Home Economics: Living Off the Farm

When Virginia Yoder and her husband Emerson began to farm on their 50 acre property, near Molalla, Oregon, in the mid to late 1940’s, America’s food supply was still bound tightly to the seasons. Canning and preserving food was a common practice to insure not only an adequate annual supply of food for farm families, but also a way to eat fruits, vegetables, and certain meats that otherwise would be more limited in their availability.

Farm wives played an important role on the farm by cooking the meals, and attending to a wealth of other household responsibilities. In addition to rearing children, the farmer’s wife would typically tend the food gardens, and put up food for longterm storage.

In this video, Virginia Yoder provides a fascinating glimpse into a way of life that has largely vanished from the American landscape. And, at age 84, she continues growing and preserving food to help meet her long-term food needs.

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