I started to post this on the homestead poll, but decided it might hijack the thread or be too off topic. This is kind of a rehash, but newer folk might enjoy reading some of the quantity of food we put up, etc. For reference, there were three of us kids for a total of five in the family. ---- Farmers from homesteader stock would be the best description for my parents. We lived on the old family homestead, which was homesteaded in 1886 when ancestors arrived in my home area of western Kansas. For most of the years while I was growing up we farmed and ran stock on 1020 acres. When I was in high school we expanded to nearly 1500 acres. For the most part we raised only wheat and cane, i.e. grain sorghum feed crop. We ran 50 brood cows and sold the calves each fall. On occasion we would keep a few hogs, butcher one and sell the rest. A beef was grain fed and butchered yearly, the process farmed out to a slaughter and processing facility. Nearly always we kept two milk cows. Excess cream would be sold on occasion, but for the most part we and relatives consumed it through homemade butter, cooking, etc. What fun for a kid to turn the crank on a butter churn or cream separater. We kept quite a large flock of chickens and some weeks would sell 90-100 dozen eggs. They free ranged as the modern label would call it. We would get straight run replacement chicks in the spring, butcher the cocks when they got large enough and use the pullets for hen replacement. Some hens were butchered, some sold to individuals locally, others shipped out after being sold to the fellow that ran the hardware store/creamery/egg buying facility. The hens provided cash flow for the farm. When I was younger we were pretty well off grid. We had a gasoline generator that charged a bank of large glass cased batteries. The system was a 32 volt system. Many of the buildings were wired for lights. Appliances which ran on the 32 volts we had were a twin tub Dexter brand wringer washer, radio, iron, Dohrmeyer mixer, and others I'll probably think of later. Water was windmill pumped into an overhead tank that gravity supplied the home. While we had a gray water septic system, we didn't have black septic so used an outhouse until we added an addition to the home and added a full bathroom. We had two windmills, one mainly supplied the house, the other the livestock tanks. Both water wells were hand dug wells about 75' to 85' deep. Cooking was done on a kerosene Perfection stove. Heating was done with a heating fuel, Duo-therm brand stove. Refrigeration was done with butane. The water heater had a fuel oil burner. After arrival of REA most appliances were switched in favor of electricity. Tractor was a John Deere "D" pop pop, later a "GTB" Minneapolis Moline 4 cylinder, later modern tractors. Most field work was done with one-way disc plows of the 12 foot size. When my oldest brother became old enough we added a second tractor to be able to work the acreage more timely. Our grain combine was a "Baldwin" Gleaner pull type. Later a self propelled Massey Harris 21a was used, then custom harvesters were used. Feed was put up with a power take off operated grain binder. The bundles of feed came out of the binder onto a cradle which was tripped by an operator foot lever after several bundles were on it. After the feed was cut the piles of feed bundles would be placed into shocks. Once well cured we would start hauling the shocks into feed racks near the corrals in addition to feed being placed in the hay mow of two barns. Not all of the feed was hauled in early, but was hauled from the field as needed unless it got quite muddy or the snow got deep. Then that we had placed into the racks was used until the field dried out to use from it again. We gardened, but not on a real large scale, probably the garden was 40' X 50'. Produce was always canned in addition to fresh eating. Some produce was nearly always purchased for canning in addition to what we grew. Each year 200 pounds of potatoes were purchased and placed into the root cellar to carry us until spring. A 60 pound can of honey was ordered in each year as well. Peck sized baskets of grapes, two bushels or peaches, a bushel of apricots, a half bushel of Stanley prune plums, and a lug of Bing cherries were all purchased for canning and fresh eating. Pie cherries were also purchased, but I don't remember the quantity. Apples were used fresh and stored, not dried or other. Probably two bushels of them were purchased. Bushels of canning tomatoes were purchased when available. Each year we received a crate of oranges from relatives in California. I think the crates were one bushel sized. I have three of the old crates but none give size. While sweet corn arrived in our town for purchase some years, most often locally grown field corn was eaten instead. We usually didn't buy 3Â¢ per pound watermelons, but waited until the price dropped to 1Â½Â¢ per pound then would buy several. We always purchased "Black Diamond" variety melons of the 30 to 40 pound size. Most were shipped in from Oklahoma, some from Colorado. I can still remember the smell of them and still hear them crack as the knife split them just enough to weaken the rind. Watermelon pickles were often made from rinds of some. Other pickles were made from purchased pickling cucumbers, other pickles were made from devils claw pods which are weeds. They looked like pickled mice as they have a slightly fuzzy skin to them. Nearly always a neighbor had us pick some excess crab apples so that they could be put up as spiced crab apples. We had currants and choke cherries, sandhill plums picked at a friend's place where they grew wild, and purchased fruit for jelly and jam makings. Several 50# bags of flour were purchased each year. We used some store bought bread, some homemade. During good crop years we probably purchased more than we made. With plenty of eggs, cream, and lard plenty of cakes were made too. Rarely frosted unless company was coming. We had one building that had this stove in it. http://www.kountrylife.com/cgi-bin/...er=&SelectParameter=All&firstrec=1&lastrec=15 Sorry for that long url. On it we would render our lard and save the cracklings for cat and dog food in addition to eating some ourselves. Ever eat cornbread made with some cracklings in it? We traded for a new to us used car about every 7 years. We had a new pickup in 1949 and it was replaced in 1969 and used until sold at the estate sale in 1996. We replaced our model "A" Ford truck with a used 1947 Chevrolet, then replaced it with used 1953 Chevrolet until it sold at the estate sale. We boys each got two or three new pairs of jeans each fall just before school started. After arriving home from school we would change out of them and into everyday clothes which were last years clothing. We had store bought shirts in addition to shirts mom sewed up for us. About once every two months we would go to town to eat in one of the restaurants, then go to a movie. Sometimes more often if an exceptional movie was on the theater handbill. We probably did it to help Mrs. Williams with her restaurant income as much as for ourselves. Saturdays were a little shorter work day and used to prepare for Sunday cattle feeding, etc. On Sunday there was nearly always morning and evening services to attend (also mid week bible study). After church my grandmother, aunts and uncles, and the five of us would gather on most Sundays for a big meal together. Some Sundays were set aside each year to eat with other church families, cousins, or friends visiting from out of town. Rarely did we eat alone on a Sunday. Telephones were crank style with party lines until I was a junior or senior in high school. Each family that had a phone belonged to the local telephone association and helped maintain the lines. A small amount of dues were paid in order to have a switchboard operator and access to the those on other party lines as well as access to long distance. Television arrived mid 50s for most in the area. You could get one channel with a signal strength which wouldn't even be watched today. In the 1960s another closer station was built and gave to network choices. Unless you have cable or satellite there are still only the two networks available by broadcast. Rea arrived for most in the 1940s, the last family without electricity hooked up in 1965. They call it the good life, but they never mention scooping 2Â½ tons of wheat from a truck into a bin several times a day on a 105Âº July day. They don't mention mucking out a barn after 50 head of cows and 50 head of calves have spent the night in it due to a blizzard. They don't mention the use of the outhouse on a cold winter day, having to brush the snow from the ice cold seat, nor the odor of it on a hot summer day. Not horrid, but not exactly pleasant either if you get my drift. It is a good life---if you don't weaken. It was a good life as there are more fond memories than there were bad ones.