Them that's Doin': Creating a Homestead

The Hammer family learns more about vegetable farming, raising goats and chicks, and foraging for wild berries while creating a homestead.

| September/October 1970

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    The exciting things around here lately are the wringer washer, the month-old chickens and the wild black raspberries and blackberries!

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We've been on our homestead for three months now. After renting one farm and trying unsuccessfully to grow a commune, we finally found these 24 acres that we can (?) afford.

We haven't had a lot of success with 1 1/2 years of farm living but we feel a lot smarter. For example, we couldn't tell when our goats were ready to be bred so we currently have three lovely, dry goats . . . and we pay about 60¢ a day for milk. They still eat a lot of grain and the fence has to be patched every time they find a place to sneak out . . . but we've learned not to be so dumb. Also, we've located an old couple with goats (including bucks) who said, "Bring 'em on over. We'll keep them around 'till something happens."

Well, anyway, the goats are great animals to have around.

The exciting things around here lately are the wringer washer, the month-old chickens and the wild black raspberries and blackberries!

My mom will never believe it, but the wringer washer is so much fun that we're even washing clothes that are clean . . . and pushing and shoving to get in the wringer-feeding position. Weekend visitors just marvel and we sometimes have men, women and children all standing around watching the phenomenon of the agitator jerking clothes clean and the rollers of the wringer grabbing them and squeezing out the water . . . sometimes in your face!

I'm no sociologist so I don't know why running the wringer washer is so much more enjoyable than punching buttons on an automatic machine. But as soon as somebody takes off a shirt or socks around here, I snatch it and run to see if I have a whole load yet. My mother just shakes her head sadly.

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