Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"MORE DARN FUN," Mrs. C. C., Minnesota; April 1931

In spite of the hardships imposed on us by bad times, I'm not sorry we in this little community are poor this winter.

In the fall, one fine mother, concerned because her children were receiving no religious training, suggested that some of us who like to sing, go from house to house to learn the old church hymns. One reason these “sings” drew unexpected crowds was that people couldn't afford more expensive social expression.

From this small beginning grew several fine activities. A minister, hearing of the community singing, urged us to start a church school. His help, so generously given, was all the impetus needed. Last Sunday there was a school of ninety, mostly young people and children, a live school that promises to be permanent.

There is a large group of peppy young people there. Very little money is available for pool and movies, so an athletic association has been formed and the community hall fitted for basket ball.

Don't think the young folks have all the pep, though. There is a married women's team, too, and some of the snappiest players are—well--around forty. Although some of our activities of other years are taboo just now, still we're having “more darn fun.”

Monday, May 21, 2012

OUR CURB MARKET, Pennsylvania; February 1924

What I am most interested in at present is our curb market as it solves the problem of how to get fresh produce to consumer—the elimination of the middleman. A committee composed of grocerymen and store-keepers originated the plan. A place is designated; every Wednesday and Saturday morning at seven, trucks, touring cars and other vehicles assemble with produce of all kinds, from large trucks loaded with peaches or apples down to a single farm woman with her butter and eggs.
We are small fruit growers—farmers in general—and have marketed vegetables, eggs, butter, milk, cottage cheese, dressed and plain poultry, fruits, flowers. I have sold several hundred quarts of cottage cheese in ice-cream containers at twenty-five cents a quart.

One of my neighbors recently had fresh hog meat. The sausage sold for twenty-five cents a pound and the crowd couldn't be penetrated, the demand was so great.

We aim to put all produce in an attractive shape, sell between wholesale and retail prices, give good honest measure and do as we would be done by.

When the rush is over, we women discuss household economy; in the summer we traded flowers, slips and so forth. Tubers of dahlias for spring sold well this year.

Everyone boosts for this market and a market house is being talked of. With this year's abundant crop of apples, the market surely has been helpful to this part of the state.

Monday, May 14, 2012

OUR NEEDLECRAFT SHOP; Miss S. E., Missouri; 1924

We live on a hill in the outskirts of a village and our town is about four miles from a girls' college. Our home is on a state highway where there is much travel. The house is attractive, painted white with green blinds like many other country cottages. We have a nice lawn and flower beds, a big spreading tree in front, small fruits and a garden at the back.
Our mother was a helpless invalid and neither my sister nor I could leave home to earn money. We faced sad moments for our income was very small.

One day Mother said, “I love to crochet, tat and embroider. We could live all right if we could only sell our work.” That gave us an idea and the next day I went to a needle-work shop in a city about fifteen miles away, told the manager our circumstances and asked him if he would buy some of our articles. He told me he would. So I purchased a supply of crochet thread in different sizes. Mother cheerily started at her fancy work.

We decided to fix up a fancy-work shop at home. We planned to use our parlor as a reception room and the sitting room as a room to display samples. We put an advertisement in the papers inviting travelers to stop at the Hilltop Needle Shop. Hiking college girls heard of us and picked our farm as a choice place for hikes. They stopped to rest and bought some things. Then we made lemonade and ice cream to sell and the next spring we made garden early and sold vegetables. Then we branched out still more and put a sign at the front saying that we served lunches. Many travelers stopped for lunch and often bought fruits, vegetables and chickens to take on with them. Our fancy-work department was more than successful and Mother now has orders for two months' work ahead.

We have had a few set-backs but we are very happy now and our income is steadily growing. It is a pleasure to please others and to know they are pleased.

Monday, May 7, 2012

HOW WE CLIMBED; Mrs. W. F. S., South Carolina; February 1924

Thirteen years ago, my husband and I started our home as tenants; we owned one horse, a cow and one shoat and had a few hundred dollars, saved before we were married. With this money we bought a one-acre lot and built a five-room bungalow; we had just enough left to buy wire for a garden fence. We started our first year of married life without money for out-buildings. Husband did the field work; I did the work of the home. I sold butter, eggs, chickens.

It took all of the first year's income to build a barn and smoke-house but we persevered, making a little more each year. In the third or fourth year, my husband made twenty-one bales of cotton with only thirteen dollars paid out of labor until gathering time. He always raises enough corn for feed and some to sell; we also have plenty of hay. We produce everything that can be successfully grown in this climate. Mules and farm machinery have been purchased as needed.

The first extra dollars we could spare we decided to invest in Building and Loan stock.

We now have eighty-one acres of land, a remodeled home with water works, electric lights and many other conveniences.

Two years ago our County Home Demonstration Agent opened a curb market in our town, something new to all of us club members. I was the first woman there and the first to make a sale. This market has been a success from that day and grows each month. We open two days a week in the winter and three in summer. I sell butter, eggs, chickens, vegetable, flowers and some preserves and pickles. I make quite a little sum on flowers. Dahlias and gladioli sell best.

My sales for last year amounted to $900. This is my income, and with it I buy clothes, table supplies, carry Building and Loan, help support three orphan children and give a tenth to religious and other good causes.

We have not “happened” on any “good luck”--it has been done by hard work and systematic saving.