Historical Housekeeping
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Shall We Move to the Country?

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” ‘ The best place to live is in the country.’  ‘ Let’s move to the country where we can have plenty of good food, lots of elbow room, and plenty of fresh air and sunshine.’  ‘A home on a little land will give us a chance to be independent.’  Thus, many person who live in towns or cities dream or talk enthusiastically of owning a place in the country where they may live and raise food and other products for home use and sale.

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This desire to leave the crowded city is so strongly felt by many persons that it has been aptly termed ‘the call of the land.’ In recent years, the number of people who have heeded this call has steadily increased. Many of these people are establishing homes on small plots of land which vary in size from a few acres down to an acre or less.  This trend toward living on a little land is especially noticeable in the “fringe” or suburban areas on the outskirts of most large cities and for many miles along the improved highways radiating from many towns and cities of various sizes.  In general, these families with homes on a little land secure their main income from employment aways from the places on which they live.  This, for the most port this movement into small-scale farming constitutes a part-time, or “spare-time” venture.

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Several factors are responsible for people establishing homes on a little land and engaging in small-scale farming on a part-time basis.  As one factor, employment in many occupations leaves considerable amount of outside of working hours.  Furthermore, the use of automobiles and the development of improved highways have made it easy to live in rural areas at a considerable distance from the place of work.  Modern conveniences now available to country homes make rural living more attractive than was the case some years ago.

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People on small-scale farms give various reasons for living there rather than in towns or cities.  Some of these reasons are as follows:

  1. To lower the cost of feeding the family.  As one means of lowering the cost of living, most people engage in small-scale farming to raise part of the food for the family table.  They find that food they raise for themselves cost very little money ‘out of pocket,’ and usually there is plenty of family labor to do the work in raising it.
  2. To reduce the cost of housing.  Some people move to the country in order to provide housing at lower cost than in the city.  People who formerly rented a house or an apartment in the city are often able to own their home in the country.  If a country place is purchase with a house already built, the cost of such property is usually less than a comparable house in the city.
  3. To satisfy a liking for the country.  Many people move to a place on the land to satisfy a liking for country life.  They are “fed up” on the noise, sort, and crowded conditions in the city and they long for the open spaces, fresh air, and sunshine of the country.  Some of these persons are interested in hobbies, such as raising plants and animals, for which the city provides little or no opportunity.  Many jobs in cities consist of work indoors; some persons so employed desire relaxation and variety by getting physical exercise out-of-doors.   Most people now living on small-scale farms are probably there because they prefer this type of life.  Some of these persons spent the days of their youth on farms and thus developed a liking for the country which as prompted them to ‘return to the soil.'”

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Looking to find examples of people today “living on a little bit of land?”  Check out these blogs:
There are so many wonderful films that focus on farm life and country living.   A few of my favorites are:
The Egg and I (1947)

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Summer Stock (1950)
Poster - Summer Stock_01So whether you live in the city, or on a little bit of land, let the slowness and peacefulness that farm living can offer, always be around you!

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Source:

Living on a Little Land by George Percy Deyoe and Herbert M. Hamlin, 1948

 

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