could work a full day in the field by myself driving the largest tractor Dad had.
Dad bought the adjacent farm when I was five and later bought several other adjacent or nearby farms and timber land as it came available. He eventually owned and rented over 3,000 acres by the time I left the farm. We lived well from Dad's industrious work and his advanced techniques.
My grandparents were not very modernized. Dad was not a usual person for his time either. He was 20 to 50 years ahead of his time in farming. I helped out on Dad's farms once I started school. By eleven I worked at least 20 hours a week during the school year, often 40. By age 12 my summer weeks were typically 60 hours or more and sometimes over 100 hours. I tried to go for 120 to 130 hours a week for the added money. Many nights I slept in the dirt, in the field, to eliminate going home to sleep so I could make more money. I learned to go to sleep in a matter of seconds and to be up, dressed and working in less than four minutes when I slept at home.
Summertime, when there was no school, and being paid for the long hours I worked -- I made considerable income even at the low hourly wage. I saved most of it. I didn't have much time or opportunity to spend it. As a teenager, I made more, many months than some grown men of our area and I had few expenses. We didn't work all the time but we enjoyed work. I don't recall anyone that didn't like working. I arranged to do the hardest and least popular jobs, mostly hauling hay and irrigation. Doing the hardest jobs gave me job security. We got Sunday's off to go to the little country church that our family founded and built on the farm. We worked hard and loved the work and the life it earned us!
Dad, ahead of his time, had irrigation, high density crops, no-till farming, airplanes to spray the crops, and used every modern or experimental tool and technique available or being tested. As a youngster, I was accustomed to Dad being in or on the cover of some magazine nearly every month it seemed. Some of the things he helped pioneer 30-40 years ago are becoming customary and ordinary now, some will be more common later.
Dad grew his farm from nothing and by the time I was a teen he was farming over 3,000 acres, seeking to profit from the economies of scale and mechanization. Smaller farmers were often making far less than minimum wage by the 70s. He rented thousands of acres of farm land but owned many hundreds of acres of tillable land as well.
Sure I miss the rural farming that I grew up in. We decided, several years too late, to sell most of our farm land into development when the government decided to make pawns of farmers, farms and farm products. First went the domestic farm commodities market with one crop after another and then in the international market with the corn, wheat, soybean debacles with Russia and China ? where our government contracted to feed the USSR and China for decades with our farm products. This contractual agreement multiplied the need and value of American farm products.
The smell of diesel fuel may be the smell of life in some cases. I don't like the smell of it either and starting at 7 years old I pumped a lot of it into our tractors and burned it long hours as I drove those tractors. It's probably some sort of illegal activity to let kids work on the farm today. There was a lot more diesel in the air before the developments were here. The tractors are gone now for the most part. And they seldom wake up the late rising city folks anymore. Our democratic interests don't allow any manufacturing down here in Sussex so we have no high income support base. The highest income employment we have is banking and outlet manager jobs. Other than that we have self employment, waiting on tables, minimum wage and production based income and it's not usually farming. We have a few, very few people who have been able to stay here and serve non-farm interests. Few remain who still farm and those few have either other income, extreme government subsidy with our tax dollars of some sort or will be gone soon.
Copyright 1999-2005 by www.JodyHudson.com
Source of this article: http://www.kate-jody.com/essays/growingupfarm.html
Want to Work for Yourself? Those Dream Jobs Dont Just Happen, Theyre Created
While traveling in northern California last October, I happened to tune into a local newscast. The newscaster was telling his co-anchor that the speaker at that morning's Rotary Club meeting had to cut his presentation short because he was being flown down to Disneyland to carve elaborate Halloween pumpkins for the park festivities. The newscaster wrapped up the story with the familiar quip, "Nice work if you can get it." He got the first part right. For a creative kid-at-heart, being a professional pumpkin carver is a dream come true. It was his serendipitous "if you can get it" thinking that missed the mark. The fact is, people rarely "get" great work; they create it! Despite all the emphasis on growth in the "job sector" I am continually amazed at just how many fascinating alternatives there are to the whole 9-to-5 schtick. And just as traditional job seekers can't wait around for "Mr. Job" to knock on the door, people who want to do satisfying work ? and call their own shots ? need to be proactive as well. Francis Bacon defined a wise man as one who "makes more opportunities than he finds." Here's a couple of other wise entrepreneurs who made it by going for it. Sports-lover Don Shoenewald was just 18 when he went to the Philadelphia Eagles management wearing a homemade Eagle costume and asking for a mascot job. They weren't interested. Undaunted, Shoenewald kept showing up at Eagles football games. Pretty soon the fans adopted him as the unofficial (meaning, "unpaid") mascot. Thirteen paid team mascot jobs, four mascot character creations (including ones for the New Jersey Devils and the San Jose Sharks), and 18 years later, Shoenewald started Mascot Mania, the only professional training school for mascots in the world. Despite what your high school guidance counselor might have told you, showing up invited in a bird costume isn't the only route to self-employment. For Dan Zawacki it all began when he was working as a sales rep for Honeywell and decided to give away 120 live lobsters as gifts to his customers. Dan was so bowled over by the response that he decided to open a small side business shipping live lobsters complete with pot, crackers, butter and bibs to crustacean-lovers from coast-to-coast. That is until his boss heard him pitching Lobster Gram, Inc. on a local radio station and promptly fired him. In the beginning, Dan worked out of his bedroom, storing his lobsters in a used tank in his father's garage. His first year he netted only $4,000. Ten years later, his company sells about 9,000 lobster packages a year for $99 plus shipping. All and all, not a bad tale. If you dream of making the transition from employee to self-bosser, the first thing you need to do is belief that you can. Then, the next time you see some entrepreneur doing what they love, try thinking: "Nice work ? now, all I have to do is get it!
