Tuesday, October 11, 2016


Here in the middle of America is where I grew up. It is farm country. Some farmers raised wheat, corn, and other crops. Some farmers raised livestock such as cows, sheep, or pigs. Most farmers raised a bit of all the above.

Grandpa raised all of the above. Most of the grain and corn was raised to feed the livestock. So was hay.

Grandpa had pigs. They were mostly for butchering to feed the family. They also made good garbage disposals.

He raised cows. That was his main source of income. The milk from the cows was sold to dairies. Some of the males were used to eat but mostly the cows made new cows so the abundant milk supply continued.

Grandpa raised horses. Of course they worked but it was more because he loved them so.

Gardens are a big deal on the farm as are fruit trees. The produce they yield are cooked, canned, pickled, and preserved for use all year long.

Potatoes are a staple in the diets in this part of the country. They are served in one form or another at almost every evening meal. They are full of nutrition and they "stick to the ribs" meaning they are filling.

Grandpa would plant a small field of potatoes. When the time came he would plow them up and we would follow behind and gather them out of the ground. Potatoes are stored and used all year until the next year's harvest.

My husband loved potatoes too. As it was with all farm families potatoes were served for supper every night. He did not consider it supper unless there were potaotes.

When he moved back here from the big city he was fortunate to have a neighbor who became a very good friend. They worked together on most everything they needed to make pleasant lives.

The neighbor is of Mexican descent. He does not eat potatoes and did not understand my husband's love for them.

The two of them decided to plant a garden together. The neighbor was excited about growing his own tomatoes and hot peppers. My husband insisted that they plant potatoes.

To this day the neighbor chuckles about the potatoes. He still does not know why they had to plant nothing but potatoes that year.


  1. Another wonderful story, Emma!
    Potatoes are still an important part of our families meals, too. My mom taught me to make diced, fried potatoes with chopped onions and green peppers...yummy!!!
    My hubby had never had his potatoes made this way and now he even requests that I make them for him.
    One year, when my kids were still small, we quartered old potatoes and planted them in a small garden that we planted. They got the biggest kick out of growing their own potatoes that year that we grew more the following years :)
    I love your memories and stories, Emma!!! They help me to recall some of my own~

    1. I am happy if you are recalling your memories. I have so many good memories and I wish that for everyone.

  2. I do love potatoes in all variations! And know how to plant them. Bud why did they not plant all vegetables? Did I miss something?

    1. I probably left out the fact that my husband did not really like other vegetables. He would eat sliced tomatoes occasionally but he had to have potatoes. His poor neighbor does not eat potatoes but he wanted the hot peppers for his Mexican food. That year they had potatoes.

  3. We grew up in the city with a small backyard but we had a tall cherry tree and two tiny peach trees. My father always grew tomatoes and zucchini.
    We gave away lots of cherries to our neighbors because there was just too much for the four of us to eat. My mother used Mason jars to preserve the peaches for winter.
    She used to batter and fry the zucchini blossoms. They were flavorful and crunchy.
    My father bought cases of grapes to make his own wine, one large red wine barrel and one small white wine barrel.
    I think that was pretty good for a small Brooklyn home.

    1. It is pretty good. Your father and my father were kindred spirits. I believe they would have had a good time talking about fruit trees.