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Memories of the Daggett Farm

December 8, 2012

Following are excerpts from an article written by Edgar Aderman (1923 – 2010) in The Aderman Memory Book: Reminiscences from the family of Carl & Floy Aderman.

. . . I remember hard work on the farm. Harvesting sugar beets was always a big job. Dad [Carl] had a job as a crane operator at the sugar beet factory in Menominee. As a condition of employment, he had to put in 3-4 acres of sugar beets each year to sell to the company. Dad didn’t do much work putting in the crop; he just told the kids to do it. The seeds were planted in rows. When the sprouts came up you’d have to go through the rows and hoe out a hoes-width between plants. The plants were blocked up. Later on, you’d have to get on your hands and knees and pull out smaller plants and leave the larger ones. A lot of times we didn’t begin to gather them until October and it could get really cold They were pulled from the ground with a lifter (or beet fork) and then the tops were cut off with a knife. Mom [Floy] used to cook the tops to feed to the pigs. The harvest was thrown on a truck and taken to Menominee where carload after carload of beets were washed and processed.

Root Cellar at the Daggett Farm

We had three to five pigs and slaughtered two of them each year. Mom canned them, or smoked the hams, bacon, and shoulders. She fried the pork and placed it in big 3-4 gallon crocks. Rendered fat, or lard, was placed over the top to form a seal and the crocks were stored in the root cellar.

The chicken coop housed about fifty birds. Mom used to buy baby chicks of which fifty per cent were roosters. We’d feast on the roosters when they were grown and keep the hens for eggs. . .

Chicken Coop at the Daggett Farm

Dad kept about eight to ten cows of which about eight were milkers. All of us shared in the milking chores including Mom. Dad sold the milk to the cheese factory. . . . We’d fill two 10-gallon cans a day. For several years Mom would separate the milk and sell the cream. . . .

Pickles were another labor intensive crop that we grew. We’d raise pickles and sell them to the pickle factory at Stephenson. They only wanted a certain length, so we had to check every day for pickles that reached a particular size. We had about one acre and when the pickles were ready we picked every day.  . . .

Potatoes were harder to process. The potato cultivator took four horses to pull it. We had a team of horses, Junie and Patty, and our neighbors, the Borski’s, had a team. We’d combine the teams to process each other’s potatoes since each family had about the same acreage.

We also ate dandelions. They were pretty good if you picked the leaves in the spring when they were tender. We would eat them like spinach.

[Edgar concluded:] The kids today would never believe it.

From → Aderman/Bates

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