Do I Have to Provide a Salary History?
Often you see job postings with a request such as "Send resume with salary history to?" I don't know about you but the first thing that pops into my mind is what do they expect to pay? The next question I ponder is whether or not it's legal to request this information. Who will see my salary history when my resume and accompanying documents are received? Will it be the hiring manager, someone in the human resources department, or will it be a notoriously nosy employee whose job it is to open the mail? Will that individual broadcast my confidential information to other employees?
Settling Successfully Into Your New Job
The euphoria of getting a new job can sometimes be overcome by apprehension about what comes next. After all, you're "the new kid on the block," and there's much to learn--about your new job duties and much more. But here are some things you can do to make the process go smoother.
The Interview - A Few Tips for Making a Great First Impression
Searching for employment is one of the most nerve-racking activities to engage in. As if the direct need for income is not stressful enough, the process of writing a résumé, networking in your industry, and applying for jobs can leave anyone shaking in their tracks. Once you have hit the pavement and made a few contacts the phone calls should start coming in. With a little effort, hopefully a phone call could lead to an interview; which happens to be one of the most horrifying portions of career building. With the completion of a good interview, a job offer is just a step away. Here are few tips of turning any interview into a memorable experience for the Employer (and just might help you land the job!):
8 Steps to Getting On-Track When You Start a New Job
Starting a new job can feel like moving to a new country. Your language skills may be modest. You have little knowledge of the laws, let alone the customs and traditions of the society you are entering. All you have is a passport and the goodwill of management as you enter unfamiliar borders.
Background Checks: How They Can Determine Whether You Get Hired or Not!
Background checks are utilized by companies today to decide whether or not you will be permitted to work for them. Information in these reports can reveal many things about you to a prospective employer; it is critical that you be aware of what a company may uncover via a background check before one is conducted. You need to be aware of what steps you must take to protect yourself should negative information about you be uncovered.
Unemployment Survival: Taking Back Control
One of the most emotionally crippling aspects of unemployment is the sense of powerlessness it engenders. Job layoff triggers financial pressures, emotional distress, family turmoil, and dashed career hopes. It is forced on us by unrelenting fate, an emotionally disengaged employer, and economic currents that have little to do with us personally. We feel that we have no control over our situation, our lives, our future.
For many people, interviewing is not a natural act any more than going on a blind date is. You are asked a bunch of questions about your work. You answer them. They ask a bunch more; you answer them. You're graded on your performance (you receive a job offer or not). Yet interviews are predictable processes and as such can be planned for
Get Dressed and Get Hired
Tying a tie properly may tie you to your next employer. A properly tied tie is essential to a good first impression. With the recent outcry regarding athletes wearing flip-flops to the White House, it's apparent that a review of socially acceptable fashion rules is needed.
How to Recoup From Missing the Most Important Meeting of the Year
Sometimes missing a critical meeting just can't be helped. Despite the advance planning, you just cannot make it to the meeting. Before you get out the guilt stick and beat yourself up about how stupid that was or how bad it's going to be for your career, take a step back and examine how to overcome your absence.
Why Do Interviews Die: That Sinking Feeling and How to Prevent it!
Interviews die because a mistake occurred. Sometimes, you've made a mistake; sometimes they die because someone who screened a resume did.
Top Career Advice ... More Choices and A Better Way of Life
Why Career Advice Is So Important
Negotiate Better Job Offers with This Twelve-Point Checklist
You've been through an employer's interview process successfully and have now been extended a job offer. And you think the offer could be better. If that's the case, read on to find out cutting-edge strategies that'll help you negotiate a better deal.
Students Searching for a Job
Searching for a job has become easier than ever for those who are graduating from school and looking to enter the workforce. Many schools offer guidance services as well as networking opportunities for graduates looking for work after finishing school. Recruiters often work hand in hand with career services on a number of campuses to connect with the kind of individuals they have in mind for specific positions. While these types of services can open doors to several people, hardly anything offers more in their job search than online employment web sites.
Sample Resume Objectives: What They All Tend To Miss
Sample resume objectives. When a harried and possibly panicked job seeker finds one he thinks is good, he feels like the drowning man who just got rescued.
Free Resume Examples: Untold Wealth In 10 Minutes!
Doesn't every job search start with Google?
Losing a Career When Youre Moving for Love
Those who watched HBO's Sex and the City (SATC, now available on DVD) know the last eight episodes were less about sex and more about city. And the last three episodes, taken together could serve as a case study for a decision faced by many clients Should I follow my heart or hang on to my job?
Telephone Job Interview Preparation Tips
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW BACKGROUND
Petite Modeling: What Should You Wear to Your First modeling Photo Shoot?
If you're looking into making the petite modeling industry your career and are wondering what you should bring to your first photo shoot then this article is for you.
Your First Job
"Your first job is an extension of your education"
Recent Job Posts
|home | site map|