19-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today:
Saturday, May 2, 1914: Ditto
Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:
Grandma probably was still doing the spring housecleaning. May is also a busy time for gardening. Did the Muffly women take any breaks from the cleaning to plant a few seeds?
Here’s some advice from a book published in 1914 by Samuel B. Green called Vegetable Gardening:
If one were to figure the actual value of vegetables that may be raised on a half-acre plot of garden, it would amount to at least $100—ten or fifteen times what any common field crop on the farm will produce in the same area.
Besides, there is the satisfaction of having vegetables fresh, and of much better quality than can be bought in town or from a neighbor, unless it be a very near neighbor. Vegetables lose their freshness and character when much time elapses between their harvesting and use.
Caring for the garden is a bugbear of many farmers. If properly laid out and managed, the labor required will not be much more than for corn.
The garden should be near the house. It may be that much of the labor of planting and care will fall upon the housewife and children; although this ought not be unless they desire it.
The garden pays well enough to be given proper attend from the men of the house. However, the women will probably prefer to harvest the crop, and perhaps plan the apportionment of the garden space.