Homesteading and Women's Empowerment

Read about a homesteading wife's experiences in learning, growing and sharing works with her husband.

| March/April 1970

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    Carolyn Robinson traded the city life for a country homestead.

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Dear friends, if your husband reads this plan and then tries to talk you into doing something like it, you might say, "Poor Mrs. Robinson. I'll bet she has to do most of it and I wouldn't be in her shoes for anything." So I thought you might like to know where I stand on all this.

The cue to our success with the "Have-More" plan is found in one common little word throughout these pages. Our editorial "we" means exactly that, it isn't used just for the sound effect. We have honestly worked together as a team on everything from our first seven hens to writing this plan. Believe me, the marriage of a man and woman really means something when you start homesteading. Somehow, working close to the earth and with nature seems to make the combination of man and wife more important and, I believe, makes marriage a happier success than is possible in sterile city life.

Do I sound old fashioned? Let me explain that neither Mr. R nor I came from farms originally. We married and lived in New York City for five years and I suppose we could have been described as city sophisticates. So what we have discovered as an exhilarating way of life comes from actually trying city life and country living and then choosing (intelligently, we think) the better. 

Out here on our wee farm my husband really needs me and I, in turn, could not get along without him. When he calls out, "Quick, honey, bring me my bee veil! These bees are in a bad mood," he really does depend on me to help him out.

Mr. Robinson naturally does the heavy work in the garden and with the animals, while I take care of canning, freezing and household jobs. But, we both encroach on the other's job. Mr. Robinson canned at least 50 quarts of tomatoes and froze a couple of dozen packages of vegetables, all after he got home at night which isn't before 7 o'clock. He's nuts, you think? Maybe, but he says it's a pleasure after sitting at a desk all day. I, in turn, do necessary chores during the day and I usually milk the goats.

Ed always envies me getting in on all the exciting events here, it's I who watched the bees swarm (sad affair, but very interesting), greeted the fuzzy day old chicks that are so adorable, had the great thrill of watching the goslings gradually emerge from their shells, and so on indefinitely. There's always something happening here. That's what made me decide the old idea is really true, if you want to be happy and stay young, keep growing things around you. When you grow vegetables, flowers, chickens, pigs, geese, goats and a child all at the same time, how can you be bored?

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