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Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.


A Creative and Resourceful Grandmother During the Industrial Revolution

By the MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors


Tags: urban gardens, birds, gardening,

1930s GardenThis story is from Ann Harlan, submitted as part of our Wisdom From Our Elders collection of self-sufficient tales from yesteryear. 

My maternal grandmother and grandfather grew up in Kentucky on farms. They came North during the Industrial Revolution and my grandfather took a job near Detroit driving a bulldozer. This was around the 1930s. My grandmother was a busy mother of seven.

She maintained a garden in her city lot while Papaw worked long hours. When pheasants would come to eat from the garden, she would raise up the window (just a bit) and shoot them from inside the house (because it was illegal to fire a gun in the city limits). Then, in a little while, she would take a basket out to the garden and carefully collect the pheasants and put produce on top so no one would see her.

She was a very creative and durable woman, despite having heart damage from rheumatic fever. As a transplanted Choctaw and Southerner, she coped with the tremendous cultural changes in very creative ways – maintaining her knowledge of good use of the land and its resources.

Photo Credit: Fotolia/David Hughes 


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