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Kountry Life Memories

The Forgotten Way
As a youngster beginning back in the very late 50's, early 60's growing up in Iowa, I would spend a good part of the summer at Grandpa's farm in the southern part of the state. Over the years I have come to realize why Grandpa wanted me there every summer. It was because I was free help which is the best kind. But as a young kid I didn't care one way or t'other and didn't know better anyhow. Just pleasing Grandpa made me happy. The way he and everyone else farmed at that time is gone now. It was based on much simpler farming methods than nowadays and that stands out in my mind. Back then a fella had an all round farm which meant hogs, cattle, a corn and soybean crop, an alfalfa field (he loved his horses) and oats as well. None of these fields were a hundred acres I don't think but nonetheless, he had them all. Plus to top it off, Grandma had her chickens and a decent egg business on the side. I can distinctly recall the breakfasts with fresh eggs and bacon and toast that Grandma would cook every EARLY morning with the KXEL farm report blaring from the old tube radio from atop the 'icebox' as Grandma called it. The hogs were not confined but were out on 30 acres or less with electric fence on the perimeter and Grandpa would rotate this every year. I remember catching the little pigs at castration time and holding them down while Gramps did his magic with a straight edge razor blade. I remember holding the 'twitch' with the horse's upper lip tightened up in a button with a twist of cotton rope and a piece of pitch fork handle to hang on to as he did whatever needed done to a horse that 'needed to keep his mind off the business at hand' as he explained it. I could go on and on but it's getting long now. I retire from the military soon and bought some land back in my home state. Take a guess what I'm going to do.

ibcnya, from IA, entered 2000-02-10

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